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Painting class encourages mindfulness

Laura Barton

By Laura Barton, Tribune Staff

Vanessa Brownbridge (middle, in red) stands with some of the members of her monthly art class Art From the Heart at the Welland Museum the focuses on creativity and bettering your wellbeing. Laura Barton/Welland Tribune/Postmedia Network

Vanessa Brownbridge (middle, in red) stands with some of the members of her monthly art class Art From the Heart at the Welland Museum the focuses on creativity and bettering your wellbeing. Laura Barton/Welland Tribune/Postmedia Network

Art From the Heart, a monthly painting program at the Welland Museum, is about unleashing people’s creative side and cultivating a healthy wellbeing.

 

Vanessa Brownbridge, the artist who runs the program, said many people think they’re not artistic or creative at all, but she’s confident that everyone has that side to them.

“I’m showing them how to play, have fun, not judge and learn how to do some abstract painting,” she said during Saturday’s class.

During the class, the participants were learning how to make their own stencils and stamps using recycled items to make different shapes and designing the however they’d like. Using everyday objects to help create art is something she enjoys doing.

Brownbridge said one thing she emphasizes with her artwork is being environmentally friendly and to make an effort to put everything to use. Leftover paint is wiped off on another page to become a new piece of abstract art.

When she looks at splotches of colour on painted on a page, she said her creative side transforms those splotches into animals or faces or beautiful patterns that she then brings to life. She encourages that in others and tries to get her class to see that.

“Even if you don’t like something you can change it,” she said, which she sees as a metaphor for life.

Incorporating ideas and tools they can use in life is something Brownbridge intertwines in her class as well. Mindfulness, wellness and reflection are a part of the process and she’s seen the positive change these things have brought out in her students.

Brownbridge said one of the best examples of the difference her class has made is one of her students who has gone from using pastels and being more reserved to being able to express herself more freely.

She called the community room her class takes place in at the Welland Museum an “oasis” because of the open space and lighting. She expressed a deep gratitude to the museum for letting her use it.

“They have been so loving, warm and supportive,” she said.

The class is held in blocks of three months; the last session for the current block is next month. She said anyone who is interested in taking the class can sign up by calling the museum or by going through the museum’s website and clicking events. Because there have been issues with contact information in the past, she asked that people double check their contact information before hitting submit. There have been people who signed up that she couldn’t get a hold of after because the information turned out to be incorrect.

There is a fee of $75 per class and the class is from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Brownbridge’s work can be found at vanessabrownbridgeart.com.

lbarton@postmedia.com

Twitter: @LBartonTribune 



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