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Three different instructors focus on process and learning new skills in Community Schools program.

Three art instructors are ready and willing to help anyone release the artist inside, in four different art classes offered this fall by Gladstone Community Schools Program.COURTESY PHOTO: SHIRLEE LIND - Shirlee Lind stands in front of a mural she painted on her shed.

Shirlee Lind

Lind said she tells her students that everybody has to start out as beginners and art is an ongoing process that does not happen overnight.

"I try to make my class as relaxing and enjoyable as possible, regardless of what level they are at.

I also tell my students to never compare their work to others; everybody has their own style that makes the class so amazing," she said.

She added that each of her students is special to her and she tries to teach on a personal basis; many of her students have been with her for 16 years.

Her more experienced students basically paint on their own unless they have a question or need her help, Lind said.

"With new students just starting out, I give them more of my individual time and explain basic steps in painting," she said.

Lind noted that she encourages her experienced students to give their input or suggestions, and she asks all her students to take a break and view everyone's work to promote class interaction.

She said she loves her classes and looks forward to fall and the holidays coming up.

"Our last class is the week before Thanksgiving, so we will be painting Christmas bulbs, probably have some Christmas music to listen to and everybody will bring treats to share," she said.

Lind added, "Art has been my inspiration my whole life. I'm so grateful to continue teaching as long as I have and it gives me immense satisfaction to give others joy."

Judy StubbCOURTESY PHOTO: JUDY STUBB - Judy Stubb illustrates the Bob Ross technique of wet-on-wet painting.

Stubb has been teaching the Bob Ross style of painting for 22 years, and said that since her classes are done in a step-by-step manner it is relatively easy for beginners to follow along with seasoned painters.

"The 'newbies' are my very favorite students, as they tend to come with pretty low expectations, and are always amazed with what they get to take home to show off," she said.

Stubb noted that she tells new students that they are not painting, instead they are putting paint on the canvas and watching beautiful things show up.

"Bob Ross's legacy is that he created a method where all of us can create beauty, even if we are not artistically gifted."

She noted that she works hard to get her students to understand that their state of mind at the time is in total control of their painting.

"If they will just let their subconscious have its way, they will use the exact strokes, and mix the exact colors they need for their painting," Stubb said.

"Since we use oil paints, the process is much more forgiving. There is very little that can happen that cannot be fixed; because oil paint stays wet for so long, we can wipe it off, move it, change it," she noted.

Stubb added, "Painting is one of the greatest forms of therapy. When focused on our canvases, we cannot worry about anything else; all our problems go away for the duration of the class and we come back refreshed and revitalized.

Melissa Gannon

For those interested in art, Gannon notes that you must begin somewhere.COURTESY PHOTO: MELISSA GANNON -  Melissa Gannon will teach two classes, one using watercolors and one using oil and cold wax.

"As with any new skill it takes time to learn and there are many nuances to art," she said.

Her classes are structured to teach the art process, she noted, adding that "process is more important than the finished piece."

Her goal as a teacher is "to give everyone in my class the skills to create and critique their own work, and to feel freedom in exploring the creative process in a supportive, creative environment."

Gannon said she uses the same projects for everyone and all the projects are flexible enough to conform to individual skill levels.

"With new artists, I'll do some special demos to show them the possibilities of watercolor. Also, the more experienced artists in my classes are very encouraging to new artists and very generous about answering questions and sharing information," she said.

"At the end of every class we look at everyone's work. It's always so amazing to see the different interpretations.

Each piece is unique even though everyone started with the same reference," Gannon said.

"Just like any other skill, art can be learned but it takes time and commitment. It's a wonderful way to be creative," she said. Gannon added, "We live in such a beautiful world full of amazing inspiration for art projects. Everyone is unique and so is their art."

To see a full schedule of classes and fees, visit and then click on Fall Class Brochure.

Unleash your inner artist

Acrylic or Oil Painting with Shirlee Lind: Thursdays, Sept. 15-Nov. 17; there are two class sessions, one from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and another from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Gladstone Senior Center, 1050 Portland Ave.

Oil Painting Bob Ross Style with Judy Stubb: 5:30-9 p.m. on Sept. 22, Oct. 20 and Nov. 17 at Gladstone High School, 18800 Portland Ave.

The class also takes place from 1-4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 25 and Dec. 30 at Gladstone Senior Center.

Melissa Gannon's watercolor class: 2-4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Sept. 21 to Nov. 19, at the Gladstone Senior Center. She will also offer an oil and cold wax class from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 7-21, at the senior center.

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