Have you ever wished you could learn to paint a picture, play a musical instrument, or maybe participate in sports?  However, you talked yourself out if it, thinking you just don't have the talent.  Well, those dreams could actually come true if you find the right instructor. 

I visited the Neighborhood Art House in Erie.  It has an instructor who says he has a teaching method in which he could take a beginner like me and eventually have me produce paintings that I would be proud to put into a frame and admire. 

I met the instructor, Joe Krol.  He believes you don't have to be born with artistic talent to eventually do well.  He believes learning to paint is like a science. It's a process.

"I almost can guarantee this,” he said.  “I always put it this way and I mean it only half-jokingly.  If you can learn to read and write.  I can teach you to draw and paint."

I joined some other want-to-be artists for our first beginners class.  Joe used a water pitcher to explain to us about light and color.  He's teaching a step to step process and we're already learning how to draw basic shapes like a cube.

"I think too often when people try to learn art, they just think they should just be able to do it.  Nobody just does it.  Everybody learns something at some point,” says Joe.”  

Joe taught us to use our shoulders, not just our arms and fingers, when sketching large objects.  He told us to use a light touch. That's something I found to be almost impossible, but Joe gave me a pep talk.

"It's like playing a sport,” he said.  “There's a way to shoot a jump shot and you can modify it from there."   

Joe showed us some before-and-after examples of work done by previous students.  Could it be that I will someday produce something to be proud of?  Wow.  I asked Joe when that might be.

"You can get something nice to hang on your wall probably, in some cases, maybe in 10 weeks,” he said. "I'll put it this way, something that your friends would say, 'No, who really did that?”

Yes, Joe has a process for teaching people how to draw and paint.  But, I think his main teaching point is to be patient, have faith in yourself, and trust that process.

Joe says there is still room in his classes for beginners who want to learn to draw and paint.  To find out when those classes are held and to sign-up, contact the Neighborhood Art House on East Tenth Street in Erie.