Click image to enlarge and start slide show.

Gretchen Sotobeer Bio and Statement

I’ve always been fascinated by small things. This fascination has led me to pursue realism through colored pencil. I aspire to be able to capture the important details that make a drawing feel familiar. I’ve found that I’m able to pursue this goal most accurately using colored pencils and white gel pen. While I have tried other mediums, pencils have certainly been my favorite. 

I’ve been drawing since I was little, although I wasn’t good at it at all. While it’s always something I’ve been passionate about, I didn’t start seriously drawing until 2014 when I was 15 years old. This is when I discovered my love for colored pencils by drawing a tiger (one of my favorite animals to draw) that turned out surprisingly well. From there, I honed my skills and publicized them by creating an Instagram account specifically for art that got a decent amount of attention (check it out at @fromindtopaper). I also created an Etsy where I sold painted shoes of various themes, including Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Locally, I entered art in the Clallam County Fair and the Puyallup Fair, winning various prizes and scholarships. Additionally, I’ve contributed art to the Queen of Angels BASH auction, the Peninsula Friends of Animals fundraiser, and an auction for the local fire department.

However, when college began, I took a long break from art. I went to Temple University at the Tokyo, Japan campus and received my bachelor’s degree in International Affairs in May, 2021. My time there allowed me to fully immerse myself in a new culture with new forms of art that have inspired me to branch out and try new things in the art world. Because of this, when I returned home I decided to join OPAA to once again try to get my art out there and to join a wonderful artist community.