Jennifer Steck, one of the too-many-to-count artists in limbo these days, has created a free online class that’s good for both children and adults. She comes from a 32-year career in law enforcement and now specializes in quirky (as in ‘not perfect’) characters. According to Steck, “the first lesson is up; the next ones will be live soon.” It is her hope that these lessons, intended to reduce stress, “will lighten things up a little during these tough times.”
Steck explains, “As I post these lessons, people across the world are under mandated or self-imposed quarantine. My hope is that this playful series will provide some fun, laughter, and encouragement.”
Her Critter Country instruction is based on the ways Steck works to develop many of the creatures seen in her paintings and whimsical greeting cards, some of which can be seen at Western Stars Gallery in Lyons. “I’m focusing on dogs for this round of lessons, but if you would like to select a different animal, feel free to do so. Use your own dogs as models. People of all ages are invited, so invite your friends and family members and let’s play together,” she encourages.
Click here for Critter Country – Lesson One. The ensuing lessons will build upon this one. Various transferable techniques are provided on the videos. Please use hashtag #100critterchallenge on Instagram, the Jennifer Steck Arts Facebook page, or wherever student creations might be shared so that all participants can follow along. She asks that any comments added to anyone’s art be respectfully made and supportive. “We are all in this together. Hang in there and stay safe,” Steck emphasizes.
Lesson 1 Supplies: Paper
Pen or permanent marker
Photos of your own critters in a variety of poses
(Photos for inspiration are included here) Additional reference imagery can be searched for here and on Pinterest
Steck adds, “Try not to get intimidated when others post work. I still do sometimes. We can learn from each other in a safe space. My goal is to have a place we can come together and support each other. ”
Not everyone has ample art supplies and they may not be easily obtainable at this time. Western Stars Gallery in Lyons has offered to loan out some pens, markers, and pencils to those participating in these lessons by calling 303-747-3818 or 401-301-1212.