SYCAMORE – Jenny Schneck said she loves the color blue because it has so many shades, appeals to a variety of people, and has a natural calming aesthetic that fits perfectly with her new art studio.
Schneck, 43, is the owner and founder of Bleu Palette Art Studio, which opened Sunday at 423 N. Main St. in Sycamore, near the intersection with North Avenue. An art teacher by trade, Schneck said she loves the connection between teacher and student, regardless of age or skill level.
"What I really try to do for people is be kind of understanding, and let them take time to learn their own techniques," Schneck said Monday. "Sometimes people have a vision of what they want things to be like, and you kind of have to let that go, because you want them to enjoy the process instead of worrying what it's going to look like."
The art studio is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with classes available throughout the week by appointment. Schneck offers classes for children as young as 2 for $25 a person, and adults of all ages, ranging from $35 to $45 a person.
Although Schneck has been an art teacher since she graduated with a degree in art education from Northern Illinois University in 1999, she said it took awhile for her to realize she wanted a brick-and-mortar space.
She taught art in the Elgin and Streamwood public schools for several years before her husband, Wade, 45, got a job as a firefighter with the DeKalb Fire Department. Fast-forward almost two decades and together they have three daughters, Ivy, 16, Laurel, 14, and Holly, 11.
Schneck kept painting, however.
"I worked as an exhibition artist and taught private lessons for a lot of years," she said. "I did a traveling paint party and 'Paint and Sip' classes. But I just decided instead of having to travel all the time, which was fun, we would open our own spot."
Since she and her family live in Sycamore, Schneck said she drove around the city looking for a place for her studio, and stumbled upon the 1,000-square-foot space at 423 N. Main St. Formerly a ceramics studio, it was perfect, she said.
"We've had really good reception [from the community]," Schneck said. "Actually, almost all of June is already booked for adult classes, and we're hoping to add watercolor classes on Thursday nights."
Schneck said she still does traveling art shows, and has shown her portraiture around the area, including in Woodstock and Crystal Lake. She has a big show coming up July 27 in Richmond.
"I like to do a portrait, and a lot of imagery around the person," Schneck said, describing her art style. "I like trying to show what they're thinking. It's kind of a little bizarre."
She said with the warm welcome she's already received from Sycamore residents and beyond, she hopes to do more programming with kids.
"My hope is to really reach out and do what I can to help the schools," she said. "Any kind of art clubs, anything like that, I'm hoping to be able to do."