Aspens of Expression

Do you have a story to tell? The Spokane County Libraries are holding a series of events that are part of their feature program “Everyone has a story.” These events range from writing, and painting, to open mics, and library exhibits. If you desire an outlet for your creative juices, this is the program for you.   

One of the events featured was “Express Yourself Through Painting” with artist Shelley Kardos, owner of A Brush with Paint Portable Paint Parties and Artwork Company. Painting since she was 12, then being formally instructed in school as an adult, Kardos has an abundance of knowledge. The three hour class allowed participants to express themselves through the art medium of acrylic paints.

Though the class was encouraged to use their canvas any way they wanted to, Kardos did lead participants in painting a spring scene with aspen trees for those who needed direction. She took her time educating the class by touching on a variety of topics.  She spent a good portion of her time on color theory and composition of an art piece, and how it can help show the artist’s personality. In detail, those in the class heard about hue, tint, primary colors, mixing paint colors, negative space, proportion, balance, focal points, and optical illusions. All this information is figuratively put in our creative toolbox, to be pulled out when working through self-expression in our painting. Many individuals in the class were inspiring.  Looking around the room, you could see some similar paintings, but none were the same; how each person interpreted what they heard and saw for three hours was compelling.

One of the pieces of advice I found especially helpful was that most nature scenes do not use black from the tube. This is based off the fact that nature itself does not entertain a true black color; not even asphalt is without a different hue incorporated into its appearance. I really appreciated the experience, and was tickled pink to have something for my family to see that I made.  In my children’s eyes, it seemed like a landscape masterpiece; to me it was a fun learning experience I would encourage anyone to try.

I am happy to say that Deer Park was the first location for this event, so if it sounds like something you would like to get involved in, visit your local library. Remember to check out Spokane County Library “Everyone Has A Story” for more great classes like this. Visit and click on the events link.  

Spokane County Library District’s Engage Magazine is also filled with articles and information about programs like this class.  The magazines are available at your local Spokane County Library.

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