CFHS artist conveys complex relationships in her AP portfolio


photo courtesy of Anna Baker

With the deadline to finish AP art portfolios approaching on May 5, CFHS art students have started to focus on honing their pieces.

Junior Anna Baker has taken art classes since her freshman year with Drawing 1. As she continues to expand her AP 2D Design portfolio this year, she’s explored how her essential questions connect to each of her paintings.

“I have several [essential questions]. What is the power relationship between small individuals and large systems is the main one. And then this is another follow up question that I’m doing: Why does my insignificance contradict the feeling of omnipresent emotions?” Baker shared.

Her teacher, Mrs. Jill Eisert, enjoys how Baker explores her creativity in the classroom.

“Anna has always been very thoughtful in everything she does. She’s always highly conscientious and is always prepared with an idea to show me,” Mrs. Eisert explained. “For almost every piece that Anna has done for AP, she has shown me multiple thumbnails and multiple attempts of photography, and she really embraces experimentation and revision which are huge components for AP. With Anna’s natural intuition and her ability to explore, she’s really taken to her theme this year, and I really like how she’s continually pushing herself to the question.”

With the help of Mrs. Eisert, Baker has tested her creativity this year.

“She’s really introduced me to a lot of different mediums. I tried gouache this year and that was something fun that I played with. I also tried working on wood panels instead of canvases. She kind of helps me out and inspires me by showing me other artists’ work and examples and what direction my art can be going in,” Baker said.

Baker also takes inspiration from classic painters such as John Singer Sargent, Bill Mayer, and Michelangelo Caravaggio.

“I was inspired by Caravaggio’s use of high contrast shadows, and I’m trying to apply that in my current pieces. But obviously we have very different themes which is where I think my own voice comes into it,” Baker described.

Baker’s current piece focuses on two hands surrounded by a cosmos of stars and planets. She utilizes color contrast by rendering a bright pair of hands against a deep, purple universe. As she nears the final pieces of her portfolio, she’s found her groove in the creative process. After taking a photo of her finished sketch, she projects it onto a canvas and traces the drawing. She also utilizes scumbling techniques to block in core values until she’s ready to render the finer details.

While Baker continues to add to her portfolio, she’s enjoyed the atmosphere art class provides.

“My favorite thing about art class is probably just the people and the environment in it because it’s very chill in there. I’m always down there. It’s my favorite room in the whole school. I just listen to music, do my painting for a while, and it’s really relaxing,” she explained.

Baker appreciates the amount of time she’s had to develop her skills throughout the school year.

“I’ve gotten into a groove and I want to stick with [oil painting],” Baker shared. “It’s been a good couple of years of experimentation, and now that I know what I’m doing, it’s nice to be able to just go for it.”