By Mike Beas
The adoration Maddie Comer channels toward a certain band from the 1960s British Invasion extends well beyond T-shirts owned and songs downloaded.
Comer, a Plainfield High School senior, finds herself fascinated by all things John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Whether discussing the timeless music made by the Beatles or the seismic – and some would say much-needed – cultural impact the band made in this country shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Comer, 18, is a reservoir of knowledge.
Not surprisingly, she’s devoted some of her artwork toward the band in tribute.
“I’ve made three or four Beatles-related works in graphite pencil,” said Comer. “When I create, I’m thinking about the way I see things. The way I see the world. I like analyzing things and try to show people how I interpret stuff.
“I was raised with classic rock, and I wanted to see what the world’s greatest band really was. (Beatles) were sort of the way that I learned (drawing and painting) human proportion. I enjoy them, so I drew them. Everything I do in art is connected to an interest.”
In the past five years alone, Comer has created approximately 50 works of art, the majority being over the last two years.
She expresses herself either through the use of graphite (No. 2) pencil, charcoal, oil paint or colored pencils.
The signs of Comer becoming a talented artist were apparent early.
“Maddie was coloring inside the lines in coloring books when she was 3 years old,” said Comer’s mother Kristy McKee. “She was a very introverted and shy child, and because of her art, her confidence has just gone through the roof.”
To better illustrate the originality and complexity of many of Comer’s creations is to focus on her favorite: “In a Spiral of Ants.”
This drawing (see photo), according to Comer, is based on the ant phenomenon in which ants get lost in their pheromones and create an endless death spiral.
Comer’s motivation was to compare this occurrence to a person’s role in our society.
“I’ve had artists who were exceptionally talented, but Maddie has very interesting things to say through art,” said Heather Armstrong, now in her 23rd school year teaching art at Plainfield High School. “Maddie was really focusing last year about the human condition, using the color blue to represent sadness and loneliness.
“Her work is very original and very creative.”
Comer was a student in Armstrong’s AP Drawing class as a junior. This year she’s taking AP Studio and Design.
Among the awards Comer has won are Best in Show the last two years at the Hendricks County Make an Impression Art Show, and two gold keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.
Following her graduation from high school, Comer will attend the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, long regarded as one of the premier art colleges in the United States.
In keeping with all things Beatles, Comer’s art, impressive as it already is, has just begun its Long and Winding Road.