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Hobby Shop Paint Classes Relocated, Students Welcome
carol earle
Artist Carol Earle teaches four different art classes each week to a wide range of ages, including some students as young as seven years old. There are two classes on Tuesdays, one on Wednesdays, and one on Thursdays.

Local art teacher Carol Earle, who taught paint classes at the Oakdale Hobby Shop for over 20 years, has relocated to the Oakdale Community Methodist Church and moved into a larger space to host more art classes for all ages. The classes are open to residents from throughout the area, Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon and beyond; anyone with an interest in art.

During March of 2022, Earle was offered the old music room at the church to be transformed into her own art studio. The new space is not only larger, but also has padded seats, windows for natural light, air conditioning, and a kitchen to make coffee and has easy access to a sink to clean brushes and fill water cups. The church is at 1480 Poplar St., Oakdale.

Earle offers classes that consist of acrylic painting, oil painting, colored pencil, water colors, and pencil art.

Starting in September, child classes for ages seven and up will be offered on Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Prices are $15 per class session; the price includes all the supplies needed for the class. Once the children get the hang of the art process, they can advance into the adult classes; Earle said it is all about the pace of progression.

The adult classes that are currently going on do not have a final date to join, they are $15 also including all the supplies, and are offered Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Thursdays 10 a.m. to noon.

In each class the students are able to paint whatever is inspiring them at the time, but Earle also provides the option for a step-by-step art class where participants follow her in painting a specific picture.

“I have taught hundreds of children … even those that I taught so long ago are now sending their children to come learn from me,” Earle stated.

Earle began teaching art in 1988 and became a certified instructor through multiple companies but first began teaching at Bethel Island where she was living at the time. During her stay there, she began watching artists paint on canvas on the TV and instantly knew that is what she wanted to do for a living.

Soon after practicing her canvas work, she set up to teach her first class of 15 people, Earle explained how she could feel herself shaking from the nerves of teaching her first class.

“Everybody can be a teacher, if they have the drive for it, they can do it,” she expressed.

Earle is a part of the Oak Valley Art Society based in Escalon; they meet every third Saturday of the month and have a show and tell of the recent art that they are working on.

She explained how a huge part of her drive to begin teaching art came from the fact that art can help many mental health issues especially depression and anxiety.

“It’s wonderful for your mental health, it gives you those couple hours of peace from all the stress and distracts the mind for a bit,” she explained. “That’s why some presidents, actors, and actresses paint.”

Recently she entered a large acrylic canvas piece that featured her favorite thing to paint, wildlife, and received third place ribbon at the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock.

Most of her art she gives away but some has been sold, including a piece she sold through the Delicato Vineyards Fine Art Show.

Another big inspiration for her getting into the art scene was watching Bob Ross paint on TV; she expressed her amazement for how easily he could finish a well put together art piece in 30 minutes.

“I had a very embarrassing and unforgettable moment during a time where I got to paint on TV, but it was the day of 9/11 and all the channels were changed to report to the breaking news of our country being under attack while I was still painting with no idea what was going on,” Earle explained. “People were flipping through the breaking news channels and would come to mine, seeing me explaining how to paint … I was so embarrassed.”

In another instance, Earle taught in Yosemite where she got to take her class of 40-plus people out into nature to paint whatever was in front of them.

“I am so proud of my career and of all the students that I have taught,” she stated. “I have even taught a handful of children with autism and they painted some of the most beautiful pieces I have seen, they do so well working with art.”

She encourages kids and adults who are even slightly interested in dabbling with art to just try. Even if the kids just doodle for the whole time, she wants to give everybody the opportunity to express their creative side.

Anyone interested in more information, including signing up for a class, can do so by calling Earle at 209-380-6288.

Longtime local artist and instructor Carol Earle entered this tiger piece into the Stanislaus County Fair and took home third place honors
There are other instructors besides lead artist Carol Earle who help students during local art classes, offering tips and tricks so students can achieve the end result they want.