Happy Little Trees

As many of you know, I have a long list of things to do (My Life List).  Over the years I have been very fortunate to accomplish a number of items on my list.  Last night I crossed off “Take an art class and make a personal masterpiece.”

Ever since the first Paleo-Picasso ran his finger through wet mud and drew a powerful beast in a hunting scene on his cave wall, man has been fascinated with putting “paint to canvas”.  I am no different.  While living in New York, some of my fondest memories are of getting lost at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I would wonder what the artist was thinking, what inspired them, were they happy with their work or were they self-critical to the point of obsession.  Now, years later, I enjoy watching my daughter navigate her way along her artistic path.  She has come such a long way from her childhood days of the “on the side ponytail”.

splitI smile as I look at that picture split because I can hear her saying “Really Mom?” as she reads this.  Amanda took a few years off from college when we moved back to WV from NY (after my Ma’s death).  She took a job managing a photo program for a local zipline.  However, it was not the career path she had envisioned for herself.  She wanted to be a real artist, not a snapshot aficionado.  She decided on Marshall University as her college of choice.  We packed her up, found her an apartment and she was suddenly back on the right path.  When she told me she was taking a drawing class I chuckled (please refer to picture above, subject left).  However, when she began to Instagram her various sketches and works – wow, I was blown away.  The whole time I kept hearing about Sassa, the badass art teacher who was amazingly talented and had awesome tattoos.  I instantly loved this woman without meeting her.  Mander is an introvert until she knows you.  She was always the quiet kid.  And that this teacher inspired her to put herself out there, to draw in ways she thought she could not – well, I knew that my daughter had met one of those people that she would “carry with her” through her life’s journey.  The one she would look back on with fondness and say “she helped me along my way” or “I approach my art this way because of the eyes she opened”.  For that, I am thankful for the badass tattooed Sassa.

As school was drawing to a close Mander spoke of a new art studio that Sassa had opened.  I found her page on Facebook (I suggest you do the same).  It was there that I learned of her painting classes and I knew I needed to sign up for one.  Last night was that class…

Our painting was Asian-themed blossoms that included our name in Chinese and a personalized red stamp in the corner.  Sassa suggested you bring wine and snacks, she would bring the art supplies.  I opted to be cheesy and go with a theme-inspired wine selection:


It’s not often you will catch me drinking a red wine.  However, this Chianti was really, really good.  And, it’s a DaVinci and it’s an art class (go ahead, judge me with your judgey eyes – I am THAT person to bring an artist wine to an art class!)

Sassa took us through the (really simple) steps: white, blue, pink, blending – strong branch, tapered branch, black under accents – Chinese letters and red stamp – red blossoms, black center dot – white accents.  Viola!  Personal Masterpiece:


The class was amazingly fun.  Sassa’s family “crashed the class” so I was able to meet her parents and her grandmother.  All were so much fun.  Who would take this class you ask?  I would suggest:  A fun work excursion, a bridal party, a family for game night, just for the heck of it OR, like me, go to it alone and have a blast.  Do it for whatever reason you want, just do it.  Do not let going solo stop you.  Sassa is a very warm person and you will not feel “alone” for long.  The class, the wine, the company and my art were all great fun.  I HIGHLY recommend taking a class at Sassa Art Studio (I know I will be taking the next themed class that includes wearing costumes!)


Here are a few photos from the night:

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