Paints, scraps and time on your hands
It’s natural to attempt to be creative this time of year. With springtime in full bloom in the valley it seems only fitting to pull out a canvas and a palette and get to work on trying to recreate a scene that would make anyone in the Midwest cringe with longing. Not everyone, I’ve learned, is as adept as they’d like to be at reproducing images of our mountain home.
Self-diagnosed with an attention deficit problem, I have been known to put a stop to the hobby train before it officially leaves the station. My living room-a graveyard of interests past-is home to a mandolin, guitar, drums, sketch pads turned coasters and a keyboard lined with year-old dust. This spring in the mountains, however, I am determined to stick with a hobby. This time it’s painting.
I didn’t know where to begin on my search for art supplies. My past affairs with oil and Turpenoid were in a beginning painting class in college where, for a exorbitant fee, everything you needed for an entire semester of non-stop painting was provided. The school even went so far as to pick out the colors of our paints. They were all shades of brown or green. I’m from Indiana.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a master craftswoman to get things started. Looking through the yellow pages I quickly noted that there was only one art supply store in the area. After a quick call to Scully’s Art Supply to find out exactly where they were located – 40928 Hwy. 6 in the Eagle-Vail Business Center. I took the two minute drive with hopes of finding some helpful advice upon my arrival.
And worthwhile advice, as well as a million different ways of utilizing my free time, was exactly what I discovered.
From the moment I walked through the door until the second I left the store there were knowledgeable art aficionados ready to help me figure out my painting plan of attack. In the first 10 minutes, I already had learned the differences between natural and synthetic brushes and the varying quality of oil paints. I had also been directed toward the many sales going on in the store, as Scully’s does a little spring cleaning and rearranging of it’s own.
Suddenly, painting wasn’t the only thing that had my creative mind spinning. Lining the store’s supply-packed walls were ideas for making your own gift cards with rubber stamps complete with handmade envelopes, materials to decorate your own glassware and mosaic supplies.
“Scrapbooking is really big this time of year because people are putting books together to give to teachers and coaches as a memento,” said Scully’s owner Debbie Scully. “It’s also the beginning of the watercolor season – not that you can’t do watercolor all year long – but a lot of people do outdoor watercolor work so we are busy with that kind of thing this time of year.”
Oh yes, add scrapbooking to my list of hobbies past.
In order to help those with a passion but little direction for scrapbooking, Scully’s is offering a “Getting Started” class on May 25th for a small fee.
Scrapbooking isn’t the only class that Scully’s has on its roster. There are also polyform and rubber stamping classes scheduled.
“We’re doing a promo in June called ‘Mom’s Summer Boredom Blues Buster,'” said Scully. “What this means is that if you purchase three different kits from these three different manufacturers we are going to offer a free art party for up to 10 kids.”
Creativity-loving adults aren’t the only ones that benefit from the many artistic possibilities found in Scully’s. The children’s section is packed to the brim with ways to keep even the child with the shortest attention span focused.
“We have a great kids section,” said Scully. “It’s mostly art and educational. We have very limited toys. That’s going to be a real kick-off for us in the beginning of the summer when the kids get out of school.”
My journey through Scully’s yielded much success. On top of the useful information I received concerning my new found hobby, I also left with five brushes, six tubes of paint and enough confidence to sit in my sun-drenched front yard in an attempt to paint the Gore Range.
Let spring in the mountains bring out the creative side. You never know, maybe you’re more of an artist than you think.
Jennifer Wagoner is a freelance writer based in Vail.
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