Judy Stirling

How long have you been painting? I have been painting for 4 years, since I began lessons with Cheryl. I have been taking lessons consistently since that time as taking lessons keeps me painting. Why did you first want to learn to paint? I began to paint as I was looking for a new hobby while I was recovering from surgery. I knew I wasn’t able to maintain my regular more active hobbies so painting seemed a good choice. What type of paint do you like to work in? My favourite medium is oil. In addition to the thick and luscious texture and the depth of colour, I love the flow of oil from the brush. Having said that, I also enjoy watermedia, particularly the wet-in-wet style as I love to watch the explosion of colour as the paint explores the canvas. Do you have a favourite subject? I like most subjects as long as there is depth of colour. I particularly enjoy close-ups of fruit and flowers. In painting these subjects, I am encouraged to really see them and appreciate the beauty that usually eludes me. What inspires you to be creative? I am inspired by colour. I am also inspired by being surprised when I see everyday objects from a totally new perspective, as if I am seeing them for the very first time. Do you have any favourite artists? Barbara Rainforth is my favourite artist. I love her use of colour. How does painting affect your life? Painting increases my mindfulness. When I am painting, I don’t fret over the past or worry about the future. Painting puts me in the ‘here and now’. It’s wonderful therapy.     Paintings by Judy Stirling  

Betty daCosta

How long have you been painting? In about 1962 I took a night course in drawing at Beal. I was introduced to a book on drawing that I purchased and when I had time in the intervening years referred to it and dreamed mostly. In 1968 I took a credit course at University of Windsor in life drawing, and painting. I tried a couple of landscape paintings in the late 1990’s on my own. When I met Cheryl at the library two years ago, I was inspired by her enthusiasm and skills and knew I would enjoy learning from her. This is my fourth course. Why did you first want to learn to paint? It is a form of expression, a language, that I wanted to learn and share in. I have a pretty strong emotional response to colour and visual experience, and am now learning more about the intellectual challenges art can pose. Life is just richer with art. What type of paint do you like to work in? I used oils until 2 weeks ago, and am in the process of learning how versatile and fast acrylics are! Do you have a favourite subject? Not yet. Anything organic, and people. What inspires you to be creative? So far, the best inspiration has been the enthusiasm of fellow artists in these classes. It is a creative environment that can set the stage for days of inspiring and inquiring pursuits – books, camera trips, going to galleries, and people watching. How does painting affect your life? It brings me joy and a sense of wonder. I take more time to take in and appreciate the world around me. It is a way that I praise the one who created and sustains all of this, and process my experience and responses. Betty can be contacted at: [email protected]     Paintings by Betty daCosta