– by Doreen Marion Gee –
A miracle happens when people indulge their creative instincts. They start to see beauty in ordinary things. Creating something exquisite may give them a sense of value and worth not found anywhere else. In her art classes at Panorama Recreation, Wendy Robson is opening up new worlds of joy and pleasure to her students.
Wendy has been teaching art classes at Panorama since 2007. A highly-trained professional artist with many awards for her exquisite renderings of the natural world, Wendy brings multiple levels of expertise to the Centre. As well as her artistic background, she is also an experienced, professionally trained art instructor with a keen ability to communicate her knowledge to others.
In our interview, the artist’s insights illuminate the blessings of a creative life. She points out the immense rewards of invoking an inner Van Gogh. To Wendy, artists feel the richness of life on a deeper level than others. Their heightened awareness and appreciation of the beauty around them enriches their existence and impacts every choice they make in life. Creating art “is universal training in how to truly appreciate and enjoy life.” But to Wendy, the benefits of an artistic life even extend to a healthier, better brain: “When people take art classes, not only are they opening up this whole new world for themselves, they are also making their brain really work.”
Wendy refers to research which shows that the artistic process is good for the ageing brain and is a buffer against dementia. “Doing something creative forces you to consider options, to think your way through a process. Art keeps the brain active.” Catering to our artistic side gives us a higher quality of life – and health.
Evolving into a good artist is a gradual building-up process from a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. With her students, Wendy emphasizes the vital importance of becoming intimately familiar with the mediums that they are working in, and in learning the basics of proper materials, colours, composition, layering and observation as they build their skills brick by brick. This fall, she offers a variety of art courses at Greenglade Community Centre in acrylic and watercolour painting and using good observation to draw well. Wendy encourages budding artists to take a series of her courses to get the continuity needed to develop their skills. Even the same course is different each time.
Wendy Robson’s expert art instruction goes way beyond teaching her students to paint a beautiful landscape. She immerses them in a new way of being, of living richer and more joyful lives.