PHOTO/DESIGN CREDIT: VANESSA ACOSTA
Attending a paint class has always been on my to-do list.Tapping into my creative spirit and experiencing something new excites me! But buckling down to find and register for a local class was something I never thought I'd do. Me, paint? I can’t even draw a stick figure!
BY: WIAM OUSSIR
FEBRUARY 25, 2018
Putting any doubts behind me though, I walked into Darlene Valencia’s class knowing I would come out of it with a newfound perspective. Darlene, a self-taught artist, hosts her Healing Through Self-Portrait class once a month in southern California. Providing all the art supplies, Darlene guides you through creating a reflection of yourself. Sitting with a paintbrush in your hand, staring at all the beautiful colors at your disposal can be a little intimidating. However, being in a space filled with likeminded women who share the same intention is powerful and encouraging.
Darlene explains how doubtful her students are about their ability to paint prior to every workshop. She welcomes the hesitation within the women because she too had reservations regarding her own talent.
"Healing Through Self-Portrait" was something Valencia started because she also healed her wounds through art. Painting herself over and over again made her realize the true powers she harbored within. For Valencia, painting became a liberating act that improved her self-acceptance and self-realization. Therapy in the form of art is essential for self-healing, “especially for women who are probably holding so many things internally.”
Because art and emotion go hand in hand, it is easy to understand how painting can ease life’s low moments. Darlene believes hitting rock bottom is when you
Healing Through Self-Portrait mainly caters to women because Darlene finds it important to share her self-healing method with other women. She believes “women are healers, and they're the ones who need to lead change in this world.” Being part of such a powerful experience with women of pure intent was refreshing. I started with a blank canvas and a mind full of skepticism, but ended with a Wiam original, which I loved. Gazing at my finished work I felt proud, liberated even.
I would highly recommend attending Darlene’s Healing Through Self-Portrait class to any woman. It’s a wonderful way to explore your inner-self with color! Darlene’s next workshop will be on March 16th in Frogtown (near Silverlake), so be sure to check out her Instagram @Darleneandnova for more information.