Classes artfully inspire

Published 9:24 pm Friday, December 27, 2013

The Suffolk Art League is planning a host of art classes this winter at the Suffolk Art Gallery.

Linda Bunch, the league’s executive director, says the winter program focuses more on adults, while the focus turns more to children in the summer. But the league still has plenty to keep kids of most ages occupied in the cooler weather.

4A pastel class, for beginner and intermediate levels, will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays, from Jan. 14 through Feb. 18 and again from Feb. 25 through April 1.


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With Debbie Hobbs instructing, this class, for ages 14 and over, costs $48 for league members and $55 for non-members.

“Pastels are one of the best art mediums for beginning artists, allowing them to improve their drawing skills while learning about uses of color,” Bunch says.

The sessions start with basic drawing exercises before transitioning to more complex compositions. “Students will continue to improve their drawing skills and understanding of color, value and composition,” according to Bunch.

Experience is not necessary, and a list of suggested materials is given at the time of registration.

Hobbs will also teach intermediate to advanced pastel techniques, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 14 through Feb. 18, with a second session Feb. 25 through April 1. The cost is the same as the beginner class.

In these sessions, students will choose their own subject to work on, Bunch says, adding, “Classes will include instruction on composition, uses of color and a variety of pastel techniques, as well as constructive critiques.”

4Quilters will be catered for with four sessions of 10 a.m. to noon classes: Thursdays from Feb. 6 through March 6, excluding Feb. 27, Saturdays from Feb. 8 through March 8, excluding March 1, Thursdays from March 13 through April 3, and Saturdays from March 15 through April 5.

The adult class, with instructor Emily Dalton, costs $30 for league members or $33 for non-members. Students — beginners and seasoned quilters alike — “explore and discover some of the many techniques and methods” used in quilting, Bunch says.

“It’s all traditional hand-quilting; we don’t use sewing machines,” Bunch said. “It’s a chance to sit down and slow down, and learn the traditional methods of piecing the fabrics together to make the deigns.”

Basic sewing experience is required, and list of suggested materials is given at registration.

4Watercolor and Acrylic Painting, for ages 14 and up, runs 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays from March 13 through April 24, with no class on April 17. Cost is $50 for league members and $60 for non-members.

With Barbara West, the class covers basic skills, techniques and tools, with students learning to determine color values and “create different effects and textures in their paintings,” Bunch says.

Students are encouraged to bring reference materials, such as photographs and magazine pictures, from which to create a painting of their own.

Once again, a materials list is given at registration; or folks can pay $25 to have all necessary materials supplied. Basic drawing experience is preferred.

4Designed for 6- to 12-year-olds, Art Explorations runs 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, from Jan. 22 through Feb. 26 and again from March 5 through April 9. Cost is $45 for league members and $55 for non-members.

Instructor Alicia Johnson will teach different methods for creating art, with students looking at a variety of artists and art genres for inspiration to create their own art.

“They will have the opportunity to use a variety of art materials and techniques to help improve their drawing, painting and composition skills,” Bunch says.

“Alicia is also the art teacher at (King’s Fork High School), and she also does a lot of teaching for us in the summer,” Bunch said.

“She does such wonderful projects,” Bunch said. “She’s got a real variety of things planned. She usually looks at artists and talks about them and their artwork.”

4Younger kids — 3- to 5-year-olds — can sign up for Young Artists, with Bunch as the instructor.

There are two one-class sessions: Feb. 11 and March 4, both from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $6 for league members and $8 for non-members.

“Students will use their natural creativity and a variety of art materials while exploring a different theme each month,” Bunch says, adding all materials are included.

Registration deadline for all sessions is one week prior to commencement.

The gallery is located at 118 Bosley Ave. To register, send the student’s name, mailing address and daytime phone number, along with a check for the registration fee, to Suffolk Art League, P.O. Box 1086, Suffolk, VA 23439.

For registrations over the phone or more information, call 925-0448. For children’s classes, include the age of the student and a parent’s name.

Appropriate clothing is recommended, along with an apron or smock. More information is also available at

“We’re just real fortunate to partner with Suffolk Art Gallery,” Bunch said. “We have such a wonderful facility available to us.”

Fees pay for most out-of-pocket expenses and the teacher, she said, while general funds, from membership and various grants, pay for some materials.