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Create a masterpiece with watercolor classes

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: Watercolor Classes with Clela Stelnicki

• WHEN: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Wednesdays in March

• WHERE: Osborn Park, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron

• COST: $60/four-week session or $15/class

• INFO: 440-371-5637

For nearly three decades, Elyria resident and artist Clela Stelnicki has been teaching watercolor classes across northern Ohio. Her current schedule includes three-hour sessions every Wednesday in March at the Erie Metropark’s Frost Center in Osborn Park.

Funcoast talked to Stelnicki about her craft, her students and why she believes everyone who attends can be their own, say, Paul Cézanne if they put forth the effort.


Funcoast: Tell us about your classes.

Clela Stelnicki: Actually, they started out being classes out in Firelands. I was there for like 10 years until they started to have a crunch for credit classes. So they cut out all of the non-credit classes. There was just no room anymore. Then I moved from there over to the Erie Metroparks, and the group of students that had been taking my classes moved along with me.

We also picked up a few more students. Today the class size is between 12 and 15 people.


FC: Describe the typical student taking a watercolor class.

CS: I get quite a range of people. I’d say it’s basically anybody who is interested in learning about watercolor. I had people who are quite young and maybe work a shift where they can come to class. I also attract retired people. I’d say it’s for anyone who has always wanted to learn how to paint with watercolors and never had the opportunity.

The way I teach the class is, I do everything one step at a time so people can kind of follow along with me.

   It also would be suitable for someone who has had some experience with it and wants to paint. I really try to encourage people. I’ve had people come in who actually have never done anything. The whole goal of the class is to have people be successful and to learn how to handle the paint and mix the colors. There are a lot of different techniques in watercolor that can really help you achieve the goal of what you want to paint.

FC: Just to be clear, even those folks without an ounce of talent or experience will fit into your class?

CS: They’d be very welcome. I don’t think there is anybody out there that wants to do it that doesn’t have the talent. I think people can learn it if you get somebody who shows you. And if the desire is there, people can learn it. I show you how to wet the paper, how to put the paint on, what colors to mix, how to draw what we’re drawing. I really try to guide people through the process and then I do have students who have been around for a while who will go off on their own and do some extra things, but they come to class for ideas.


FC: Why do you enjoy the watercolor medium so much?

CS: Oh, wow, I really love to paint watercolors. I think because it’s probably one of the most creative medias because you can do a lot of different things with it. You can paint really loose, impressionistic style paintings, but you can also get very fine detail with it because it’s a thin paint.


FC: Finally, do you promise all students leave your class feeling like a Paul Cézanne?

CS: Well, I try.

Stelnicki’s watercolor classes take place each Wednesday in March from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Osborn Park, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron. The cost is $60 for a four-week session or $15 per class. Registration is required. Call 440-371-5637.

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