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From time to time I like to invite guest bloggers to share their thoughts on my site. It has been a great pleasure to work closely with Debbie Hooper over the past few years. She has attended group art classes I have offered and most recently approached me about a one on one mentorship. I always find time with my students an equally challenging and fruitful. I guess we can not help but to influence one another.
I am very excited to see what develops in her work as she expresses what is important to her through her art. She has much to share with us and a great ability to express herself.  I hope you enjoy her guest blog post and comment below if you find it encouraging. You may also reach Debbie at debbiehooper@sasktel.net .
~ Nikki Jacquin
Artwork by Debbie Hooper

Warmth Overflowing
Acrylic with Acrylic Skin by Debbie Hooper
This work was exhibited in a group show at the Government House temporary gallery in Regina, 2013.

I really want to learn to be a good painter.  However, my inner artist has been hiding for about a year now.  She peeks out now and then so I know she’s still there.  I have been worried about a number of things that have made her afraid to be seen.
One is about not being good enough.  I joined a group of painters that produce many fantastic art works and sell their paintings on a regular basis.  I’ve had the idea that I have to produce something amazing every time I pick up my paintbrush.  I’m newly back to painting at all after a 20 year absence from it.  I’m still just practicing! My inner artist runs away when what I make looks amateurish.
The second is a worry that I am too old.  This one comes on rainy days and Mondays’.  It’s a reason my inner artist wrestles when I have senior moments like walking into a room and not remembering what I’m looking for (a lot!).  For some reason I also get tired easily.
The third one is about time and priorities.  I feel my life fills up with family, life events, and new expectations for me as I move to retirement. The shoulds come out.  Should I spend time with an aging Mom, babysitting my grandson.  Should I volunteer for community events, going to an art guild and others?  The shoulds make my inner artist overwhelmed. 
I decided to take better care of my inner artist.  I am taking a mini-mentorship with Nikki.  The first session let me express my doubts and trip-ups.  I was surprised at how long it took me to express this.  I’d stored up a lot.  We discussed direction and a medium that I want to explore.  I am going back to oils after many years with acrylic.  She had me do homework, challenging me to think about what symbols speak to me and what I want to say with my art.  In the second session she had me start an oil painting.  I enjoyed learning the special considerations that working with oil brings.  Things like how to thin the paint, how it goes on the canvas and how you clean your brushes after.
My inner artist is starting to feel a bit more hopeful.  I am looking forward to painting after a year of being blocked.
Debbie Hooper
Debbie Hooper, artist

Debbie Hooper, artist