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Journaling for Joy-Joyful Art Expressions
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Exposed to the Arts From an Early Age
Many people who see my work make assumptions about me, primarily that I have been painting for years and that I have some formal training. Although that is how the story begins for many artists, that is not my story!At a very early age I was exposed to the “arts”. As an only child my parents were proactive in exposing me to many experiences but those with ties to being creative were the most dominant. I learned to knit, sew, quilt, make jewelry and spent hours painting ceramics in my grandmother’s basement (she was an entrepreneur and had her own studio/business). I studied at the Royal Conservatory on the piano reaching the grade six level and for a short period of time took some oil painting lessons from an artist who lived in our city. With all this exposure to art you would think, when given the chance, that I chose art as an elective in High School, but in fact I did not. Why? I didn’t think I had talent. I believed I couldn’t draw and wanted to save myself the embarrassment of sitting in a class with students who clearly had a gift that I wasn’t given. I simply had no confidence.
Career Journey…You Would Think the Arts?
As an adult I continued to express my creativity through various art projects I would do at home. I chose a career as a Make-up Artist and Aesthetician post high school and for fifteen years I worked independently, building a successful business and clientele. I was given opportunities to teach and found great pleasure in bringing forth the beauty I saw in every woman I worked with.Eventually I joined my husband in the family business leading the Human Resources department of our Insurance Brokerage, in addition I acquired various certifications that would allow me to train and professionally coach, and consult for other organizations; all these positions required a lot of creative thinking, which brought me joy and yet in the back of my mind I still carried this longing…to one day take lessons and learn how to draw and paint.
What About Art and Retirement?
Let’s fast forward a bit. It’s a couple years before I will make the decision to retire and I keep getting the same question from my co-workers and friends; “what will you do when you retire?” Top on that list? You guessed it, art lessons. I still had this dream to learn to paint, “if only” I could be good enough to satisfy my craving.How COVID Influenced Me!
It’s now 2020 and we are in a country-wide lockdown and global pandemic due to COVID-19. Initially, I spent my time binge-watching Netflix, rewatching some of my favourite movies, it quickly became apparent that this pandemic was going to change our world in a big way, and living in “isolation” was going to become the norm for longer than previously understood. You see, I have an autoimmune disease together with a hypersensitivity to the environment, foods etc. which is quite disabling. The introduction of COVID into the world meant I would continue to live life in a “bubble” long after the restrictions were lifted and vaccines were developed. I HAD to find something to do with my time, my mind, and a way to give back that still allowed me to be safe. I needed to discover what my new purpose was. There HAD to be a new way for me to make a difference in the world.Find Your Talent
One day I grabbed the inexpensive set of watercolours from grandkids playroom; sitting at the dining room table, I began to dabble. This became my daily ritual. One day, an idea struck me, I will watch YouTube videos, read some books and teach myself the fundamentals of art. After upgrading my supplies, I spent hours everyday “studying” (a habit I still have) and became instantly passionate about the opportunity to “homeschool” myself. The dining table studio quickly became problematic, so I set up a large pop up table we had from Costco in the “Char” room (aka my son’s old bedroom which had been transformed into a little sanctuary for me) and started to really get serious about my daily art disciplines. Day by day, video after video, book after book (you get the picture) I began to realize I actually DID have talent for painting and drawing.
I began to build on the innate ability I seemed to possess and decided to see where it takes me. The joy and passion I felt each day was oozing from my being, my husband declared one day: “I have never seen you this passionate about anything!” I blurted out: “I feel so much joy when I am painting…it’s the Joyful Art Studio!” Yup that is exactly how my business name was created, from that brief exchange. I literally “fell” into painting, in some ways it was forced upon me as the only option. Timing is amazing isn’t it? At times I wonder why I had to wait for this passion and ability to be revealed and yet I know timing is everything, and THIS was my time!Bringing Joy, Hope and Peace
As soon as I realized painting was going to be my “thing” I knew I wanted to use my art to make a difference in the lives of others: to bring joy, hope and peace, to communicate love and well being. I was going to use my talent to minister to the souls of others, to lift up and affirm. It wasn’t going to just be about me. It was going to be a way to serve, I would intentionally support other beginning artists with my experiences and knowledge, I would share my work and be charitable with both my time and talents. I would fight the urge to be proprietary about my processes, tools and ability and create an online platform that encourages transparency and a heart to cheer lead other creatives.When you look at a painting from the Joyful Art Studio I hope that it makes you pause to forget your pain, fears, hurts and uncertainties and in its place brings you a glimmer of hope. To sum it up, in my art studio…I am “spreading joy with every brushstroke.”
|As you go through your cancer journey, you experience a wide range of emotions, some are impossible to put into words. Art is a wonderful way to connect with and give a "voice" to what we are experiencing in an authentic way.|
Joyful Art Journaling with Char allows participants to create their own art journal over the course of 12 months. We will explore what brings us joy and create a safe and sacred place to communicate our feelings. Each month there will be a guided assignment along with time spent in meditation and practicing mindfulness and self-awareness. We will fill the pages of our journals with paintings, collage, music, anything that brings us joy!
Note: maximum of 15 participants per class for participant enjoyment.
Day: SaturdayTime: 9:30 am
Duration: 120 minutes
Note: The first class (Beginners Basics) of the month is designated (B)eginners classes and the second class (Journaling for Joy) will be (A)dvanced level.
You would get more out of the sessions by starting with the beginners class. Beginners or advanced classes can be taken more than once.
WINTER PROGRAM SCHEDULE