by Morris E. Fletcher
The Stone Soup Galleries, in the Chesterfield Mall, has been offering art classes, workshops and drawing events for a couple of years. In 2018 the gallery owner, Cory Lawson, decided to offer a water soluble oil painting class and she offered me the opportunity to teach the class.
Geraldine Ferrari and her daughter, Jeanne, attended a movie at the AMC theater in the Chesterfield Mall before shopping in some of the shops in the mall. They entered the Stone Soup Galleries and experienced the art displayed by resident artists. Ms. Ferrari was an experienced artist with skills in water color and oil paint. She was attracted by a sign advertising a new class in water soluble oil painting utilizing materials without objectionable odor and environmentally friendly.
In the fall of 2019 I met Gerry when she joined the class and became my student. I am fortunate to work with her on a continuing basis as she develops her skills as an artist. Between our class sessions she originates other paintings and brings them to me to review.
Ms. Ferrari has now taken the class with me three times at Stone Soup Galleries and two times at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild. She, like many of my students, take the class repeatedly because we paint together in a studio setting, critiquing the work of one another, and learning from one another. The class is conducted as a studio collaborative where we all learn from one another and become colleagues. The students paint two paintings in each eight week class and I paint the first assigned painting with them. Then we all create a second painting of our choice in the final four weeks of the class.
In addition to her artistic skills and her interest in continuing to improve, Gerry has exhibited her interest in growing and enjoying life in her years where many think their opportunity to grow and learn has passed them by. It is an honor to be her friend and teacher as I paint along with the students and enter my 80th year of life. We share a desire to keep busy and enjoy learning. When a tree stops growing, it dies.
The water soluble oil painting classes are offered four times each calendar year at the Stone Soup Galleries for beginners and advanced students (16 and over) with an interest in furthering their artistic ability. The class meets eight Saturday afternoons from 1:00P to 3:30P in the beautiful studio space in the rear of the gallery. More information and directions to enroll is available at the gallery and on the gallery website www.stonesoupgalleries.com.