EAST WENATCHEE — Austyn Sotherland’s first commissioned painting is on display in the Clovis Point Intermediate School cafeteria.
The mural, painted in acrylic on an 8-foot-by-5-foot canvas, depicts the school’s coyote mascot, school colors and student character traits that include respect, self management, responsibility, cooperation, organization, friendship, kindness and tolerance.
The work, which required application of most of those traits, is a parting gift from Clovis Point’s 2018-19 elected student leaders — Madison Wilson, Samantha Dodd, Hallie Pierce and Callissa Rebel.
“The ASB students decided that they wanted to do a mural and the principal thought it was a great idea and asked them who would be a good artist,” Sotherland said. “One of my friends who is on ASB suggested me. I just love to draw and do it all the time.”
Sotherland, 13, then a seventh grader, spent about three months on the project, mostly during her art class and when she could find time during the school day.
“I came up with the design on my own,” she said.
The only parameter was it needed to include the school colors — red, gray and black — and the coyote mascot.
“The school provided the materials. It was a long process and took a lot of going over things a million times,” she said.
She started with pencil sketches to get her ideas on the canvas.
“Then I started painting first layers, second layers, third, fourth and finally fifth. Then I straightened up the edges and began to write the letters,” she said.
The edge work took the longest. Mixing colors to match the next layer of paint was the most difficult.
She finished up the last week of school, in time for the end-of-year assembly.
“I had to stand up in front of the school while they talked about the mural,” she said. “Everyone was looking at me, but I was proud of my work.”
She likes the idea of leaving her mark.
“My name is on it and it will be there forever,” she said.
As an incoming eighth grader at Eastmont Junior High School this fall, she isn’t sure whether more commissioned art is in her future.
“I would like to be a marine biologist, but I definitely won’t lose interest in art,” she said. “Art calms me down and relaxes me and gives me something to do since my parents don’t let me be on my phone all the time.”