Sand dollars on a beach. Peacock feathers. Flowers in a meadow. These are just some of the creative designs that can be painted on glass.
Brenda Scott, owner of “You Are the Artist Tampa,” mobile art instructor, brings out the talent in people who have many different levels of training, from beginners to those who have worked extensively with watercolors, oils and acrylics.
Sept. 6, Scott brought her mobile art studio to SunTowers Retirement Community in Sun City Center, where 12 women, including assistant activities director Cindy Avery, chose from various shapes and sizes of glassware to design and paint.
Scott had champagne glasses, different sizes of wine glasses, small bowls and candle holders from which the women selected. Then they passed around stencils — although several decided to paint freehand — and many colors of paint.
Each student was provided with brushes and a small plastic palette onto which they squeezed small drops of different color paints.
Everyone’s design was different as well.
Scott said the end result had to “cure” for 28 days in order to be dishwasher safe unless she took the finished projects home and “baked” them in a kiln, which most of the students chose to have her do.
Art is a form of therapy as well as fun, Avery said. It gets the residents together in a social way where they can be creative and use their minds in a constructive and unstructured way.
Studies show that activities like this help people stay young and healthy — in both mind and body.
Scott said she has been an artist all her life and has taught Boy Scouts how to paint, given private art lessons and taken her business to many different venues.
She plans to return to SunTowers once a month.
Normally, she charges for her services as she walks you through step-by-step projects that amaze people at what they can create. Anyone age 12 or older is welcome to take the classes.
Her next regular “gig” will be a painting class at PJ Dolan’s Irish Pub and Grille at 2836 Bearss Ave. in Tampa, Saturday, Sept. 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at a cost of $25 per person.
But before that, on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 to 11 a.m., Scott will be doing some work for charity, taking her talents to Sonny’s BBQ at 10010 Adamo Drive (S.R. 60) in Brandon. This day, $30 of each $45 enrollment fee will be donated to Riveriew’s Relay for Life team Smokin’ out Cancer, whose theme is “Everyone Deserves More Sunrises.”
The class at SunTowers was eventful. It was only Scott’s second time there, and the word had spread by mouth because the first time, there were six women, and this month there were 13, although one only watched. They came from varied backgrounds and all had different tales to tell about why they were there.
Patricia Hardy was half an hour early for class. “Last time I painted a patriotic flag, and I really enjoyed it,” she said.
Scott was there for the Fourth of July but due to work schedules at SunTowers, her time there in August had to be canceled. By Sept. 6, many were raring to go.
Jean Hall, who has lived in Sun City Center for more than 10 years, arrived in her wheelchair.
“I moved here while I could still walk,” said Hall. “This has worked out just beautifully for me.”
Hall said she loves to engage in the special projects planned for residents.
Phyllis Gage is an experienced artist who used to paint in oils.
Debbie Early used to do ceramics and Bunka, and Hilda Lieve used to paint on canvas until she had to stop because of her health.
Lois Byrne lived in Tampa in the 1960s and said she returned to retire because of the atmosphere at SunTowers and Sun City Center as a whole.
Jean Vravata, originally from Brooklyn, moved to Sun City Center because she has both a grown son and daughter nearby in Apollo Beach.
Another woman who preferred not to give her name said she moved to SunTowers because her husband needed care and is in the nursing section, Sun Terrace, which is a separate but adjoining facility.
“I wanted to be near my husband,” she said. “This way, I can be.”
Scott explained that she had grown up in Virginia and spent most of her life in the Washington, D.C. area. She currently lives in New Tampa, but many of her clients are in the South County area.
Art comes naturally to her, she said, because her education — and degree — are in Business Administration and she is also a working insurance underwriter.
Scott is available for private parties, “Girls Night Out,” bridal parties and showers, and any special occasion where artistic efforts would enhance the event.
Visit her website, www.youaretheartistTampa.com; email her at email@example.com; visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YouAreTheArtistTampa2014 or call and leave a message at 813-312- 8175.