Suzanne Taylor among her fellow artists and students where she talks about their artwork. Meira Bienstock

 

BETHEL — Suzanne Taylor teaches the Drawing & Painting class for those over 50, as well as the Two More Special Novels classes at Telstar each week where she’s bringing together local artists to share a safe space to create together as a community. The literary class is two hours and meets for eight weeks, the art class meets for two hours for 13 weeks.

In her Drawing & Painting class, her students are all working on different projects. Everyone is free to work on what they want. There are no creative restraints. Taylor teaches in more of a studio atmosphere where the freedom is given to the students.

If someone is new, she will introduce them to all the different art tools. There’s a cabinet in the back of the room where’s she teaches at Telstar, and inside are hundreds of paint supplies. Taylor especially likes to teach with the watercolor pencils. Then, she’ll demonstrate a new technique where she’ll take a wet paint brush over the watercolors.

She asks that everyone bring their own materials, pressing the importance of having best quality art material, even if just a few, because it gives the best results. Even the best quality paper can give better pigment on the paper.

Right now, she has six students.

One of her students, John, is working on a piece in the style of post-impressionism.

“Well, I typically work with acrylics, so I’ve been doing painting,” John says. “Last week I tried some impasto technique, which is a really heavy application just not using paint brushes just using the palette knife.”

When mentioning it looks like a Van Gogh piece, John replies, “well, it’s because you put this really heavy application. It really does give a three dimensional effect. I was mostly done with this last time. I did a lot of this in the class last week and then thanks to Suzanne, yeah, a little bit more dark to the background. I did that and that helped it pop and then I added some more light colors to give really kind of stretch the dimensional of it.”

John takes out of photo of yellow and orange trees that were taken from his backyard.

“I did this with the impasto style though. It’s Italian interpretation though.”

Taylor promotes a lose relaxed atmosphere, giving advice, showing and providing feedback.

Let’s rewind. Taylor’s background is as a teacher and an academic writer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in both English and psychology, and taught for 30 years, where she spent 15 years teaching AP English. In addition, she has taught writing classes at CMMC and distance learning at UNH. She holds a masters of liberal studies and an advance masters from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf Graduate School of English where she received her MLitt. She also spent a summer studying abroad at Oxford University.

With regard to her other class, she teaches Two More Special Novels. In this class, students read a novel and discuss the themes and topics while analyzing the book. Taylor often chooses classics or advanced books. The book the last session was called Love Medicine by Louis Ererich, which won the National Book Award for Fiction.

Together, the adults and teacher come up with ideas about what the book means. In her past adult literary classes  at Telstar, she has taught creative writing where everybody does their own project, similar to the art class. Anyone can write a poem, short story, or essay. Everyone will share and receive feedback.

To sign up for the Drawing and Painting or Two More Special Novels classes, contact Telstar about its Adult Education classes.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: