Teen artist enjoys experimenting with creative techniques | State

By MICKEY POWELL, The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE, Va. (AP) — Most anything that Adah Gowdy touches, whether it be with scissors, a paintbrush or just her hands de ella, turns into something elaborate.

Her artist’s portfolio includes watercolor and acrylic paintings, images burned into wood, ceramics, decorative paper-cuttings, photographs, embroideries, fabric collages and fashion illustrations.

It stands to reason that her talents will grow in the future as she pursues emerging art forms as well as existing techniques which she hasn’t yet attempted.

Experimentation was the theme of a recent exhibition of her work at the Barns of Rose Hill.

“It’s always exciting to try my hand at something I’ve never tried before,” said Adah (pronounced ADD-a), and see whether it turns out as she intended.

Occasionally it hasn’t, she admitted, although she’s mostly been pleased with the outcomes.

Adah, 18, is a senior at Clarke County High School and the daughter of Virginia and Rick Gowdy.

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She remembers having explored her creative side as a toddler.

Virginia Gowdy said she and her husband over the years have encouraged Adah and her sister, Eden, to do arts and crafts at home.

However, when Adah was about 6, she was given a book in which to not only write, but also illustrate a story. Ella she enjoyed doing the illustrations, and she began to realize that she had a natural talent for art, she said.

She finds it hard to describe, except in one way.

“It’s all from God,” she said. “He gave me my talent.”

One of Adah’s creations of which she’s most proud is “The Pegasus Myth Book.” It’s a fold-out collection of black-and-white scenes from the story of the fabled winged horse. The silhouettes are paper that she delicately trimmed with an X-ACTO knife.

Another is “Multifaceted,” an acrylic painting of a young woman surrounded by a glow. Upon close inspection, the woman actually is two, each facing a different direction. The painting is a reminder there are multiple components to someone’s personality.

Adah’s favorite country singer, Keith Urban, inspired several of her works, including one in which she burned an image of him playing a guitar onto a board. It was her first attempt at wood-burning.

“It took a lot of patience,” Adah recalled, “but the end result was amazing!”

She also created a portrait of Urban using pointillism, a technique in which colored dots are applied to a surface to create a pattern. She made the dots using the opposite ends of paintbrushes of different sizes.

Amounts of time that Adah devotes to projects vary.

“She can spend forever on something, or she can whip it out in one night,” said her mom. Regardless, “she She goes all into (creating) intricate details.”

Adah said she loses track of time when doing art.

Her bucket list includes trying glass fusion, in which pieces of glass are glued together to form a picture, and making a “crankie,” a scroll featuring images unrolled to music.

“I’m always trying to think of new ideas,” she said.

Soon to graduate from CCHS, Adah this fall will attend Lipscomb University, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, with about 4,600 students. She plans to major in fashion design.

A sparkle appears in her eye when she talks about stitching and illustrating clothes, which she considers her favorite type of art.

“There’s so much imagination and creativity that can be turned into something real and useful,” Adah said.

Already, her creations include pajama shorts and pants, plus a shirt and jacket she made from an old dress shirt belonging to her dad.

She didn’t use a pattern for that outfit.

Rather, “I altered it as I went along,” based on how well it fit, she said.

Adah hasn’t decided on the exact career she’ll pursue in the fashion industry, yet she envisions it will be one in which she can illustrate clothing designs, if not create them, too.

She’s a creative person, she explained. The business side of the industry doesn’t interest her as much as the creative side, she asserted.

Still, in just a few years, the fashion world could become Adah’s playground, so to speak. Who knows where she’ll end up working? Paris, perhaps? Or maybe New York, London or Milan?

While she’s in Nashville, though, maybe — just maybe — she’ll run into Urban one day while she’s walking down Music Row.

“I’d really like to have him sign one of my pieces” that he inspired, she said, getting that sparkle in her eye again.

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