ACTIVE LIFE: Art classes help build confidence

Confidence building is an important part of the art classes Marilyn Ridsdale teaches.

Confidence building is an important part of the art classes Marilyn Ridsdale teaches.

Ridsdale, an instructor for city parks, recreation and environment department art courses at Oliver Woods Community Centre, said increasing her students’ confidence is something that matters to her. In terms of her experimental acrylics painting class, she said she wanted to create an atmosphere where participants could relax and learn.

“I’ve had people say they haven’t drawn since they were in school because they felt they were inadequate and that type of thing and I really felt there was a reason why they came here. It was a chance to start again or start for the first time, but they didn’t want to be overly criticized,” said Ridsdale.

While Ridsdale said she is nurturing at the outset, she increases constructive criticism to match her students’ increase in proficiency.

“After they’ve come for a while, then I sort of increase the critiques and (add) a little bit of pressure on them because as they progress, they need that,” Ridsdale said.

Joan Mayzes and Pat MacKay, students in Ridsdale’s experimental acrylics class, have long had an interest in painting and the classes have augmented their skills and given them confidence. Both will showcase their work at the 2015 Art Show and Sale at Beban Park Social Centre on Saturday (March 14).

“You see other people and what they do and you think, ‘Oh, I could do that too,’ and you try it and try it at home,” said Mayzes when asked about how the courses have built her confidence up.

“I think it’s great,” said MacKay when asked about having her work displayed at the show. “It gives us something to aim for and you know there are a lot of very, very good painters on this Island.”

Ridsdale said the art show has been on hiatus for a few years, but it aids in her students’ development.

“It’s very hard to take your precious little thing that you’ve worked on and put it out there for people to see … it’s a big step and if you’re hoping to one day sell your work in a gallery, or even just showing it to friends, it’s that ability to take it out there, put a name on it, put a price on it and just have it sit there and let the public see it,” Ridsdale said.

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