Find Your Inner Painting Talent
By Elli Davis, July 19, 2012
If you are wondering what to do with your free time but you have had enough of sporting activities, here is an idea for you. A couple of days ago, while visiting a museum of modern art, I heard an older gentleman remark, “Is this art? I could do it better myself.” And I thought, why not? Why don't people paint more? This is not to suggest everyone should try to become a modern artist — not at all — but painting as a hobby, is relaxing and stimulating. There are many places in Toronto where you can take painting classes, this article provides a few examples of them.
460 Avenue Road
The Avenue Road Arts School has been helping people of all ages boost their creativity. It does not matter whether you are a complete novice or an experienced artist; this place is ready to provide instruction and support to absolutely everyone. Drawing/painting for beginners, figurative, portrait, landscape, painting with watercolours, contemporary acrylic painting, drawing, and painting with your iPad (this one shocked me) are just a small part of what Avenue Road Arts School has to offer.
You can choose from a number of classes, all of which are led by professional artists/educators. All the classes are small to ensure every single student gets enough individual attention. Once you start attending a class, there is a chance your paintings will be seen by a real audience. Every once in a while, students get an amazing opportunity to display their artwork at an exhibit organized by the school.
2510 Yonge Street
“We are committed to supporting and encouraging the excellence in visual arts,” says the official website of Art Workshop. Let this amazing studio founded by a Serbian-born artist Maria Vilotijevic help you develop your art skills. Three separate programs are offered throughout the year. The first one is for adults, both beginners and experienced painters are welcome to participate and explore the world of drawing, watercolour, pastel, acrylics, and oil painting. A kid’s program is available for children aged 6-12 eager to learn to use watercolours, charcoal, and acrylics as well as learn a brief history of art. The third option, the junior art program, was created for children aged 4 to 6 wanting to learn about colour and composition.
Courses for kids and juniors take place weekdays and on Saturdays. Adults can also take evening classes, which could be a great advantage for anyone who has to work late. During the summer, camps for children aged 6 to 12 are offered, so check out the webpage of the studio to find out more or to sign up (together with your kids if you like) for a class. Anyone interested in learning something new or developing your talent is welcome to participate and show just how creative you can be.
410 Adelaide Street West
Toronto’s longest running independent art school, the Toronto School of Art, is undoubtedly one of the best places in Canada to teach you everything you could possibly want to know about painting. More than 275 art courses are offered throughout the year. All of the classes are small in size and under the leadership of professional art instructors who guarantee quality.
Summer classes and even trips are available; all you have to do is book on time and let art become a part of your life. TSA is an amazingly multicultural place, and its students are of all ages (from the age of 14 and up) and come from various backgrounds. We can safely say this school “enriches your art skills, at any level.” Moreover, if you register for a course together with a friend, both of you will get a discount! What are you waiting for?
238 Jane Street
Art Works Art School was voted the best arts school of 2006 by The Villager readers. The school offers a wide variety of art classes for beginners as well as for more experienced students. Children from the age of four can participate in the classes. Classes aim to develop one’s “visual awareness, personal expression, confidence in problem solving, imagination, and comfort with materials.”
Artistic teenagers (ages 11-17) preparing their portfolio for high school, college, and university are very welcome to let the school help them develop their skills as much as possible.
250 Eglinton West
This not-for-profit art school has been offering its services to everyone who would like to discover their inner artist since 2005. A wide variety of classes are available for adults and children as young as 18 months old. Oil painting, watercolour painting, or drawing — you can try them all. The school puts on a camp and various events, the next such event is “The Magic of Watercolours” which is to take place on the last day of July and the first day of August. See the webpage of Artbarn School to learn more.
Art Supplies Stores
Now that you have a rough idea of where it might be good to take art classes, you can think of purchasing art supplies. There are quite a few well-equipped art supplies stores in Toronto, here is a small selection.
74 McCaul St.
2868 Dundas St. West (new!)
Above Ground Art Supplies has been well known in Toronto’s artist community since 1983. Located just a few steps from the Ontario College of Art & Design, it is the main supplier for hundreds of art students. This store has everything you could possibly want for your painting class.
1153 Queen Street West
“Run by artists for artists,” This alone should be enough to convince you this shop is a place you should visit if you want high-quality painting supplies. Who knows what artists need if not artists themselves? Since 1978, Woolfitt’s has become one of largest wholesale distributors of artist’s supplies in Canada. If you want to see what the store offers, you can receive a copy of its 2012 catalogue via e-mail.
157 Denison Street, Markham
Studio Six has been helping artists since 1967. “We are always thinking of new ideas to better your life as an artist,” the representatives of the company say. 40 years of success are sufficient evidence of that. Studio Six is ready to help you whenever you need art supplies. If you are too busy to actually visit the store, you can shop online. Enjoy!