Six new artists are ready to take the world on with their paintbrushes.
The Painted Squirrel’s ‘Art for Beginners’ course came to an end on Dec. 3, marking the finale of a six-week class that introduced Terracites to the world of creativity.
“People will say they haven’t painted since kindergarten and they come super scared,” says art teacher and founder, Amy Pienaar. “And it is (scary), because as adults we lose that play and we become perfectionists really fast.”
Pienaar taught locally in the school district for several years, but says she wanted to expand her art platform to include adults as well. She wanted to create a setting where everyone could have fun, without any grades or curriculum in the way, and help others develop new skills they can be proud of.
“It’s just really fun because you get to do it for the enjoyment of it and I’m always surprised with the creativity, people often think of something else that’s really unique.”
In bigger cities, a lot of businesses have boomed by offering publicly available art spaces where the curious can learn how to sketch, paint and potter. But when it comes to Terrace, there’s been a lack of studios that offer all-age workshops and interactive art events.
Pienaar says she always wanted to pursue being an entrepreneur, so she decided to do just that and opened up The Painted Squirrel art studio in 2016. Since then, she’s regularly been running after-school programs, paint nights, private events and art courses. She’s also added a visual journaling class to teach mix media for those not familiar with digital art.
One of the students, Nicole Wallace, says that it’s been nice to take time for herself to be “creative and quiet.”
“For me, I’m a very angsty person so it’s slowed me down,” she says. “It’s been great to just dabble.”
The Painted Squirrel is currently holding an art auction at Cafenera, where Pienaar has her artwork on display and bidders have until Sunday to make their best offers. Half the proceeds will go towards the Terrace Art Gallery.
Courses start again in January.