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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Class For Me/Mom's Night Out

It's no surprise that, next to the grocery store, the number one place I spend time and money at, is Michael's craft store. There's one just a couple miles from my home and this week I've been there four times. OK, so it's an unusual week for me. I'm balancing a couple of creative projects right now (many of which you'll be seeing in future posts). 


My first acrylic painting in more than 13 years.
Probably not going to hang in a museum, but it makes me smile when I see it!

Anyhow, I was intrigued when I saw that Michael's is now offering acrylic painting art courses by Grumbacher where a student can paint an entire painting in two hours. I browsed the offerings and I really liked the floral painting with daisies in a stoneware pitcher. Now, I haven't picked up my acrylics since college and even then, I had a teacher who constantly dissuaded me from using them. Gosh, I didn't think I was that bad! So I learned to avoid acrylics. But I did like that painting...

Why couldn't I just paint at home, you ask? Chuckle, chuckle, snort!...I have four kids. I'll just keep finding excuses to put it off...(and I do, actually, do a good amount of art in front of them and with them, but trying something I needed to really focus on? You get the idea.)...And sometimes you just need to DO something (especially in New England in the middle of winter!).

So, I enrolled in the Michael's class which was $25 for the class fee and then I spent about $40 on supplies. I thought the class would be step-by-step and that I'd learn techniques and such through little tidbits and anecdotes the instructor would sprinkle in along the way. That wasn't quite the case. She was very relaxed and instead of demonstrating the process she handed out the instructions that Grumbacher gives to the instructors to show the process. Thankfully, I had some experience with painting so I just read the instructions and followed them. The instructor didn't paint, but walked around the room making herself available if we needed her. I asked the instructor questions from time to time if I was stumped, particularly on color mixing or to clarify the process, but otherwise I spent the time painting and gabbing with my friend, Beth, whom I roped into taking the class with me (poor girl!). It wouldn't be a night out unless I had a friend by my side!

So if you are thinking of trying a class: I think the class would be best for children over 12 and grown-ups who want to try acrylic painting in a quick way that offers a good chance for success. As with any course, the instructor could really make or break this experience. Before taking the course, ask around to see exactly how it is run. If you have limited experience, make sure the instructor is hands on and helpful.

It was a relaxing time and I had fun being the student instead of the teacher! I did learn a few things and I increased my confidence with using acrylics. And, I LOVE my new painting!

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