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First Step to Becoming a Painter: Take a Highland Arts Guild Class

Phyllis Kincaid works on a butterfly painting during an acrylics lesson at Highland Arts Gallery, 318 Main St. in Marble Falls. On Mondays from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., local artist Dolly Branch leads the acrylics class. The Highland Arts Guild offers regular painting classes in acrylics, water colors, and oils. Call (830) 693-7324 for more information. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

MARBLE FALLS — The act of creating art could hold the key to a healthier, longer life. It’s a great reason to pick up a paint brush, even if you don’t think you can paint much more than a stick person.

“What I love about teaching is breaking it down where people can learn,” said Evelyn Acosta-Cone, a member of the Highland Arts Guild.

She teaches color theory and all levels of watercolor painting on Wednesdays from 10 a.m-2 p.m. at Highland Arts Gallery, 318 Main St.

Acosta-Cone is one of three instructors from the guild who offer regular lessons at the gallery.

Dolly Branch leads acrylics painting lessons from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, and Peggy Cain holds oil painting classes from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays. Cain’s class is currently full, but she has a waiting list available.

Artist Dolly Branch teaches an acrylics painting class at Highland Arts Gallery in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Learning to paint, in whichever medium, can sound daunting. When you walk into a gallery and see all the incredible paintings on the wall or admire one in a friend’s home, one thing that comes to mind is, “I would love to paint like that,” quickly followed by, “but I never could. I don’t have any talent.”

Acosta-Cone scoffs at the idea you have to be a born artist.

She believes you only have to take the initial step of becoming a student — no matter your age — then join in the fun. During her lessons, she takes students of all skill levels through the process of learning to paint.

When you look at a finished painting, you don’t realize the artist created it in a series steps. By learning the basics from an experienced artist/teacher such as Acosta-Cone, Cain, or Branch, you tackle the fundamentals on which to build.

Acosta-Cone said there are a lot of reasons to learn to paint, including how it benefits the brain.

“There are a number of studies that show painting, or creating, helps your brain, and you stay young,” she said.

The guild’s gallery is a great place to begin exploring your artistic side with its low-cost art classes. The guild is also holding a youth art camp for ages 9-13 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. June 25-29. The camp is free, but pre-registration is required. To register, stop by the gallery.

“The reason we provide classes is to give everyone the opportunity to learn how to create but also discover the joy of creating,” Acosta-Cone said.

Go to or call (830) 693-7342 for more information.

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