Since I was 8 years old I’ve wanted to be an artist. When I told a step-parent my dream I was told find something else. At that moment the small seed of hope that lived within me was crushed. I wasn’t good enough.
In my mid-20’s I gathered courage and registered for classes at Pasadena City College. The same year my youngest son began 1st grade. I was studying illustration, painting and design. He studied crayons, paper and paste.
Within a few years I found watercolor. Unfortunately, my first class was discouraging. The teacher was more interested in socializing with her “favorites” and her only words to me were criticism. I didn’t try watercolor again for 3 years. When I found the right teacher my world opened up!!! Her name was Verna Wells. I learned that the best teacher not only instructs but encourages and nurtures the seed with each student.
As my skills grew my paintings started to be recognized. I was asked to teach a weekly class and I’ve never looked back. That was more than 20 years ago. Teaching has become a mission of mine. I’ve tried to show every person who came through my door (a workshop) that they were valued and had something unique and wonderful to offer. The rewards have come in many forms: letters, notes, private conversations and cherished friendships. The most profound reward has come in knowing…I am enough. The seed that was crushed as a child is now a tree.
All living things on earth need time to rest, gather strength and rejuvenate. God created season’s for a reason. During the dormant months we may not see growth on the surface but beneath things are happening. I feel a need to push my roots deeper and grow stronger. Growth takes time and energy.
I have so many things I have yet to explore and my head it exploding with ideas…but I lack the time and energy to do it. If I desire something I need to make changes.
What I'm trying to tell you? I’m pulling in the reins. This year I have 15 workshops and next year I have 9. Somewhere between 6 and 8 will be the perfect number. Do I want to stop teaching? No. Teaching is the core of who I am....I love it. But, I plan on being more selective of when and where I teach and the number of workshops each year. Instead of running at full speed I am bringing my teaching schedule down to a gentle trot. I’m excited for what the future holds.
My current workshop schedule is on my website and all sessions have a wait list. I’ll be posting my 2020 workshop schedule in a month or so.
Gotta run for now. I need to pack for a flight. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a demonstration for the California Watercolor Society, followed by a 3-day workshop starting the following day.