Restrictions on in-person gatherings inspired local artist Heidi Denessen to launch a virtual studio to connect with students across the country to offer step-by-step painting classes.
“I teach everyone from people who have never once stepped into an art supply store to people who paint regularly but who want to try a new style,” Denessen says.
“I take you through all the steps. All you need is a desire to do it. You don’t have to have skills.”
For a monthly membership fee of $24, which can be cancelled at any time, members gain access to a growing library of classes, with a new class added every month. Included with classes are the supporting materials, supply list, and extra exercises.
Denessen’s virtual studio includes a library of classes, a resources section with links to interesting art-related books, websites, and Instagram accounts, and a lounge section, which includes a 24-hour chat room so members can discuss their projects together.
Denessen also hosts a weekly live Zoom meetup where students can drop in for advice. She recommends her classes for people ages 12 and up.
“If you’re struggling with a part of the painting, hop on with me and I’m happy to help people. While we’re not in the studio together, you have access to me that way,” Denessen says.
“I want people to feel supported. You’re not just watching the videos. There’s help for you if you need it too.”
For members who want to display their finished work, there’s also an online members-only gallery.
Denessen has an art degree from Emily Carr and received a teaching certificate from Simon Fraser University. She taught high school art for several years before focusing on her own art after her children were born.
“A lot of the work I do is very solitary, just creating things in the studio alone. Teaching allows me to have a great connection with people,” Denessen says.
In addition to the virtual studio, Denessen offers her original paintings and a selection of housewares and clothing items printed with her work through her online shop.
To learn more about Heidi’s Art Studio and subscribe for classes today, visit www.heiditheartist.ca.