GREENVILLE — A number of young ladies from Girl Scout Brownie and Daisy Troop 30038 enjoyed a workshop on “painting without paint” while earning their fine art badges recently. The workshop was held at the Anna Bier Gallery at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, and organized by the Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA).
The workshop was led by local artists Marilyn Banks and Carol Peden.
“I just like to help out where I can, and to see what the kids are able to do,” Peden said. Peden was unfamiliar with the art of collage, or assembling images out of paper and glue.
“This should be interesting,” Peden said, “because I personally have no clue on this.”
For Banks, on the other hand, collage is one of her favorite art forms.
“We’re going to be teaching these girls to paint without paint,” Banks said. “Instead, we’re painting with paper. It’s one of my favorite ways to work.”
“Plus, it’s a lot harder to ruin the rug,” Peden chimed in.
Banks was enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with the group of Girl Scouts.
“Greenville has a long history and tradition of art, and supporting of the arts,” Banks said. Banks is a local painter and president of the Greenville Art Guild, of which Anna Bier, for whom the gallery at Memorial Hall is named, was once a member.
Before beginning the workshop, Banks and Peden gave the girls a short lesson on different styles of painting. They discussed Mary Cassatt, an American printmaker and painter from Pennsylvania who exhibited with Edgar Degas; while also known for her impressionist works, Banks used Cassatt as an example of realism, a relatively easy-to-interpret style of painting in which subjects are depicted realistically.
Meanwhile, Georgia O’Keeffe, an artist from the Midwest who later migrated to New Mexico, was used to exemplify abstract art, in which shape, form, and color are used to create compositions that don’t necessarily resemble things found in the physical world. Finally, the works of French painter Berthe Morisot were used to explain impressionism, a style that lies somewhere in between the two.
One activity during the workshop involved Banks asking the girls to try and sort pictures of different paintings into one or the other of the three categories, a task that was itself more art than science.
“There are no right or wrong answers in painting,” Banks said.
For the main activity of the evening, the girls were given strips of colored paper, construction paper, and glue and asked to try and create images of trees, in any style that they preferred. Trees, according to Banks, are one of her own favorite subjects to paint.
“Ordinarily we let each of you paint what you love,” Banks said. “But tonight you have to paint what I love!”
Anna Bier Gallery director Tamera McNulty was also present for the event. McNulty is planning a number of other workshops and exhibits for the coming months, including a printmaking workshop for kids December 2, in which participants will create Christmas cards, and an exhibit honoring the Greenville Art Guild running Saturday, December 16 through January 30. In February, the gallery will hold its first elementary school exhibit.
“We’re really trying to do stuff for the kids, to get the kids involved in the gallery,” McNulty said. “To me it’s about bringing the generations together. Anna Bier and the Greenville Art Guild, that’s where it started. Being able to pass that on to these girls – I think that’s pretty cool.”
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