Art is a labor of love
WHITMAN —In a bright home studio in Whitman a cool breeze blew through the open windows as birds chirped in unison nearby. Inside four students painted as if lost in their own creativity and color palettes.
Their instructor is Gina Palaza of Whitman, a local artist, wife and teacher. She is also a hardworking mother of four girls, Lila and Ginger, 9, Isabella, 11, and, Angelina, 13.
During last week’s studio class at her home Palaza instructed four girls, several of whom draw and paint regularly. Her students were four girls of a similar age range to her own children: Maddie, 10, of Pembroke and Whitman residents Kiley, 9, Megan, 8, and Victoria, 9, all focused on their canvases depicting oversized, whimsical cupcakes on a tablecloth.
Palaza allows her students to choose their own color palettes as she mentors their projects.
“I would rather they pick the colors because they make their pieces unique – and have the color theme to hang in their own bedrooms,” said Palaza. “Greens and aqua is a strong color trend and the girls really seem to like it.”
The girls love art as much as their teacher, and their painting evokes that sheer enjoyment, as they mixed paint to change the tonal effects and learned what size brushes are best to use.
Victoria has made several paintings and her flip-flop canvas signifying summer is one of her favorite pieces.
“I can design whatever I want,” said Megan.
Olaf the snowman from the Disney’s “Frozen” was her first painting.
Maddie, who aspires to be an artist someday, said she loves painting because it becomes whatever she wants.
“Even if you mess up, everything is art,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be perfect and I like what I make. Painting is a lot of fun. You get to express your feelings.”
Palaza balances her family schedules with her Sharpie pen but you will often find her in studio — brush in hand — or on her porch painting pet portraits.
She has always painted and had lessons as a child. She said she was not into sports as a kid and art was always her passion. In fact, she graduated from Massachusetts School of Art in Boston in 2003 with a degree in painting.
Palaza’s pet portraits are commissioned, with several recent clients connecting through the retailer Setting the Space and her clientele range from gift givers to those wanting a memorial pet portrait for a special pet that has died.
Palaza says teaching is a dream come true, being able to do what she loves and pass on, the love of art to others. She has recently added summer classes for her students as well as securing a display of her own works at Setting the Space, in their four retail spaces located on the South shore.
Palaza likes to host a small art show in culmination of each class with snacks and champagne glasses of sparkling juice for student artists.
“They get to show off their work to siblings and family and it is a boost of their confidence,” she said.
Private lessons usually run a month long and children’s classes are the most popular. She has met many of her clients through word-of-mouth.
The students work with canvas and acrylic water based, fast drying paint. Private art lessons involve all different mediums but group classes usually involve the popular acrylics.
As Palaza teaches the students how to mix paints they learn to use white to tweak their shades.
The canvas soon transforms into a cupcake with flair, inviting and bright. Their hands swirl their brushes and soon the girls are deep in their composition.
Palaza guides them in technique as they turn their canvas on its side and paint each edge.
Palaza says she is rewarded by seeing her students design freely. She has discovered that children don’t overthink their art, they let their minds wander unfettered and they use that freedom to create.
For more information visit ginapalaza.com