709 Main Street • Windermere, FL 34786 

The Art Room is proud to feature some of our fantastic students on this page.   These artists have done some outstanding works of Art and we would like to share their successes with you.

JUNE 2018
Shirley Yu

When Shirley was just 4 years she remembers making a flower that looked like a 4 leaf clover…..she knew then that this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

Watercolor is Shirley’s favorite medium. She loves the way the water activates the paint and you can make many different colors and shades. She also enjoys sketching with pencil and ball point pen. But, she adds that watercolor is the medium she enjoys the most.

Shirley feels good when she is creating art. She says, “I can’t describe it….looking at a picture and then trying to make it on another paper or putting a picture from your head onto the paper……it is like catching a moment in time that might happen or might not….that makes me feel good”

Shirley says that she has learned a lot of patience doing art. She is also able to ignore things around her when she is painting. “I can tune everything out and work on my painting.”

Shirley says, “Art makes me feel like…..somehow you can capture a moment in time that passes and preserve it and express how you feel.”


MAY 2018
Suzanne Bender

Suzanne remembers enjoying art as far back as grade school when she won a poster contest.  She took art all four years of high school and to this day, her daughter has her first still life painting hanging in her home.  Suzanne also has good memories of doing decoupage and painting with her mom.

Suzanne enjoys working with acrylics and painted paper collage.  “Allison’s class at The Art Room is fun, challenging and I enjoy ‘the sky’s the limit’ ideas!  Great collage group…unique and creative.”  She also admires watercolor and mosaic.

Happy!  This is how Suzanne feels when she is doing art.  “I love knowing I’m doing something I really enjoy and I like letting an idea grow and seeing your collage begin to take shape and it begins to talk to you…..there is always an element of surprise just when you least expect it!”
Life lessons when doing art are “to have fun!  To loosen up and just go for it!  To go at your own pace but also to challenge yourself along the way!  As soon as my apron goes on, I lose all track of time!

From Suzanne: “I found The Art Room about 4 ½ years ago and want to thank Linda and her whole staff for the wonderful hours spent there….everyone cheers each other on and they make wonderful friends.  The pleasure of the creative process is so rewarding….Art has become a big part of my life!  More than ever!”


APRIL 2018
Linda Holmes

Linda began her art journey just 2 years ago.  She joined an online creativity class and immediately fell in love.  She knew that she had found a new passion.  Linda has been painting primarily in oil but just recently discovered mixed media and is having so much fun learning new techniques.

When Linda paints, she says, “I am totally present.  I love the freedom of trying out something new and knowing that if it doesn’t work, I can always paint over it.  Nothing is ever wasted.”

Linda has learned some interesting life lessons from painting.  She says that painting is full of life metaphors…..the main thing that it has taught her is to see better.  “to notice the subtle range of light to dark and to not immediately label things.”

“I knew the minute I stepped in The Art Room that I was meant to be there!


MARCH 2018
Paula Haughey

Paula has been creating art since she was a small child.  She remembers when she was 12 years old that she would sit on the back field in Ireland and sketch what she saw.  When she was in 6th grade, she remembers winning an art award at school.

Paula loves oil, charcoal, oil pastels and inks.  She enjoys painting in oil the most because of the freedom it gives you.  Paula enjoys the excitement of the art journey.  She says, “When you start a painting, you never really know how it will turn out.”

When Paula is painting, she says “she is in her own world, a world with no worries.  I don’t think about anything but putting on the paint.  I feel really, really happy.  I can’t paint sad.  It is the one thing that has always been steady in my life.”

Paula says that painting has taught her that there is no problem too big.  You can always make it work out.  “I can have a really bad day and when I paint, my art gives me a different perspective.  I have been inspired by The Art Room.  It has been the backbone of growing artistically this year and a place where I come….it’s my therapy room.”

Paula is the art teacher at Holy Family and loves to inspire the children.  She says “there is an artist in every child.”


Rachel Jolly

Rachel’s first memories of art are when she was 6 or 7 years old.  She remembers her nanny taking her to a park and they would paint the ski and the grass.  When she was 8 years old she came to the Art Room for a gourd workshop and she has been attending classes, summer camps, and private lessons ever since.

Rachel’s favorite medium is watercolor.   Watercolor is so beautiful with the way the colors blend.   She said it is hard to paint with watercolor because sometimes when she messes up she has to start over.  Acrylic allows you to make a mistake and then you can paint over it.   When looking at paintings, Rachel says that watercolor paintings are her favorite.

Rachel feels relaxed and focused when she is painting.  Sometimes she likes to sing when she is painting.  (she has a beautiful voice!)

When Rachel is creative, she says, “Even if you mess up you can fix it.  No one will judge you when you make a mistake.  If you give up in art, your painting will be half finished….in life, if you give up, you won’t accomplish much.” “Art makes me feel happy.  At first paintings look bad and when you finish, they look really good!


Susannah Dodds

Susannah first started enjoying art when she was a child. She remembers winning an award in Ireland when she was 6 years old. It was the Texico National Children’s Art competition. She continued to take a lot of art in school and choose art for her High School electives.

Susannah’s favorite medium is oil. She loves the intensity of the colors that she can achieve from layering the paint. She also loves the forgiveness of oil…..’you can always fix it!’

When Susannah is painting, she feels removed from everyday life. It is a stress relief when she is totally focused on her painting. Even when her painting frustrates her when it is not going the way she wants she just stays with it and as it gets better it becomes very therapeutic.

Painting has taught Susannah that, “This too shall pass….stay focused on one thing, finish that, and then move on to the next....worry about it at the time and then when it is finished, put it behind you and move on to the next thing.” Susannah says, “Nothing is unfixable!”


Rebecca Carter

Rebecca’s love of art began as a child.  She enjoyed all types of art.  She loved painting by numbers, making paper mache animals, batik, decoupage and working with clay.  She was influenced by her grandmother, who painted with oils and acrylics.  Her mother also encouraged Rebecca’s love of art, participating in creative local workshops and attending mixed media retreats all over the country.

After discovering The Art Room, Rebecca has taken acrylic, watercolor, mosaic and collage classes.  She especially loves collage because it “feels less constrained than some other mediums.”  The painting of papers is somewhat “addictive and filled with unexpected surprises.”  She declares her instructor, Allison and her fellow collage artists, “as a generous group who makes Mondays a bright spot in my week.”

“The medium of collage is full of unplanned and astonishing creations in color and texture.  It allows me to forget about the outside world for a while and be part of a unique camaraderie of other encouraging artists, as we discover our creative selves.”

Rebecca says, “If more people created art, the world would be a better place!”

Heather Johnson

Heather was a performing artist when she was a young girl and had never even tried to draw. Taking a painting class was on her bucket list. She decided to take a class in 2013 and here she is 4 years later “hooked!”

Heather enjoys the creativeness and adventure that comes with mixed media. Acrylic is her preferred medium but she paints well in oil also. When she is painting, she losses track of time. “Every painting is its own journey. I become absorbed into my work which is very meditative and keeps me fully present.”

Art has taught Heather how to see. “I didn’t realize how much I was missing in the world until I started to paint it.” Typically, she gets inspired to paint by certain subjects or ideas however, she says, “my true inspiration has been the teachers at The Art Room. I have taken most of my classes from PJ and Coni. They never stop surprising me with encouragement, knowledge and inspiration. I would not be painting, if it were not for them. All of the teachers at The Art Room are so talented and really know how to teach. Thank you to all of the teachers !!”


Nancy McEvoy

Nancy’s early memories of enjoying art were when her parents took her to the Art Institute in Chicago. She remembers looking at George Seurat’s painting, “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” and admiring his technique called pointillism.

Nancy’s favorite medium is Oil! Oil! Oil! She loves portraiture in oil and has enjoyed painting several paintings of her family members. She especially likes painting babies and children. Nancy loves being able to put emotion into her paintings and finds portraits give her that opportunity more than any other subject.

Nancy says when she paints, it just takes her away…… “a bad day doing art is better that a bad day doing anything else.” She says she also enjoys the break her painting gives her from raising her teenagers! It is such a peaceful time when she can easily destress. She says, “I love painting because I can create my own rules……expectations are the ones I put on myself instead of the external expectations of life.”

When painting Nancy says, “Everything goes through an ugly stage…….out of the ugly comes growth and beauty…...it is a lot like parenting…...out of the ugly stages come beautiful people.”

Nancy’s personnel philosophy is to always jump into the deep end and that is what she does with her art. “With art, if you mess up you learn something new…...sometimes, the piece I hate the most is the one everyone else likes.”


Beth Jewett

Beth has always had an appreciation for Art.  In college she took a photography class and then in September of 2012, she googled art classes in Orlando and found The Art Room.  She calls it “a little slice of heaven in Windermere”.  She loves coming to paint at The Art Room because she says it is “user friendly’ and everyone that paints with her is very encouraging!

Beth loves watercolor, abstract acrylic, oil and drawing but watercolor is her favorite and the most challenging.  “I love how the paint intertwines with the water on the paper and takes on life of its own….it is very challenging and playful,” Beth says.

Painting makes Beth feel ‘good’.  She enjoys the opportunity to explore the creative side of her brain….”art is one of my favorite things I do!”  Beth says that art has taught her that you never stop learning.  “In life, if something holds you back….just try it….I never knew I could accomplish as much as I have with my art.”
“We all have artistic ability but we are scared and hold back.  We are our own worst enemies….Just do it!  I have learned through art to take more chances.


JULY 2017
Margaret Corsello

As a child, Margaret always loved drawing.  She began painting as an adult when she took an art class and really did not like it.  Ten years later she came to take a class at The Art Room and has been painting for 5 years!

Margaret’s dad was a famous house painter in Brooklyn and she remembers admiring him and how he could paint anything…..matching colors and textures.  He was faux painting before it was in style.  She began her appreciation for art as his child watching him paint.

Margaret loves oil painting.  She does beautiful oil paintings with a lot of rich detail.  She loves working with oil so much that she has no desire to try any of the other mediums.
Margaret says she feels peaceful when she paints.  “It is a great escape.  I am peaceful in my own zone….it feels so natural.”  Painting is a great stress reliever for Margaret.  It has helped her to be patient and painting has helped her to develop the ability to overcome challenges.  “I always want to try something more difficult…it helps take away my fear.”

Margaret has always been shy and has never liked the ‘lime light’, but when she shows her work, she feels good and more confident.  “Painting at the Art Room is inspiring…all the students and teachers are so encouraging.”  She always feels good when she finishes a morning of painting!  “I think we all need each other and we appreciate each other’s work and all the different styles.”


JUNE 2017
Shannon Song

When Shannon was still sitting in a high chair she began her art journey and today at 14 years old she is creating some very beautiful paintings.  Shannon remembers when she was 6 years old her teacher put her art in an art show for 5th graders.  It was around this time that she began taking drawing classes.

Shannon enjoys drawing with charcoal and graphite.  It is easy to erase mistakes when drawing and shading.  She also enjoys painting with oil paints.  She likes the way they are more malleable than acrylics and don’t dry so fast.

Shannon loves to paint and draw where she is focused and is able to tune everything else out.  If she is under pressure, she finds that her art work is not as good.  When she feels successful, she is eager to produce more art.

Creating art has taught Shannon that “there is no definite way to do something.”  She says you are not born an artist. “You need to work up to be a successful artist.  When you become frustrated, take a break, then see what you can fix and approach your painting more logically……practice makes a good artist”
Shannon says, “Never believe you are not good enough to pursue art…..Art is creativity and there is no right or wrong way to do it!”


MAY 2017
Gabby Battenfield

Gabby’s earliest memory of doing art was painting a sunset when she was very young. Then, in fifth grade, she had an art teacher that taught a new painting every week. This teacher taught her painting, drawing, pastels, and sculpture. The next year there wasn’t an art class for her to take at school so she found The Art Room and began taking the Middle School classes.

Acrylic and watercolor are Gabby’s favorite mediums. She likes the control she gets with acrylic paint and that it is nice and opaque and the colors mix easily. She really likes the way watercolor looks and the way the water blends the colors together creating new colors and values. Recently, Gabby painted some lily pads and she loved blending the colors in the water.

When Gabby is painting she feels very relaxed. She says that everything else just goes away when she is focused on her painting. She likes the feeling of accomplishment and is pleased when she finishes a painting.

Gabby says that painting has taught her not to get too stressed over the small things. Always look at the bigger picture in painting and in life as well. Many people say that they can’t paint but Gabby says, “It is hard to start but once you get going painting is the best thing in the world!”


APRIL 2017
Wanda Zook

Wanda began her Art journey when her 2 daughters left for school and she found herself with an empty nest.  She always thought of herself as that person that couldn’t even draw a straight line but she wanted to try something new and decided that this was the time.  Wanda enrolled in a drawing class.  The first day of class, she found herself in an advanced drawing class by mistake!  She told the instructor that she did not belong in this class and the instructor encouraged her to stay and in 3 months she would know how to draw.  The instructor was very good and Wanda was on her way to creating beautiful art.
Wanda’s favorite medium is painting in oil.  She loves the flexibility and versatility of oil and the buttery consistency of the paint.  Wanda feels the happiest when she is painting.  It takes her to such a very special place. 

A few years ago, Wanda began to have problems with her vision and she began to struggle with her painting.  She said she was such a perfectionist that it was very hard for her to paint.  Soon she decided that she would paint.  “No matter what….there is more I can do that what I can’t do” she decided.  “Painting takes your mind off of the limitations that you set for yourself.”  She has learned to have patience with herself and to be persistent with her painting.

Wanda found The Art Room a few years ago and took an oil painting class. Soon she was drawn to portrait painting and continues to paint beautiful portraits.   She loves painting with the other students and looks forward to painting each week with her instructors and friends at The Art Room.


MARCH 2017
Marian Wagster

When Marian was 10 years old she loved painting with her grandmother at the beach.  Her grandmother would often guide her hand and actually convinced her that she could paint.  As a child on Saturdays, Marian would go paint at Lake Eola where you could take art lessons ALL day long!  It was so much fun!

4 years ago, Marian decided to take a watercolor class at The Art Room.  She loved it!  “It is fun and frustrating…I love the spontaneity and flow of watercolor.  It doesn’t do the same thing each time.  Sometimes you are able to predict what it will do but not always.”

Marian says painting is a stress reliever.  “It makes you feel really good.  Music too!”  Watercolor has taught her patience because she is impatient and wants immediate results.  “When painting with watercolor, you need to learn to wait for it to dry and you need to know when to just quit and leave it alone.”

Marian loves her watercolor class and the other students and instructors.  “Painting brings you joy and you feel close to God.  I just want to go home and paint!”


Julie Green

Julie remembers loving art as a 3 year old and began really painting when she was in High School.  She had an excellent art teacher that encouraged her and taught her the basics of art.  Julie took art every year of high school. 

About 8 years ago, Julie was driving by the Art Room and she thought…maybe I could go there?  She talked to a friend and they signed up for a class.  Julie started painting in oils and just loved it!  Painting in oil has taught her patience.  Julie says, “You have to have patience when you paint in oil.  Oil painting just comes alive after painting many layers.  I love how you are painting and then you suddenly see something coming out of the canvas.”

A couple of years ago, Julie decided to take a mosaic class at The Art Room.  She found out that she loves creating mosaics!  Experimenting with all kinds of objects and assembling them in mosaic is not only fun but very relaxing.  Julie has mosaicked boxes, mirrors, bowls, garden animals, and many more objects.

Julie says,” I escape from everything when I do art.  I forget about EVERYTHING when I am in the art zone.”  She says it is very rewarding and loves the other artists and the instructors at The Art Room.  She is inspired by the variety of styles of the different artists she paints with on Thursdays and the mosaic artists she creates mosaic with on Tuesdays.  “It is so exciting to realize YOU can create art!”


Noah Sullivan

Seven years ago, 4-year-old Noah was driving past The Art Room and wanted to give Art a try.  He remembers painting an apple as his first painting and he has been painting ever sense.  He started taking classes after school and now he takes private lessons each week to sharpen his skills.  Noah likes to paint in watercolor and acrylic.  Acrylic is his favorites because he can do more techniques with acrylic.  He can even make it look like watercolor.

Noah says he feels relaxed when he is doing art. “you gotta remember this is coming from a kid who lives with 2 noisy brothers,” he says.   Noah enjoys hunting with his bothers and playing basketball, football and snowboarding as well.

Noah says Art has taught him patience and determination to get better because, “you are not good when you start.  You have to develop your skills."

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"I've been taking classes at The Art Room for almost a year now and I could never say enough great things about this place! The classes are fun for all skill levels and the instructors make sure you leave with a piece of art you love. I am constantly learning new techniques with every class I take. My kids (ages 6 & 9) love the classes too! The instructors are so patient with the kids and really help them learn and understand why they are doing what they are doing. The atmosphere is laid back and relaxing. Everyone is very encouraging of each other. We are all there to learn something new and create something beautiful. Each instructor is different and has a different style, but they are all extremely talented! They will never make you feel intimidated and will guide you step by step to an amazing piece of art."

Brooke P.

"I adore working with the ladies at the Art Room. Linda, PJ, Connie, and Alison are just amazing teachers. I have taken their oil, drawing, portfolio, acrylic and painting like the masters classes and have learned so much in each and every one! They have done the amazing and pulled an artist out of me... cannot say enough about how wonderful, talented, encouraging and patient they are." 

Nancy McEvoy

"Absolutely love this place! Everyone is so nice and encouraging. The Art Room is the perfect place to unwind and learn something new!" 

Brooke Waites Phipps
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