Classes ease teens into art

Anne Simmons

It can be “a big thing” for teenagers to walk into a room of unfamiliar faces to begin a painting course, Traralgon & District Art Society president Andrea Ramsay says.

But the high school-age art classes about to begin for the year have a friendly atmosphere, with a free form so students can gain confidence over time.

“Easels are set up … and they [the painters] are just happy to do their own thing and mingle if they want to and they get used to each other after a while. It is a friendly group,” Ms Ramsay said.

“The students can go make a hot chocolate in the winter and cordial, whatever, have a bit of a break, talk, go around and have a look at everybody else’s [work].”

The teenage art classes will begin for 2019 on February 7 run by Lyn Wright, who Ms Ramsay said was “an extensive painter” and prize-winning portraiture artist.

“She can just teach anything really. She is very knowledgeable,” Ms Ramsay said.

Over the course of the year, students will gain skills in a diverse array of mediums including drawing, charcoal, pastel, ink, acrylic and oil painting.

“We’re getting some fantastic oil paintings,” Ms Ramsay.

“[Students] just bring to start with their sketch book and pencils and then Lyn will guide them … into whatever they feel.”

“There’s so much to learn. I’ve been painting since I was nine and I’m still learning, so you always learn.”

While some of the students may be taking art subjects at school, Ms Ramsay said enrolling in a community art course allowed further one-on-one teaching because of the small class size.

“Schools don’t always teach all the mediums,” she said.

The art society is encouraging art enthusiasts in high school, or aged 11 upwards, to join the course which runs weekly during school terms.

Some equipment is provided but students can use their own supplies if they wish.

It costs $15 a night plus a $10 membership fee.

Ms Ramsay thanked the support from the Keith Chenhall Foundation for art supplies at the society rooms.

The teenage art classes will be held at 7pm-8.30pm on Thursday nights.

For more information, phone Traralgon & District Art Society on 5176 6000.