Watercolor classes at Creativity Center

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Above, Cindy Lynch of Guttenberg will offer watercolor painting classes at the Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center beginning June 5 through Aug. 28. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

Local watercolor artist Cindy Lynch will be offering watercolor painting classes again this summer at the Guttenberg Gallery & Creativity Center at 214 South River Park Drive in Guttenberg. Classes are held each Wednesday beginning June 5 - Aug. 28, from 9 a.m. - noon.  

Creative direction

Cindy and her husband, Tom, bought their home on Esmann Island  and used it as a weekend retreat in 1994. The couple gradually relocated from Cedar Rapids living “mostly” full time over the summers, spending winters in sunny Florida. She began her artistic journey through watercolor painting after the extraordinary Mississippi River flood in 2008.

"I have always been interested in art, and saw an ad for free watercolor painting classes," she began. "I was disabled and home all the time looking for creative opportunities and decided to give it a try." 

Taking the first step

Her first watercolor painting classes were comprised of older individuals who had been painting together for many years. Renowned Iowa watercolor artist Ray Dutchik led the classes. "Some of the artists would follow Ray's lead, and others would paint on their own with his direction," she described. "The encounter left an impression on me, and I decided if I ever led a class of my own I would try to replicate the experience. I was so grateful for all the help the other artists offered."

Going with the flow

Although Cindy has tried other paint mediums she prefers the way watercolor paints flow and work together to create her desired effect. Her former teacher inspired a love of landscape painting, which she still enjoys today. "I like to begin a landscape painting by roughing out the horizon and trees," she explained. "I have a practice journal that I use to sketch out a small scale of what I want the larger painting to look like." 

Supplies and cost

Watercolor art supplies including paper, paint and brushes will be available for students of all levels for $5 per session. More advanced artists are welcome to bring their own supplies and contribute a freewill donation, which is always appreciated. Budding artists can expect to leave with a completed watercolor painting. "I usually have several ideas and have a few things drawn out and copied for people that would like a little guidance. I am also open to suggestions," she said. 

Inspiring, Fun & relaxing 

Specialty coffee drinks and smoothies can be purchased during the class from the gallery's Courtyard Cafe. "Setting aside a designated time to practice art can be fun and relaxing," she noted. "Socializing with like-minded individuals can be very inspiring. Don't feel intimidated just give it a try. If you don't like it you are under no obligation." 

The watercolor instructor paints year round and takes a watercolor painting class at her retirement village in Florida during the winter months. "Come and see what a great place Cindy Olsen and Steve Solomon have created,"she encouraged. "They have worked really hard to cultivate a great space for area residents, local   youth, and visitors to our community."

Reserve your spot today

Space is limited. To reserve a spot call the Guttenberg Gallery & Creativity Center at (563) 252-2787, or message them on Facebook or Instagram. For additional information and upcoming events see online at guttenbergcreativitycenter.com.

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