Making your mark
By Dave Mathieson
SPRINGHILL - You don't have to be Michelangelo or Picasso to pick up a paintbrush, all you need is the desire to be creative.
"Anybody who ever wanted to paint but never thought they could do it, can do it," Darlene Ellis, who was a student at John Powell's painting class, said.
Ellis was one of approximately 15 students who took Powell's class Saturday afternoon at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre. Each week Powell is pumped into the homes of thousands of Nova Scotian's on Eastlink television. He teaches the course with his wife Linda.
Powell is a retired photographer who has been teaching painting since 1986.
"This isn't fine art," Powell said. "It's what I call fine arts cut to the chase."
He said the class attracts mainly baby boomers but he gets people of all ages wanting to learn.
"It's oil painting and it's very forgiving," he said. "You have 13 basic colours and you make any colour you want out of it."
Dr. Arnold Burden and his wife joined in on the class.
Burden has worked extensively with oil colours. He once completed 17 paintings after the explosion of the number 2 mine.
It is Burden's first time taking the course but Powell said, "I can tell Arnold really know what he is doing."
What Powell says is most important is that people get to focus their energy on being creative.
"It gives your mind a rest from everyday life," Ellis said. "You really focus on what you're doing and time just fly's by."
The students start with a blank canvas, put black paint all over it and then put a medium on it that allows them to move the oils around and blend the colours on the canvas.
Then they sketch the basic design by either using freehand or using a stencil.
Then they get really creative and start adding the colours.
"Some paintings are darker and some are lighter," Ellis said. "I made mine with more light and colour."
What she likes about working with oils is that it's very forgiving.
"You can correct it by taking some off or putting a little on."
Frames are also available at the course.
"It's wonderful," Ellis added. "I can take it home and it's ready to hang on the wall."
The course is available upon demand.
Anybody who is interested in signing up can call Carol Carter at 1-902-893-1436.
John and Linda Powell's show is on Eastlink Weekdays at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday's at 6 p.m.