Photo: Sheila Wade painting at the Nacogdoches Senior Center.
(Photo by Megan Haynes)
Senior center offers picture perfect activities
By Megan Haynes
Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Intern
"I love bright, primary colors, mixing and creating them," Sheila Wade said as she delicately dipped her brush into the paint. The sound of country-western music and laughter filled the room, a contrast against Wade'ssoft voice. "I get excited about painting," she continued, "I wish I could do it for a living. I wish I could paint everyday."
Wade works for the Senior Village as a provider. She cooks and cleans for elderly people who aren't able to help themselves. However, every Tuesday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wade goes to the Nacogdoches Senior Center next door to release her inner Van Gogh.
"It's a great stress reliever," she said.
It all started when Wade decided to stop at the Senior Center at 621 Harris St. and fell in love with the many paintings that adorned the walls.
"I just had to have one. I asked a few questions, loved it, bought a painting set and here I am," Wade said.
Her only previous painting experience was painting the walls of her house.
"She's never painted before, but since day one she's had a can-do attitude and tackled anything set before her," Doris Hicks, painting class instructor, said of Wade. "In terms of style, hers is neither realistic nor modern. It's her own."
Hicks is in her third year of instructing and, like Wade, has had no previous experience in what she loves to do most, teaching.
“I took courses at SFA and, of course, it was completely different. Here, we just paint,” Hicks said. “God puts the desire in us to create on canvas.”
Hicks describes the class as a support group, a place that solves the world’s problems. Most of the seniors use it as a chance to communicate with others like themselves and keep their mind busy. It’s not uncommon to hear talk of the latest television show and how times used to be different mingled with a complex critique of brush strokes.
The average cost for getting started is $70, which includes the price of paint and canvas.
“You don’t have to buy everything at once,” Hicks said. Wade started by buying a small canvas for $10.
In the end, the biggest component to getting the most out of the class is a desire to paint and work at honing your talent.
“Just get in and get started,” Wade said, her eyes crinkling as she smiled. “Life is too short.”
For more information about the Nacogdoches Senior Center and all of the activities it has to offer, go to nacogdochesseniorcenter.com or call 936-569-6350.