by Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Reporter
With springtime just around the corner, Walpole seniors opted for a relaxing moment in the middle of the day. Instructor Ellen led artists into the Neponset room for an hour and a half of colored pencil sketching.
Artists worked diligently on sketches. They drew inspiration from everywhere. Some picked floral photos from calendars, while others collected postcards or old photographs. Nature was a central theme for many as they worked to recreate the beauty with layers of color.
Ellen’s instruction was simple. She worked with all skill levels to provide a calm afternoon and respite from busy everyday life. Ellen’s biggest tip for artists bears repeating: “It’s your drawing, not mine! I want you to do it how you want.” Artists used reference photos to either trace or sketch onto their paper. Butterflies, basket still lives, and detailed floral closeup sketches began to fill white pages.
As each artist’s vision came together, seniors enjoyed one another’s company. Starting with light colors and working dark in, Marilyn worked on detailing a butterfly. A multi-hyphenate in the art world, she also makes greeting cards using a mixture of hand-cut and Cricut designs. She previously taught card making to seniors the day prior.
The COA has helped seniors embrace their creative side. Sandhya Malur is a poet, photographer, watercolorist, and now, colored pencil artist. “You get the opportunity to explore a lot of things. I used to paint a long time ago. I hadn’t written. It was fun to write, too.” Malur’s purple flower piece will accompany others in a seasonal panel of DIY decor.
The enjoyment radiated as seniors shared their work with the class. Many will resume their drawing in a followup class on Thursday, March 16. Visit the COA in-person or online at https://www.walpole-ma.gov/council-on-aging.