Arts and Entertainment

ARTS COLUMN: Rookie painters welcome at Arts Alive! class

Earlier this month when it rained so hard that city intersections, basements and businesses were being flooded, the topic of the pounding rain was buzzing around the workplace. Walking to my car after work, the rain hit my umbrella so hard there was a mist of water coming though the top. I was soaked from my knees to my shoes while juggling my lunch bag, purse, car keys and umbrella. I approached my car and tried switching hands to unlock my car door without dropping anything. As the rain hammered down and I struggled with my keys, a sound distracted me. I stopped what I was doing and listened. Before that, my head was full of trying to hurry, trying to keep dry and what groceries I needed to pick up before going home. Suddenly this sound broke through the noise in my head and the sound of the rain pouring down. I stopped moving and just listened.

Up in the tall trees across the street was a lone robin. He sat on a high branch perched alone. Green spring leaves surrounded him. He was oblivious of the rain storm and black clouds overhead. The sound I had heard was this robin singing as though he was celebrating the rain falling down. Was he offering his best voice to entice a mate or was he singing to simply celebrate his own voice? I couldn’t help but wonder. His song was clear, joyous and rose above the sound of splashing tires going by and the tapping raindrops on my nylon umbrella.

For a second I paused, closed my eyes and thanked God for the music in my life, including the beauty of this little bird’s song. It’s moments like this that make me feel so fortunate to be alive. Standing in the downpour, I smiled and looked up while the rain hit me in the face.

I hope I painted a picture in your mind with the paragraphs above. It’s the only way I can share with you the moments I treasure. Speaking of painting, I did it! I have officially started watercolor painting classes with Lorrie Maras at the Arts Alive! building on Cole Street, next door to Enumclaw’s Chamber of Commerce.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I haven’t painted since grade school. However, Lorrie offers examples, technique and wonderful instruction. The class consists of whoever happens to show up for the evening. I’ve been fortunate to share the evening with some great ladies, including one whose children I use to babysit when I was aproximately 13 years old. Remember, I was born and raised here so I run into people that have known me most of my life. I do love my hometown.

My first water color painting was that of birch trees with a setting sun behind them. Did you know if you sprinkle salt on the wet paint, let it dry and then scrape it off, you get the most interesting textured effect on your painting? My second painting was a weather-appropriate painting of three people holding umbrellas under a cloudy sky. Lorrie also showed us a simple technique for painting the most beautiful poppies.

For our third lesson, we got to choose what we wanted to paint. I chose to paint a cat. Right now the painting sits unfinished in my dining room. When I walk past the painting I swear the cat is looking at me with those green eyes, waiting for me to finish him. I will do that under Lorrie’s watchful guidance at my next class.

You can see for yourself when painting lessons are offered at Arts Alive! by logging onto

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