Drawing is Baltzer’s favorite medium of expression

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JANET HAMOUS
by

The Free Press

Most high school girls would consider a Valentine’s Day rose a thing of beauty to be put it in a vase and admired from afar

But not Hillsboro High School junior Katie Baltzer. She sees a fresh rose as an opportunity to get out her pencil and paper and immortalize the flower in a pencil drawing.

“I did this because of Valentine’s Day,” she said, holding up a drawing of a rose drawn in such detail you can almost smell its aroma and feel its thorns.

“I like to draw flowers a lot and natural things,” Baltzer said.

Her favorite drawing is a picture of a giant hibiscus.

“It turned out really good, except for going off the page. It grew a little bit,” she said. “I do a lot of flower drawings, but this is the biggest, most detailed one that I have.

“I like all the folds. The hibiscus is one of my favorite flowers.”

Baltzer said she usually draws flowers by looking at fresh ones, but she drew the hibiscus from a picture she found on the Internet.

“It would have taken me too long to draw it just from looking at it-it would probably wilt,” she said.

Although Baltzer has experimented with a variety of art techniques, drawing is her favorite and she prefers to work in black and white.

She enjoys working in both pencil and charcoal and is currently working on a charcoal drawing of a European church.

“Last year I did a big face drawing in charcoal and I’ve done a few other smaller things,” she said. “I like it because it’s really easy. You can make mistakes and just cover it up.”

Baltzer’s art teacher, Dustin Dalke, said, “Katie is an extremely talented artist, being able to translate realistic images onto two-dimensional surfaces. Her comfort zone thus far has been drawing flowers, seashells and other organic materials. These are difficult subject matter to draw, given that they involve a wide range of value scale and an always changing model.”

Last year, Dalke entered several of Baltzer’s drawings in an art contest.

“I didn’t know about it until I got the awards back,” she said.

Baltzer said she has been drawing for as long as she can remember.

“I used to draw cartoons when I was little,” she said. “I always liked to draw, and my brother turned out to be an art major, so he inspired me.”

She isn’t sure where her art talent came from, but she said her mother is very creative.

“My mom does backdrops for her plays-she’s a music teacher,” she said.

Baltzer lives several miles from Hillsboro on her family’s farm near Lehigh, and that is where she does much of her artwork.

“Most of my sketchbooks are done at home,” she said. “It’s easier to concentrate.”

Baltzer isn’t sure yet whether she will continue with her art after high school.

“I want to do something in the sciences,” she said, “probably in marine biology.”

She said she might consider a minor in art or music.

“I sing and I play the piano, too,” she said.

Baltzer plans to continue to taking art classes next year if she can fit it in her schedule, and Dalke is keeping his fingers crossed that she will.

“I have to get the sciences in first,” she said.

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