A Two-Minute Masterpiece: A Lifetime of Mastery

Many students at Bolles are talented artists. Most of them know how to paint, but did you know that one of them can even speed paint? Meet Natalie Garcia (’21), the talented speed painter who amazed many audience members at this year’s Halloween Coffeehouse.

Her unique performance, a speed painting of the Marvel superhero Thor, was the result of her hard work in her art on and off campus. “I felt very nervous since it was my first time doing it, but once I started, I felt more relaxed,” Garcia said.

Speed painting is not a very common form of art. Her art teacher, Mr. Bied, had only heard of “quick sketches”, which is when people quickly sketch images, but he had never seen speed painting before.

              Around five weeks before Coffeehouse, Garcia began to prepare for her speed painting performance.

“What I did was to first draw it like I usually would draw anything else (semi realistic) and then I started to experiment on how to paint it. Once I figured it out, I used a random app where I trace the picture into an online and I eventually drew it like it would look like if speed painting. From there, I practiced a lot until I got fast enough while looking kind of like the original. So basically, I learned from practicing a lot,” she explained.

“I first started with thirty minutes drawn, and when I first started painting, it took me around 35 minutes. Later, it turned to sixteen or fifteen. Around two weeks before the performance, I narrowed it down to nine, which then lowered to six, I think. On the week I had to do it, I narrowed it down to four and then the next day, I narrowed it down to three, and on the performance I did 1:58.”

Garcia’s art career began when she was inspired to draw for someone’s baby shower. “There were no cards to give her, so I drew one. I guess after that I was inspired to draw more.”

          Garcia’s family was another inspiration to her. Her mother used to draw, and Garcia gave credit to her older half-brother for inspiring her and teaching her how to draw bees and mountains. “My brother is now 26, so I don’t think he’s had time to draw like he used to,” Garcia explained.

          A piece Garcia is currently working on is a color pencil drawing of her mom and younger sister standing in front of a war scenery, turning away from it. The piece symbolized “how people were at times ignorant of the events happening around them.”

           Garcia says that this piece is the one that she is most proud of right now. “Many times I never feel fully proud about anything I do, but that’s what makes me do more.”

          Everybody is proud of Garcia and recognizes her  talent, especially Mr. Bied. “This is something she’s compelled to do,” Bied said with a smile. Although Bied was unable to attend Coffeehouse, he felt very enthusiastic about Garcia’s performance.

        He recalled, “I knew she was doing it, so I gave her an easel. I didn’t get to see it, but she’s the only student who’s ever done anything like this. Obviously, she’s willing to put herself our there. Most artists don’t like to work with people around.”

          Not only did she perform, but she also drew some banners for Coffeehouse, which she has done for two years. “I feel happy about trying to help the school in some way, even if it’s a little,” Garcia said about her art.

Garcia loved performing in Coffeehouse this year and watching everyone else’s performances. “I remember the cool environment there. I liked the performances and how people got together,” she said. She felt relieved after hearing the applause from everyone watching her.

          Many students are looking forward to seeing what Garcia will perform next if she does it again. “It was a lot of fun doing it. I might try again if I’m not that busy,” she said.

             You know she will always be busy, making more art.