Palettes and Paint comes to Kemmerer

GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts

Art instructor ready to share joy of painting

Melissa Firestone hopes that classes from her business, Pallettes and Paint, can help others express themselves artistically. Firestone is also a teacher at Canyon Elementary and teaches yoga at the Rec Center. 

Have you ever wanted to learn to paint? Well, you are in luck. Melissa Firestone moved to Kemmerer earlier this year and has brought with her a passion for teaching and a great artistic talent. Her business, Palettes and Paint, will be teaching painting classes at events in the Kemmerer area.

In 2012, Firestone started Palettes and Paint as a mobile painting party in New Mexico. Five years later she opened her own studio, The Busy Bee Studio. Firestone’s studio offered clients a space to explore creativity through art, yoga and crafts.

“I love providing things to the community that are healthy and beautiful,” Firestone said. “People like to have a creative outlet.”

Firestone is currently a full-time special education teacher at Canyon Elementary and also teaches yoga classes at the Kemmerer Rec Center.

Spend any time with Firestone and you immediately feel like you have known her for years. She has a way of making you feel comfortable and relaxed. Her kind-hearted spirit radiates from her personality.

Firestone’s art talent runs deep in her family tree. Mark Silversmith, Firestone’s father, was a very successful artist in the 80s and was a major influence on her.

She recalls following her father to many Navajo art shows in her childhood.

“My father grew up on a reservation,” Firestone said. “It wasn’t an easy life for him.” She explained how her father turned to art as a way to express himself during the hard times.

Firestone started out following her father’s Navajo painting style until she grew into her own.

“Big flowers, that’s my personality,” Firestone said. Painting bright, vivid flowers with realistic detail on larger-than-life canvases is her signature style, but her true gift is the art of teaching. She has painted hundreds of canvases in her classes over the years and looks forward to painting many more.

“When you paint something, it’s a visual representation of who you are,” Firestone said. “You are pretty vulnerable when you put yourself out there like that. You are sharing a part of your soul.” 

Firestone said she loves teaching her clients about the basic principles and elements of art, like why certain colors go well together, so they can have tools to take with them after her class. Painting can be an outlet for creativity, problem solving or simply reducing stress. Firestone recognizes the benefits of art, as she incorporates art in her elementary classroom daily.

Paint and Pallets has scheduled their first painting class this weekend at Grumpies on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. Firestone hopes to open a studio like the one she had in New Mexico, so be sure to follow her for updates. For more information, look on Facebook for Paint and Pallets or call 505-216-6685 for details on future classes.