During winter break, third-year Washington State University veterinary student Winnie Mefford completed a digital art portrait for a friend who lost her beloved dog, Lucy, a pit bull mix with a goofy and sweet personality. Her hope for her friend – and for classmates at Mefford who have similar portraits – is that the art offers another perspective of their pets and a chance to remember them.
“I really love seeing people happy and capturing the precious moments in their lives,” she said.
Mefford’s pet portraits will be on display until mid-May at the Animal Health Library, Wegner Hall 170, as part of WSU Libraries’ “Art in the Library” program. The semi-annual exhibit features animal-themed works, usually by artists with a connection to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine. For more information, visit the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Art in the Library website.
Close connection with art
Originally from Hong Kong, Mefford says he has always loved art. She took lessons and started drawing when she was still in elementary school. After working with acrylic, graphite and watercolor, she started doing digital art about two years ago.
“Art is something that I find very calming, just like when I play the piano,” she said. “It helps me relax and feel very accomplished when I practice different techniques and master them. Also, it helps me think outside the box a bit. Instead of being 100% technical and d try to make my paintings look exactly like the reference photo, I can develop a bit more creativity, let go and explore my own style.
Art and his veterinary studies have something important in common, that it’s okay to be imperfect and to always try again, Mefford said.
“I’m always overly critical of my art and how it doesn’t look right, but I started focusing on what I could do to change it and make it look good,” she said. “So I start practicing certain techniques or drawing certain things several times to try to improve my skills. It’s the same with veterinary medicine. If certain techniques such as taking blood or doing sutures are not not the best, so I figure out which parts I need to improve and try again.
Close-knit community of students, teachers
Mefford came to WSU after earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Brigham Young University-Idaho at Rexburg and completing two years at Utah State University at Logan in the Washington-Idaho Regional Program. -Montana-Utah (WIMU) in veterinary medicine.
“I think what I find most valuable about the veterinary medicine program here at WSU is the hands-on experience,” she said. “The faculty tries to give us so many different experiences to perform surgery, administer vaccines and more to help us prepare for our careers. I also appreciate how much they promote teamwork here through communication classes, diagnostic challenges, and a few other things. We are all colleagues and we try to help each other as best we can.
A wife and mother of three young children, Mefford finds the balance between her veterinary studies and her family particularly difficult. Fortunately, WSU faculty are working to help him manage his academic responsibilities while allowing Mefford to have a family life.
“A lot of professors and clinicians here are really supportive of family students,” she said. “You can start a family and go to school at the same time. It’s really difficult, but it’s possible. »