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Artists young and old enjoy weekly acrylics class at the La Jolla Community Center

Students of all ages are enjoying The La Jolla Community Center’s latest virtual Beginning Acrylic Painting Class

Fall in Love, by Ashley Castaneda

Students of all ages are enjoying The La Jolla Community Center’s latest virtual Beginning Acrylic Painting Class taught by Nicole Caulfield each Wednesday. The youngest student is Ashley Casteneda, age 13, who joins adults and seniors in the exploration of this medium. 

Ashley Castenada

“Have you ever imagined a day, an experience that made you full of joy?” ponders Casteneda. “I consider those days spending time discussing the elements, techniques, and beauty of art at the La Jolla Community Center as bringing that joy.” Castaneda draws inspiration from her grandmother, who she says told her to “always look upon the sky, see the clouds, and imagine a dragon roaming the sky or a butterfly looking on your shoulder — imagination can occur anywhere beneath the clouds.” Castaneda adds, “I knew the class was my chance to improve my painting skills with Mrs. Nicole and my classmates — everyone makes phenomenal paintings and I’ll always remember every little step towards my artistic journey.” Of her young student, Caulfield says, “Ashley is committed each week to learn the basic fundamentals and techniques in art offered weekly through this class. She is an inspiration at a time when young people are homebound with their parents and their normal activities have been limited due to the pandemic.”

Student Linda Hart says, “I love to capture and share the moments in life that have touched my life.” Hart is drawn to painting people in quiet moments of connection or captivating the beauty of nature. She points to the support and encouragement of Caulfield as being instrumental in her artistic journey. “I have had a passion to paint my whole life but there was always something else more important that required my attention more, such as graduate school, raising my children, and taking care of my mother,” says Hart. “My children are now on with their own lives and this quarantine has provided me with the gift of time to paint that I always hoped I’d have. This particular class has meant the world to me because the teacher, Nicole Caulfield, is the first person who has ever consistently supported and encouraged my art journey.  In addition, this class has pushed me to prioritize painting so that I can have new artwork to share for each week’s class. The combination of the quarantine and this class has been a dream for me, and I am making the most of this rare opportunity.”

Wave, by Linda Hart, 8” x 10” acrylic on canvas

The oldest member of the class was Marilyn Nass, who sadly passed away in late August shortly after participating in the class. Nass, who started the art classes at the end of 2019, had shared, “I began acrylic painting classes at 90 years old after moving to La Jolla from the East Coast. I was encouraged to take the classes by my husband and daughter. I find it to be a satisfying experience that utilizes my previously undiscovered talent. This painting [Roses] is a very personal work because it expresses my feelings of love. I want to thank Nicole for her sensitive approach to this class and the encouragement she has given me. She’s a remarkable person with many skills and interests.

Roses, by Marilyn Nass, 8” x 10” acrylic on canvas

For further information or to register for the online Wednesday Acrylic Art class, please visit ljcommunitycenter.org/calendar.


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