Lately, there is fun trend: painting with friends for a relaxing hour or two. As a blogger, I need to learn Photoshop and digital photography skills. Amazingly, there are some studios in our county where you can do these activities. In fact, I found a studio where you can do both, and more! This is the first art studio that I have visited and it impressed me. Here is what I found at the Art Studio of the Smokies.
I took the back roads to the Glades, where it intersects with Highway 321 in Gatlinburg. At the traffic light, you barely turn right then you will see Buie’s Landing on the left, location of the Art Studio of the Smokies. This studio is owned by Camille Barton Spires, an artist from Augusta, Georgia. Camille has 20 years of teaching experience and is a certified art and graphics instructor. She relocated to Gatlinburg to realize her dream to open her own art studio one and a half years ago.
The address for the studio is
1360 East Parkway, Suite 6, Buies’ Landing,
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738.
Here is a link to her website.
It is quite an attractive doorway, as you would imagine. So pretty!
I admired the comfortable sunroom like waiting area by the front door.
This is the view from one of the sofas. I can imagine that parents would be happy here waiting for children to finish their classes/projects.
Camille is pictured below on the right. I took this photo at a Sevierville Commons Arts Council Art Happening last summer. You can make some helpful contacts at those Art Happenings gatherings and learn some helpful skills! Plus, the people are really super nice.
When I arrived, Camille told me that WBIR Channel 10 had just contacted her to ask permission to film her studio for a segment on Live At Five At Four. I was alternately excited for her and chagrined that I had worn an older sweater in case I was to be filmed. Lesson learned—always dress nicer than you think. It was exciting to know that the station was sending a reporter nonetheless!
The painting room set-up is excellent. You can see the natural lighting from the big windows and the aisle from which the instructor can stroll and coach students with their creations.
Camille says, “I love teaching art lessons so that people grow confident and develop their own approach and love of art….both locals as well as vacations and school breaks when people can relax and explore new ways to get creative and have some ‘me time’.” She says that the ratio seems to be about 80% locals who visit her studio.
Look at all the art fun that you can have with friends!
Art parties, art camps, ‘paint and sip’ get-togethers. theme parties, birthday parties, showers, etc.
Art classes work especially well in groups. Individual instruction may also be scheduled.
An art teacher’s dream setup for materials!
Camille says, “Couples painting is a big hit with dual canvases that go together…for anniversaries and honeymoon memories….and Valentine’s is coming up! Also, personalized paint parties with friends or family painting is a great indoor activity for the winter months. In addition, birthday parties and painting certificates as birthday gifts are growing in popularity.” It is the perfect winter activity.
Here is a student project in progress. I like the projection on the screen to enhance instruction.
Here are a few student projects.
The computer lab is upstairs. I was amazed at what I found.
I was expecting 2 or 3 computers, but this lab can accommodate 8-12 people at a time. This is quite impressive!
The desktops have a perfect view of the screen which was projecting a slideshow of student projects. We sat down for about an hour comparing Photoshop to Lightroom and which may best suit my needs. Camille guided me through some basic Photoshop points, creating messages and watermarks on pictures. I can’t wait to go back and learn more.
The reporter from WBIR-TV 10 arrived on time and taped quietly in the back of the room during my lesson. It was warm enough upstairs that I changed from the old sweater to my long sleeve black T-shirt. You can only see part of my face in the last seconds of the video shown today so all was well! Click this link to see the WBIR TV segment today on Camille Barton Spires and her Art Studio in the Smokies. The segment is only a couple of minutes, but gives you a good overview of her studio. It is fabulous!
Here are some things that you can learn in the computer lab.
- Digital and computer based instruction in photography and Photoshop
- Illustration and graphics
- Compositions and layout techniques
- Portfolio development
These are listed on the brochure for live sound and digital recording
- basics for running live sound
- beginning classes for digital recording
- instruction on analog and digital consoles
This is an outstanding studio in which to learn, create, and enjoy your time. Call to find an open appointment with Camille. I highly recommend a visit soon.
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