Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MOPS Painting Preview

    I love being part of a large family. With one side of my family tree spread out over the Midwest, and another grove with roots that extend all the way down to Mexico, I have so many cousins, so many links to life; it's a true blessing. When my family dreams out loud of traveling across country without the limits of public schools to hold us back, I know in my heart that there would be many, many stops along the way in various small towns and large to visit family from both my mother and father's side of my personal family tree.
I love the symbolism of the Mayan Yaxche Celia tree, the Tree of Life. With thick extensive roots, a long straight trunk and branches that extend all the way to the rainforest's canopy, the Yaxche tree represents life in the past, present, and future. When I think of my family, this is the image I have: all of my cousins, lined up amongst the branches of our lineages, "the same, same but different."
I've been having so much fun teaching at painting parties over the last year! My MOPS group has invited me back in May to lead them in a class, and I knew as soon as they asked, that the Tree of Life would be the ideal class to offer. First of all, Yaxche is a Mayan word, and the class is in May :-) and, it's on Cinco de Mayo, which in our country means going out for a Corona or a Modela Negro, but in the land of my Hispanic ancestors, represents so much more. Even my Norwegian cousins celebrate the first day of May!
Now usually, I practice teach my classes on my willing daughters, and I did this time too. I also had  the good fortune to be recommended to a MOPS group meeting on the outskirts of Lakewood who needed a crafts teacher at the last minute to go with their month long theme of Celebrating the Artist Within. I don't actually know if that's the name of their theme, but I was at their meeting to teach on Tuesday, we watched a video where a woman basically to do just that... she also said a lot of what I tell people,  that it is of vital importance to take- to Make- to time to explore your creative boundaries. To celebrate with what makes you feel good expressively. To not be bothered by the mistakes or mishaps you may encounter in your quest to achieve artistic perfection, because we are always learning along the way. And as my man Bob Ross always said, there are no mistakes, just happy accidents. 
Coming this April, I'll be spending time at the YMCA's Women's Wellness Weekend, a sleepover camp nearby, with my best friend of over 30 years. In between giggling fits, challenging rope courses, kayaking and bow and arrow shooting- yes, it's that kind of camp- there will also be craft classes. Or should I say, CraftWithAnna classes! Cause, yes, I managed to get myself invited to teach two classes during the three day weekend.
The director of programing I decided that my ideas of a mini album autograph/address book with accompanying greeting cards would be the perfect treasure for campers to put their photos, journaled memories, and contact information for people they meet and want to stay in contact with after camp ends (it's amazing how quickly friendships form). Then the greeting cards will be right there to send a quick note or copy of pictures inside to those new gal-pals.
And with my newfound love of teaching painting classes, the other class will be focused on trendy handwriting styles; we'll paint ourselves a little power word or phrase to focus on. Of course these will be set against vibrant backgrounds that reflect both our present and future self desires :-) And should any happy accidents occur, we'll simply paint over or incorporate them into the artwork!
Remember, I teach classes of many sorts to artists of any capability, ages 3 to 85-ish :-) Classes are usually an hour to 2 hours long, and range in price depending on how many supplies I provide, usually between $15-$45 a person.  I teach for Two Water's Arts Alliance, and coming this Spring I'll also be teaching for the Tacoma Community College through their Continuing Education program. I'm also available to teach for children's birthday party's, at in-home wine nights, and for office groups looking for a group experience. Prices range according to the size of the group and whether they are for or non-profit organizations. Remember, no two pieces will be exactly alike, or it just wouldn't be a CraftWithAnna class!

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