AP Drawing Portfolio Senior Spotlight: Leah Williams 

The AP Drawing Portfolio is an intensive course, requiring students to produce art at the college level. Students compile a portfolio of 24-29 original artworks demonstrating mastery in composition, technique, and concept. Twelve of those pieces explore a common idea called a concentration. 

“Leah Williams loves the creative process. She can work quickly, her skills in observation and understanding of the acrylic painting process are evident,” said Rebecca Hoadley, Visual Arts instructor. “She spends hours finding the perfect reference and then painting and repainting until she gets the happy, energetic look that motivates her everyday life. It’s amazing to see!”

 Leah, what is the current central idea of your concentration?

A smile goes a long way, even from someone you may not know. These portraits are of people who have affected my life for the better, these moments are ones of happiness and joy. My hope is that when you look at them, you can feel that same joy that they were feeling. I also believe that this doesn’t just go for people you know and it doesn’t have to be in a painting. It is one of my favorite feelings when you are walking down the street and pass someone you don’t know who you share a smile with. It leads me to believe that even though you may not know someone or even have anything in common with them, it is in these little moments that you realize how blessed you are. A smile goes a long way, and especially when you are feeling down, a simple smile from a stranger can make someone’s day and have them realize all of the good in life.

How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea?

My artwork tries to translate people who are in the little moments of joy and laughter, resonating with the viewer by using bright and vivid colors along with a loose figurative interpretation. Specifically, in my “Liv” painting, a girl is lying on her side in the sun, smiling as if she were in mid-laugh. I have used warm colors to parallel with her emotions and the painterly style of the broken up brush strokes help to translate a loose and free feeling.