Blackwell art classes at ICC Polk Center

Published 11:37 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ever walked through the woods and thought someone or something was watching you? Maybe it was a wood spirit. No one knows for sure when the wood spirit legend began.

Some claim it started in Europe where they are also called “Greeman” or “Wildman” or “Woodwose.” Join instructor Don Blackwell and learn to release that spirit from the wood with step-by-step instructions in his popular Beginning Carving Wood Spirits class at Isothermal Community College’s Polk Center in Columbus.

Wood spirit carving is an excellent project for the beginning carver and Blackwell will guide you through with tips and techniques and use of tools placing a special emphasis on safety. The class starts Thursday, Aug. 29 and will meet each Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon for 8 weeks.

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More advanced carvers will be interested in the Extreme Carving Realism class, the continuation of wood spirit carvings with an emphasis on extreme caricature. Starting Aug. 28, this class will meet on Wednesdays from 1 – 4 p.m.

Blackwell is also conducting two open studio classes starting Aug. 30 and meeting from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 – 4 p.m. on Fridays. During these sessions, Blackwell shares techniques and guides students on any project they are currently working on.

Have you always wanted to learn how to draw and do it well?

You can join Blackwell for his Beginning Drawing class that starts Oct. 23 meeting each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. Blackwell not only teaches the basic skills needed to draw well, but also how to tap into your natural artistic abilities and creativity. You’ll learn to “see” as an artist sees. That is, learning to process visual information in the same way artists do.

Born in Hendersonville, N.C., Blackwell spent 25 years in Alaska and considers it his other home. His work now reaches far points of the world. His originals and prints are in three museums, the Ministry of Defense in Winnipeg, Canada and Ministry of Defense in Moscow, Russia, the Pentagon and more. After an impressive 25-year Air Force career, Married to Phoebe Blackwell, they have raised their five kids and are enjoying five beautiful grandchildren.

A versatile artist, Blackwell’s works are done in pen and ink, watercolor, airbrush, oil, colored pencil and wood. He teaches Carving Woodspirits- Beginning to Advanced levels, Beginning Drawing, Intermediate Drawing, Pen and Ink and Multimedia Drawing at Isothermal Community College’s Polk Center.

For more information, to register for these classes or to be added to the interest list and notified when the next class is scheduled, please call Isothermal Community College Polk Center at 828-894-3092 or visit

– article submitted

by Kate Barkschat