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Painting retreat for all ages, abilities

On Oct. 23 and 24, there will be a Painting Weekend Retreat at Detroit Lakes High School.

The cost is $35 for youth and $75 for adults.

Artist Kimberly Forness Wilson -- who teaches the class -- encourages everyone to come, whether they think they have any artistic ability or not.

"I want to help people get in touch with their creative side," Wilson said.

"A lot of people think painting should mean being able to sell paintings or hang it in the Louve or something," Wilson said.

The two-day retreat will focus on tapping into the creative zone, which Wilson believes everybody has inside them.

"I think all people start out being creative," she said. Unfortunately, she added, many lose this aspect of themselves along the way -- whether it be due to personal responsibilities, work, or a stifling educational environment.

Thus, the main purpose of the class is to help people reclaim the creative side of themselves, rather than simply learning how to paint.

"You do learn some techniques," Wilson said, but she doesn't encourage her students to get down on themselves because their painting skills may not be up to snuff.

"You don't have to walk in with this super-critical, right or wrong attitude," Wilson said. "Instead of a right or wrong state of mind, go into a discovery state of mind, an experimentation state of mind."

Wilson believes that creativity is essential to people, not just in the artistic sense of their lives.

"It helps in life to be creatively employed," she said, "because it helps you solve problems in other parts of your life."

But most of all, Wilson said, painting is a refuge of beauty and life in a world that is increasingly succumbing to order and commercialism.

"It's all about being alive, you know? Let loose and come on the adventure."