I have been going to the Thompson Park Activity Center (it’s in West St. Paul, Minnesota) for a few months. Admittedly it has only been on one Wednesday in the month, but all the same, I am out and about. That’s a good thing. The alternative is to sit at home and vegetate.
Today I attended my first lesson in Watercolor painting for beginners. How about that?
To tell you the truth, I was a little nervous. All for naught as it turned out. The class was attended by about 5 other people; all women as old as or older than me. The class facilitator, Linda S.,was very patient and demonstrated a technique and then asked me to complete a page of the same while she busied herself with the others. The others by the way had been there before, not beginners like me. They chatted easily among themselves as they painted, talking about the nice weather, their gardens, free pie at Baker’s Square on Wednesdays and all the while jazz was playing on a boom box.
The facilitator asked me if the music bothered me and she was somewhat taken aback when I told her that I was from a somewhat famous jazz-city in England. She had heard of Bristol but of course never been there. She had never heard of the Avon Cities jazz club which was located for a short time inside the old Corn Exchange building in Corn Street. She was impressed to learn the such jazz greats as Dave Brubeck and Acker Bilk were regular players there in the 50’s and early 60’s. B.S. “Acker” Bilk was from Pensford in Somerset, a small community just outside Bristol.He played in Bristol often with his band – The Paramount Jazz Band.
At the end of our session, each of us was invited to display our “masterpieces”. A short and friendly critique was made along with advice on how to improve in the future and that was that. I don’t see myself joining a community of starving artists any time soon, but I certainly enjoyed my time and I think I learned more in an hour than I learned in I don’t know how many years at school as a youth.