By: Lindsey Kelleher
Husband and wife team Jerry and Karen Winick taught art classes out of their home in Woodland Park before they decided they needed a bigger space for teaching.
They moved their classes to a storefront on Main Street in 2000 where H&R Block used to be, and ever since have taught hundreds of adults how to draw with a pencil or colored pencils.
Students in the pencil drawing classes, which are taught by Jerry Winick, have not only learned the art over they years but have also made friends along the way.
“There’s one student who started dating another student. They met through the class,” said Jerry Winick.
“It was really sweet,” added Karen Winick. “They started talking to each other more and more and eventually started spending time together after class.”
Pencilworks is celebrating 20 years of business in Little Falls this year and looking ahead they hope to continue teaching like they have been for the past two decades while bringing people together.
Classes at Pencilworks are like taking private lessons but in a large group, the Winicks said. Students get to choose what picture or object they want to draw, and they draw it. They learn how to hold the pencil and about color tones, different shades of light, and shapes.
The key to becoming a talented drawer, Jerry Winick said, is for people to learn how to draw with their eyes.
“Anyone can draw. It’s very easy once you master it,” he said.
“I teach students how to draw with their eyes and how to see what they really see,” he explained, noting that often times people look at something and try to interpret it rather than drawing the object or picture how they literally see it.
Jerry Winick recalled a time when one of the students drew a picture of a girl sitting on a rock.
“It took him seven years to finish drawing the picture, but he broke up with the girl long before that,” Jerry Winick said.
Pencilworks Studio also offers painting classes for children under 12, which are taught by Karen Winick, and paint nights and paint parties for groups that are B.Y.O.B.
The paint parties at Pencilworks are different from those at other art shops and studios because each person gets to choose a picture to paint rather than everyone painting the same picture.
People can also buy pencil drawings by Jerry Winick which can be found hanging up inside the studio.
Pencilworks Studio is also known for its framing work. The business frames certificates, custom mirrors, paintings, prints, photos, portraits, posters, memorabilia, and sports jerseys.
Recently the Winicks framed pictures for the Woodland Park Police Department and did framing work for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
In the future, they hope to offer more team-building events for companies and paint nights at Pencilworks.