Photo by Johnny Jackson
Alyssa Standard, 15, is quickly learning how to express herself in different ways, through acrylic and oil painting.
By Johnny Jackson
Fifteen-year-old Alyssa Standard is making great strides in expressing herself through her art.
"It's a good way to express yourself," Standard said. "It's kind of relaxing to express yourself."
The McDonough resident is a home-schooled freshman in high school, who has been painting for roughly the past six years under the tutelage of artist, Barbara Frazier, of McDonough.
Frazier is a professional artist of 10 years. She has taught Standard since she was 9 years old, introducing the youngster to different techniques and media in which to paint.
"All kids mess with some sort of art," Frazier said. "So, by the time I got her, she was doing what kids do. But there is a difference in letting kids express art, and letting them get the techniques. You've still got to know how to work with materials."
The pair have met for about an hour nearly each week for the past six years as student and teacher -- Standard absorbing lessons from different genres of art, and Frazier opening the teen up to new ways of expressing herself.
"She does not have the confidence she will have four years from now," Frazier said. "I know she has made some incredible progress. She has exceptional talent."
Standard's talent is manifested on nearly a dozen framed canvass squares now hanging among the works of veteran, professional artists at the Season's Bistro restaurant in downtown McDonough.
"I've always loved drawing," Standard said. "My mom [Rayna Standard] decided that maybe we should try art lessons, and we really loved it so I continued to do it. My parents like it, because it gets them lots of artwork in the house."
Standard has matured over the years, graduating into different styles and genres of painting. She said she works primarily in oil and acrylic, and prefers landscape realism.
"I think I have progressed," she said. "[Frazier] used to have to tell me everything to do, but I sort of know, now, a lot of what I should do."
Standard said her aspirations stop at painting as a hobby, like her hobbies of playing the flute or Celtic harp and creating graphic designs on her computer. She said being involved in such artistic pursuits showcases her eclectic nature in ways she might not find elsewhere.
"Every child needs something to help them feel good about themselves," said Frazier. "I think art is so vitally important in a child's life, because they know they have achieved something. It is so beneficial to a child, and every parent owes it to that child to be sure that their child has that opportunity."