WIESBADEN, Germany (Jan. 19, 2016) -- For some, creating whimsical works of art is as natural as breathing. But for others, the thought of taking pen or brush to canvas can be daunting.
Several new programs at Wiesbaden Arts and Crafts seek to help potential artists overcome any hesitation about getting in touch with their creative sides. With a new art teacher on board, and several unique collaborative programs, artists of all stripes are invited to get involved.
"It's all about expanding one's horizons," said Erik Kraemer, Wiesbaden Arts and Crafts manager. "It may simply be getting out of the house and experimenting with something new."
Kraemer added that the arrival of a new art instructor was highly anticipated. "They've [community member] been waiting for a long time," he said, explaining that, initially, two-hour art classes are being offered every Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m. The offerings may be expanded if demand increases."
Art teacher Claudia Pauli-Bach, who studied art and costume design in Florence and Naples, Italy, taught art in Argentina and worked as a commercial artist for a marketing firm, said she welcomes everyone - from those just starting, to more accomplished artists. "Right now we're focusing on all techniques from watercolor to fine aquarelle for adults and children."
"People may be afraid, but they quickly learn to be comfortable [with the different media]," said Pauli-Bach, adding that she is glad to have the opportunity to share her love of art with others. "To me, it's really like therapy for people to discover their own tempo and balance - a beautiful way to see things differently. The artist sees with other eyes - looking for the light.
"These are the things that a person is developing in my class - finding his or her self-confidence," she said.
"I think good drawing is elementary - it's the queen of the arts," Pauli-Bach added.
"It's wonderful," said Frances Rodgers, one of Pauli-Bach's students, who said she started the classes "to see if this was something I could do in retirement. She's very patient. I've learned so much from the first lesson.
"I think she will bring out the artist in everyone," Rodgers said.
It is the same feeling for 9-year-old student Lana Stanford, who was concentrating on Picasso's cubistic style during a recent lesson. "I like using paint, pastels and colored pencils - especially the colored pencils because they're not too messy."
The art instructor said she would like to expose students to great works of art in local museums and to paint in outside settings once the weather permits.
In the meantime, local artists are enjoying the unique opportunity of mixing socializing and creating works of art at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center Lounge during the Canvas and Corkscrews get-togethers on the first and third Fridays of the month from 6-8:30 p.m.
Local area artists can also find support through the Wiesbaden Artists and Plein Air Group.
"We originally started it for people more on the professional side," but it has since evolved to welcome all artists, whether novice or experienced, said Deb Ahern, the group's founder.
"We take museum trips, go to art supply stores and talk about what we're working on," Ahern said, adding that the online "closed" group offers artists the chance to solicit advice and assistance when working on projects. "If they're working on something, they can post their artwork."
The Wiesbaden Arts and Crafts Center manager pointed out that with the addition of the art classes, the center offers a wide range of opportunities for local artists and crafts people. A wood shop, laser engraving sublimation, a fully-stocked crafts store and various other offerings are aimed at providing community members with a wealth of ways to hone their skills and materialize their creative vision.
The center is seeking a new sewing instructor as classes being offered now will end this month when the present teacher departs from Wiesbaden.