The Llano Fine Arts Guild and Gallery is an artist-run gallery. The active members work one day a month and classes and activities are scheduled throughout the month. Every Thursday morning 10-12:30 our member and fine artist Carla Sanchez conducts oil painting classes. Each artist purchases materials prior to the class; Easel, canvas paints, brushes, glass palette, paint thinner, etc.. Students sign up for a block of 6 classes at which they'll paint one or up to four paintings. Like a one-room schoolhouse, each artist is at a different stage, from beginning backgrounds to finished product. The teacher supervises each stage, makes sure the student learns different techniques in each painting.
The gallery is two storefronts connected by a back hallway, with a kitchen area in the middle so there are ample walls that are suitable for display. Various cases throughout the gallery hold smaller and 3D artworks. The space is also multi-use and can be rearranged for shopping, classes, featured artists and parties.
In the right side 'working gallery' for classes, 6 or more 6ft. folding tables w/sheets of heavy clear plastic accommodate one or two students at each table.
The Thursday oil painting classes manage to be a combination of serious and fun. Each artist is at a different stage in their work, from a beginning painting to a nearly finished one. Some students are brand new and a couple have been painting with Carla for a couple of years. Most of the painters come not only to learn painting and go home with a finished product, but use the classes for meditation and calmness. There an occasional quiet call for help as Carla circles the room, makes suggestions and provides encouragement.
Sometimes there's a little burst of conversation;
"It's time I gave it up, I feel like I'm fingerpainting at this point."
"No, you've really jumped ahead, you've cleaned out this corner beautifully."
"Oh, no, what have I done?"
"You're doing good, but always work your way out from the middle"
Most of the time it's so quiet you can hear the air conditioning switch on and off.
When it's time to go, there's a general cleaning up of one's own mess and some visiting time to catch up with friends. There's a faint smell of an 'odorless' mineral spirits called Gamsol used for thinning paint and cleaning up.