By Kyle Ford, Public Affairs specialistApril 22, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. --"The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep," said Paul Strand, a painter, photographer and filmmaker, who lived 1890-1976.
Arts and Crafts Center instructors assist Fort Rucker community artists to that doorstep through various ongoing classes which help them to portray their creative sides.
One such artistic outlet is a watercolor painting class conducted every other Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon where budding painters can learn the basics of watercolor mixing and painting.
Recreation Assistant and military Family member Robin Duplin, teaches the watercolor painting techniques.
April 14's lesson was on sunsets, and she passed out photos of sunsets for reference and gave suggestions on how to mix colors before putting brushes to paper.
"Sunsets are great because students are focused on the colors, and details aren't as important as learning brush strokes and how to control the paint," Duplin said.
Under her guidance, students began painting their projects. They also discussed what they enjoyed about the class.
"This is a good way to start the morning," said Family member Amy Webb as she created a surfer overlooking an ocean.
Another Family member, Chelsea Hansen, described how painting helps her.
"Doing art is very therapeutic," she said as she mixed a vibrant purple color. "I live in Dothan, a 30-minute drive to Fort Rucker, and it's definitely worth the drive."
Throughout the class Duplin encouraged her students.
"It's amazing what these will look like when they get matted up and framed. They become masterpieces on your wall," she said. "I love having the ladies leave with something they are proud of. Being able to have the art in a mat and mounted really helps. (In) some classes, people do a painting and then it ends up in a drawer someone takes out every once in a while. With the mat and mounting, the student can place it in a standard frame to put on a wall."
Learning about art is not the only draw for Arts and Crafts Center patrons.
"I came here to meet with other wives and socialize. The art was just an added bonus," Webb said.
All supplies are included in the class, which costs $10.
In addition to teaching adult art lessons, Duplin instructs children, ages 5 and older, every other Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Cost is $6. During the children's class, she incorporates art history and techniques "so they are getting a full art class," she said.
Arts and Crafts Center staff offer other instruction, such as framing, pottery, stained glass, sewing, quilting, jewelry making and scrap booking. Call 255-9020 for dates and times.