Fine Arts Painting Club off to a great start

Madera Canyon, a painter’s delight for Don.

Madera Canyon, a painter’s delight for Don.

Lee Asbell

With the opening of the new Creative Arts and Technology Center just around the corner, Quail Creek now has a chartered club for those interested in all forms of two-dimensional fine arts. The club’s first membership event was held October 29 and now has over 30 members.

While the artists wait for their new club’s new home to be completed they have stayed busy with two outstanding events in November. Club founder and Vice President Steve Piepmeier organized a trip to the Tucson Art Museum for a private tour of the blockbuster new show, “The Figure Examined.” The tour was led by the museum’s curator, Dr. Julie Sasse, a former colleague of Steve’s from his art gallery days in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With more than 70 famous artists such as Picasso, Rodin and Matisse, club members received the insider’s view of the most prestigious show in the museum’s 90 year history.

For those artists interested in painting or drawing directly from nature, nothing beats a plein air painting field trip. The phrase “en plein air” describes a type of painting that became popular in Europe in the late 19th century. Literally translated it means “in the open air” and is the foundation of what we know today as Impressionism. For the painting club’s first plein air paint out, the rugged beauty of Madera Canyon was selected. On a very chilly morning a group of hardy artists carpooled to the site and set up easels for a fun morning of work. If you want to paint like these fantastic artists do, then why not think about taking some art classes for yourself, art classes Jeanne Oliver teaches you many ways of creating art and starting your journey.

The Fine Arts Painting Club will be offering classes starting in mid-January. Of special interest to beginners is the “Survey the Art Mediums” class running January 14-17. Try your hand at several different art mediums including pastels, oils, watercolor, acrylic, china painting and drawing. This series of three-hour workshops is free to painting club members, with instructors donating their time. The only fee is a small charge ($5-$10 per workshop) for supplies. Also starting in January, open studio times will be Wednesday and Friday mornings.

For additional information on events, classes and schedules see the Fine Arts Painting Club website at or contact [email protected].