I began teaching painting lessons at the Ingram Senior Center in Salem, New Hampshire in August, 2009. The class is called “Adventures in Acrylic Paint” and offers the center’s members a chance to work with acrylic paints and explore the possibilities of this medium through examples, hands-on experimentation, and step by step mini-demonstrations of techniques used to get the most from acrylic paint. These lessons are held every Tuesday morning and no prior experience is needed. In the first eight weeks, the class grew to four emerging artists and now is at capacity with six emerging artists and two experienced artists attending.
The goal for the emerging artists was to complete a small work within the first few weeks. Their first assignment was to create a basic color chart to get used to the paint and brushes. This was followed by a paint-along, following my example and style of painting with this versatile medium. The first subject was an ear of Indian corn. Once the students completed the corn painting, they could bring in a photograph of the next painting they wanted to try.
The experienced artists had an opportunity to bring in a work in progress, or start something new and use a different style of painting with acrylics. I showed all how to use acrylic paints in a manner that encouraged them to experiment and try a different approach using this great medium. I would bring in a different work of mine each week, or a work in progress, and explain how I developed the painting and the methods used to get the various effects.
This combination of new and experienced artists worked out well and each artist works at his or her own pace. This has been a terrific adventure for me, and I truly enjoy sharing my experience, successes (and failures) to this eager and willing group. It’s great to see the steady improvement the folks are making.
With their kind permission, I have included some photographs of their paintings and will add more as time goes by. We hope you enjoy seeing their good work! As always, your comments are welcome.