Attitude and exercise: tools of the game

With their "let's have some fun attitude" are (left to right): Mary Beth Fisher, Martha Spillane, Karen Cutrell, Nancy Friedman, and Nils Johnson. Seated is Georgia Brosnihan.

With their “let’s have some fun attitude” are (left to right): Mary Beth Fisher, Martha Spillane, Karen Cutrell, Nancy Friedman, and Nils Johnson. Seated is Georgia Brosnihan.

Nancy Friedman

One might think I am talking about pickleball, golf, tennis, or even a weight loss program, but no, I am talking about art. Some examples of these can be seen in the September demonstration classes by Nils Johnson and Kathy Arend.

One of Nils’ requested requirements for his class on “Abstract, Landscape, Acrylics, Palette Knives, and Paper Towels” was to come with a “let’s have some fun attitude.”

As the title implies, a palette knife and a paper towel in the right hands can be artistic tools. Nils demonstrated to the attendees with just these very items. He had a table full of photos and finished abstracts he had painted over a few weeks before as examples for his students. Starting with watercolor paper to which gesso had been applied, the attending artists found a photograph they liked, plus Nils’ abstract example of same, then went to work with one or more of their palette knives and many pieces of paper toweling. Although hands were a bit messy at the end of the afternoon, everyone enjoyed their afternoon with their “let’s have fun attitude” and exercised their imagination. The tool of the day was, indeed, the paper towel.

Also in September, Kathy Arend gave ”pencil exercises” to her Sketchbook and Drawing class. After impressing upon the attendees how important a sketchbook is to preplan a project or just to keep sketches for future ideas, she moved on to step two of the class with the pencil exercises. The purpose of these pencil exercises was for the participants to exercise their imagination with a relaxed attitude, showing them that everyone can make art. The exercise included drawing five boxes of different sizes and then more than ten minutes of filling in the boxes with lines, curves, shapes, or patterns. Then, from a myriad of pictures Kathy took on her summer vacation, a participant was to pick out a flower pot from one picture and a plant from another, and then combine them into one drawing. The afternoon of her class was spent enjoying just drawing from other photos and the camaraderie of fellow artists. The amazing tool of the day was an electric eraser, which with imagination, became another drawing tool in addition to our pencils.

Check out the photos to see what attitude and exercise can produce. These two classes are just a few of the demonstration classes taught this year by members of the Fine Arts Guild. The Fine Arts Guild plans to have two art experiences a month for its members and an open studio four days a week in the coming season. Most classes are at a beginner’s level with a couple of intermediate classes added. Our monitors usually have at least one medium in which they specialize and are willing to help a beginner progress since they were all beginners at one time.

Our annual general meeting and membership sign up will be on Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. Membership fees are $20 per calendar year. Come see some of the attitude and exercise displayed at our open house and membership drive on Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Studio 2.