Teen painter with drive brings color to Kaysville business

Jul 27 2012 - 11:39pm

Images

On Friday, Elizabeth Hovley, 17, of Kaysville, paints a bush on a mural she is creating in a children’s play area at Egan’s Automotive in Kaysville. (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
Elizabeth Hovley, 17, works on a mural in a children’s play area at Egan’s Automotive in Kaysville on Friday.  (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
This scene of Buzz LIghtyear and Woody from “Toy Story” is part of the mural Elizabeth Hovley, 17, is painting at Egan's Automotive in Kaysville. People have enjoyed coming in and watching her work, she says. (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
On Friday, Elizabeth Hovley, 17, of Kaysville, paints a bush on a mural she is creating in a children’s play area at Egan’s Automotive in Kaysville. (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
Elizabeth Hovley, 17, works on a mural in a children’s play area at Egan’s Automotive in Kaysville on Friday.  (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
This scene of Buzz LIghtyear and Woody from “Toy Story” is part of the mural Elizabeth Hovley, 17, is painting at Egan's Automotive in Kaysville. People have enjoyed coming in and watching her work, she says. (KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)

KAYSVILLE -- Elizabeth Hovley has been an avid painter since she was a little girl. The 17-year-old sold her first painting when she was 9.

She believes she has painted more than 100 pictures and recently completed a large mural that is garnering quite a bit of attention.

The 10-foot-by-6-foot mural, painted with oils and acrylics, is filled with scenes from Kaysville city intermixed with Disney characters and is part of a children's play area at Egan Automotive in Kaysville.

Kids have to look carefully to find Peter Pan flying in the ceiling or the wanted poster of Flynn from "Tangled" hanging on the wall next to the painted Kaysville Theater, opposite the wall where the Egan family is painted sitting in the car from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

Hovley had never painted a mural before, so she was a little intimidated when she first got the request.

"It's a huge jump from little paintings to murals, but I jumped in head-first, and it went pretty well," she said.

For the Egan family, the mural brought the corner of their waiting room to life.

"She made the space really magical. I knew we had nailed it when we had kids screaming that they wanted to go back to it when they had to leave," said Donna Egan, an owner of the business.

Hovley has been working on the mural for the past month as she adds scenes.

"I'll be painting, and so many people will come in and sit and watch me, which has been a little bit scary. But it's been very cool to meet and talk to a lot of people," she said.

Hovley said the mural has been the coolest painting she has ever done, though she has had some interesting requests for her artwork over the years, including logos for paintball teams, caricature drawings at fairs and even friends who ask her to paint on their shoes.

Once, she ran out of black paint and found some leftover tar in the garage. Though messy, it was unique and different, she said, especially because she wanted to get her idea down on paper quickly.

"For me, painting is a way of pure expression and is the quickest way to get out the way I feel," Hovley said.

When her parents signed her up for private art lessons after she sold her first painting, she was the youngest and least experienced in her group, said her dad, Pete Hovley.

"What has impressed me the most is that her art is so interesting and involved. Even at a young age, when we asked her to draw a duck, she drew a duck doing something. She has such an imagination for stuff."

She tries to paint every day and completes several paintings a week. The hardest part about being an artist is appealing to a wide variety of people, she said.

"The thing with art is that different people like different styles. Some people will not like how you expressed yourself, so I try to do lots of different genres so I have a bigger audience I can appeal to," said the adolescent painter.

She has done portraiture, fantasy, folk art, realism, animals, floral and still life -- and now she is experimenting with abstract art.

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