Teen and Adult Painting

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Painting is Self-Discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” -Jackson Pollock

Whether it is something you have always secretly wanted to do, or you are brushing up on art skills, you already have it can be daunting to take a painting class. But, if seeing a painting makes you think, “I could do that,” or colors mesmerize you, or catching a glimpse of our beautiful mountains makes you want to try your hand, then why not? The McKinney Center’s classes are structured to develop artistic skills at any age, and any level, whether you are a beginner or have some training you would like to build upon. For complete beginners, if you are drawn to painting but have little to no experience, consider taking Intro to Art: 2-D first, which will help you build your artistic muscles and provide a way to experience success in your painting, drawing, and other endeavors.

When it comes to taking a class, we can’t tell you how many people say, “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m not artistic enough.” Even for the prolific artist, having others see your work can be daunting. It is not often that we put our lives on display or expose our weaknesses. Try to put your ego on hold for just a few hours a week and trust that there is a fine moment in every painting when the combination of a few colors will ring true for you, a specific brushstroke will have a personality, and there will be a rhythm to a composition. Adventures in Watercolor, taught by Sharon Squibb, is perfect for beginners who wish to explore the world of watercolor. The daytime Watercolor class, taught by Ginny Walls, is also for students who are beginners with little or no experience or those who have taken painting classes but need a bit more instruction. A good teacher will recognize that moment and will encourage you to expand it into a string of good moments, which is what our instructors here at the McKinney Center will do. Painting is a skill that can be learnt. Olympians do not become gold medal winners overnight. Don’t give up if your first painting does not resemble what you imagined. Your willingness to start something even when you know it won’t be perfect is crucial in becoming more productive. Painters who avoid risk and experimentation will never really move forward. By taking a painting class you will learn to take pleasure in the small triumphs, such as a color well mixed or the capturing of light, and try to focus on improving instead of getting it exactly right. Painting is very satisfying if you can learn to accept the challenges.

While all our painting classes are adaptable to various skill levels, if this is your first painting class outside of a public school setting we recommend you start with the Introduction to 2-D Art or the Adventures in Watercolor classes. These courses are geared toward beginners and are structured to provide step-by step instruction while building your confidence level. These basic skills will also enhance your success as you move into other mediums.

If you have had painting in the past or have moderate experience ask the McKinney Center staff what upcoming class may be beneficial.

At the McKinney Center we believe that art, and painting, is for everyone. Therefore, art classes are open to people who are brand new to painting as well as those with extensive experience. Our art classes are judgement free, allowing you to be at ease and freely express yourself as you please. Due to small class sizes, usually no more than 8 – 12 students, instructors can adjust the curriculum to fit your needs. We can also accommodate Homeschool families or Co-ops if there are 5 or more students confirmed for the class.

We have several instructors that teach our painting classes including Sharon Squibb, Ginny Walls, and Allison Parker. All instructors are accomplished artists with in-depth visual arts knowledge with years of experience and training. It is important to our instructors that the classroom environment be comfortable and that students stay positive even when progress is not as quick as the student may expect. The McKinney Center believes in a collaborative environment that is encouraging and uplifting. Finding the right painting teacher is important. Most teachers will often teach you how to paint like they do, so make sure you like their paintings! Attending the McKinney Center’s semester open houses is a good way to just that and to meet the painting instructors.

Even if you are not seeking a career in art, taking an art or painting class can provide many benefits. It can expand your creativity. Art instructors push you to create new things and take steps outside the box. Artists, or creative people, are desired in all career paths. Being creative is a skill used in everyday life and can you in the job industry. Taking an art class can make you a more well-rounded individual. Taking art classes gives you a combination of academic and creative thinking. The art classes at the McKinney Center use a variety of mediums to give you a chance to try something you might not normally use. It helps to create a hobby that you could potentially take into a career. If you are a teen interested in art school, these classes can also help you build a portfolio for college. According to bebrainfit.com, painting classes can also be a stress reliever. The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. 95% of those are exactly the same each day and on average 80% of those thoughts are negative. Art lowers your stress levels and clears your mind. Painting can relieve tension and leave your mind new and calm.

Adults and teens are busy with work, studies, and life demands. Fitting in an art class may be hard but it will nurture your creative side which is essential to your well-being, as well as lots of fun. Our art rooms are bright, open, and can handle drops of paint, splatters, etc. So, go head and practice your creativity. Life is busy and it is important to take some time for yourself. A study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, stated that 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent, making this class perfect for the overworked professional, stay at home mom, or emotional teen. Feed the creative part of your brain for a change! Adults who work in a highly analytical environment need artistic outlets to give their brain’s right side a rest and stretch the left side. Learning a new art form, a new technique, a new medium strengthens you and gives you more confidence. Taking a class with others will give you an opportunity to meet cool new people like yourself! Art reaches across racial stereotypes, religious barriers, and socio-economical levels and prejudices. Take some time each week to relax, have fun, meet new people, explore new things, and have fun!

Adventures in Watercolors

This class will explore multiple special techniques, effects, and materials artists use to create watercolor paintings–including myriad ways to manipulate paint, add surface textures, mix and apply colors, and more. Instruction will include new step-by-step projects that incorporate the skills learned. The class is designed for both beginners and those with some experience using watercolors. All supplies for this class are included.

Beginning Watercolor Techniques

Students with no or little experience with watercolor will learn the basic skills of how to paint with this transparent watercolor. Each week, several techniques will be demonstrated followed by time for the student to practice in class. By the end of the 8-week session, students will have a working knowledge of washes, softening edges, glazing, layering, negative painting, etc.

Intermediate Watercolors – Beyond the Basics

In this intermediate watercolor course, students will continue to develop their watercolor skills beyond the basics. This class will include all new projects that will focus on making the students watercolor practices more advance. Students will learn the art of creating depth, understanding the power of color temperature, developing a focal point, and working with wet on wet techniques. Must have watercolor experience. No beginners. A supply list will be available prior to the start of class. Supply costs are not included in tuition.

Intermediate Watercolors – Loosen Up

This class is geared toward loosening up your watercolor style to achieve a more painterly effect. Students will apply the “less-ismore” approach to a composition by expressive, loose brushwork giving detail just at the focal point. Students should bring all their usual painting supplies including paint, paper, palette, and brushes, a support board, water container, ½” or wider masking tape, pencil, kneaded eraser, tissues, paper towel, and masking fluid.

Basics of Oil Painting

This course explores the beauty of oil painting with step-by-step projects. Focus will be on color mixing, basic painting techniques, composition, and depiction of light and shadow to give students a foundation with the medium. All skill levels welcome and all supplies are included.

Plein Air Painting

During this course, students and instructor will discuss trends found in art history and contemporary landscape ‘plein air’ paintings as well as explore strategies for simplifying the process of painting outside. Students will complete pencil, ink wash and watercolor studies using both book references and outdoor scenery found on the grounds of the McKinney Center and around Jonesborough. Various natural elements of the landscape, such as clouds, trees, rocks and water will be observed, as well as buildings and other man-made structures. All skill levels welcome!

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The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School is a multi-use facility providing arts education through Jonesborough's Mary B. Martin Program.


Phone: 423.753.0562

103 Franklin Ave.
Jonesborough, TN 37659