Josie Carmichael is a 17-year-old junior at Ravenswood High School who uses her talents and imagination to create awesome works of art that are attracting attention from people and places all over the state.
Working mostly with charcoal, colored pencils, and chalk pastels, Carmichael recreates portraits of family and friends as well as drawings of everyday things.
“I get absorbed in my art and it helps me express my emotions and pass the time,” Carmichael said.
Her art has won her several different awards at competitions and festivals around the area. One drawing in particular, one of her brother Jonah, was entered in an Art contest at West Virginia Wesleyan College and won Carmichael first-place as well as a partial four-year scholarship. The same drawing won Best of Show at the Black Walnut Festival in Spencer.
Carmichael has also had pieces of art featured at Tamarack, a West Virginia tourist attraction created to showcase the talent of West Virginia artists.
Carmichael credits Debbie Sisson, an Art teacher at Ripley, with her involvement in the Youth Art Show at Tamarack where she is now a juried artist and has sold a few pieces of her artwork.
“I’ve always been into art and drawing,” Carmichael said. “Mrs. Sisson told me about Youth Art Month at Tamarack and encouraged me to enter some of my work.”
On occasion, Carmichael has recreated images given to her by people just wanting her to work her magic by creating a masterpiece for them to give to a loved one as a treasured memory.
Carmichael’s projects can take hours to days to complete, but she enjoys doing what she does and would even like to start a teen group where other teens like herself can get together and do “artsy” or “crafty” things.
“I am extremely proud of her,” Carmichael’s mother Jodi said. “She amazes me more everyday.”
Carmichael is still unsure of her future plans, but thinks she would like to go into graphic design or possibly become an art teacher herself.