Pat, who professionally paints children’s portraits, said anyone with the desire to paint and draw is welcome at the studio.
“People come here because they either always wanted to paint, they used to paint and always had that desire, or felt like they could, but didn’t know how to get started,” she said. “That’s kind of what we specialize in.”
The couple has taught hundreds of people in the area over the years and could have taught thousands if they were not focused on maintaining the studio’s intimate environment, she said.
“We’ve been lucky to have good teachers, and we learned that passing the craft is a very important thing,” Jody said. “We’re very lucky that we get to do this.”
The Thompsons said they teach a realistic style because realism is the foundation that aspiring painters should learn first.
“You start with that foundation, and then, your style can evolve,” Pat said. “But if you don’t have that foundation, you don’t have a starting place.”
Their instruction is hands-on and individualized, they said. Newcomers and longtime class members work side by side, practicing still-life paintings and even depicting live models while learning how to properly use both oil and pastel paints.
“Everybody paints together,” Pat said.
The artists offer seven sessions of six-week classes per year, as well as introductory weekend workshops in which the cost of materials is included. Newcomers should begin there, they said.
Students are welcome to maintain their space in the studio for more than six weeks by signing up for another session, they said. Some longtime students have stayed for years to continue to hone their craft.
“You have to paint to learn how to paint,” Jody said.
The Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin