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Madeline Proctor’s Art as a Time Capsule

Top two are Proctor’s features in Flip the Page. Bottom are Proctor’s favorite pieces (Madeline Proctor)

For Columbus Academy senior and artist Madeline Proctor, art is about “keeping moments from ‘real life.’” She views her sketchbook as a time capsule that she can go back through the pages to remember what was happening in her life and the world at the time she made each drawing. When asked about how art has impacted her life, Proctor responded, “This sounds really cliche, but now I notice more beauty in the world around me, even in mundane objects I usually wouldn’t have paid attention to before I began creating art more often. I see something and think, ‘ooh this would make a great painting,’ which is always a happy moment.” 

Proctor’s interest in psychology and the complexity of personalities is the main source of her artistic inspiration. Primarily focused on drawing portraits in a semi-realistic art style, Proctor states that in these pieces she especially enjoys “trying to capture emotions as well as a person’s unique characteristics.” 

Besides being a 2D Portfolio student at Academy, Proctor’s art talent and style have been recognized outside the walls of Columbus Academy. Two of her pieces have been published by Thurber House in Flip the Page, a teen literary journal that features stories, poems, nonfiction, and artwork from teen writers and artists throughout Central Ohio. 

The first piece featured was a blue colored pencil portrait of an somber elderly man that appears to be in a state of deep thinking. Proctor explained that this drawing was “to practice a more realistic style, and tried to capture the emotions visible in the reference photo.” 

The second featured piece was an assignment given to her by Mr. Block, the portfolio teacher at Academy, when classes were on Zoom last year. The assignment was simple: create a piece that involved a mask. Proctor’s semi-realistic style jumps out in her interpretation of the assignment. She drew a portrait of a young woman and captured the uncertainty and fear surrounding the pandemic by making the mask a deep, dark gray while using bright, saturated colors for all other aspects of the painting. The facial expressions conveyed through the painting depict the worrisome emotions people experienced in the height of the pandemic. 

One of Proctor’s favorite pieces she has created was a collage that focused on major events and issues in 2020. “I drew five portraits, each one to represent a group of people greatly affected by the pandemic, and placed them on a background consisting of newspaper clippings relating to the events and issues that affected them. One of the portraits was of my grandma because I wanted to represent the struggles she and other older adults with dementia have faced during the pandemic,” Proctor voices. Both her vision of utilizing art as a time capsule and focus on expressing the nuances of human emotion are present in this stunning multimedia piece.

While Proctor does not think that her future career will be in the art field directly, she knows that she will continue creating art for the rest of her life. In her opinion, “no matter what your skill level is, art is such a great way to capture memories and stories, explore different perspectives, and connect with people around you.” 


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