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Artwork by Nina Gamble of Westisle school wins first place in The Guardian's art contest

Nina Gamble of Cascumpec has earned first place in The Guardian's 2017 art project for this painting, entitled "Cascumpec." The Grade 12 Westisle Composite High School student decided to paint this because she loved how everything was still and reflected off the water.
Nina Gamble of Cascumpec has earned first place in The Guardian's 2017 art project for this painting, entitled "Cascumpec."

Nina Gamble is a natural born artist.

The Grade 12 student at Westisle Composite High School recently created a watercolour painting from a photo of a beautiful winter scene from a river near her home in Cascumpec.

“I just really like the stillness of it in the winter,” said Nina, 17, in an interview with The Guardian. “Our bus went over the bridge and as soon as I got off the bus, I went down and took the photo because everything was just still.”

Her depiction of a piece of her small community in West Prince has won her first place in The Guardian’s 2017 Christmas art project.

See a gallery of the other entrants' artwork here. 

Nina Gamble of Cascumpec has earned first place in The Guardian's 2017 art project for this painting, entitled

Nina Gamble, 17, of Cascumpec, sketches some eye shapes in art class at Westisle Composite High School. Nina won first place in The Guardian’s 2017 Christmas art project, which showcased young Island artists from her school. 

“I was surprised I won,” said Nina. “There are a lot of really good paintings that my other classmates did.”

Nina, along with 19 others from her art class at Westisle Composite High School (consisting of Grade 10, 11 and 12 students), recently submitted entries to The Guardian, vying to have their artwork appear on page 1 of the newspaper’s last edition before Christmas. 

This is only the second time Nina has painted a landscape scene, but respected artist and art educator Henry Purdy says her painting had attributes that he would expect from someone who has had quite a bit of painting experience.

“I find it's the most accomplished of all of them, though there are many others that are very close.’’

Purdy was tasked with judging the artwork and selecting the top entry.

He was impressed by the thought that went into painting the reflections of the trees in the water, which were slightly darker because of the reduction of light absorbed by the water.

He also admired the “sharpness of the objects in the foreground and the softness of the objects in the reflections”.

“This piece just jumped off the table in the sense of the strength of it – how well done it is without it being overly romanticized or that type of thing. It’s a good piece. It’s just a nice solid piece of painting.’’

Nina began doodling when she was just three years old.

She says she likes drawing everything, but particularly enjoys sketching faces.

Island artist Henry Purdy looks over the 20 watercolour paintings submitted by students from Westisle Composite High School. The Guardian asked Purdy to judge the artwork and pick the top entry for the student art contest.
Island artist Henry Purdy looks over the 20 watercolour paintings submitted by students from Westisle Composite High School. The Guardian asked Purdy to judge the artwork and pick the top entry for the student art contest.

Gamble admits that she has only taken two art classes during her time in school, once in Grade 7 and again in Grade 12, and that drawing has been an on-and-off-again activity.

“I’m surprised how I can paint like that because I won’t paint for a couple of years or draw, and then I do it, and I just kind of improve as time goes by, even if I don’t practise.”

Diane Morrison-Robinson, the art teacher at Westisle Composite High School, says Nina has a “strong attention to detail” and is not surprised she won the contest.

“She has been outstanding all semester,” said Morrison-Robinson. “Everything she has done, she picks it up quick and she learns very fast.”

Morrison-Robinson said for this watercolour assignment, she asked students to go out in their community and find images that show West Prince.

Morrison-Robinson said her art class did better than expected with this assignment but admits this class has stood out the entire semester.

“Every assignment I’ve given them, they’ve worked really hard at it, and they’re not afraid to take criticism and learn from their mistakes,” said Morrison-Robinson. “They’ve grown a lot this semester.”

Nina said she is looking forward to seeing her creation on the front page of The Guardian.

“I’m really proud about it.”

Future plans for Gamble include taking more art classes next semester.

Gamble says she is also considering going to Holland College to study photography or fundamental arts.

 

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Nina Gamble, left, a Grade 12 student at Westisle Composite High School, receives a $50 gift card to buy art supplies from Guardian reporter Maureen Coulter after winning first place in The Guardian’s 2017 Christmas art project. -Diane Morrison-Robinson/Special to the Guardian
Nina Gamble, left, a Grade 12 student at Westisle Composite High School, receives a $50 gift card to buy art supplies from Guardian reporter Maureen Coulter after winning first place in The Guardian’s 2017 Christmas art project. -Diane Morrison-Robinson/Special to the Guardian

 

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