BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — It’s safe to say that Liz Earley didn’t discover her passion for painting until she was older. Although she’s still quite young, it wasn’t until the 28-year-old took a college art class that she first put paintbrush to canvas. From that moment on, though, she was hooked. “I loved it, but I had to wait until after graduation to do it again because I was so busy,” she said. The painting that began as a hobby has now become a business as Liz recently purchased You Can Be An Artist from former owner Brenda Clixby, who moved out of town. The business is located in uptown Maumee. Liz spent three years working as an instructor before buying the business. In addition to working at the studio, Liz is a registered recreational therapist who works with psychiatric patients at the state hospital, where she often incorporates art therapy into her work. When she comes to the studio, she feels more carefree and relaxed, which is one of the reasons she decided to move forward with buying it. “I never imagined I would be a business owner, but I loved working here,” she said. “I was kind of the go-to person for the past year, so I had a good feel for it and I decided I couldn’t pass it up. I want to see where the business can go.” Liz and fellow instructors Emily Junga and Demi Heitzman teach multiple art classes throughout the week. Each two- to three-hour class is based on a predetermined image that is listed online. “I think a lot of our paintings are a little more detailed, and sometimes that can be frightening because they look harder, but we really break it down step by step and a lot of people are surprised at the end when they see it come together,” she said. Participants of any skill level are welcome to join and Liz is confident that anyone who tries their hand at painting will experience a successful outcome. “What I really like seeing are the different styles,” Liz said. “I think it’s incredible to see how personalities come out – I think it’s neat that several people can paint something from the same instruction, but they come out totally different.” In addition to open classes, You Can Be An Artist also supports fundraisers – either donating a gift basket or hosting an event in which a portion of the proceeds benefit a designated organization. The business also accommodates private parties with a minimum of 10 people. “It’s perfect for a family outing or a bachelorette party or a birthday party,” Liz said. You Can Be An Artist is located at 415 Conant St. Open classes for the month of November are currently posted online. Each class costs $35.00 and includes class instruction, supplies and materials. For additional information, or to register for a class, please visit www.youcanbeanartist.com. You may also call the business at (419) 704-8104.
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