One day I wandered into the Fountain City Art Center, just out of curiosity.  Hanging on a wall was Aurora Bull’s enchanting painting of Norris Lake, the emerald-green setting for so many cherished and important memories of my childhood.  I dared to wonder if I could possibly capture on canvas the joy and glory of that place.  And wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to have the creative activity of oil painting once a week to counterbalance the hard challenge of caring for Mom as she advanced toward the end of her years.

So I took the plunge, thinking I would probably be satisfied after one six-week course.  Wrong!  One thing led to another and another.  I had primed the pump and was amazing myself with what gushed out.  All these years later (8 or 9), I’m still at it, painting only to please myself, using that three hours per week as the exact medicine that can heal, restore, release and breathe life back into me. Each session reinforces my realization that   the process of creating is actually as natural and miraculous as the blooming of a flower.

Sylvia Williams can never possibly know the full extent of the good she has done by so faithfully and creatively following the mandate of her magnificent vision of a small, deserted library being turned into a thriving center for the nurturance of artistic creativity.  She has brought forth an oasis of peace, beauty and caring and that engenders life, originality and genius  every single day. Highest praises to such a wonderful human being.

And Aurora?  She embodies all the best qualities of a perfect teacher. No matter what the student wants to do, she’s game.  She always finds things to praise.  The guidance she gives is focused, precise and demonstrated by her own masterful hand.  Furthermore, her funny stories and occasional delicious homemade surprises make each session delightful.

There are simply no words to express my gratitude for all the fun, friendships, knowledge, skill and juicy life I have found at this truly sacred place where so many drink deeply, are refreshed, restored, set free and re-created.

Congratulations on your 10th anniversary, best wishes for the future and profound thanks to you from a deeply grateful heart.

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