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Warner wants students to have fun in new coloured pencil sketching class

Karen Warner of Lawrencetown will be teaching a six-week art class at Macdonald Museum in Middleton starting Sept. 18. There are some spaces left.
Karen Warner of Lawrencetown will be teaching a six-week art class at Macdonald Museum in Middleton starting Sept. 18. There are some spaces left. - Lawrence Powell
MIDDLETON, N.S. —

Karen Warner loves oil paints, but look at her coloured pencil sketchbooks and it’s page after page of art that shows another side of Warner’s creativity and artistic ability.

Janice Slauenwhite, Macdonald Museum director in Middleton, loved Warner’s work so much she’s asked the Lawrencetown artist to lead a six-week workshop starting Sept. 18 at the museum.

While coloured pencils seems like a long way from oils and her five years of training under a master portrait artist, it’s not a long stretch, and as Warner has discovered, you can mix the pencil colours on the page – and the results are often amazing.

Her training was from grinding pigments and all the basics, technical drawing, blending, right up to the representational art of the old masters. She loves the play of light and generally most of her paintings are quiet and soft. She loves the lighting inside a barn. She has an oil painting of sheep that is warm and fuzzy.

Give her coloured pencils and she has fierce and funny pumpkins and other fanciful characters. Those sketchbooks were from a year she couldn’t do much after back surgery and she worked in them just about every day. She’s recently illustrated a children’s book.

While Warner is known as a singer/songwriter locally (she learned a lot from local legend Garnet Banks, she said) she was a dairy farmer and raised horses most of her life. She just launched a Canada-wide kitchen party Facebook page.

But she has taught art classes before and said she’s looking forward to doing it again. She said coloured pencils are perfect because there’s not a big financial outlay and they are very versatile.

And the big thing is, most people are a lot better artists than they think they are and she wants her new students to realize that. “I’m not going to bog them down with a whole lot of technical stuff, but I’m going to hide it in with drawing things that are fun,” she said. “We’re going to do some things that are going to encourage them to draw but they’re not going to worry about getting two sides of a vase to look the same.”

She’s thinking pumpkins.

“With a pumpkin, who cares if it’s crocked? All the better if it is,” she said.

For the most part she uses good old Crayolas. “You can get a box of Crayola pencil crayons at Walmart for 12 bucks,” she said. “So it’s cheap. It’s a cheap way of getting into art. I want them to enjoy themselves and I want them to get something out of it.”

DETAILS

Coloured Pencil Sketching Workshop, a six-week series led by Karen Warner starting Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Macdonald Museum, 21 School Street Middleton. Cost is $90 per person.

Phone: 902-825-6116

GoOnline: https://www.facebook.com/AnnapolisValleyMacdonaldMuseum/

GoOnline: http://macdonaldmuseum.ca/

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