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Aug 31

Beginners can try out ideas, learn new techniques and concepts, and enjoy creating art

Posted on August 31, 2021 at 4:36 PM by Becky Burnside

The idea that no one is too old to learn and grow is behind a new series of four art workshops being offered for 50 Plus during September and October.

“I would like people to allow themselves to be beginners, be open to all possibilities, take baby steps into trying out new ideas, and fully enjoy the chance to explore new ways of doing things,” said instructor Margery Chandler. “This series of art workshops is a sampler - a chance to try new techniques and to experience the sheer joy of the process of creating something. There are no hard and fast rules to what makes someone an artist.”

Chandler’s four workshops are: Elements of Art on Sept. 20, Collage on Sept. 27, Art of Play on Oct. 4, and Who Am I? on Oct. 18. Each workshop will take place from 9:30 a.m. to Noon on a Monday at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. The cost for each 2.5 hour session is $15 for person for Johnson County resident or $17 per person for nonresidents. 

“I have always been an artist,” Chandler said. “I am also a retired art educator. I believe I have lots of ideas and skills to share. I moved to Kansas City, Mo., last summer and became involved in the local art community. I realized I missed sharing my art knowledge, and teaching these workshops was a good opportunity to share my skills with new students! I am a mixed media artist and display my work at the Images Art Gallery.” 

In Elements of Art, participants will be introduced to the seven basic building blocks of learning art, which are: color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value.

“During this workshop we will create a series of small artworks that explores each of these elements,” Chandler said. 

These projects include: a color wheel; a picture using mannequins as a starting point to explore form; short exercises demonstrating the variety of lines used by artists; paper collages to explore shapes; various rubbings to demonstrate texture; and working with a pencil to make a value chart.

Woman painting a fall scene with watercolors

The Collage workshop will explore a mixed media technique where various papers and other materials are glued to a background to create an artwork. 

“There are no limits to the combination of materials and the final outcome,” Chandler said. “It could be realistic or abstract; cut out or torn. Other art techniques can be added to it, paint, markers, feathers, beads, photographs, etc. We will make several different collages exhibiting variations of color, shapes; words and/or numbers; and a mixed collage of whatever you would like to create.”

The Art as Play workshop will let participants look at works from artists like Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee.

“These artists often created very child-like pieces, they were playful and unafraid to make a ‘mistake,’” Chandler said. “What techniques and materials did you like to create as a child? The possible exercises to explore will consist of: printmaking, painting, coloring, and drawing. Join in for a session of creating art for the sheer joy of the experience.”

The final workshop, Who am I?, will allow would be artists to create a unique self-portrait in the style of their choice. 

Chandler asked “will you look in a mirror in front of you or in the fantasy mirror inside of your mind? Are you a superhero, a creature, an abstract image, or pieces of important objects in your life? Every portrait will be as original as YOU are! We will look at actual artist portraits and do a series of warm-up drawing exercises, and then work on the individual self-portraits.”

While JCPRD’s 50 Plus programs are primarily for people who are age 50 or older, interested parties who have not yet reached that magic age may still be able to attend. Persons 18 and older who are interested in a 50 Plus class are invited to call the 50 Plus Department at (913) 826-2975 for space availability.