Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Lifestyles

March 1, 2013

Spotlight on students

Pendleton features works by members of classes

ASHLAND — Student art work will be highlighted during the First Friday art walk at the Pendleton Art Center this month.

Many learning opportunities are available at the center, but the two longest-running classes are watercolor studies.

Janet Lester and Sylvia Jackson, who also teaches a drawing class at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays, began teaching watercolor together more than 10 years ago at the Ashland Area Art Gallery and at least one of their students is still attending their class.

“We did it on a trial basis and discovered we both had the same work ethic, but different approaches to our art and to teaching,” Lester said. “We have tried to use this to our advantage and for the students’ benefit.”

The pair take turns demonstrating techniques while the other does personal critiques. Students may paint the same subject the teachers present or work on their own subject.

“We encourage students to use our basic techniques, but to make their paintings their own, using their own visions and impressions,” Lester said.

Their class draws from 10 to 14 students a week; most are 18 or older.

“We try to cover the basic principles of art, using techniques we have been exposed to during our careers in the profession,” Lester said. “We choose subject matter that is appropriate to the technique we are trying to develop.  We cover everything, landscapes, still lifes, figures, florals, etc.”

Lester’s advice to beginning painters who want to take a class: “I would encourage them to start with the basic techniques and then develop their own style.”

“Most of our students enjoy the classroom experience and benefit from the interaction with other artists.”

Janice LeBrun, who paints in a variety of media, teaches ongoing morning and  evening watercolor classes on Tuesdays.

“I have painting lessons already for any one just starting to advanced ability,” she said. “Sometimes we do a special project.  We just finished doing rabbits and squirrels.  They had a great time trying to decide the backgrounds for their animal.”

Those painting will be available for viewing during tonight’s First Friday art walk.

However, LeBrun said most of the time, her students work on their own projects, noting in eight weeks, students have acquired the skills they need.

“They are encouraged by what others are doing and will try it themselves.   They love to draw and paint their own home, dogs, cats or birds,” she said. “But seascapes and landscapes are their favorite.”

Practice always is a factor, she said.

“After 25 years, I still must paint several times a week,” she said, noting she also believes painting to be therapeutic.

“Participating in an art class is like going to mental therapy,” she said. “The laughter, the idea of producing a work of art and, of course, having lunch together all helps to get to know one another.”

LeBrun has students who have attended her classes for more than three years and have come to call themselves the Watercolor Society Lunch Ladies because of their habit of having a meal after the morning class.

However, students range in age from young adults to senior citizens.

She also offers children’s classes: one for those ages  10 to 15 years old from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays and from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays.

“We paint with all media — pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic,” LeBrun said. “We study design, lettering and mixed media.”

Music for the art walk will be provided by Pendleton artist Danny Craig and the cafe will be open.

The Pendleton is at 537-1539 Winchester Ave.

To enroll in Monday watercolor classes, call Janet Lester at (606) 928-8965. To enroll in Wednesday drawing class, call Sylvia Jackson at  (606) 928-0257. To enroll in any of Janice LeBrun’s classes, call her at (606) 329-0048.

Also featured at the Pendleton this month is the artists’ First Friday Recycled into Art Show. Several Pendleton artists have refurbished pieces of furniture and displayed them for the month.

Other art walk venues are:

‰Aladdin’s Art Gallery at the corner of 13th Street and Lexington Avenue. For more information, call (606) 325-2597 or email aladdinsart@windstream.net.

‰Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, at 1620 Winchester Ave. For more information, call (606) 329-8888 or visit highlandsmuseum.com.

‰TSHD Architects/1414 Gallery at 1414 Winchester Ave. For more information, call (606) 393-5190 or visit tshdarchitects.com/the-1414-gallery-at-tshd-architects-p_12.html.

‰The Upstairs Gallery at 1428 Winchester Ave. Featured artist for March is watercolorist Barbara Delligatti of Ona, W.Va. Music will be provided by Brian Brown of Paintsville.

‰Thoroughbred Gallery, at 1430 Winchester Ave., will have a special viewing of the Tri-State Photographers from an advanced photography class. For more information, call Barbara at (606) 325-2470 or (304) 633-4401 or visit yessy.com/TUG.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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