CONTRIBUTED

Sitting in her small studio illuminated by a flood of natural light, Ginny Wall, accomplished artist and McKinney Center teacher, shared her journey to art.

“His name was Mr. McGowan. He was my most special art teacher,” Wall said as she gently wiped off dust from the top of the blue tin box. “It was the end of the school year and all the teachers were saying goodbye to their students. Mr. McGowan walked up to me and said, ‘I’m really not supposed to do this, but I want you to have this because I want you to keep paining.’ It was this little cheap 99-cent blue tin box of paints.”

To Wall, the simple blue tin box is a reminder of encouragement and inspiration.

“I was so motivated and inspired by him just encouraging me. Don’t you wish you could go back and say, ‘you don’t know what that meant to me?’”

Wall has taken that story from her childhood and strives to inspire her students in the same way “There are those people all along your whole life. Those little bright people, they might not even know they are encouraging you that much. But, as a teacher, we want to do that to our students.”

While Wall talked about her beginnings with art, she continued to watercolor a scene on the page beneath her hand, saying “I think it was a God-given gift. I really didn’t know that much about watercolor except I was really drawn to it and I really liked it. I love all the mediums, that was the medium that really just attracted me because it’s… It’s more spontaneous.”

Wall had painted the cover of books and magazines, she was the president of the Santa Rosa Association and spent over 20 years taking part in fine arts shows and exhibits. But that’s not all painting is about for Wall.

“It’s not so much mastering the technique, it’s more sharing and teaching that I enjoy the most. I’ve gotten to a level where I understand the medium so well that I can share with other people. And then they can have their own ‘ah ha’ moments!”

Wall not only helps her students artistic abilities grow, she also strives to be a light to them.

“People go through difficult times,” Wall explained. “So teaching is never just about teaching a subject. You’re always finding out about people and their trials. If they’re doing something that they love to do, it’s helping them somehow.”

While Wall intricately dipped her brush in the lightest hue of orange, she continued to talk about the depth art adds in a persons life.

“You will be inspired and that will become an outlet. If you follow it, if you pursue it, it is always going to be satisfying.”

Wall enjoys her days by the shore of Watauga Lake, working in her garden and creating art that is saturated with beauty. With a gentle spirit and a creative hand, Wall uses her abilities as a teacher to share her craft and the life lessons she’s learned along her journey.

“Seasons change in life, you know? And so, it’s a good thing to be able to just say, ‘I’m going with this, it’s okay.’ Give yourself permission to change. That idea of allowing yourself to change important. And when you feel the winds of change blowing, you wait until you know where they’re blowing.” Wall said. “For me, this journey of art has been a lot of changes.”

Begin your journey of art with Ginny Wall by taking one of her watercolor classes. For more information contact Theresa Hammons attheresah@jonesboroughtn.org by calling 423-753-0562.

To see all classes, download the online catalog at this link: Mckinneycenter.com/fall2017