By Amy Rea

I had the misfortune of once taking a drawing class, with the greatest of optimism, from an instructor who turned out not to feel as optimistically about my abilities as I did. By the time I left the class, I was sadly sure I could never draw. Not that I’d expected to turn into a world-class artist; I just wanted to explore the possibility of developing enough skill to enjoy drawing as a hobby, something I could work at and perhaps see my own improvement, even if it was just for my entertainment.

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However, it turns out that not all instructors are lacking in optimism about their students.

Photo by Amy Rea

Meet artist Terri Myers Wentzka, whose Natural History Arts has a studio in the Northrup King Building in NE Minneapolis. Besides creating exquisite artworks of her own:

Photo by Amy Rea

Terri has also begun offering art classes, among them: Yes, You Can Draw!

The class description: “If you’ve ever said, “Oh, I can’t draw,” or if you love art and wish you could do what artists do, this workshop is for you. Drawing is not only for a select few, and it’s not just for professional artists. Drawing is something that everyone can learn, and it offers many benefits.

This introductory workshop with acclaimed artist Terri Myers Wentzka will walk you through the basics of learning to draw in a friendly, no-stress manner. Our focus will be on doing, not on perfection. This workshop will be relaxing, fun, and designed to take the fear out of touching pencil to paper. No experience necessary, no fears, and no apologies for what you can or can’t do. We’ll start wherever you are.”

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Wherever you are is exactly where you start in this class, which I took this past spring. And guess what–yes, you can learn to draw, even if you’re lacking some of the most basic art-related skills. Am I ever going to be a professional? Nope. And I don’t want to be. But over the course of the three-week class, I learned techniques and worked on homework assignments that opened my eyes to the possibilities.

It’s important to remember that a finished piece of art has to start somewhere, and it’s not where it ends. Here’s a sketch Terri did at the very beginning of her process toward creating a full-scale drawing:

Photo by Amy Rea

What seemed intimidating turned out to be fun and, in its own way, meditative.

Photo by Amy Rea

The process of focusing on one object and really seeing it is surprisingly relaxing and mind-clearing.

So, yes, you can draw too. The next session of this class begins Sept. 9, with an enrollment discount offered through Aug. 26. Other classes include Yes, You Can Draw Your Pet! and Botanical Drawing. See the website for registration information.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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