‘The Handwriting for Fine Art’

‘The Handwriting for Fine Art’

Monday Night Drawing Class Creates Community and Boosts Skills

Diane Adams-Hilger, Nickel Plate Arts drawing student

Diane Adams-Hilger, Nickel Plate Arts drawing student

Diane Adams-Hilger is like a lot of people who visit Nickel Plate Arts. She loved art growing up, but her life and career took her another direction. Now retired from her teaching job, she’s in a place where her interest in creating art is piqued once more, and she can focus more attention on it.

Bruce Neckar also loved art growing up. When he was a little kid, he would peruse art books with their images of paintings, but then flip to the backs of the books to see the drawings. Neckar’s career kept him on the art path as a fine artist and one of Nickel Plate Arts’ resident Studio Artists.

A few years ago, as Adams-Hilger began to nurture her interest in art once again, she was driving from her home in Westfield to Greenwood to take a watercolor class. Searching for a community of artists to keep her connected and motivated was important, she says. When she heard about Nickel Plate Arts and its Monday Night Drawing Class in Noblesville, she signed up and discovered a community closer to home. Neckar teaches the class with fellow artist John Reynolds.

“I can hardly control my excitement after last night’s drawing class with Bruce Neckar,” she said in an online review of the class. “I’ve been looking for this atmosphere ever since we moved to Hamilton County two years ago. My techniques have been fine tuned faster in five classes than five years at other sites. Thank you to all who have contributed to the creation of Nickel Plate Arts.”

The “secret” to her progression is likely a concentration on what Neckar says is the foundation of any art.

“Drawing is the basis of everything. You can’t design without it. You can’t throw pots or paint without it. It’s the handwriting for fine art,” Neckar says.

Neckar’s and Reynolds’ next 10-week series of Monday Night Drawing Classes is Oct. 5-Dec. 7, 7-9 p.m. At a cost of just $100 for 10 classes, with all materials provided by Prizm, the class is a steal. Both instructors have years of experience as instructors and experience as artists. (Sign up NickelPlateArts.org)

Neckar is known for his Indiana wildlife art. He also uses his art for good, volunteering time and artistic talent for breast cancer nonprofit Casting for Recovery and works with the Indiana Wildlife Federation.

“John and Bruce were awesome. They were just so laid back and accepted everybody at their level. They gave me the confidence I needed,” says Adams-Hilger, who has taken the class series two or three times.

The class begins with standard forms (squares, circles, triangles) and then progresses to more complex skulls for bone structure. Forms, architecture, wildlife, clothed figures, portraiture and undraped figures follow, each subject area repeated once.

Working primarily in black and white, students use charcoal and black prismacolor. The laid-back instructors meet each artist where they are when it comes to experience and skill, gently guiding, but pulling no punches, as they help each person progress.

“The whole atmosphere was awesome — more than what I could have hoped for,” Adams-Hilger says.

Ailithir McGill