Beginning artist finds welcoming community
When Marty Fisher and her husband, Gary, moved to SaddleBrooke about 18 months ago, she had never really explored much about art. Working as an elementary school teacher in Bend, Oregon for 30-plus years, however, gave Fisher some exposure to art in the classroom.
“I never studied art as a student, but as teachers, we worked to incorporate art and music into our student lessons. Often, we didn’t have specialized teachers to lead these activities. We did have committed parents who assisted,” she recalled. “At one point, a certified art teacher created ‘art in a box’ lessons with all the plans and materials for us. I loved these. So, I got a grant and created a few more. That’s the extent of my previous art experience,” she laughed.
“Now I have free time and a wonderful supportive community so I decided to give art a try,” Fisher said. “We first moved to Eagle Crest but we decided SaddleBrooke was a much better fit for the kind of community we wanted. I knew about the Art Guild, but honestly, I was intimidated because I was such a beginner. I didn’t want to be the only one in a class who needed extra help because I didn’t know what I was doing.”
“Then I reflected back to how my kids in school approached art,” she said. “They have no fear and don’t care what others think. They just want to learn and create. I decided I could have that same attitude and just try things. So, I screwed up my courage and started taking classes.”
“I got so excited. I tried new things. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive. I’m enjoying making new friends, laughing and learning from each other. This is exactly what retirement is supposed to be about,” Fisher explained.
In fact, she’s been having so much fun that she invited another new SaddleBrooke resident, also from Bend, to join her in art classes. “Sandy (Gianotti) and I now regularly get together after taking a class to practice the skills we’re learning. We experiment, support each other, broaden our skills and we have fun while we do it,” she noted.
Fisher added that people learn in different ways. “I really need a hands-on class where I can see something demonstrated, I can try it and then get suggestions and advice on how to do it better the next time. I appreciate the specific help in learning about which tools to use, which brushes are good quality and how to mix paint to get the right shades.”
“Classes motivate me to keep trying new things. I’m especially excited as I’m trying some of the Guild’s summer classes,” she said. “I may never become an expert watercolor artist, but I’m loving what I’m doing. I’m having fun. It’s relaxing. I’m seeing art in the world around me with new appreciation. It’s been very freeing and has opened my eyes to creativity.”
Fisher believes in jumping in and trying new things. When a seat on the SaddleBrooke Fine Arts Guild board opened between elections and the president asked her to consider serving, she smiled and said, “Yes, as long as beginners are eligible and Sandy and I can job share.”