Artworks Around Town Class at Wheeling’s Center Market Helps Artists Overcome ‘Fear of the White Canvas’ | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo of Shelley Hanson Crystal Thornebrooke of Wheeling receives instructions from Wheeling artist Greg Siegwart during a painting class Monday at Artworks Around Town at Center Market House, 2200 Market St., Wheeling.

On Mondays, at Artworks Around Town, people come together to learn how to paint and work on their pieces with guidance from artist Greg Siegwart of Wheeling.

Siegwart, who has been painting since the age of 10, said the class used oil or acrylic paints to create their scenes.

Some of the participants are beginners while others have been painting for decades.

Siegwart said that for most artists, new and old, getting started is half the battle. He calls this the “fear of the blank canvas”. Once a painter has applied their base coat or made that first brushstroke, the fear goes away.

“Everyone, even experienced painters, does this,” he added.

Siegwart teaches the Artworks Around Town class from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays in the gallery space inside the Central Market House at 2200 Market Street. People have to bring their own supplies. A list of what is needed can be found at the gallery.

He also teaches painting at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling. Her next class starts Jan. 10 there. Siegwart, who has been painting for 56 years, said he loved “everything” about the art.

“I don’t know how not to do it,” he said, adding that he had sold his paintings to people all over the world.

In the classroom last Monday were Sandy Kent and her husband Bill Kent from Wheeling. Sandy Kent says she has been painting for 40 years. His latest work was a red barn scene inspired by a photograph. Bill Kent’s painting depicted an old pickup truck in what appeared to be a flea market.

Another student, Linda Porter of Wheeling, was working on a street scene based on a photograph taken by her granddaughter, Sydnee Porter, while doing an internship in Brazil.

Although Porter has done dozens of paintings over the years, she said this particular street scene was quite a challenge. Porter started the trade when she retired and has worked there ever since.

“It’s funny. It gives me something to do,” she said.

Porter said the painting will be hung in his granddaughter’s future apartment. Porter joked that his granddaughter couldn’t hire him until she finally finished the painting, which could take years later.

Another student, Crystal Thornebrooke of Wheeling, said she was new to painting. She had tried to self-learn, but had decided to seek help over Seigwart’s. His painting when completed will represent a surreal scene with a beetle resting comfortably on a chair by a roaring fire. Only the shadow of the beetle will be visible on the wall with only part of its legs protruding from the high back chair.

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