orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

April 22, 2013

The Paint Class brushes up for art show

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Tom Windham, a local artist who has been seen in during Art in the Park and the recent Earth Day celebrations at Shangri La, also teaches how to paint.

The Paint Class is offered at a room located at Thrift and Gift, 350 37th St. in Orange each Thursday.

Windham has taught classes at least since 2005 and hopes to start a new class for beginners in July or August of this year.

Windham started drawing as a child when his father would bring home rolls of Butcher’s paper and picked up a paint brush during high school.

“I have been paint professionally since 1974,” Windham said. “I usually have beginners and advanced students in one class, but sometimes beginners get intimidated by the advanced students. So a new class on a different day would help that.”

Windham has worked as a staff artist for the American Angler, done several murals in Jasper as well as one he did with a friend in New Mexico.

Windham is also the artist that created the five faces of Janis for the first Janis Joplin Memorial in 1988 for Homer Pillsbury Production. The design is still used today.

Dot Browning, 80, was a student ten years earlier.

“I started back about a year, maybe a year and half ago,” Browning said. “His instructions are so explicate and he teaches us how to paint by layers.”

Many of the paintings in the class are landscapes.

“Tom takes us step by step,” Browning said. “Tom is such a wonderful teacher and we all love him.”

D’Juana Gandy, 53, is also a student in the class. Gandy would paint now and again until the last year.

“This is the first I have painted consistently,” Gandy said. “Tom allows us to each be creative in our own way.”

While each student is given instructions for the same painting, each is given the freedom to become more creative with the painting.

“Tom is awesome,” Gandy said. “He does not put constraints so people are able to blossom.”

The Paint Class will have an Art Show during the Thrift and Gift Bi-Annual Sidewalk Sale from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, May 4. The students will display their finished pieces and people will be able to tour the class.

“The students are real excited about the show,” Windham said. “It is really neat to see all their great work together.”