On the table, there is a bucket of brushes and a caddy of craft paint.
After some brief chatter, the six women seated around the table get to work on their project; first, rubbing the design onto the wood and then adding each paint color in succession, offering each other suggestions and encouragement along the way, and laughing at their mistakes. It is a cheerful, good natured group of women who are working on seasonally themed door hangers for their homes.
If you are looking for something local to do twice a month, that inspires your creativity and allows you time to chat with others, all while having a nice decoration for your home in the end, the painting classes by Lois Scott at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church are the place to be.
Lois has been teaching the class at St. Paul’s for seven years. The group of roughly six to eight people, mostly women, meet on the second and fourth Monday of every month for two hours, from July through May. While Lois herself is an experienced artist, the class requires no artistic training and is open to any adult, from beginner to intermediate, and hosts a mix of ability levels.
“Some of the girls are very good,” says Lois. “It’s a good mix and a fun class.”
Lois, who started with ceramics years ago, gets her project ideas from books and other materials. She says she takes inspiration from what is around her and brings the ideas to the group, who then decide on their next project. For the women in the room, painting is a hobby –a chance to get out and socialize and de-stress. There are new projects year round, the number of them depending on how long it takes to finish the previous one. Currently, they are working on a winterscape for the wooden door hangar, and will paint the other side a spring scene, complete with flowers and a white rabbit.
“We are all creative people. We make a lot of gifts during the class,” relates Lois.
There is a large variety of projects, such as the Easter eggs the group will start in March, the pumpkins and harvest scenes they work on in the fall, and the Christmas ornaments and plates they have done around the Christmas holidays. There are wood and ceramic pieces done with craft and acrylic paints and most are seasonally or holiday themed such as fall scenes, winterscapes, plaques and bells. Most of the members give their finished products away as gifts to family members and friends.
“It’s a fun class. We really have a fun time. It’s very relaxing to paint and it’s nice to be able to have your gifts taken care of for the holidays,” remakrs Lois.
Group member Joanne Schaeffer agrees, “We socialize and have a good time. It’s a fun group, none of us are professionals. We always welcome new comers.”
Membership does not necessarily mean mandatory attendance, either. Many members come and go, depending on the project and what they have going on in their lives, and some travel from as far away as Hazleton and Dallas. Some have been part of the group since its inception seven years ago. The materials fee is nominal and you don’t have to be a member of Saint Paul’s to participate. Lois only asks that one calls the church ahead of time so she can prepare enough materials. If you are unsure, one can certainly sit in on the class to see if it is something they would want to do. And, with this weather, finding something creative and fun to do a few nights a month may just be what you need to get through to spring.