I am not an artist. I haven’t taken an art class since middle school.
But, I love art. I think that art is the most interesting thing that
This year my New Year’s resolution was to take a painting class. I
enrolled in Patty Kane’s beginning watercolor class at the Center for
the Arts of Bonita Springs and am currently in week three.
Watercolor goes against everything my brain says. My brain says, “put
that red circle there.” I set out to do this on wet watercolor paper
and end up with a pink abstract shape running everywhere. My brain
says, “paint a yellow flower with a green leaf.” I do this but the
colors run into each other. This is when I surprise myself. Instead of
taking the brush and trying to fix the “mess”, I just let it go. I let
the paint run. I begin doing something else. I am surprised later to
see that what I thought would be a mess, really made the painting
quite interesting. My vase of flowers still doesn’t look much like a
vase of flowers, and it appears to be sliding sideways off the paper,
but that’s ok. I’m happy with the lessons because I’m learning how
this mysterious world of watercolor works.
I also find that painting is extremely therapeutic. It gives my brain
a little down time, which is much needed. I leave the class feeling
calm and focused and am able to perform other tasks in my life with
much more efficiency and enthusiasm.
It took me a year of staring at the course catalog to figure out which
course I wanted to take. I always knew I wanted to take Kane’s
watercolor class, but the times didn’t always work out for me. I
finally just jumped in and made it work.
Choosing which class to take, can sometimes be difficult. It is hard
to stare at a list of names and classes and figure out what fits your
need. I find it helpful to seek out the instructors and talk to them.
They are always open about what they do in their classes and are
helpful at finding a fit.
There are a few ways to do this, but one of the best ways is probably
by attending an Open House. The Center for the Arts hold Open House
events once a month during season. The next Open House will be held at
6 p.m. on February 4 in conjunction with the Annual Members’
Exhibition. At the open houses artists are present showing and selling
work. Instructors are there showing work and talking about their
classes. Many of the artists that aren’t instructors have been
students and taken many classes. I find that everyone is very willing
to talk about what classes worked for them and why.
The Open Houses are always free and always held in conjunction with an
opening reception for a new exhibition. There is always complimentary
wine and hors d’oeuvres. The events are open to the public, no
A full list of programs and events for the Center for the Arts is
available online at www.artcenterbonita.org or by calling 495.8989 or
at the campus at 26100 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs.