By Connor Beach
For certified art instructor Sandra Evans, painting is more than just a means to create, it’s also therapy.
And the Melville resident is hoping to share that mindset with others through her instructional art studio Art in the Word, which she opened on Main Street in Huntington two months ago. The studio offers everything from private painting lessons for beginners to group wine and paint nights.
“I use my art as a tool for therapy,” Evans said. “I believe painting is very therapeutic, very peaceful, and it helps a person find a moment of rest to escape their reality.”
Evans discovered her passion for painting at the Bob Ross Art Workshop, where she learned to paint landscapes, seascapes and other images in the “wet-on-wet” oil painting style with large brushes made famous by Ross.
“In one Bob Ross painting you’ll learn how to paint a whole landscape,” Evans said. “You’ll learn skies, clouds, bushes, trees, water, reflection and highlighting in one painting.”
After becoming a certified instructor through the workshop, Evans continued her artistic education as a visual arts major at Suffolk Community College.
Evans decided to open Art in the Word as a place where she could hold fun painting events while still continuing to spread the therapeutic benefits of art.
“It is a paint night and it’s fun, but in my heart it goes deeper than that,” Evans said.
With room for 30 people in the studio, Evans said Art in the World is a great place to host birthday parties, corporate parties, bachelorette parties or any kind of social event. Customers can also bring their own booze for a paint night party at Art in the World.
The paint night events are designed for beginners. No painting experience is necessary, and all the equipment is provided.
To celebrate Art in the Word’s grand opening, the studio is offering a special where customers who bring three friends for a paint night event get to paint for free.
Evans said she also felt that Huntington was a good spot to offer private painting lessons for beginner painters, as well as a convenient location for parents with children.
“They can come here and take a Bob Ross workshop or private or group lessons for a couple of hours,” she said.
The instruction at Art in the Word is done in a “step by step process” with experienced instructors.
“A lot of teachers don’t take the time to sit with the students and paint side by side with them, but I do take the time to sit with them and paint side by side,” Evans said.
Art in the Word also offers a Biblical paint night, where church groups, Bible groups, and others can paint religious themed images that illustrate stories from the Bible.
Evans also hopes to be able to offer painting classes for people with developmental disabilities, people who have been hospitalized for a long time and veterans to help bring the therapeutic values of art to “people who are hurting.”
“I’d really love to work with people who are in pain because art is a way to escape for a moment,” She said.
For Evans, the most rewarding part of teaching beginners to paint is seeing the happiness that customer’s feel when they realize that they can create something beautiful.
She said. “I love to see people who’ve never painted before walk out of here with a painting that they never thought they could do.”