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By Andi Bourne

Be Creative, Let Your Stress Go Free


February 8, 2018

Kris Guillikson

One composition, two canvases is the painting for Kris Gullikson's February Uncorked and Creative classes Feb. 9 and Feb. 12. "It's fun [and a challenge] because couples [or friends] have to work together to make it turn out," said Gullikson. For the full story see page 8.

SEELEY LAKE – When Kris Gullikson and Belinda Rich started the biannual Painting for a Dream workshop at Rich's Montana Guest Ranch, Gullikson never dreamed she would hosting monthly painting classes in her Seeley Lake studio five years later. Uncorked and Creative gives her the opportunity to offer an activity that is creative and helps locals build personal comfort and skill with painting while also promoting the two-day resident painting workshop.

In 2013, Gullikson and Rich were discussing art and artists when Rich expressed she had always wanted to host a painting workshop at the Ranch. Gullikson, who was on the Alpine Artisans, Inc. board at the time, loved the idea and joined Rich in her vision to create the Painting for a Dream workshop.

"I feel really lucky to have that kind of top-notch facility to invite people to. The challenge for Belinda and I is to find a working artist to come and spend the two days for the money that we have," said Gullikson.

They lined up two regional, guest, workings artists, one for the spring and one for the fall and did all the promotion for the Saturday – Sunday event. The space was limited to 12 participants. The event is used as a fundraiser for the AAI Youth Scholarship Fund.

Past artists have included Karen Leigh, Pat Branting, Wendy Marquis, T.J. Lynde, Tricia Bass and Julie Wulf. This year they branched out inviting multi-media artist Tara Houston from Sedro-Woolley, Wash for the spring workshop May 26-27. Pat Branting from Bozeman, Mont. will return for the fall event, Sept. 1-2.

"Once they come, guest or instructor, they just jump at the chance to come back," said Gullikson.

Two years ago they started a Friday night lead-in event that Gullikson coined Uncorked and Creative.

"We decided we wanted something to bring local people to the Ranch prior to the painting weekend to expose them to the arts as well," said Gullikson who added it is for painters at any level.

They have been attracting nearly 30 people per Friday-night session and have decided they need to limit the numbers to make it more personal.

Gullikson has attended three of these workshops including one in Seattle. Being a painter herself, she thought, "I can do this and then we can keep the money for the scholarship fund" a great passion of hers.

In December, Gullikson started what she refers to her "training" offering monthly Uncorked and Creative sessions in her studio in Seeley Lake.

"I want to make this known to people in our community as a place for non-professionals to come," said Gullikson. "I will do what interest dictates [whether it be watercolor or acrylics]."

Her husband Erik built her 12 easels and she provides all of the materials for $40. Participants take their work of art home at the end of the class.

"You get two hours of undivided attention from me, step-by-step instruction, all the supplies and get to take your project home," said Gullikson. "It's been fun for me because then I go, what are we going to paint next month. It's gotten me into painting more. I'm not happier than when I paint."

Gullikson is offering two classes in February, one at her studio Feb. 9 and the other hosted in the Great Room at the Double Arrow Lodge Feb. 12 both from 6-8 p.m. The classes are designed for couples or best friends to celebrate Valentine's Day. They will create one composition on two canvases using three colors of acrylic paints.

"Participants have all the freedom they want and novices can come and not feel overwhelmed," said Gullikson. "They can customize it any way they want. I'm just going to guide them on how to do what I did."

Gullikson will also book private events and teaches private lessons. She was further motivated to increase her availability after hearing local businesses were willing to pay for out-of-town artists to come in and offer a class for their guests.

Classes will be offered again March 9 and April 13 from 6-8 p.m. in Gullikson's studio. Space is limited. Call to reserve your spot, 241-1209. Also, follow Uncorked Painting Classes on Facebook for regular updates.


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