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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

When Art Speaks


Art, to me, is a medium of storytelling. I am both an artist and a writer; these crafts inform one another.

When drafting a novel, I make pages of drawings and paintings to help me define character and atmosphere. When composing a painting, I draw from my writing experience to give the painting meaning and depth.

“Moment of Life”


I look for a dialogue between the colors and string elements together, like words, that speak to each other and to the viewer. If done well, this balance creates a painting that has both impact and intention.

These three pieces are some of my favorites. “Faces” and “Moment of Life” are gouache illustrations depicting characters and scenes from my writing. I’d love to someday design and illustrate book covers. It can be a challenge to capture the essence of an entire novel or character in one image. 

I worked with color and light to construct the mood of these pieces, which wasn’t accomplished on the first try. Just as a novelist goes through dozens of drafts before seeking publication, an artist creates dozens of sketches and color studies before coming up with a final painting. 


The reader or viewer can’t see all that work when they have the final product in front of them; but each draft, sketch or color study is integral to ensure that the story is told in the best way possible.

“Fear,” on the other hand, is a standalone watercolor painting. It shows how even a piece of art that isn’t connected to a work of writing can tell a story. 



Any piece made with intention, regardless of subject matter or skill set, can communicate a message to the viewer. Anyone of any background can create and interpret these stories. This, I feel, is the beautiful thing about art.


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