Kimball Art Center classes, the perfect gift |

Kimball Art Center classes, the perfect gift

As a child growing up in New Jersey, Kimberly Roush filled sketchbooks with drawings.

She liked to draw animals, especially horses, and she also liked to draw the human figure.

Roush followed her love of art through high school and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie-Mellon University on Pittsburgh, Pa. She began her career as a graphic designer in Brigham City at Thiokol, doing geographical layouts for engineers.

"I decided to take a figure-drawing class at the University of Utah and, five years later, had my second BFA," Roush said with a laugh during an interview with The Park Record. "My intention was to paint birds, because I had become a pretty intense birder, but I loved figure drawing and painting and my focus at the U. was figure drawing and painting."

So, on weekends, Roush taught herself how to draw birds through a telescope and decided to leave graphic design and become a full-time artist.

In addition to drawing, she began painting with oils and egg tempera, but decided to embark on a career in watercolors.

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"The egg tempera didn’t allow me to create the mark making that liked so much," she said. "I went through galleries and looked at all these different watercolors and I fell in love with the brilliance of the thin layers of pigment over paper and that sensual quality of the materials and the light."

Roush will share her passions for drawing and watercolor when the Kimball Art Center begins the next session of art classes in February. She will teach the classes Winter Landscapes in Watercolor and Drawing: Structures, Moods and Light and Drawing: Portraits and Petst to committed students who are high school ages and older.

Other Kimball Art Center classes include Continuing Encaustic by Jeff Juhlin, Charms & Trinkets for Tweens & Teens and Exploring Precious Metal Clay: Bronze & Copper by Carol Avery and Drawing Techniques: Secrets of the Masters Revealed and Fundamental Drawing by Marshall Carbee. Registration and full list of classes are available now at

Kimball Art Center art classes are great ideas for holiday gifts, said KAC education director Jenny Diersen.

"People can get online and register. All they have to do is register in the person’s name the gift is going to," Diersen said. "It’s also easy to come by the Kimball and grab a gift certificate, which can be applied to the classes."

Art classes are one of the key components of the Kimball Art Center and part of its mission, she said.

"Classes are the gift of creativity and the best gift anyone can give," Diersen said. "We think there is nothing more important than introducing the community to art and letting them know how easy it is to be involved in the arts."

Roush, whose works can be seen at the Utah Museum of Natural History, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin and the Birds In Art international exhibition, wants to introduce students to watercolor because the medium can be used in various ways.

"You can work with it in a very methodical way," she said. "You can draw out everything, plan it out and start with one very light layer and build up from there, or you can take some risks."

While Roush uses some layering in her own process, she found that style too methodical.

"I’m a much riskier painter and it has taken me a while to build my process," she said.

To take risks, the artist must make judgment calls quickly and more often.

"There is part of my process where I put down some paint and wipe it out and add another layer, but there is a point where those marks get overworked and die and I have to start over," she said with a laugh. "With oil, I’d put a color down and if I didn’t like it, I’d scramble over it with another color and that process became part of the beauty of the painting. In watercolor, if you do too much of that, the piece becomes dead.

"There are times when I may paint four or five versions of a painting before I’m happy with it," she said. "Then again, a lot of my work has been finding a way to enjoy the process of getting that freshness and directness."

When it comes to the drawing class, Roush plans to teach a broad range of drawing skills.

"Everyone sees the world differently and everybody has a different temperament," she explained. "Some people may be more geared to gestural type drawings and some may be more methodical in their drawing. So, I start my classes out broadly and make sure each student is aware of their own approach and then I try to work with each individual to help them develop and explore their natural tendencies and mark making."

Visit to register for the next session of art classes.