Let’s Get Artsy: Sophomore artist creates paintings, sells art online


Gennifer Geer, Managing Editor

Art takes many forms.
Paintings, sculptures, music, drawings, literature.
Art applies to all senses, and one theme unites it all — self expression.
Sophomore Ally Berkowitz discovered her love for art and this self expression over the summer when she took painting classes for fun.
“My mom just signed me up,” she said. “I always wanted a hobby, and when I started painting, I just really liked it. I wanted to learn a lot more.”
Berkowitz said she typically paints with acrylic or watercolor on canvas, and once she finishes, she uploads her work on FineArtAmerica.com.
Fine Art America allows artists to sell prints of their art on almost anything imaginable from framed pictures and canvas to greeting cards and metal sheets.
Art teacher Mark Mosier said the Internet is a good resource for viewing art, but a digital image or print can’t compare to a physical painting.
“The only thing about selling it online is there’s no substitution for experiencing the piece itself,” Mosier said. “A picture online is going to be different in color than the real thing. You don’t get to see the brush strokes. You don’t get to see the subtle colors an artist might use.”
Berkowitz said she saw an advertisement for the website, and now she uses Fine Art America not only to sell her art, but also to acquire feedback from other artists.
Not that she doesn’t get any now.
“Considering that my grandpa was an artist and my great-grandma was an artist, my parents are really supportive of it,” Berkowitz said. “They really like commenting and giving me feedback on my art, even though they’re not very talented in stuff like that.”
Berkowitz said she also receives constructive criticism from her brother, junior David Berkowitz.
“He gives me lots of harsh feedback, which I kind of like sometimes because he points out the flaws in it,” Ally said. “It also helps me improve a lot more.”
One advantage to Fine Art America is Ally shares her underlying message in her art with the world wide web. The website automatically posts reminders through Ally’s Twitter and Facebook accounts about new art she uploads. In each post, Fine Art America gives followers and friends alike the chance to buy Ally’s pieces.
“The company site has its own prices, so I have to add to it if I want to make a profit,” Ally said. “On the small ones, I add $10. The big ones are up to [$]40.”
Mosier said there’s slight danger to having access to art online.
“I guess I would be a little concerned if they’re all available electronically — does that encourage other people to borrow or plagiarize or do other things if it’s that readily accessible?” he said. “If it’s a painting on the wall, it’s a little hard to do anything with that. But if it’s electronic, you can always copy and paste it into something and call it your own.”
Ally said her paintings take different amounts of time to finish.
“I like doing it in one day, for some reason,” she said. “I start in the afternoon and, depending how detailed the painting is, it can go to 10 [p.m.] — one time I stayed up till 3 [a.m.].”
Ally said she pulls inspiration from what she sees around her, as well as from famous quotes.
“Most of my pieces have a deeper meaning,” Ally said. “I think most art does that.”
When it comes to students displaying art online, Mosier said using the Internet progresses from technology he had as a student, and he approves of the use.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Mosier said. “It seems like a logical regression for people to have electronic galleries or electronic methods of showing off their work rather than just having conventional prints or paintings or something like that where you put it on the wall.”