Passion For Painting Leads To Rich Friendships

Dec 20, 2018, 10:52 AM | Updated: 10:54 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – What started several years ago as a desire to learn how to paint with watercolors has transitioned into a group of friends who meet each week to share rich conversations and to develop their artistic talent.

Great friends, good times and a chance to learn something new; their passion for painting has bonded them for life as friends.

Jan Zwick of Salt Lake City hosts the weekly group at her home, and once a month they invite professional art teacher Jana Parkin from UVU to join them.

Parkin provides direction and inspiration for their pieces, but each of the women create their own works at their own pace.

“They’re so excited about learning,” Parkin said. “They want to get better and are so appreciative of anything I offer them.”

None of the women are professionals and, for most, their talents were developed later in life. Virginia Pearce was one of the original members of the group.

“I had always wanted to watercolor,” she said. “It was just one of those things in the back of my head. When I turned 62 I woke up one day and I said, ‘Oh my goodness, I don’t have decades left to do everything I want to do.’”

When Pearce told Zwick about her desire to learn, the idea of forming a group was born. That was several years ago and then bit by bit the group continued to grow.

When Antje Evans moved from Germany to Utah, the group opened their arms and welcomed her in.

“I always wanted to do something creative, but I hadn’t before,” she said. “I was without friends, in a new place, a new country. It was the first place where I found wonderful friends.”

Evans said the new friendships were the most important part about belonging to this group, but the journey of trying something new felt adventurous, too.

Their reasons for painting vary, but all agree it is the richness of the relationships that really matter.

“It has become this warm wonderful safe place for us to bring our lives together,” said group member Laurel Finlinson. “I feel like really, truly the support and loyalty here is unbeatable.”

When the group first formed, the women were hesitant to share their work. However, as their skills developed, so did their courage. Now they host an annual Gratitude Tea for their other friends and family members.

They don’t sell their art, but Zwick said they gather with the purpose of sharing something they love with people they care about.

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Passion For Painting Leads To Rich Friendships