NewsPositively Montana


Rising Artists: Laurel quick-draw queen focused on bright future

Taylor Hart selected as Arts Without Boundaries Standout Student
Taylor Hart
Posted at 12:00 PM, Feb 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-27 10:02:00-05

LAUREL — Taylor Hart is a machine.

"I can usually whip out a piece of art relatively quickly," the Laurel senior said.

Tuesday morning, Hart decided to draw a duck, something that would take most hours - even days - to look right. But she whipped out a frame-worthy picture in just 15 minutes, while responding to interview questions.

Taylor Hart duck
Taylor Hart shows off a duck she sketched in 15 minutes during an interview with Q2.

It’s a skill Hart has perfected since teaching herself in 1st grade.

"I just got bored in class," she said.

She says her inspiration came from hours of Scooby-Doo, as well as an ever-popular mythological creature.

"I really liked dragons," she said. "I would download these apps that would help me draw them, but it was so slow, so I just decided I was going to speed up the process."

Taylor Hart creatures
Taylor Hart is currently working on a set of mythological creatures for her AP portfolio. She credits her childhood love for dragons as the inspiration.

"She doesn’t need any direction on how to make something make look more realistic," said Laurel art teacher Dr. Ceilon Aspensen. "She's one of the most exceptional art students I’ve ever had."

Aspensen recognized Hart’s talent right away - it's why she nominated Hart as an Arts Without Boundaries Standout Student, and why Hart won. Aspensen says her job now is to get Hart out of her drawing comfort zone, which meant introducing paint.

"We were doing watercolor pet portraits," Aspensen said. "Taylor chose a Scottish Highland cow from her grandparents farm named Hank, and it’s now hanging in Washington D.C.”

Hart won Montana's 2022 Congressional Art competition, and now anyone who walks the tunnel between the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives can see Hank.

Highland Hank
Highland Hank won Taylor Hart 1st place in Montana in the 2022 Congressional Art Competition.

Her latest work gets back to her roots - she's creating a series on creature design for her AP art portfolio.

"They're not really dragons, but I guess my passion for them just seeps in," Hart said.

It hints at what the future could hold.

"I’m leaning more towards animation," she said. "I haven't practiced that a whole lot, but it seems interesting."

Taylor Hart owl
Laurel artist Taylor Hart has started to create more paintings, including this one of an owl she says just "came to her one night."

"I really believe that if you follow that thing that turns you on, you are going to get somewhere with that," Aspensen said. "Taylor’s future can take her wherever she wants to go."

One thing’s for sure: it won’t take her long to get there.

"My parents have said it scares them sometimes with how fast I whip out sketches," she said with a smile.