Wendy Oh blossoms as a painter

For all the casual viewer knows, her work is at the level one expects from someone who’s been finger painting since toddler-hood. Yet junior Wendy Oh only just started drawing in 7th grade. With a nurturing environment (AMS), a mustachioed mentor (Mr. Ronald Heinen) and a fair bit of talent, Oh found that with enough patience and work, art could be just as rewarding as quiz bowl (shameless plug, yes). “It was because of Mr. Heinen that I started drawing.” Oh said. “Without him I wouldn’t be drawing. I saw his paintings and it was so amazing. My first painting was of him.” Oh has come a long way since then, having won two Honorable Mentions for her drawings and finished her first mural. “Mrs. Hassebrock asked me if I was interested in doing a mural for Hach Factory,” Oh said. “They wanted me to paint a winter theme so I went there and saw what I had to paint on. They had a huge mirror like 10 feet long.” After doing a sketch and getting Hassebrock’s approval, Oh painted five hours straight from 4-9 pm during thanksgiving break. “I had to use a big brush and put my palette on a desk and use a ladder and keep going up and down, up and down.” Oh said while recounting the experience. “It was so far away so I didn’t want to go again. It was really tiring.” Even though Hach Factory is going to erase the painting after the winter, the budding young artist has learned something from the experience that is not so easily lost. “I wanted to paint a mural somewhere in Ames High but I didn’t have time. I’m really thankful that Mrs. Hassebrock recommended me,” Oh said. “She’s a really nice teacher and she supports me.” With Mr. Heinen as her inspiration, Oh is currently busy honing her skills and perfecting her craft in her drawing and painting classes. “I drew landscapes in 7th grade, but then I saw his work. Because of him, I draw portraits.” Oh said. “I like to draw children because my self-portraits look really depressing. It’s scary…If you see any of my drawings of children they look happy. And I’m always sad. So it evens out.” “Sometimes I take art too seriously,” Oh said. “Mr Heinen said, ‘Just have fun with it.’ I didn’t know I was taking it too seriously.” Yet it’s because of Oh’s dedication to her craft that she’s had so much success. “I think everyone can draw.” Oh said. “People just draw and don’t like it and don’t try [to make it better]. Well they try, but they don’t have patience.” Like a lot of other things, a little love and patience is all it takes