The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Artist Charlotte Bull collages her way into success

“Combined Portrait” is a self-portrait Bull created out of embroidered fabric. The pink eye represented her mother’s which tied into Bull’s sustained investigation; portraying female relationships. This piece was featured on the cover of WJ’s Spectator magazine Vol. 63.

From excelling in AP Art, AP French and to competing in the swim and dive team and having her art on WJ’s Spectator magazine cover, senior Charlotte Bull is a great example for high school students striving to balance multiple passions.

She manages to excel in not just one but three AP classes, compete on the swim and dive team, and co-preside over the National Art Honors Society, all while pursuing her love for art.

Bull started drawing when she was around three years old. In elementary school, Bull colored the coloring sheets provided by teachers but soon found her way to composing her ideas.

Her medium changes to suit different messages. When taking AP Studio Art last year, Bull worked with embroidery to portray her Sustained Investigation. Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle to apply thread or yarn. It can also incorporate other materials such as pearls, beads, quills and sequins. In AP Art-related classes such as digital art, 3D and Studio Art, Sustained Investigations are a series of visual forms to portray one or two messages of students’ choosing. Bull grew up drawing female family members like her sister, mother and grandmother, which heavily influenced her Sustained Investigation.

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“Intermission” represents one of Bull’s other passions; dance, and how COVID-19 affected her relationship with her teammates. She used Acrylic paint, beads and embroidery. (Courtesey Charlotte Bull)

“[The Sustained Investigation] was about how objects and past times can represent the importance of female relationships and how embroidery can connect different ideas throughout multiple compositions,” Bull said.

Throughout most of her pieces, one theme reigns clear: the importance and influence of family. One of Bull’s pieces, titled “Family Recipes,” is centered around a photo of her mother and grandmother with family recipes sewn behind the photos.

To many, Bull’s work may seem unconventional. The creativity to incorporate textures, photos and even the inclusion of physical notes is what makes her art interesting and enjoyable. For one of her pieces titled, “Combined Portrait,” which was featured as the cover for Vol. 63 of Spectator, Bull sewed different colored fabrics together to portray a portrait of herself. Although the piece was already interesting, Bull incorporated her mother’s eye into her own eye.

“Fabric scraps and sewing are used to depict a combined portrait of my face and my mother’s eye. My mother is the one who taught me how to sew. Since we bonded over sewing, I decided to use it to represent us. I created a paper pattern which guided how I cut and placed each fabric piece,” Bull said.

Inspired by her time in art classes in her sophomore year, Bull decided to join the National Art Honors Society of WJ (NAHS). Last school year, the society painted murals across the school.

“I was the team leader, and we painted 13 colorful shapes along a 60-foot wall in the math department. I’d never painted with or directed a group before, so it was a learning experience. But it inspired me to become the NAHS Co-President for this school year,” Bull said.

Balancing swim and dive and AP Studio Art was a struggle, but Bull managed it perfectly. She would attend morning practices and after getting back at 6:00 a.m., she would finish up her paintings.

Don’t compare yourself to other artists; instead be inspired by them … Keep working on it, you’re going to get there eventually.

Being a perfectionist, Bull generally strived for each piece to be perfect despite her time constraint. Through this, she finds motivation in art because it makes her happy.

“Don’t compare yourself to other artists; instead be inspired by them … Keep working on it, you’re going to get there eventually,” Bull said.

As for her future, Bull chose to major in Architecture, inspired by her father, an architect, who also got her into art to begin with. She applied to Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, getting into both.

“The most recent school I’ve heard back from was Virginia Tech—I got into their architecture program. It was really exciting because they’re one of the best architecture programs in the country,” Bull said.

“Family Recipies” centers around a photo of her mother and grandmother with family recipes sewn behind the photos. Bull used film photography with mixed media. (Courtesy Charlotte Bull)

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Rhea Noumair
Rhea Noumair, Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator
Junior Rhea Noumair is in her third year of Pitch and is the Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator. She enjoys playing and watching soccer, painting and listening to music in her free time.
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