An exercise in self-expression

Paula Tessier
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Last week I told you about not only joining an art class, but also about our pending art exhibit led by the fearless, patient, talented and perhaps a little cracked Les Noseworthy.

I suggest he’s a little cracked because keeping the blend of budding, brilliant and blooming artists in check is quite a bit like herding kittens.

He does a great job with us, mind you; lets us express ourselves with colour, and sometimes colourful language, if the colour doesn’t quite translate on canvas the way we’d like. For one evening each week, we are completely content.

Well, sometimes a column deserves a little followup.

This past weekend was a bit of a blur for me. I was in Halifax for nearly a full week with work, got home Friday night just in time to be late for hubby’s work Christmas dinner, spent half of Saturday in the chair at my hair salon so she, too, could work her long overdue artistic magic, then took the afternoon to touch up a couple of paintings, before delivering them to the studio for the exhibit the next day. Nothing to it.

Sunday morning, I awoke to the realization that I had committed to making cookies for the art show, so hubby was sent off in search of brown sugar and chocolate chips.

By 1:30, with four dozen flourless, peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies (less about eight for the Tessier boys who think I didn’t see them), I was cleaned up and ready for our big debut.

And what a debut it was.

In the same room where we paint, laugh, drink gallons of tea, tease about the music selection for the evening, and sing along anyway — well, that room was decked out with creations worthy of any art studio in any city of any country.

It’s one thing to watch an image come to life slowly, week after week, at the hands of talent I am continually envious of. It’s entirely another to see the finished product hanging on a wall, surrounded by equally as stunning counterparts.

We invited family and friends to drop by, just to prove to them that we really are productive when we each run out of our houses on Wednesday and Thursday evenings in our old clothes with brushes, paints and canvases under our arms.

With a full room most of the afternoon and with all artists trading in their paint shirts to put on our “number ones,” there was a vibe in the room that every single soul felt, appreciated and absorbed. My cookies were placed on a table along with pounds of other sweets and treats for our guests to enjoy because, let’s face it, we all know that people are happier when they are fed.

As folks milled about, looking at all the pictures on display, having a turn at painting a little on one specific canvas themselves, and chatting with artists and the instructor, the afternoon seemed to just fly by.

Once everyone had departed and the only people left were those who sit in those chairs week after week, giving Les a hard time and trading jabs and compliments, there was an air of pleasant, contented relief.

The afternoon was a first, and because of the resounding success, hopefully not a last. We happily stood together in agreement that as scary as it was to have your work hanging for all to see (well, it was for me, at least), it was indeed well worth it.

Joy, pride, astonishment and, yes, a whole lot of silly on the side — on a bitterly cold and wintry Sunday afternoon, with the busy season creeping up and demands increasing by the minute — we were exactly where we wanted to be.

Email Paula Tessier at

Geographic location: Halifax

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