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Posted July 7, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Summer classes to begin at Shenandoah Arts Council

By Josette Keelor -- jkeelor@nvdaily.com

Summer classes are in the works at The Shenandoah Arts Council, at 811 S. Loudoun St. in Winchester.

At Peter Stetler's drawing class, "They'll learn fundamentals of drawing," he said recently. "It's traditional ... you know, just trying to draw accurately."

His six-week art-school-level course, "Learn to See and Draw: Drawing Fundamentals 101," is open to teenage and adult artists and education level.

"I've been doing it for 55 years," he said.

"You could say, unless they reach a certain level of comfort [they] won't be able to draw, but [that's] not true," Stetler said. Passion is just as important, he said.

"It's a big gift to try and point out to someone what their talents are," he said, "and then that can guide your technical development."

He encourages teenagers interested in pursuing art as a career to attend the class.

"They can get a good solid beginning and foundation," he said.

The Drawing Society meets at the arts council each month, he said, and is free to attend.

"If you can use a knife and fork and drive a car, you can draw," Stetler said.

The six two-hour classes will be held on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. from July 10 through Aug. 14. The cost is $125. For more information and a list of materials to bring, call 665-0269 or email pstet43@verizon.net.

Stetler's wife Maggie also will lead a six-week art course this summer. "FREE-ing the Creative Artist Within You" is now in its fourth year and so far has been a hit.

"I use a technique called free writing," said Maggie Stetler, a published poet, artist and Reiki practitioner. "And I use mind, body, spirit techniques."

The process involves a lot of writing, she said, but it's more about art than writing.

The point is to "bring out your creative self," she said. Artists, just like writers, can find themselves creatively blocked, she said. "In your life you want to be more creative ... personally grow."

Her class helps artists to break through the barriers preventing them from being as creative as they might be.

One trick she uses is dancing, "to stamp out our negative thoughts."

Each week she'll focus on a different creative tactic, like exploring dreams and considering spirits.

"It's a very healing, transformative-type workshop. It verges on being like writing therapy," she said.

"You're going to reconnect with nature and celebrate your natural creativity."

The class will take place Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., July 23 to Aug. 27. The cost is $135.00. For more information, call 665-0269 or email mastetler@verizon.net.

Other upcoming classes at the arts council include the following:

  • Collage a la Carle, with Donna Gray -- Students will learn methods for designing a story frame in the style of Eric Carle, author of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" The class caters to children ages 9 to 12 and will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, July 14 and 28. The cost of $60 includes materials. For more information, call 336-3732.
  • The Spiritual in Art -- Artist Donna Gray will explore the mystery of creativity, will explore representational and nonrepresentational images, and will reference the philosopher Kandinsky, Vermeer and Joseph Cornell. The six-week class will take place on Wednesdays, from 7 to 9 p .m., July 11 through Aug. 15. The cost is $175.00. For more information, call 336-3732.
  • Mixed Media Magic: Let the Adventures Begin!, with Melanie Stanley -- Students will learn a variety of techniques for working with mixed media art, both abstract and representational. The class will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a 30 minute-lunch break on July 21. The cost is $75. For a supply list and more information, visit shenarts.org.

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