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Jan 20, 2018







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Courtesy of the New Hampshire Institute of Art.




Local arts centers

Beck’s Arts Express, 89 Amherst St., Nashua, 781-910-3438, artsexpressnh.com
Currier Art Center, 180 Pearl St., Manchester, 669-6144, currier.org/art-center/programs (museum is at 150 Ash St., Manchester)
Kimball Jenkins Estate, 266 N. Main St., Concord, 225-3932, kimballjenkins.com
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen The Craft Center, 49 S. Main St., Suite 100, Concord, 224-3375, and its Nashua Gallery, 98 Main St., Nashua, 595-8233, nhcrafts.org
New Hampshire Institute of Art, 148 Concord St., Manchester, 623-0313, nhia.edu, and Sharon Arts Center, 457 Route 123, Peterborough, 836-2550
The Place Studio & Gallery, 9 N. Main St., Concord, 227-6148, theplaceconcord.wixsite.com/the-place
StudioVerne, 81 Hanover St., Manchester, 490-4321, studioverne.com
Twiggs Gallery, 254 King St., Boscawen, 796-2899, twiggsgallery.wordpress.com
Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center, 30 Ash St., Hollis, 465-9453, wildsalamander.com
 
Learn to draw
Call for updates on times and prices on these upcoming classes and workshops.
• Drawing: Figure & Portrait Drawing Fundamentals at the New Hampshire Institute of Art Sharon campus, Saturday, Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $159
• Drawing, Drawing, Drawing at the Currier Art Center, Aug. 22 through Aug. 26, 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday
• Art Sampler Class at Studio 550, starting the week of Sept. 5, Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m., five sessions, all materials included, drawing, book arts, watercolors, clay and stained glass, $225
• Learning to See at Studio 550, starting the week of Sept. 5, eight sessions, Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m., $225
• Figure Drawing at Studio 550, self-directed, no instructor, one Saturday per month from 6 to 8:30 p.m., live nude models, easels provided, participants bring their own materials, $20
• Drawing: The Beginner and Beyond at the Currier Art Center, starting the week of Sept. 19, Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., nine weeks
• Drawing: Portfolio Prep Currier Art Center, starting the week of Sept. 19, Wednesdays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., nine weeks
• Drawing for Beginners, Currier Art Center, starting the week of Sept. 19, Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to noon, six weeks
• Beginning Drawing at NHIA Manchester campus, Tuesdays 6 to 9 p.m. or Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon, or on the Sharon campus Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or Thursdays 6 to 9 p.m.,  beginning the week of Sept. 19, 6 to 12 weeks, $159 to $319 depending on the media and length of time; visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Drawing, Drawing, Drawing: Reflections, Currier Art Center, Saturday, Sept. 24, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Drawing, Drawing, Drawing: Mt. Washington Landscapes at the Currier Art Center, Saturday, Oct. 15, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Drawing, Drawing Drawing: Portraits at the Currier Art Center, Saturday, Oct. 29, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Beginner Drawing at Twiggs Gallery, Saturdays, Oct. 8 through Oct. 29, 1 to 4 p.m., $125, materials extra
 
Learn to paint
Call the art center for updates on times and prices.
 
• Managing Your Palette: Split Primary Colors at New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester campus, Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Oil Painting: The Beginning & Beyond at the Currier Art Center, Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m., Aug. 22 through Aug. 26
• Introduction to Acrylic Painting at NHIA Sharon campus Sat., Sept. 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sun., Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Manchester campus, Sat., Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sun., Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Acrylic Painting: The Beginner and Beyond at the Currier Art Center, starting the week of Sept. 19, Wednesdays 7 to 9 p.m., nine weeks
• Oil Painting: The Basics at the Currier Art Center, starting the week of Sept. 19, Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., nine weeks
• Introduction to Landscape Watecolor Painting at NHIA Sharon campus Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning the week of Sept. 19, 6 to 12 weeks, $159 to $319 depending on the media and length of time; visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Essence of Watercolor Painting at NHIA Manchester campus, Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m., beginning the week of Sept. 19, 6 to 12 weeks, $159 to $319 depending on the media and length of time; visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Painting Fundamentals at NHIA Sharon campus Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m., beginning the week of Sept. 19, 6 to 12 weeks, $159 to $319 depending on the media and length of time; visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Explore Watercolor Painting at Twiggs Gallery, Saturdays, Oct. 1 through Oct. 22, from 1 to 4 p.m., $135, step-by-step basic watercolor techniques
• Harmonious Color Schemes at Twiggs Gallery, Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $140
• Inspired by Landscape: Watercolor Painting/Cloud Focus at the Currier Art Center Saturday, Oct. 22, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Inspired by Landscape: Oil Painting/Cloud Focus at the Currier Art Center Saturday, Nov. 5, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Discovering Pastel at NHIA Sharon campus, Sat., Nov. 5, and Sun., Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
Learn glass art
• Stained Glass at Studio 550, beginner/intermediate, starting the week of Sept. 5, 10 sessions, pick one: Mondays 6 to 9 p.m., Tuesdays 6 to 9 p.m., Thursdays 3 to 6 p.m., or Saturdays noon to 3 p.m. 
• Fun With Fused Glass at StudioVerne, Sat., Sept. 10, 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m., and Sat., Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m.
• Pumpkins and Leaves and Spiders, OH MY, at Studio Verne, Wed., Oct. 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Thurs., Oct. 6, 6 to 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 8, 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m.; Thurs., Oct. 13, 6 to 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m.
• Glass Fusing for Beginners at NHIA Sharon campus, Sat., Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Glass Fusing at the Currier Art Center Mon., Oct. 17, 6 to 9 p.m. ($90), Sat., Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($120), Mon., Nov. 7, 6 to 9 p.m. ($90) and Sat., Nov. 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($120)
• Holiday Ornaments at StudioVerne, Wed., Nov. 9, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Thurs., Nov. 10, 6 to 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 12, 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m.
• Festive, Fun, Food, Fusing at StudioVerne, Thursday, Nov. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Friday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m., create glass art inspired by food
 
Learn to throw
• Boundaries of the Bowl at the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s Sharon campus, Saturday, Aug. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $189
• Beginner/Intermediate Pottery at Studio 550, starting the week of Sept. 5, pick one: Mondays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m., Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m., Thursdays 6 to 9 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 10 sessions, $245
• Fundamentals of Wheelworking, at the NHIA Manchester campus Thursdays 6 to 9 p.m. or at the Sharon campus Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m., beginning the week of Sept. 19, 6 to 12 weeks, $159 to $319 depending on the media and length of time; visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Sculptural Approaches to Handbuilding with Clay, at NHIA Manchester campus, Tuesdays 6 to 9 p.m., beginning the week of Sept. 19, 6 to 12 weeks, $159 to $319 depending on the media and length of time; visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Introduction to Handbuilding with Clay, at NHIA Sharon campus, Tuesdays 6 to 9 p.m., beginning the week of Sept. 19, 6 to 12 weeks, $159 to $319 depending on the media and length of time; visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Clay Serving Platters at the Currier Art Center, Saturday, Oct. 1, 1 to 4 p.m.
• Clay Luminaries at the Currier Art Center, Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to noon
• Wheel-Thrown Cups at the Currier Art Center, Saturday, Nov. 19, 1 to 4 p.m.
 
Learn paper arts
• Personal Discovery Through Collage at the New Hampshire Institute of Art’s Sharon Campus, Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sun., Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., $179
• Bookbinding for Beginners at Studio 550, starting the week of Sept. 5, Mondays 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., 10 sessions, $225, some materials included
• Introduction to Bookmaking at Twiggs Gallery, Thursday, Oct. 6, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $95, two-week class
• Advanced Bookmaking III, at Twiggs Gallery, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $75
• Discover the World of Book Arts at NHIA Manchester campus, Sat., Nov. 5, and Sun., Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visit nhia.edu/community-education/community-education-classes
• Making a Photo Book at NHIA Manchester campus, Sat., Nov. 12 to Sun., Nov. 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Altered Book Class at Twiggs Gallery, Thursday, Nov. 17, 1 to 4 p.m., and Thurs., Dec. 1, 1 to 4 p.m., $65; materials extra




Make Art
How to take your hobby to the next level

08/04/16
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



You don’t have to be an “artist” to enjoy making art.
The proof is in the popularity of paint nights, where participants sip wine and eat munchies while receiving step-by-step instructions on how to slap paint on their canvases, and in adult coloring books, which can be found at local bookstores and library adult coloring clubs.
And yet, many adults struggle moving past these social, non-threatening art endeavors and into the realm of creating fine art. 
“The older we get, the more we’re trained in certain conventions to say, ‘I can’t paint, I can’t draw,’” local artist and instructor Carla Roy said via phone.
Theresa Caulkins, who teaches at Studio 550, said she sees the same problem among many of her beginner adult students.
“I think a lot of people think, if they aren’t actively being creative all the time, they feel like they’re not creative at all. They come into the studio, some of them, feeling like they’re not going to amount to very much in our class,” Caulkins said. “But most people are more creative than they give themselves for. If you have an interest and want to learn what we have to show you, that’s all that’s necessary in learning art.”
To get you started, local artists expert in five media — drawing, painting, glass art, ceramics and paper arts — talked about what each entails and how to get started.
 
Dare to draw
A strong foundation in drawing will be helpful in most any media you want to delve into — painting, printmaking, glass art, ceramics, fashion, photography, even digital media.
Gail Smuda, who taught art and art history at Southern New Hampshire University for a decade — she’s now a Twiggs Gallery instructor — said some of her students have been surprised at the crossover. Many of these same students were studying computer game design, only taking the beginner drawing class as a requirement.
“The assumption is the computer can do it all. But no, you have to put something into the computer! It’s always interesting. They’re sort of grumbly at the beginning of the semester, and at the end, they’re like, ‘Oh, now I get it! Oh, now I see!’ It’s fun to watch the evolution, to watch them learn what drawing is all about,” Smuda said. “[Drawing] is the basis for just about everything.”
Roy, who’s taught all over the state, from the Currier Art Center to the Kimball Jenkins Estate, agreed.
“If you don’t have any experience in drawing, it will be harder for you to paint something because you will be drawing, initially, for the painting,” Roy said, noting that many of her watercolor students went back to take a drawing class because they realized those skills were lacking. “If you can draw or if you have a grasp of different drawing techniques, it will carry over into oil, watercolor, even sculpture.”
But the thing beginner drawing students struggle most with, several instructors said, is not the physical act of drawing — it’s the act of looking, of seeing.
“The major thing I tell people is, draw what you see, not what you think you see,” Roy said. “It’s sort of about training your brain to really look, instead of just assuming you know what something looks like.”
The resulting drawing, Caulkins said, might be less realistic, more cartoony. Other people might be distracted by details and forget about the context of those details.
“We’re learning how to change our perspectives so we can’t get caught in those traps. But they’re very easy to fall into, especially if you’re looking at something from a weird angle,” Caulkins said.
These traps are the inspiration for the drawing class Caulkins teaches this fall, “Learning to See.” Most of her beginner drawing students are either self-taught or are returning to the art world after years of dormancy since high school art class. Roy said the demographic of her beginner art is similar, except she’ll also get teens who are considering pursuing art after high school.
Starting with drawing is also the most obvious first step of your immersion into the art world because it’s naturally the most accessible medium in terms of required materials. All you really need is a pencil and drawing paper — though if you want to get fancier, most classes require graphite pencils of varying levels of intensity (the softer the pencil, the darker the mark), plus charcoal and a kneaded eraser. No colored pencils yet.
“With color, it gets complicated,” Roy said. “In drawing, you only have to worry about the value of the light and the darks placement, and about composition.”
During beginner classes, students will learn basic art principles — composition, value, shape, light, form, point of view, perspective, texture, space, proportion, etc. — while using tried and true exercises. Roy said she often incorporates contour line drawings in her beginner classes, which involves drawing the outline of something without lifting a pencil or glancing at the paper. Other workshops might feature still-life drawing or, later in the semester, figure drawing.
Caulkins said she’s known students who, once they learn all the tricks, practice drawing everywhere — during their breaks at work or in a cafe while sipping coffee.
“It’s like any skill — once you learn the foundation of it, the best way to improve is to just keep drawing,” Caulkins said.
And once you have this foundation, you can do whatever you want.
“You can break all the rules, but you need to know what they are first. It’s like with music,” Smuda said.
 
Painting perfection
After drawing, painting is the next obvious step into the fine art world; it’s where you learn how to use colors to your advantage.
It’s a little messier and requires more technique, especially if you’re going to tackle less forgiving paint styles, like watercolor.
“What amuses me is that lots of people think watercolor is where they should start. But it’s the hardest one,” Smuda said. “It’s very immediate and it’s very fast. It’s also very approachable in many ways, but  there’s no forgiveness whatsoever.”
For this reason, Roy suggests beginners start with water-based oils or acrylics. If you mess up at first — and, if you’re a beginner painter, you probably will — you can just paint over it. 
“It dries faster. And there are a lot more materials you need for oil paint. And there’s the toxic issue of oil paint,” Roy said.
Beginners will need basic paints and brushes of different sizes and shapes (rounded, flat, angled), plus an artist palette, rags or paper towels, a cup or jar of water, and maybe a palette knife or scraping tools. Roy said many of her beginner workshop paintings are black and white still lifes because it’s a more natural step after drawing; they’re more used to working with value, not color.
Roy, who has also worked at the Canvas Roadshow, said the demographic of a paint night is different from that of a beginner art lesson. It’s because her students come in for a different reason: to learn and get better. This also comes in the form of reassurance and critique.
“[During class] I’ll move around, asking questions and giving suggestions. A big part of it is critique, both in drawing and in painting,” Roy said. “The other thing is stepping back. … The idea is to [paint] what you see, not what you think you see, and it pretty much always looks better when you step back. It gives you a better perspective, after you’ve been a foot away from it for an hour.”
She said many students come in with a subject in mind — they want to paint their pet or favorite place — and she’ll help artists determine color and composition as they work. The important thing to remember, she said, is you’re taking a beginner class. You shouldn’t know what you’re doing yet.
“And you don’t have to get it perfect,” Roy said. 
 
Glass Act
Verne Orlosk, who teaches glass fusion at StudioVerne in Manchester, said glass art is often categorized by temperature. 
Hot glass usually refers to glassblowing, which involves inflating molten glass into a bubble with help of a blowpipe. The nature of the medium means you have to move quickly and there’s little room for error. Few art centers have the necessary equipment; in southern New Hampshire, Caulkins pointed to the Hot Glass Art Center in Marlborough and Terrapin Glassblowing Studio in Jaffrey.
“If you have a good instructor, anyone can do it, but [glassblowing] is probably more intimidating because you’re working with hot material,” Caulkins said.
Warm glass, a little more accessible, usually refers to fused glass art, Orlosk’s specialty, which involves using a kiln. She hosts project-based workshops regularly at her studio. Most of her students are new to the art and are looking for a good time, not unlike paint-night crowds.
“But they’re looking for an experience different from painting,” Orlosk said. “I think the experience is also geared toward people just looking for a place to relax and chill out. It’s not unlike the popularity of yoga classes or hiking.”
These students come in, make their designs (in the form of bowls, ornaments, decorations or holiday items), and she does the more technical work of firing.
If you want to take a more artistic route, there’s room to flex your creative muscles; Orlosk has a background in fine art and often uses her expertise in drawing and while designing for her own pieces, which are more complex than those projects she teaches in her workshops.
“With fused glass — there’s a lot of science to it,” Orlosk said. “But I joke about the fact it’s very addictive.”
Cold glass usually refers to stained glass, which requires the fewest materials. With this style of glass art, students generally have an opportunity to be more independent. 
“As long as you can hold a pencil upright, you can learn how to use the tools,” Caulkins said.
Caulkins said she typically starts beginner students with star-shaped suncatchers the first class — complicated enough to fill a three-hour lesson, easy enough so students move through the entire process in one session, from scoring, breaking and grinding the glass to foiling and soldering it. Her following meetings during the 10-week semester are more free-form. Some students will make multiple suncatchers or turn to pattern books for inspiration. Others go big.
“The skills they learn in the first lesson — the actual process of cutting and breaking everything, from start to finish — you can apply that to more advanced projects, from 3-D shapes to boxes and lamp shades,” Caulkins said. 
If you want to go beyond the basics of stained glass, drawing foundations help here too.
“When I was learning [stained glass], it was structured as a formal art class. You had to design everything. You couldn’t take things from a pattern book from the internet or anything like that,” Caulkins said. “Everything I did, I drew out and recreated on glass.”
Cold glass art is also the most feasible if you want to take glass art outside a classroom setting because it requires fewer expensive materials than warm or hot. One of Studio 550’s students in the medium, Jessica Goodhue, liked it so much she built her own studio at home. (She had also coincidentally taken a fused art class taught by Orlosk at the Currier.) 
“I’d always liked [stained glass] and thought it was beautiful, and my dad collects it. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if I could make him something like that?” Goodhue said. “I just jumped right into it. Theresa was there to answer questions, to give the demonstration, but she’s really good at letting you work at your own pace.”
Orlosk said she likes the versatility of the medium. It can be fine art or decor, a wind chime or a window. It even morphs when the artist’s done.
“And I think that when light passes through it — that’s what really amazes people. It changes all the time, with different kinds of light,” Orlosk said.
 
Create with clay
Clay represents one of the messiest art forms, but it’s also one of the most practical — when finished, you can eat from the bowls and drink from the cups you throw. Studio 550 owner Monica Leap said in an email some of her students like killing two birds with one stone by making holiday and birthday gifts while working that creative muscle.
Leap started the community art center in 2012 with beginner artists in mind. A select few first-time students are intermediate ceramicists who’ve taken classes elsewhere, but most are complete novices, ranging in age from 3 to 60-plus.
One of her regulars is Gary Young, a 63-year-old retired musician who started with clay a year ago. He said via email he was able to turn out what resembled a bowl fairly quickly.
Leap said success is all about following directions and developing hand sensitivity to clay, which comes with practice. Some people pick it up faster than others; massage therapists and wood turners, for instance, seem to adapt quickly.
“Once you get a handle on wedging and centering the clay — the foundation of all wheel throwing — the possibilities expand quickly. Some people are more selective in what they keep. Others want to keep everything they make,” she said.
As with glass art, beginner ceramicists will want to learn in a studio because the art requires lots of materials — clay, wheels, kilns, plus expert advice. Leap said first-time students can learn to make cups, bowls, plates, mugs and a variety of decoration and glazing techniques. More advanced pupils will learn to make jars with lids, casserole dishes, teapots, table centerpieces, vases and large items, like serving bowls and plates.
Young said he’s liked the relaxed vibe of the class, and the excitement of firing at the end. After a year of classes, he has pottery all throughout his home. 
“People say it is calming, therapeutic, peaceful. Others say it is a wonderful material because it can really become anything you want it to become,” Leap said.
 
Artsy books
Smuda taught drawing and art history for years, but her own art is focused in paper and book arts. The art form, she said, traces back to the ‘50s and initially consisted of limited-edition texts made by artists. Today the medium is whatever you want it to be.
“It became a self-defining genre,” Smuda said. “If I say it’s a book, it’s a book. It doesn’t necessarily have to have pages. If you go online and look up ‘artist books,’ you’ll see unbelievable things.”
She teaches beginning workshops at Twiggs Gallery. She said early lessons involve creating tiny books folded from a single sheet of paper.
“So people can see it’s just a matter of folding and cutting — no stitching, no gluing. It’s simple, but you still get a book format out of it,” Smuda said.
Because bookmaking is a self-defining genre, there are so many different ways to go about it; you can use different types of paper, bindings (folded, stitched, glued), pages (pop-out or pocket pages) or formats. Some of her books don’t even look like books. At Twiggs, she plans to teach a tunnel book workshop this fall, in which you look through a book instead of flipping pages. Another technique involves taking a book that already exists and revamping it.
“With altered books you can rewrite them, cross them out, rewrite them — if you go online, you’ll see an unbelievable amount of ingenuity applied to altered books,” Smuda said.
Some of Smuda’s bookmaking students are artists — photographers, painters, writers — who incorporate their own expertise in bookmaking. Often, they want to learn to bind their work together in a cohesive, interactive form. Others are simply looking for a way to tell their family stories via prose, photos or memorabilia. 
“I enjoy it when somebody comes in, and somebody says, ‘I have all these materials, and I don’t know what to do with them,’” Smuda said.
She said people like that the products are interactive — most are meant to be touched, opened and read and comprise a variety of art techniques. They also represent an alternative to digital media.
“Everybody looks at everything on an iPad, but having read books on the iPad, it’s not the same as having a work of art you can look through,” Smuda said. 

 






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