Colton Wenrick took a photo on his way to work at Camp Woodward.
It was of a sun rising over a field in the eastern part of the Penns Valley area.
The sun, placed to the right of the picture, was the backdrop to a field and trees.
It was what Wenrick called a perfect example of the “rule of thirds.”
The photo was the inspiration for the Penns Valley Area senior to use Tuesday during a Painting 1 class project.
Art teacher Kim Corl said the mission was for students to paint an image of their choice, but to get real world lessons from a local artist.
Karl Leitzel was guest artist at a PVAHS art class
Karl Leitzel, owner of the Green Drake Gallery in Millheim, was invited to help the students learn to use acrylic paints.
“It’s a nice way to introduce kids to artwork using a limited palette,” Leitzel said. “You can make colors by mixing the basic paints.”
During class, Leitzel discussed the difference in acrylic paints compared to oil- and other-based paints.
He also painted a picture he took of a butterfly rested on a plant, and described to students why he painted the picture in a specific order.
When students were given time to create their own art, Leitzel grabbed his acoustic guitar and serenaded the students with songs from Cat Stevens and Neil Young.
“It’s really cool having someone from the community help you out,” Wenrick said. “The best thing I think he told me was to use a carbon copy of the picture and draw over it.”
The carbon copy strategy, Wenrick said, was fast, easy and prevents the painter from messing up.
Wenrick said he also liked using only primary colors to paint the image.
Leitzel was the first of a series of community members to visit Corl’s class this year.
Corl said she met Leitzel at the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair about the time she was hired to teach art at Penns Valley Area High School. She then invited the Millheim-based artist to visit her class.
It’s things like this that make students aware that you don’t just have to go to New York City to find good art. It’s right here in our own back yard
Kim Corl, PVAHS art teacher
“It’s things like this that make students aware that you don’t just have to go to New York City to find good art,” she said. “It’s right here in our own backyard.”
Penns Valley Area school board President Melissa Krum with be the special guest in Corl’s class Wednesday.
Krum uses art as a hobby, according to her daughter, Penns Valley Area sophomore and art student Olivia Krum. She will introduce the students to Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, and discuss the importance of art during World War II.