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Amazing flower painter teaches at Brushstrokes

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SMOKEY POINT A Lakewood-area resident with a Stanwood address, Coleen Allen paints outstanding close-ups of flowers as well as animals, especially horses, and still lifes. Although its not happening at the moment, Allen said she has supporter herself with her art in the past.
She believes that art has the potential to heal all not only the artist making the art, but also the viewer who enjoys the art.
My parents bought me my first set of paints when I was 13 years old, Allen said. A Northwest native, Allen grew up in Clearview and graduated from Snohomish High School. Largely self-taught, Allen has continued painting steadily through her life, and has enjoyed teaching to children in schools and to elders at senior centers. She teaches wherever she happens to be living, having taught in Monroe in Sultan before she moved to this area.##M:more]##
Now she is teaching two weekly classes at Brushstrokes Art Supply in Smokey Point and will offer a free watercolor demonstration Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1 - 2:30 p.m.
After attending Seattle Academy of Art, Allen has attended many workshops through the years, at the Coupeville Arts Center on Whidbey Ilsand and at the Monroe Art Center as well as from artists in British Columbia and Seattle. She has enjoyed learning from Kiff Holland and Sandra Freckleton, whom she calls a very good artists.
Kiff does landscapes and still lifes. Hes very well rounded, Allen said she personally really likes to use bright and bold colors and puts lots of movement into her paintings.
I paint every day, she said. It keeps me going.
Her weekly classes at Brushstrokes focus on watercolor painting, from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evenings. They cost $75 for six weeks. Each class is two hours.
The classes is very structured with lots of notes, Allen said. And we all paint together. She said her regular classes have been attracting 6 or 7 people and they all seem to be bonding together.
Everybody likes to share their own favorite techniques, she said.
Allen show her work at Serendipity in La Conner and at Offset Corner in Snohomish.
I was in Gallery in the Loft on Camano Island but just pulled out of there, she said.
Feeling strongly that art should be taught in schools, Allen has taught through the years in a variety of different contexts, including public schools from Gold Bar to Snohomish, and at senrio centers.
In an effort to diversify, Allen is looking into having her designs printed onto different itms like mugs and triets.
I taught in my studio before I oved to Lakewood, but I dont have room now.
She has one grandson and is teaching art in his class in Alger. Allen has taught painting at the Stillaguamish Senior Center and at Ben Franklin in Monroe
I was paid sometimes, sometimes not, she said. I do it because I really believe that art is important, especially to children.
Allen also enjoys gardening and often spends time shooting pictures to paint from in her own yard, and at nurseries, when she wants something more exotic.
I?like to paint from life, but dont object to painting from photographs.
Allen is a member of Stanwood-Camano Art Guild and Camano Island Arts Association.
She has painted race horses on commission and did a watercolor of wheat fields for a corporation in Montan last summer,
She finds her clients primarily through word of mouth,
I think art is healing and inspiring. When I was working with elderly people I saw some who finally had a reason to get up in the morning. Art helps people suffering from a loss. It can be inspring for all age groups.
In her short time of teaching at at Brushstrokes, Art Supply, she has already made friendships with people in the class and the students are all getting to be friends, too, she said.
The host of the class, Linda Wright, said its true. The group seems to have a lot of fun. One student, Arlington business woman, Penny Peeters, Penway Printing, just started taking the watercolor class. Im excited to try some watercolors. Ive never done that.

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