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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Judy Rogan sings and dances with a paint brush in hand

Aug 03, 2020 03:41PM ● By Susan Elenz

Judy Rogan in her art studio with her latest masterpiece.

Artist’s classes help beginners create masterpieces

During a hard time in Judy Rogan’s life, her artist friend, Melody Horton, offered her a palette and canvas and told her to paint. She painted things that made her happy: flowers, bicycles and animals to name a few. It turned her life around, and she’s been painting ever since.

Unleashing possibilities

Rogan’s mother was an artist, and her brother still paints. While art runs in the family, Rogan expressed her creative side earlier in life as an interior designer. But when she tried painting, it opened a well of emotion and new possibilities.

“My husband asked if I’d been struck by lightning because when I started painting, it’s like I’d become a totally different person,” said Rogan, 69.

Rogan’s style is whimsical, loose, colorful and happy. She uses acrylics because they dry fast, allowing her to easily paint over mistakes.

She started selling her paintings at art shows, galleries and local studios. She won the 2013 Colorado Mountain Winefest art contest with her entry, “Tipsy Trails,” depicting a colorful bicycle.

Judy Rogan bicycle artwork

“Bicycles are a good happy childhood memory, and they seem to bring other people a lot of joy as well,” said Rogan. “I taught a beginner’s class with bicycles and my students just loved it. Ladies like painting them with flowers in the back.”

When she painted a dog portrait as a gift for a friend, that started her Arff Art Custom Animal Portraits collection, where she paints commission portraits of people’s pets—past or present.

Happy little accidents

Rogan’s art took a new direction when a friend asked her to teach a painting class at a weekend retreat at Redstone Gallery in Redstone, Colorado. Students were having so much fun painting that they scrapped the other planned activities for the weekend and kept going.

Many students sign up for a series of Rogan’s classes, starting with her Beginners Blast class, which reportedly makes any beginner feel like an artist. If students like the class (and they usually do), they’ll take Serendipity Acrylics, where Rogan reveals secrets to her imaginative style along with painting techniques. Both classes allow painters to go home with their own masterpiece.

“Watching people get into it and enjoying it is what I like about teaching,” Rogan said. “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents. A mistake can turn out to be the best part of your painting.”

Rogan’s classes take place at her Grand Junction studio, Art & Soul Studios, 523 1/2 Main St. Students paint while listening to music and are amazed at the masterpieces they get to take home.

She keeps classes small so she can give individual attention as needed. A cap of six participants has become even more appropriate since COVID-19.

“We do wear masks and sit at least six feet apart,” said Rogan. “We try to be respectful of others.”

Judy Rogan class

Sherry Schreiner sports her new artwork.

Judy Rogan Upcoming Classes

Create your own unique masterpiece painting from start to finish. All supplies included. Masks required.

Beginners’ Blast: August 4

Serendipity Acrylic: August 15

NEW! Yikes Bikes: TBA An upbeat and fun acrylic bicycle painting class.

To sign up for classes or commission your pet’s portrait, call or text 424-9511 or visit

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