Say Hello to Art Instructor Barry Sholder

Watercolors, Acrylics, Abstract Painting and Beyond:

Tell us a little about yourself

My dad painted watercolors as a hobby when I was 10 years old so I always watched him in his studio. He used to take me with him on painting excursion to the west coast, which I hated.

Later on, I became a professional musician for 13 years traveling all over the country till I just got tired of traveling and soon became a photo retoucher ‘s apprentice, which I knew nothing about. I honestly think this learned skill taught me a tremendous amount of knowledge about color, highlights, and shadows which is what retouching was all about.

After several years of retouching everything went to computers and there was no longer a need for artists in retouching. So, to make a long story short I finally ended up starting my own sign business which I had for 24 years. This was when you actually painted a sign, not stick on letters.

At that time I started painting watercolors on the side. One of my biggest inspirations was Al Stine in Anderson SC. From there I just painted all the time.

Art Instructor Barry Sholder lighthouse Image courtesy of the artist

You’ve been teaching for several years now, how did you get started?

I got started as an art instructor when I attended an opening exhibit at the Abernathy Arts Center in which I had a couple of paintings. As a matter of fact, I mentioned that I would like to teach watercolor workshops to the director. She said great and after 10+ years, I occasionally have a class or workshop there.

Art Instructor Barry Sholder Image courtesy of the artist

You work in a variety of mediums. Do you have a preference? Which one challenges you the most?

As far as mediums, I preferred only watercolors till I was exposed to Chroma Interactive Acrylics at an Artfolio event at Binders, Atlanta.

I was never keen on traditional acrylics till I tried the Interactive, which I feel is fantastic. I don't feel watercolors are harder than acrylics, although I choose acrylics when I want to paint tight illustrations, like jet aircraft, which I really enjoy. If I want to have fun with color and have just a little time slinging watercolors is the way to go.

"I like the freedom of slinging paint on the floor, getting the bench all wet and so on."

What can you tell us about your workspace?

My studio is nothing more than my half of the garage, cold in the winter, hot in the summer.

The beauty of it is I do not have to be careful of making a mess because I do make a mess when I paint.  I like the freedom of slinging paint on the floor, getting the bench all wet and so on.  I do have a couple of easels for acrylics, but very rarely do I use them.  I just prop up the material I'm working on and off we go.

Art Instructor Barry Sholder - Workshop Image Courtesy of the Artist

You are an Art Instructor at BINDERS Art School, offering several workshops: Acrylic for Beginners, Abstract Painting, and Watercolor for Beginners. Can you tell us a little about your experienced teaching these workshops and what to expect.

Binders is a great place to teach workshops. The studio has plenty of room and if you need something, you can always go out the door to purchase it. When I teach I try to take the anxiety out of the process that many new people have when they come to a workshop.

I feel I'm not the typical art instructor because I really want people to have FUN while they're learning. I want my students to paint something that interests them, not what the instructor seems to think they will want to paint. That's just me.

I like to share what I know with my students, and I sometimes feel that I might be overloading them with information but no one has complained, in fact I hear this all the time, "I have learned more this weekend that all the classes I have taken". And that’s my goal, just share and make the painting experience fun.

Art Instructor Barry Sholder - Acrylic Image courtesy of the artist

Acrylics for Beginners with Barry Sholder

2 sessions | Beginner to Intermediate | Price: $120 | Max.16

ARTZ1514 | Saturday & Sunday, February 7 & 8, Sat. 10:30am – 4:30pm, Sun. 11:30am – 5:30pm

Watercolor for Beginners with Barry Sholder

2 Sessions | All Levels | Price: $120 | Max.16

ARTZ1515 | Saturday & Sunday, May 24th & 25th, Sat. 10:30am – 4:30pm, Sun. 11:30am – 3pm

For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email

Written by Jacob Gunter

2 thoughts on “Say Hello to Art Instructor Barry Sholder”

  • Jan Phelps

    I would be interested in a intermediate class in watercolor. Will you be offering anything like that anywhere around Atl?

    • Tami Ross

      Hi Jan, At the moment we have beginner classes scheduled but I will forward your request to Jacob, our Art Education Director. - Thanks, Tami

Leave a Reply