HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Feb. 20, 2006

High school art opens new world for Cokato girl

By Roz Kohls

Staff Writer

Sam Hoyhtya of Cokato has always loved to draw. When she entered high school, though, an entirely new world in art opened up for her.

“That’s when it finally took off,” said Hoyhtya, a Dassel Cokato High School senior.

Hoyhtya, the daughter of Ken and Sheri Hoyhtya, said her work has improved significantly since she was a freshman in Bill Esser’s art class. She has taken Art 1, Drawing 1, honors art, computer graphics and this year, painting and drawing.

“Take as many art classes you want,” Hoyhtya advises eighth graders interested in art and considering what to take in high school. “The practice helps you get better. The more you do, you get better.”

One of the most important things she learned the past three years is not to “force” her art, she said.

In the past, whenever she got frustrated with a project, she’d throw it out and start over. Now, Hoyhtya sets it aside and looks at it again two or three weeks later. “I can see what I did wrong and what I need to do,” she said.

Hoyhtya noticed if she worked on more than one project at a time, it prevented her from getting frustrated when she hit an impasse. “It just helped me,” she said.

Hoyhtya remembered when she was working on a self portrait, the contrasting shades of light and dark were off balance and she struggled to get it right. “It can ruin the whole picture,” Hoyhtya said.

Hoyhtya had honors art at the time with Miss Merrit. “She was really flexible,” Hoyhtya said. “I got to choose my own projects.”

After a couple of weeks of not looking at the portrait, Hoyhtya examined her portrait again. “She helped me figure out what was making it wrong,” with a series of suggestions. “She was a happy, bubbly person. It was fun to be around her,” Hoyhtya said.

Hoyhtya’s specialty is graphite drawings. Her all-time favorite was a pencil drawing she made of Hank William Sr. She was able to make interesting black and white tones. “I could manipulate (the lines and shading) and it turned out almost exactly how I wanted it,” she said.

Hoyhtya gave the portrait to her grandparents, who like country western music, she said.

Hoyhtya gives away much of her work. “Art isn’t any fun if you’re the only one who sees it,” she said.

Another graphite work she enjoyed was a drawing of a professional moto cross racer from the waist up. In the picture, the racer was doing a trick on his dirt bike, she said.

“It turned out really, really cool looking,” Hoyhtya said.

In addition to mastering graphite art, Hoyhtya learned to paint with acrylics in high school. At first, Hoyhtya thought painting was so difficult, she hated doing it.

“Anything I did, didn’t turn out,” she said.

Others told her they liked it, but she was never satisfied. The paint seemed difficult to manipulate and she couldn’t get the exact color she wanted.

Because she had learned, though, not to “force” her art, she eventually got the hang of it. “Don’t get discouraged on something,” Hoyhtya said.

“Now I don’t hate painting as much,” she added.

Both Hoyhtya’s father and sister, Jen, who is attending Ridgewater College in Hutchinson, can draw or paint well, she said.

Hoyhtya would like to go to college at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, but she’s not sure whether she will major in art. She has many interests, she said.

Another art hobby she has, for example, is photography. She has been to a few of the Viewfinders Camera Club meetings in Cokato and entered photographs in the club’s annual contest, she said.

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