Editor’s Note: This is a personal review from 2015. Current class format and experience may vary.
*Periwinkle Art Studio no longer has a physical space but offers online classes and in-person classes at other locations.
Periwinkle Art Studio is truly a hidden gem, offering classes* and drop-in sessions for both budding and experienced artists alike. Reminiscent of a true artist’s retreat, the studio is housed in a renovated, rustic barn built in the early 1900s, and is surrounded by an expansive lawn and mature trees. Inside, colorful examples of mixed-media artwork, hand-made jewelry, and wind chimes constructed from repurposed items adorn the studio. The barn’s glass windows allow natural light into the workspace and make for a delightful viewing of sunsets during weeknight classes. A colorful fabric banner peppers vintage patterns besides a wall. Everything about this studio’s environment invites and inspires creativity.
Periwinkle Art Studio
Jennifer Evans opened Periwinkle Art Studio in November of 2014. “I outgrew my dining room table at home. I needed a place where I didn’t have to rush through projects before the holidays and then scramble to put everything away,” said Jennifer. Indeed, she has assembled a lovely artist’s space where she can create, teach and showcase art pieces for sale.
A mother and full-time marketing professional, Jennifer finds solace in her studio, where she conducts classes on two Thursdays or Fridays each month, and on the weekends. Classes include instruction in mixed media, pen, and ink, watercolors, and acrylic paint techniques. Jennifer also teaches beading and jewelry making, greeting card and gift tag workshops, stamp carving, and art journaling.
“Everybody has a creative side, but so many people are too hard on themselves, or feel that they don’t have enough experience to create art. I help people turn off their ‘inner critics’ here. It makes me happy to see people surprise themselves with what they can create,”Jennifer Evans
A variety of projects are offered throughout the year. Classes are small, limited to 12 participants, and students work at their level of proficiency. Jennifer creates alongside the students during classes, guiding and demonstrating each step of the project. If she sees that someone is struggling, she offers gentle advice to help work through any stumbling blocks. “Most art projects go through an ‘ugly stage’ before all of the individual elements come together as a finished project. Students need to be able to get through that stage with success in order to create,” said Jennifer.
But Jennifer doesn’t expect everyone to leave with the same end result. “This is not cookie-cutter artwork. Students explore both process and technique when they create art here. I provide examples, but everyone leaves with their own version of the project,” emphasized Jennifer.
Jennifer has a loyal following. Before opening her studio, Jennifer taught classes at several other Lake County art studios. On the evening I attended a class, everyone else in the room was a repeat guest, including a professional artist. We completed a folk art-inspired canvas that included a collage and acrylic painting, with beautiful results. I enjoyed learning about the products and tools we used to do the project as much as I did creating the art.
One of Jennifer’s favorite projects for children is a “best friend brag.” Kids choose a word that reflects a positive characteristic about a friend and use that word as the cornerstone to creating a decorative art canvas. “I love that this project encourages self-esteem and creativity, especially in young girls,” said Jennifer.
My finished art canvas is proudly displayed in my foyer. I am really looking forward to seeing what new projects Jennifer will be offering at Periwinkle Art Studio in the months to come.
Jennifer traveled to two continents as a nonprofit administrator and later helped run a small village in Lake County. But the real adventures began when she and her husband put down roots in Libertyville and started a family. Mom to a teenage boy and a tween girl, Jennifer spends her time changing radio stations in her minivan while driving to band concerts, learning new texting lingo, and keeping track of the latest trends in electronics and hairstyles.
Disclosure: The writer received one free class to provide readers with firsthand information about Periwinkle Studio. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and they received no other compensation. If you are interested in having your business featured, please contact us.