They say we all have creativity within us and it’s just a matter of bringing this out and when people find this within themselves, they unleash a whole range of positive emotions. Helping people have fun finding their creativity is what drives Rhonda Dee, local Sydney artist and creative workshop facilitator, to teach art classes and she’s been running classes for seniors at Beauty Point Retirement Resort this year.
The art classes run for a series of eight weeks and there have been two series so far this year, with a third planned to start later in October. The classes are held on Tuesday mornings from 10am to 12.00pm. Quite a few Beauty Point residents take part, but the classes are open to anyone in the nearby area who wants to find out what they can do.
Rhonda, who holds a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts as well as a post-graduate certificate in Psychotherapy, brings all types of media to the classes so she can work closely with people to find out what will suit them best.
“If I see someone’s not going well with one medium, I change it, and this allows them to move past frustration toward success. Everyone’s different and they all come up with something new and exciting when supported in an environment that is encouraging and non-competitive. Their imaginations always take off and it’s always different!” she says.
Creative process is a win all round
Rhonda says she always finds her approach to teaching creates a win-win situation for everyone – including herself: “When people are working creatively, there’s a current of kindness and help and generosity at play which is an element that can be missing in everyday life. I find people really enjoy the classes.”
“My main point of focus is to encourage curiosity and growth” she adds. “They see themselves improving and they can track this over time in the artworks they make. I think creativity is the basis of human brilliance and even when people don’t think they have it in them, they are pleasantly surprised by their capacity to make art that communicates to others – and they come alive and enthusiastic in the process.”
“I focus on each individual so it’s like having a private lesson in a group. The classes help to dispel loneliness and a sense of community is created,” she adds.
Rhonda says she loves facilitating the classes because: “I believe we all benefit from playing and observing the world around us and our place in it… my classes encourage fun, laughter and community while working at your own pace.”
Joy Ford says she wanted the challenge
Beauty Point Retirement Village resident, Joy Ford, says she took up art classes when she was 70 because: “I needed a challenge. I haven’t done any art since primary school. Rhonda challenges us with different media and it’s great,” she says.
Joy has entered four of her paintings in the Oatley 100 Art Society Exhibition which was held in August this year, so she’s very happy with her progress.
Nora Douglas uses art classes to exercise her brain
Nora Douglas, who lives in the local area, enjoys the art classes because: “It helps me to exercise the side of my brain in the right hemisphere. I’ve had a stroke but now I’m using the side of my brain where the stroke hit,” she says. “I’m thankful for small mercies,” she adds.
Allan Marsden is enjoying painting after not doing any for about 15 years
Allan Marsden said this is his second course with Rhonda and “… it’s good fun.”
“I’ve done a few art courses over the years but I haven’t painted for about 15 years. It’s all a bit of fun,” he adds.
Pam Pitkeathly hadn’t drawn since school days
Pam Pitkeathly hadn’t picked up a pencil and done any drawing since her school days but she says she wanted to learn a bit and “have a go.”
“I’m having a bit of fun with it. My hobby before this was photography. What I’ve learnt in photography about composition has helped me with my drawing,” she adds.
Beverley Whitten is completing her second course
Beverley Whitten is completing her second drawing course with Rhonda. She says she hasn’t done much drawing before but she was always “a bit of a doodler.”
“I enjoy it,” she adds. “If I was sitting at home I would always be doing a bit of doodling so I thought, yes, I’ll do this. I’ve always been a crafty person.”
Val Packham enjoys the art classes
Val Packham says she’s enjoying her second course of art classes: “I was a director of a preschool,” she adds, “… so I was used to organising a lot of this sort of thing. This is the reason I’m doing it plus I was looking for something to do. I’m enjoying the drawing part of it a great deal.”
A new series of art classes, including eight lessons, will start on Tuesday 22nd October and run until the 10th December 2019. For more information or to book in, talk to Mary or Sianee at the reception desk.