Meet Student Lynne Hall

    Meet student Lynne Hal

Lynne Hall

“I have picked up Audrey’s brochure at Hobby Lobby several times over the years, wanting to learn to draw realistic portraits.  I graduated with a BFA in graphic design in 1987 from SMSU, was employed as an artist and got married to my sweetheart, Tim, all within a three month period.  I worked for five years until I had my first son, and then came home to be a full-time mom and had two more sons over the next few years.  I haven’t done a whole lot of creative work over the last few decades.   I never felt like I could justify taking the time while I was educating our kids at home and then later having to work full-time.  Since 2014, our home-based business has provided the freedom to be home full-time.  My boys have left home, two have gotten married, and my oldest son and his wife had our first grandbaby.  I decided it was a perfect time to take classes from Audrey to learn to draw my granddaughter.  Audrey is a wonderful teacher!  I was a timid beginning student and embarrassed that I had mentioned my art degree.  It certainly wasn’t apparent with my initial drawing ūüôā  Just getting out of my own way and relaxing, I began to learn.  I had forgotten how much I love to be creative.  I’m excited to learn to use other art media and I would love to improve enough to eventually do some commission work.  Drawing makes me feel giddy!!”   


I no longer teach classes at Hobby Lobby, but you can join me in class every Tuesday 10 – 12 at Splatter Art Studio 4160 S. Lone Pine, Springfield,

Initial drawing prior to instruction

B2 Cafe Spring Student Exhibit

B 2 Cafe Spring Student Exhibit
B 2 Cafe Spring Student Exhibit

What a wonderful place to have our Art Reception and Exhibit!  The staff was very helpful and the food was fabulous, as always!   Live music was provided by Brian Hickman on cello and Kirsten Weiss on Violin.  It added so much to our reception!

IMG_5661You can view the art anytime at the B2 Cafe now until the end of June. ¬†Students range in age from 11 – adult using various mediums. ¬†Classes offer individual instruction in a group setting. ¬†Our student exhibits give students as well as visitors, an opportunity to meet the artists from all the classes. ¬†Classes are available each week at Hobby Lobby’s classroom.

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Student Spotlight

Thirteen-year-old Abigail, known to her friends as Abby, is a student with an obvious enthusiasm for art. When she is drawing in class, it’s often with a huge smile on her face.
Abby wanted to draw her baby cousin as a gift for her aunt and uncle and decided that last Christmas would be the perfect time. The reference photo that she chose did not include the necklace that is seen in the drawing. Abby found the little girl’s open, upturned hands to be the perfect opportunity for an imaginative addition of her choosing.
¬† ¬†Abby’s graphite drawing of her baby cousin.
Here is what Abby has to say about learning to draw:
Since I was young I have enjoyed art. But as I grew older I became frustrated with myself because I could not draw perfectly. For a while, I stopped and just did no art. My Grandma loved to see my drawings and knew that I wanted to do better. So she began to look for art teachers. One day I was at my Grandma’s house when she told me about Miss Audrey’s art class at Hobby Lobby. 
The great thing was that I didn’t have to sign on for a certain amount of time and I could come when I wanted. Also, it was an affordable price. I am now a better artist because of it. Miss Audrey starts every new student off the same. But after a portrait or two each pupil can venture off in there own direction. 
Lately I have started on watercolor and am very excited to begin another picture. The portrait I did of the little girl was my first since starting lessons. To anyone who is interested, I highly recommend Miss Audrey’s art classes.
Abby’s long term goals are to become a private art teacher and to explore many types of art, but to specialize in sketching, acrylic, and watercolor. And not surprisingly, she says her favorite part of art is drawing portraits.

Student’s Perspective: Making Time for Art

photo art courtesy Anna Laero, Flickr

As an adult student, one of the greatest difficulties to developing my art is making time. For that matter, making time seems to be the difficulty with most things– finding that precious and elusive balance between work and recreation, obligations and creativity.

When Audrey announced the three-day Color Theory Workshop, my immediate excitement was dimmed by my next thought, Where will I find the time? Playing back and forth in my mind were thoughts of my mounting to-do list versus the thrill of progressing my art skill. I noticed that with my contrasting thoughts came a swing of emotion as well. While I thought about art, my face and posture lifted, my mind saw endless possibility, and my energy level soared.

photo courtesy

What if, I thought, following¬†this hobby that I love so much, this pursuit of art, could be the ticket to achieving balance? What if the energy I gain from my artistic progress would propel me through life’s more mundane tasks?

With the reward of the workshop before me like a carrot on a stick, I felt myself breeze through my work, as if the thrill of art was pulling me through to the other end, as my new thought became, How do I not have the time?

Color Theory I will be February 9th Р11th, 9:00 Р4:00 at 324 S. Campbell, Springfield, MO. See you there??


What is Your Finish Line for 2015?


Each year end I begin to reflect on the past year and look into the new year ahead.  What do I want to accomplish in 2015?  With a Finish Line on the radar I can begin to plan my strategy and mini goals to get there.    I want to challenge you to consider what you want to accomplish with your art this next year.

Having a coach help you along the way is a lot easier than doing it alone!  I’m here to help you achieve your artistic goals.  First, you need to write down what it is you want to accomplish.  Make it as specific as possible and give it a deadline.  If you need help here, just ask.  Your goal should challenge you.  If you are comfortable with your goal, it’s not challenging enough.

This year I challenged myself physically by running a half marathon.¬† I had never even run a 5K race before I took on this challenge.¬† I was way out of my comfort zone, to say the very least!!¬† I don’t even like running!!! ¬†I learned some profound truths as I embarked on this challenge.¬† During the next few months, I will share how I overcame some of the obstacles to attaining my goal.¬†

The journey is about to begin and it’s not a sprint to the finish line!  You don’t have to  cross the finish line today.  Planning is the first step.  Identify your goals.  Write them down on a card that you can look at from time to time.  Do you have a time line for achieving your goals?  If so, write it down.

Once you have your goals set, then we can plan the steps you need to take along the way to get you to the finish line! ¬†Consider the 3 D’s to get you started. ¬†Desire – your first D is the desire to do something, but your desire alone will not get you to the finish line. ¬†Why? ¬†My desire to stay in my warm, cozy bed could easily overrule my desire to go run! ¬†Desire needs¬†Dedication. ¬†Dedication says you will continue to do what you need to do to accomplish your goals regardless of how you feel at any given moment, regardless of your circumstances! ¬†Desire and Dedication¬† coupled with¬†Discipline will carry you to your finish line. ¬†Discipline puts into practice daily activities that help you get closer to your goal!

Do you have a desire? ¬†Great! ¬†Commit to your goal by being dedicated and disciplined. ¬†Set aside a given time each day to work on your goal. ¬†It is an appointment with yourself. ¬†Once you’ve accomplished your weekly goals you can give yourself a reward. ¬†My daughter and I have set up weekly and monthly goals. ¬†Our first reward for achieving our goals for January is a Spa Day!! ¬†That’s motivation for me! ¬†What’s your motivation?

Drawing an Emotional Portrait

I am experiencing the difficulty of drawing a portrait from a reference photograph that speaks emotional volumes to me. All the things that Audrey has warned about drawing people we knowРthe personal references that distract from objectively viewing the subjectРare ringing true as my current work-in-progress creeps along at a snail-pace.

Reference photo for my drawing.

I’m drawing a triple portrait of my two daughters and me from this photo taken by my husband when our second daughter was a few days old and our oldest was six. While I should be judging shape and value, I am drifting away instead with the memory of the feedings that began at 12 a.m. and continued through the night every hour and a half, of hours walking the hall, and the state of dazed consciousness that I occupied for months. As I try to capture the expression on my oldest daughter’s face, my thoughts turn humorously to how her unbridled excitement over a new sister quickly turned to the declaration, “We should send her back.”
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Work in progress

¬†Drawing this portrait is a lesson in silencing distraction. And how exactly am I to do that? I’m returning to the basics, to what I was taught on day one of class: focus on seeing lines, shapes, values, and color. This is a difficult project, but I hope, one that will be worth the extra effort.
Student, Audrey Bottrell Fine Art & Instruction
Guest Blogger

Gallery of Talent

This week I viewed the gallery of students’ artworks on display at the Library Station in Springfield. The drawings and paintings are all beautiful and impressive. There are a wide variety of subjects– from still life paintings and drawings to portraits– in many different mediums and styles ranging from classic to contemporary, some with an element of surprise.

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Once I had admired the art for a while, it struck me that I was not just viewing a gallery of pretty pictures. This gallery is a culmination of hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours of learning and instruction, and of the hard work of forging new paths in the brains of students who were determined to learn something new. Behind these works are varied moments of frustration and ease, applying and erasing, trying again, sticking with it, having fun, and finally– success!

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Lastly, this gallery is proof that anyone can learn to draw. I was present when some of the students whose artwork is displayed first came to class with empty notebooks and a new set of pencils. Their progress is incredibly inspiring!

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Don’t miss a chance to visit with the student artists and our instructor at a reception held at The Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expressway in Springfield on Thursday, October 2 at 7:00 pm. The exhibit will be up until the end of November.



Signature Style Workshop!

An outstanding colored pencil drawing of Miley Cyrus by student Jenna Beaver, age 14
What aspiring artist doesn’t dream of recognition? It has certainly been at least a flickering thought for those who intend to fine-tune their craft.¬†With the knowledge that anyone can learn to draw comes the realization that the art marketplace can be crowded with talent. For an artist’s work to stand out, it needs to be as individual and recognizable as a person’s unique signature.¬†

Just as a person’s autograph is so individual that it is legally attributed to only that person, an artist’s style can be developed into something entirely recognizable as his or her own. Helping students express that individuality in their work is¬†the driving force behind Audrey’s special series of classes called “Developing Your Signature Style”.¬†

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Jan O'Neill art giraffe
Inspired by the last “Signature Style” workshop held last spring, student Jan O’Neill painted a whimsical series of animals in which she employed a variety of mediums & techniques to get the color and texture she wanted.
While discussing this subject in last week’s art class, Audrey explained how the blurred lines caused by Monet’s poor vision influenced his highly recognizable, impressionist work. So¬†I have left off wondering whether a Renoir or a Matisse lies within, and have turned my attention instead to finding the voice that my own set of ticks might inspire.
No matter your level of skill, now is a great time to take advantage of this specialty workshop that can help you shape the direction and future of your art work. Developing Your Signature Style workshop will be held Thursdays, August 14 РSeptember 25, 2-4 p.m. at the Springfield Hobby Lobby on E. Battlefield. To register for the class, click here.
I hope to see you there!



Art Class is a Community

Hello, I’m Keri Doolittle, an art student in Audrey’s weekly drawing classes. I’m so happy to have been invited to share with you my experiences and thoughts about learning to draw. I first took drawing classes from Audrey over 7 years ago. That very first class forever changed the way I see faces, and it opened up an entirely new set of experiences that I had only dreamed were possible.

Every week we students gather in art class to learn to draw realistically, but once you’ve spent a few weeks in class, you may notice that while art is the primary reason for being there, there are secondary benefits as well. We are trained individually to see and think as artists at our own paces and are encouraged to develop our own highly individual signature styles, but we also form a sort of community.

Janice works on a drawing of a fox in watercolor pencil.

For some, art class is stress relief– a respite from obligations and technical, “left-brain” pursuits. Completely engrossed in our “work”, we lose track for a few hours of the happenings in our worlds outside of class. For others, drawing class is a challenge– proof to oneself that there is potential within for excellent artistic expression. Some students have a story, memory or event that inspires a drawing or painting. And while there’s plenty of quiet time to be completely lost in one’s own work, it’s during the occasional sharing of those thoughts and stories when we realize that although we range widely in age, and our levels of skill and challenges are different, a common thread runs between us.

Connie with her finished drawing of Courteney Cox.

Anne with her finished drawing of Courteney Cox.

For all of us, there’s a palpable feeling of triumph when we’ve successfully brought an image to life from the blank page. Understanding first-hand the difficulty of overcoming the left-brain dominance in order to draw realistically, fellow students give each other genuine and appreciated feedback on projects. We understand too that each person is most critical of his or her own work, and with encouragement from each other and our instructor, we learn to give our own work proper respect. We also regularly share a few laughs, because after all, we’re simply having a great time!

Learning and laughing. We’re always having a great time!

Elaine works on a drawing inspired by a photo of her father’s hard-working hands.

In last week’s class, student Elaine showed us a graphite drawing-in-progress of her father’s hands, and we listened to her tell the story that inspired it. Elaine’s dad was a lineman. When severe storms brought area power outages, his job restoring power would call him away from home for days. She told about how much he loved his work and how her dad is sure to love this drawing. She already has a touching and apt name for it, “He Brought Light in the Storm”.

Whatever my original reasons were for wanting to learn to draw, I have become addicted to drawing and attending art class for one simple reason: It’s my happy place.

Portrait Process for Watersoluble Graphite



I have recently begun to explore with watersoluble graphite and I like what it can do! There are both watersoluble graphite pencils and graphite sticks. ¬†If you are accustomed to lots of little detail, you may be put off with the graphite sticks that look like a really large crayon. ¬†You can sharpen them to a point, but I didn’t want to take the time and I didn’t want to waste an ounce of the graphite which I could save and use as a powder.

Using an illustration board, I began to draw out the basics and started shading rather loosely with cross hatching.  It is important to establish your values early and I like to start with the darkest ones first.  After some of the graphite had been applied, I took a 4 inch brush, dipped in water and swiped across the portrait.  The goal was to establish a wash, but if you over work it, the graphite will disappear.

The process continues as I add more values and apply some water or not until I come to the finished portrait.  I like that I can get detailed where I want detail and leave other areas loose and free.  I also enjoyed applying the graphite quickly and loosely because the water blended it.  The beauty of this product is that it is graphite and when it dries, you can still erase it!!!