Transforming

I volunteer at the local Senior Center-I teach art.  I have been trying to be brave enough to go downtown and offer to teach at the local art studio. Something is stopping me in my tracks.   I do not have an art history background, I do not have any credentials, I do not-blah, blah, blah.  Then I thought about what I do have:  I have passion, I have a lot of unique ideas, and I am often told I am funny.  So, worse case if I get off track or panic I can tell stories and jokes!  I didn't realize how much bravery was needed to be an artist. I mean yes, I understood some of it.  We have to boldly step outside ourselves and share.  Sometimes I feel shy n' just want to do the art and other times I want to share what inspired me.  I wish more artists would talk about their creative process.  I think it cheers us all on! 


This photo inspired my idea for the class.

I knew I wanted to make something that would make the seniors happy.   Autumn is filled with color and makes most people feel uplifted and alters one's mood.  The cooler temps, the memories of autumn's magic transform us.   When I was at the local grocery store I grabbed some extra paper bags.   I went home and cut out three basic leaf shapes:  Maple, Oak and Aspen leaves.  



 I found some yarn and string-I knew I need something to add texture to the leaves.



Yes, just ordinary paper bags waiting to be transformed.

This is my demo to share with the class.  They were surprised to see how when we crumpled the paper bag-it resembled a leaf.   I cut up sponges for them to dabble the paint on.  Their leaves had a mosaic appearance.  I had more people join in this time-my class is growing.   I still have a few cynics who tell me their art is only worthy of the trash can-but I tell them no more trash talk.  We need to get busy and make a lot of leaves to fill the center with autumn's magic.  My class is before lunch, when the clock strikes twelve they usually scatter,  but not this time.  This time many lingered to finish their art.  Beauty was found in the ordinary.  Everyone's mood transformed, as we made art.  I told them there is no right way or wrong way-pick the colors you love and have fun.  Art is suppose to be about expressing one's self.  I think they are beginning to be more at ease with me.   Does this time of year make you feel transformed?  Do you volunteer?  

 What do you love most about autumn?  Our leaves here in the south are just starting to turn.  What about in your neck of the woods?

Comments

Go!! Volunteer. You are more than qualified. Take all of those magazines that have featured your art. How could they say no?
Mark Koopmans said…
hey Ella,
The beginning of this post reminds me exactly how I felt when I applied for my very first newspaper job, and I never looked back since.
great job and your seniors are lucky to have you :-)
Karen Lange said…
Very inspiring! I am sure you are a great teacher.

I love fall - all of it - the leaves, the cooler temperatures, campfires, etc. So glad it's here. :)
Mary said…
What a wonderful project, Ella!! You are a gift to those that you teach.
Yolanda Renee said…
Such lovely photos, congratulations on your class, and yes passion is wonderful! You rock!
Brian Miller said…
how cool...i love art....and it has such a way to bring people together and liven up the world....so cool that you do this ella...and that leaf turned out amazing...
Suzanne Furness said…
I'm sure the folks love what you do, doing something like this must be so rewarding.
Wanda said…
To be fully who we are takes courage doesn't it. Go share your gift with many. Such great memories you're creating with the seniors.
Kim Nelson said…
FUN project, Ella. I think I'll try it with my grandson.
DEZMOND said…
I bet those seniors are enjoying the classes!
Ella said…
Thank you everyone! It is rewarding, as most of you know. When we volunteer-we are the ones rewarded :D