The Choteau Arts Studio & Gallery is offering two painting classes in March for anyone who wants to learn how to use color and incorporate Montana’s beautiful landscape into artwork.
Hannah Hinchman of Choteau Rural will be teaching both classes, one on March 3 and another on March 24. Hinchman is the author/illustrator of three books, including one on this subject. Hinchman lived in Augusta from 1994 to 2005, where she wrote “Little Things in a Big Country: an Artist and Her Dog on the Rocky Mountain Front”. She returned, to Choteau this time, in June 2020, and lives near Teton Canyon. She is currently finishing the illustrations for her fourth book.
“Color Spa” is a two-hour workshop, which will be offered on March 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. Students will use very intense dye-based watercolors to create a page full of vibrant markings and patterns. “The idea is to learn by doing about blending and glazing, while reveling in pure colors – such a departure from winter’s limited palette,” Hinchman said.
Once the sheet is complete and dry, students will use a 2 x 3 inch template, moving it across the page to isolate the individual small paintings. Once they have chosen at least a dozen of them and traced their outlines with the template, they will cut them out. Then each person will have a small set of bright images.
“Toward the end of the course, we’ll lay them out and look at them everywhere,” Hinchman said. “You can keep your own collection or trade with others. It’s a fun colorful ‘spa treatment’ that will lift your spirits.
The second class, “A Closer Look” is set for March 23, also from 1 to 3 p.m. at the studio.
“A Closer Look” is envisioned to help participants learn to draw from nature, without getting too entangled in artistic concerns.
“The point is to really see and understand the thing you’re looking at — in this case, your own ‘personal pine cone,'” Hinchman said. “To really know a pinecone, you have to understand a little about its architecture, and also why it is designed the way it is. You will write notes and ask questions as you draw.
Hinchman will guide and help every step of the way. By the end of the session, participants will know all the secrets of their own pinecone and will have found a new way to study and record whatever draws them to nature.
None of these courses require artistic experience. Hinchman says participants will find skill to be far less important than curiosity and discovery in the process.
Later in the year, Hinchman will offer a weekend nature journaling workshop, which will include field observation, drawing, writing, “event mapping,” lettering, and lettering design. pages. Also in 2022, it will offer a very different type of class: using an art app to learn how to draw on an iPad or tablet.
The cost of the “Color Spa” and “A Closer Look” workshops is $20 per person for each of the two classes. To register or learn more about classes and other studio and gallery offerings, call 406-466-2797.