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There is a Look

July 19, 2011

I have not written for a week and it is because I decided to immerse myself in what at one time in my life was an interest. I am exploring with the hopeful anticipation that perhaps Painting might be something that ultimately replaces my job in Health Care. Accordingly, I have signed up for the Haliburton Arts Program in Haliburton Ontario. I am spending a week in the country, housed in the local motel-without-a-view, and attending a program from nine to five. Along with me are several hundred mostly women, many of whom are middle-aged and are on their own quest…of sketching, painting, jewellery making, sculpture etc.

This is wonderful. I am at an adult camp for the arts and I am fascinated. From a sociological perspective there is  “a look” of my new-found best friends. The average woman is 50 with short gray hair and long swingy earrings. Many are wearing over-sized T-shirts and capris with their “Birks”. I love it because make-up is totally forfeited and instead of on their faces the paint is on their canvases.

Immediately, I realize that there is a pecking order of the more serious committed artists who are here for their 6th and 7th summers. They come from all over and  for the most part are very committed to their art. They know the instructors at the school, having studied with them in various other programs, and some of my fellow students, as repeat customers, sell their creations privately and at galleries. Most importantly they critique and respect each other’s opinions and ideas. Oh boy am I out of my league.

I immediately bond with an over 80 chain-smoking grandmother who is just having fun. We step back from the competition and smile. Through the week I gain in skill and confidence and by day 5 I feel like I am an independent painter. This has opened many doors for me because we have all discussed other available courses and teachers throughout the week. I return home with 4 paintings that I have created and am proud of my work. As well, I return home with three extra pounds around my middle that I have gained thanks to Kawartha Dairy’s “Moosetrack” ice-cream. I have grown in skill and girth and learned so much…and still am no threat to the painters of the world. It was wonderful.


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  1. Terry Cohen permalink

    You write beautifully and your thoughts are so engaging. Your experience at the art school sound like you are on a roll. Amazing and inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing your insights. Terry

  2. penny permalink

    Love it. I think you described me!!! Welcome to Karma…

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