As Kim Maurer watched her student introduce her artwork, her observation tied the story together.

As Kim Maurer watched her student introduce her artwork, her observation tied the story together.

"She looks exactly like her work," the art teacher said of Kaylyn Gouhin.

Gouhin, a senior at Thomas Worthington High School, recently received a silver key for her portfolio of work entered in the national Scholastic Arts Competition.

During January and February, it was part of an exhibit of the best regional high school artwork at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Gouhin, who enjoys hiking, camping and being outdoors, includes elements of nature into her encaustic paintings.

Encaustics is an ancient technique that uses hot wax to adhere layers of objects into the artwork.

After the artist places the objects on the background, she paints a layer of wax on top and then heats it with a heat gun to make it adhere.

"I like that I can do multiple layers of things," she said. "To me, it is more interesting when it is not flat."

Natural and recycled elements are visible in her works. She strives to find a balance between the structural and the organic, she said.

One of her winning pieces includes dried rose petals, baby's breath, bottle caps and pieces of a sewing pattern from the 1950s.

The colors are muted, but the eye is drawn to the items and the textures created by the wax.

Maurer is an encaustic artist herself but does not teach the medium in her classroom.

Gouhin taught herself, though she has picked up some pointers from her teacher along the way.

Gouhin, who attended Colonial Hills Elementary School and Kilbourne Middle School, plans to attend either Otterbein University or Ohio Dominican University in the fall.

"I want to be a curator and do this in my personal time," she said.

Other students who were accepted into the Scholastic Arts Competition are Nya Cason, Brenna Grimm, Henry Karagory, Dillon Packard, Halle Peretta, Allegra Roscigno, Spencer Rubinoski, Destiny Ryan, Shelby Teets, Alex Vander Stouw and Sarah Walker.