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Artist of the Month: Ava Osborne

Ava Osborne is a senior VADA student at Santa Barbara High School. She is the co-president of VADA leadership and is currently planning the VADA Prom dance. She is experienced in digital art, watercolor, photography, drawing, acrylic, and oil painting. Her current favorite medium is oil because it has a smoother texture than acrylic and is easier to blend to achieve the high level of realism that Osborne strives for in her pieces.

Currently, she’s working on her senior VADA portfolio, which is composed of art pieces that comment on our society, human empathy, and current events. “It frustrates me so much that people can’t just be genuine people to one another,” Osborne commented about her thesis. The summer after her sophomore year, she was looking for an artistic outlet when she was commissioned $1,000 to paint a massive abstract piece. She added, “It made me think ‘Oh, I can do this professionally,’ and I started doing a lot more paintings and finding my style after that.” 

Osborne describes her style as a blend between realism and impressionism. Her art leans more towards realism, but the impressionistic influence comes from the fact that Osborne tells herself that it’s okay if it looks like a painting. Osborne says the most influential person to her art was Chris Potter, a local artist and family friend who passed away recently. 

“I grew up watching him paint… he was a big inspiration in my life, his technique and landscapes are so beautiful.” Osborne’s current style of painting takes some inspiration from Potter’s impressionistic artwork.

Osborne’s motivation to create art comes from her passion regarding her subject, which makes painting while uninspired or solely working towards a deadline difficult for her. Osborne creates her best art when she is moved by her emotions, and her favorite piece is a painting that she created when experiencing the loss of her horse. “I often use a reference photo, but [this piece] was something that came from my brain and my emotions. I sat down for six hours and didn’t talk to anybody and just painted. That piece means a lot to me.”

Plum Forest by Ava Osborne

In the future, Osborne hopes to be an interior designer who focuses on environmentally friendly designs. She also hopes to create a line of furniture and custom paintings. She is currently open for commissions and will have art in VADA’s upcoming spring show. Check out more of her pieces and information at

Plum Forest [Image Courtesy of Ava Osborne]

Beneath the Surface [Image Courtesy of Ava Osborne]


  • Kelly Meeder

    Kelly Meeder is a senior at Santa Barbara High School and is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Forge. She's been a member of The Forge for 3 years but has been involved with journalism for 6 years. She's previously been a member of VADA and is a current member of the varsity softball team.

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