Artistic hand provides artistic haven

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Yvette Pigott works on an acrylic painting of her daughters. Pigott has been taking classes at the Artistic Hand now for two years.

Jeannie Williams, Managing Editor

Nestled in pine trees off Central Ave in downtown Oviedo sits the quaint Artistic Hand Gallery and Studio. Every Saturday morning, juniors Christine Cole and Lina Caro, along with science teacher Yvette Pigott, each make their way there to attend Katie Holt’s painting and drawing class.

Family is a word often used to describe the environment at Artistic Hand. One of the reasons Caro likes attending is because everyone in the class is familiar and tries to help each other out. Owner Del Seaman says this is what the gallery and studio he and his wife opened in 1990 was meant for.

“When we opened the gallery here, we believed in giving young people a break because we realized how hard it was to get into the arts,” Seaman said. “From the very first day we opened, I’ve brought people into the gallery who are hobbyists or young people most galleries would say no to.”

Caro leans more toward drawing in the class, primarily using charcoal, with the intention of improving the shading in her figures and portraits. She stumbled upon it online in the fall while looking for a place to take classes at, and has stayed there since October.

“I just really like drawing, so I want to improve. It’s like a stress-reliever,” Caro said.

Cole also found her way to the Artistic Hand unexpectedly. Cole stopped by the gallery one day on a whim and discovered the classes offered and a community of art-lovers. Cole started taking classes at the Artistic Hand in the seventh grade and has continued to attend Saturday morning classes, attempting to miss only one session a year.

“I was interested in painting because I had started taking classes at Crealdé and wanted to expand from there,” Cole said. “A lot of people who go [to the Artistic Hand] have gone a really long time, so we’re all like family.”

Pigott took up painting after both her daughters had moved out and was inspired by her great-aunt Madeline Padin, who painted from her mid-50s to her 90s. Padin always told her, “It’s never too late to start something new.” With that in mind, Pigott enrolled for the Saturday morning classes with Holt to master a new skill.

Pigott makes personal works that she gives as gifts to family members. Her most recently completed work was based off a picture of her husband canoeing in Alaska. She focuses on the value of colors as well as the effects of shading in her works.

“I love her style, brave attitude and enthusiasm with attacking each new work,” Holt said.

The Artistic Hand offers several six-week and eight-week classes for all ages in all media, varying from $125 to $200, as well as open studio times with more information available on there website artistichandgalleryandstudio.com. The Saturday morning painting and drawing classes Caro, Cole and Pigott attend are often filled with the creative verve of different aged students. Seaman often takes his pottery into the classroom so he can feel the energy and channel it into his own work.

“Art allows one to move away from the rules and monotony of their everyday life and find a quiet place inside themselves to soar,” Holt said. “It lets you breathe and stop running on the dreaded hamster wheel and enjoy a blank canvas or fresh bag of clay.”

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