NORWICH — The Chenango Arts Council will be offering a free drawing class at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 20 on Zoom. The class, titled "Drawing from Nature," will be taught by Kristen Weyter, and is a part of a series of free workshops sponsored by NBT Bank.
"We have an arts catalog that features our artists, and people can hire them for virtual workshops. That was developed during the pandemic when everything was shut down," said Chenango Arts Council Administrative Assistant Mary Beth Miller. "And then we have a sponsorship from NBT [Bank] so that we can offer some workshops to the public for free, and this is one of them."
She said Weyter has taught a few virtual drawing and creative writing classes with the Arts Council already. For this class, attendees can expect to try out a few different mediums to develop their own artistic style.
"We’ve also offered some historical cooking ones, some other drawing and creative writing ones, DIY watercolor ones," said Miller. "This one, there’s going to be a variety of different mediums, like colored pencils and charcoal and pastels, things like that. It’ll help you develop your own style to be able to draw and draw inspiration from nature."
The class will be held via Zoom, and registration is available online at chenangoarts.org/workshops. It is recommended to register no later than the morning of the event to allow adequate time for the Zoom link to be emailed out.
Miller said the setup will be similar to a tutorial video, where viewers can see a close up of what the artist is doing. Reference pictures will also be provided.
"We did one of them before and she had some pictures of some landscapes and things like that, and she talked about drawing, making things look natural, like trees and flowers and things like that with different mediums," she explained. "On a YouTube tutorial they’ve got it close up so you can see what the artist is actually working on, like the drawing. It’s kind of like that."
While the class will be covering several mediums, Miller said the only supplies that are truly required for the class is paper and a pencil.
"Paper, maybe some pencils, colored pencils, charcoal. I mean, you don’t have to have absolutely everything if you don’t have those things on hand. Just paper and a pencil and an eraser and you’ll be able to participate," she said.
She also emphasized that the class is for every skill level, from complete beginner to seasoned artist.
"It’s for all skill levels. You can adjust it if you’ve not really drawn very much, or if you draw a lot and you want to really hone your skills," said Miller. "Don’t be intimidated and think, oh I’ve never drawn so I can’t take this class, because it can adjust to any skill level."
Although the virtual classes began as a way to keep programming going during the pandemic, the Chenango Arts Council is back to hosting in-person workshops as well. While many of the instructors are a part of the artists guide, Miller said the Arts Council also has an open call for instructors who would like to teach an in-person or virtual class.
"A lot of the instructors are artist members that participate in our guide, and we also have a call for instructors currently, for people who have workshops. And those can be in person as well, or if they’d like to maybe try a Zoom workshop," she said. "We had a palette knife painting class recently and a stained glass class that was toward the end of last year, and we’re looking to do more in-person classes this year too, and our Kids' Summer Art Camp is back, and things of that nature."
She said to expect more free classes in 2022, and to keep an eye out on the Chenango Arts Council website, chenangoarts.org, as well as their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for information and updates on scheduled workshops. Or, contact the Chenango Arts Council at 607-336-2787 to sign up for their email list.
"We’re going to have more classes like this that are sponsored and free as the year goes on," said Miller. "You can contact us to be added to our email list, and that’s a good way to get the first news of different things that are happening."