Painting with Mrs. Pearl

During the years when we lived in Washington, we’d have art lessons on most Saturday mornings. Our instructor was a friend of my mother’s who would teach us various painting techniques – usually acrylic on wood. Our classroom was in the attic of a gift shop my family owned. The gift shop was an old Acadian style house that had been converted into a shop, so it had the typical stairs to the attic originating from the front porch.

An example of an Acadian style house with stairs leading to the attic from the front porch

An example of an Acadian style house with stairs leading to the attic from the front porch

As you can imagine, it was usually hot and stuffy up there, especially in the humid Louisiana summers. Class was early in the morning, so we could wrap up our work before the afternoon heat became unbearable.  

In these classes, we’d paint wooden items using various techniques Mrs. Pearl would teach us. Highlighting using side loading of our brushes and tracing designs onto the wood pieces we were decorating were base skills we learned. Mrs. Pearl’s husband made most of the wood items we painted. Many of our projects from her classes are items I still use in my house today. We painted portable writing desks, tissue box holders, wooden baskets and step stools.

A tissue holder we painted in classes with Mrs. Pearl

A tissue holder we painted in classes with Mrs. Pearl

I’ve always been creative and interested in crafting. Making things always appealed to me – even as a young child, I loved to work on counted cross stitch projects. Looking back on our paining lessons with Mrs. Pearl, I believe that classes like these were a real catalyst to sparking and nurturing my creative senses.

I’ll also give some credit to my genetic make up – my paternal grandmother loved quilting and was always working on some sort of craft. My mother was also creative – taking ceramics and painting classes throughout her life.

Who would have thought that those early Saturday morning painting sessions with Mrs. Pearl would still have an impact on my life nearly 30 years later. Are you a creative person? If so, what are your favorite creative outlets?

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