Imagine setting aside three hours a week for yourself, three hours a week to enjoy the company of friends in a safe and supportive atmosphere where you get encouragement, share fun and laughter, express your creativity, enjoy snacks & wine, learn something new, and create art. They call themselves Artists@Heart, or, alternatively, the Ladies of the Night, and this is exactly what they do (almost) every Thursday. I was an honorary member on January 26th.
There had been a storm the week before that caused the class to be cancelled. So, when I arrived, the ladies had two weeks of news to catch up on. Sally was telling about selling her first work and because she was unwilling to part with the image she had created, how she had investigated the making of prints – both life size, and note card sized. Her friends listened with interest, asking questions, and congratulating her. Linda hadn’t attended in a while, so everyone made a big fuss over having her back. Deb had purchased new art supplies and everyone was impressed.
Once everyone had arrived and shared greetings and updates, the instructor, Chuck who teaches art in a public school by day, showed samples and reference photos and gave instructions. The artists then pulled out pieces they had started during the previous session and got to work. Those of us who had not been at the previous session got a little special attention so that we could play catch up.
Concentration, cheerleading, suggestions, mistakes, corrections, instruction, laughter, experimentation, and conversation filled the next hour and a half.
At some point, the collective consciousness knew it was time to clean up and display all work – finished or not – for The Reveal. Chuck made observations about each piece, asked questions, and allowed each artist to comment on her work. It is so amazing that a single assignment using the same technique can result in so many different interpretations.
After the critique, Carla and Kathy determined their pieces were finished. The ladies have a nice ritual for standing behind the artist while she signs her work, while Sue photographs the “ceremony”.
It was such a lovely evening. We should all be blessed with such a circle of friends.