Painting a bigger picture: Expanded art studio, supply store will be able to serve more

Sunday, November 4, 2012
Lynne Crow's art students, from left, Brett O'Dell of Berryville, Maryn Jones of Berryville, Amber Veach of Berryville, Bonnie Hausman of GreenForest and Celeste Davis of Green Forest, work on their paintings in their Color Studies class at Painter's Palette on the Berryville Square. Photo by Tina Parker / Carroll County News

BERRYVILLE -- Easels with half-painted canvases line the walls of the downtown shop's central studio space.

An area to the right houses a fine art supply for students and more desks for artistic creations.

A lone artist works on her oil-on-canvas creation; she is painting the wings of a mallard duck.

Two of her paintings lie beside the easel she is working on as if they are encouraging her through each brush stroke; ever so carefully she adds fine detail to each wing.

She is Connie Webb, 67, of Green Forest and a three-year student at Painter's Palette Art School on the Berryville Square.

"Art is everything to me, I paint every day -- and I will continue painting until they put me in my casket," Webb says.

Webb is painting at the art school's new location, which is two doors down from its previous location.

The studio moved in June 2012 when the need became too much for the small, intimate studio that Lynne Crow first began in 2009.

Crow, owner and instructor at Painter's Palette, was thrilled to find that the space on her block was available. She took the opportunity to update her school so she could add more students and have more workshops for people in the community.

"Teaching is my love and that's what I do best," Crow said.

In her new studio she has two large rooms, one with canvases and easels and the other with desks and supplies.

Her supply wall is less than one-third full, but by January 2013 she plans to have it completely stocked and open to the public as a retail art supply store. The supply store will be the first of its kind in Carroll County, she says.

"This will be the only school and supply store like this in Northwest Arkansas and maybe even the state," Crow said. "That is great news for people that need supplies; now they don't have to drive to Harrison or Bentonville to get what they need."

The larger studio space also brings opportunities to have more workshops by award-winning artists such as still-life artist John P. Lasater IV. He will teach at the studio for a workshop next week, on Nov. 8-9.

With the ability to host larger workshops, Crow and the Eureka Springs School of the Arts have been discussing ways to work together for the community.

"I don't want to be in competition with ESSA so we are working together to have more art classes available for everyone," Crow said. "This is still in the planning stages -- nothing is definite."

The art school will also have the technology to live-stream the ongoing artwork of artists in the studio. A flat-panel TV will display the artists' easel for students to watch as they work.

"This will be beneficial to my larger classes because everyone can see what it is I am showing them -- it will also be great for visiting artists," Crow explained.

She is the only instructor at the studio, but Webb helps out nearly every day and is essential to the art school, says the owner.

"Connie helps out a lot around here; whenever someone comes in she talks with them and gives them information," Crow says. "And when she isn't helping out she is taking a class."

Because Webb volunteers her time, Crow gives her free lessons and supplies at a wholesale rate.

"It works out for the both of us," Webb said.

Webb began taking classes after her husband passed away and she says she feels like art is her therapy.

"I lost my husband in 2009, and I live by myself -- I needed something to do since he's been gone," she explains. "Art has been a lifeline for me, and it has gotten me through a really tough time. As long as I was painting I didn't have time to think about the pain."

"I am very proud of her, and she works hard at her paintings," Crow adds.

* * *

One by one, students file into the art studio for their afters-chool Color Studies class. Six students have been studying color, learning how to mix paints properly and how to apply paint, too.

They have been taking the Color Studies class for the last six weeks and have learned a great deal about themselves and the arts.

Bonnie Hausman, 11, of Green Forest is taking art classes for the first time and is enjoying the knowledge she has acquired.

"I've always liked to paint since I was a little girl but this is my first time to have a teacher and learn techniques on how to paint correctly," Bonnie said.

Crow gently instructs one student on how to make sharper lines on the canvas. He brings his brush to the canvas and a solid paint stroke leaves the line he sought.

"I like painting, drawing and making things," says Brett O'Dell, 11, of Berryville. "I like art, and I think it runs in my family, honestly."

Painting also inspires another student there, Maryn Jones, 11, of Berryville.

"Painting helps me show my creativity, and I've always liked it," Maryn says. "It's an awesome feeling when I'm painting -- I feel like I can express my words on canvas."

For additional information or to sign up for the workshop with Lasater, contact Lynne Crow at 479-586-4868 or email info@painterspaletteartschool.com.

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