By Marie Mohila
Upon losing my job at Cinram, where I was Executive Assistant to the President, a dear friend of mine, Ivone Grzech, suggested I go with her to the Dunmore Senior Center’s oil painting class. (On a side note, I was actually the flower girl in Ivone’s wedding almost 60 years ago.)
Never having had any formal painting experience, on a whim I decided to join Ivone and all the other great painters at the Senior Center on Chestnut Street. A little apprehensive, canvas in tote, I was introduced to the instructor, Jill Swersie. Jill immediately put me at ease and I began the process of deciding what I should paint. I chose a landscape scene as my first attempt and as they say “the rest is history.”
I had participated in the class every Monday for about two years and then ventured back to a full time job and therefore had to stop painting for several years. Upon my retirement five years ago from The Commonwealth Medical College as the Executive Assistant to the President and Dean, I was able to return to the class, which is now held at the Center on Monroe Avenue.
It’s so amazing how one begins to look at nature and life with a new perspective once you begin to paint. You begin to realize trees aren’t just green, but are many shades of green, and flowers have brighter and sharper colors. One just pays more attention to the details of beauty in nature and what we are blessed with. I truly love to paint anything and everything from flowers in my garden, scenes from vacation photos, and even my daughter (Carrie) when she was a young ballerina. Through this process I found that I most enjoy painting florals.
Jill and the oil painting class were just the beginning of what has blossomed into a love for various genres of painting. I was a member of Pocono Painters, “Come Paint with Me” plein air painters. In the past I have also taken several watercolor classes, and oil painting classes at the Abington Senior Center. I have also taken several painting workshops with local artists Mary Lou Chibirka and Lisa Hannick.
Having entered many local county fairs, the most exciting came when I won a first place blue ribbon, best of section white ribbon and the best of show purple ribbon for my painting “Spring Bouquet,” shown on the right in the above photo.
I have developed a true love for painting and sign my pictures Marie B. M hila as well as placing a heart somewhere in each painting.
I am so thankful to my friend Ivone, Jill Swersie and the Dunmore Senior Center for the opportunities they have given me to explore my talent as an artist. I am forever grateful.