The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

Mrs. Baird: Artist Spotlight


A look into Mrs. Baird’s art, which extends beyond the walls of her classroom.

At Potomac Falls High School, Mrs. Baird’s (formerly, Mrs. Shamburg) is a hard-working art educator. At home, Colleen is a talented artist.

Baird has been making art since kindergarten, and has taken art all throughout elementary, middle, and high school, as well as college. “It’s always been my favorite class,” said Baird.

Since she was young, Baird has favored realism, but recently has ventured out of her comfort zone with abstract and nonobjective art. “More expressive art is kind of like a break from doing realism all the time and making sure you’re perfect at everything,” said Baird. “It’s just a little bit less stressful.” She loves to make her art with graphite pencils, as well as watercolor and oil paint.

Growing up as an artist, Baird employed her tools to create art that represented her own mental health. “A lot of my art went with self-esteem and body image confidence, especially when I was younger,” said Baird. Even today, her art speaks to different life experiences.

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Baird also likes to make personalized art to give as gifts to her friends and family. “I’ll often do portraits or do drawings of dogs or their pets,” said Baird.

Baird finds inspiration from artists like Vincent van Gogh. “ I really love his brush strokes, the bold colors, and I also love his life story. It’s kind of sad, really sad, but it’s kind of represented in a lot of his work,” said Baird. She also loves the depictions of natural scenery by Claude Monet.

Not only do famous artists influence Baird’s art, but so do the student artists in her classroom. “I love seeing all their different work because it’s like, ‘Wow, I didn’t think about that before,’” said Baird. Museums and new artists are another source of inspiration for Baird to try new art styles and techniques.

As a child, Baird realized that she wanted to be a teacher while she was working with her younger brother on his schoolwork, which he didn’t like to do. “I started helping him with his homework and teaching him and I realized, ‘Wow. I really like helping people and teaching,’” said Baird. 

In high school, she participated in a Teacher Cadet program, which she loved. “I realized, ‘Wow. I really like art and I’m pretty good at it, and I love to teach. So, let’s put them together,’” said Baird. 

Now, Baird teaches several art classes, including Studio Art I, II, and IV, Drawing and Painting, and Computer Graphic Design next year, at Potomac Falls High School.

“An artist is someone who is creative and wants to express how they are feeling and their thoughts, or how they feel about something,” said Baird, “I think that everyone is an artist, but to be a professional artist, you just need to practice those skills.”