This past Saturday I had the joy of returning to Wellspring Living to teach art once again with the beautiful young women there. (You can learn more about Wellspring Living and my first experience teaching here.) This time was different as I was the only art teacher leading the group. I had prepared a lesson on painting chevron stripes with flowers and butterflies on top. In my mind, I had found something "cool." I carried in my easel and supplies to embark on being the trendy teacher. The environment enveloped me in warmth. I was greeted with smiles, energy, and uplifting music. The girls jumped at the chance to help set up and offered their hands for anything we needed. I was overwhelmed by love and by the dedication of the volunteers working with and for the girls. Two organizers and volunteers joined me specifically for the day. They were apart of a greater group, a Wellspring Living circle of giving, who had organized the previous art day as well. These women had abounding love and graciously poured it out on the girls at Wellspring!
Once the girls were seated and ready to paint I brought out my sample. To my surprise, many of the girls had never heard the word chevron. Thank goodness I wasn't behind the trend! But many simply wanted to paint their "own thing." I bargained that if they would try something new, just mark it out with a pencil, then I would let them paint whatever they wanted on top. Haha! After teaching many times now I should be used this!
I wasn't as cool as I had thought. ; )
The girls caught on quickly to drawing the pattern and were ready to create. What ensued was pure passion. It was a bottle of emotion and love that poured out on the canvases. Paintings for special people in their lives, verses that meant something significant, and carefully chosen colors and scenes. Some painted the chevron pattern, while others chose their own path. Either way it was a beautiful example of the power of art.
I witnessed frustration in the creative process and finally triumph and satisfaction in a work that expressed their thoughts and desires. I was admiring one young lady's finished piece as she began explaining to me the significance of the names painted on the canvas and the person this would be given to. My heart melted and I was putty in this woman's hand. We found a shared bond within our family life and she could not stop beaming, but then again neither could I.
Once the painting was complete and everything put away by the generous hands of the tenants of Wellspring, it was time for goodbyes. I was talking with a girl who had painted with me in May and she announced she was graduating from the program some time in the future and wanted me to attend. I was beyond honored. I would be able to watch her take a step into the joyous life Wellspring Living has so carefully prepared her and many others to live.
It is a joy to be apart of this organization. You can learn more about Wellspring Living and how you can be involved in their wonderful programs here: wellspringliving.org.
Also, if you are interested in painting chevron stripes, I show a quick step by step here. : )