ROCKINGHAM — More than two dozen aspiring artists converged Wednesday on Arts Richmond for painting lessons taught by Richmond Senior High School art teacher Susan Perkins.
Flip-flops, locally known as the glass slippers of the South, were the theme as paintbrushes whisked sandy beaches and Carolina blue skies onto blank canvasses. Perkins offered group instruction and individual pointers as she guided them step by step toward completing a likeness of a finished example painting on display.
“I’ve been teaching art in the schools for years, and teaching these classes here and other places,” Perkins said. “We’ve done a few other paintings already this year.”
Themes of the earlier paintings included flowers, coffee and love.
Arts Richmond volunteer Laura Daskal said the turnout has been remarkable at previous events, and several people have already signed up for the next one.
“They’ll be painting sunflowers,” Daskal said.
Amanda Motley took the class with a coworker, but said she’ll be skipping the sunflower class.
“I’m waiting for the peacocks,” Motley said.
Blaine Maples, Richmond County Arts Council board president, said Wednesday’s class was a fundraiser event.
“Just this one,” Maples said. “It’s a fundraiser with proceeds going to Arts Richmond. The other sessions are regular events.”
Sara Adkins and her friend Jan Allen, art teacher at the Richmond County Ninth-Grade Academy, smiled while painting the backgrounds of their canvasses to reflect a beach landscape.
“This is my first class,” Adkins said. She appeared to be enjoying herself despite her inexperience.
People with and without art experience filled all 25 available seats, and the first-timers appeared to be having as much fun as the veterans.
Jordan Cooke, 13, was the youngest in the class and sat next to Merie Dawkins, her grandmother, who was also busy painting. But this wasn’t the only art project in their lives this summer.
“We’re working on my house,” Dawkins said. “My treehouse. My husband built it for me several years ago. We’ve been fixing it up, redecorating and painting. We’ve had breakfast up there, stargazed up there. We just love it.”
For Brianna David, 17, the painting class was a gift from Daskal.
“Miss Laura did this for me as part of my graduation gift, so I’ll have something to put in my dorm room,” David said. She will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall and plans to major in biology. She is the daughter of Hamlet City Manager Marchell David, and attended the painting class with her friend Darshema Townsend, who will attend North Carolina Central University in Durham.
The sunflower class will be Friday, Aug. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Arts Richmond building downtown, but people should register soon to get a seat.
“We already have 11 signed up, and the class only holds 25,” Perkins said.
The cost of each art class is $35 per person and includes all supplies in addition to step-by-step instruction.
For more information, call Arts Richmond at 910-997-6008 or visit www.sociableart.com.
Reach reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-817-2673 or follow her on Twitter @melonieflomer.