Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Affiliated Sites | Home RSS

“Everybody is an artist”

January 13, 2011
By DANIELLE PEMBLE Journal Staff Writer

GWINN?- Seniors channeled their inner child Thursday during an art class taught at the Gwinn Clubhouse Senior Center.

Teacher Liz Yelland of Negaunee travels to the Clubhouse every Thursday to help the seniors break barriers and have fun with art.

"I want them to get back in touch with how easy it is to have fun drawing, painting and creating," Yelland said.

Article Photos

Fun Thursdays Art Class student Ruthanne Schatzman uses oil pastels to put some childhood memories to paper at the Gwinn Clubhouse Senior Center on Thursday. (Journal photo by Danielle Pemble)

Before the class started, she stressed the importance of not judging or criticizing each other's work.

"Things don't have to look perfect," Yelland said, "It's mostly about how it makes you feel."

The group of seven gathered around a table and started the class by closing their eyes and taking some deep breaths. They were all given a large piece of black construction paper and using chalk, oil pastels and colored pencils worked on a drawing exercise. The assignment was to find your inner child and create pictures the child would draw, or memories of childhood. Some people drew cabins with ponds, some drew rainbows with a sun and clouds.

Candy Walimaki, a first time student, enjoyed the exercise. Her picture was based on a memory of the first time she went fishing with her dad.

"I had never been on a boat. My two sisters and brother and I used to have so much fun fishing," said Walimaki.

Following the warmup exercise, the class discussed what they would like to learn in the future. Judy Courtwright, a returning student shared what she would like to gain in the class.

"I'm hoping to learn some drawing techniques and things," said Courtwright.

Toward the end of the hour-long class, Yelland explained examples of other types of art including visual journaling, stamping and creating artist playing cards.

Yelland grew up in Gwinn and is currently a working muralist and artist. Although some people in the class are quilters and photographers, others in the class didn't necessarily consider themselves artists.

"Everybody is an artist," Yelland responded, "You just have to let go."

The next class will be at 2 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Gwinn Clubhouse Senior Center. They are going to practice still life drawing techniques. The class is limited to 10 students. For more information about Fun Thursdays Art Classes with Liz Yelland, call 906-346-9862.

Danielle Pemble can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 256. Her e-mail address is



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web