Designing a brighter space in the world in retirement

From retired English teacher to full-time artist Mary L. is making the world a little bit more creative day by day.

From retired English teacher to full-time artist Mary L. is making the world a little bit more creative day by day. As a teacher, she let her cinematography degree spread through by helping students with creating the daily news to broadcast to the school. Though now she’s turned to personal learning and enrichment along with physical artwork.

As a full-time artist, she has her work at local galleries and digitally on One of her favorite media to work with is sun prints. She hopes with the pandemic she will be able to take alternative photographic processes classes this year at the University of Northern Florida but is unsure of that possibility with COVID still rampant.

“I’m still isolating and don’t think it’s safe to go out. I miss going to lunch with my girlfriends and to museums. GetSetUp has done so much for me by giving me a community. That’s 50% of the joy of classes - being with other people and learning from them and having conversations.”

Mary has really enjoyed being able to learn art and music through Donna’s classes. She especially loves Donna’s class on Name that Master Pieces where learners have fun guessing the title and artists of famous masterpieces.

“I really enjoy learning about these artworks since I can’t be with my artist friends right now. It’s nice because in addition to wonderful teachers you have really great learners. I learn a lot from those people in classes who have been to different countries and sometimes have even seen the artwork in person.”

Plus Mary has joined some of the regular schedule classes like the drawing club in addition to doing her own artwork like encaustic painting, which is made through melted wax. She even shared her tips on sun prints as a community host on GetSetUp until health reasons required she stepped down.

In addition, to art topics, Mary has enjoyed learning practical skills around cooking and gardening. She’s learned a lot from Guide Micheal on microgreens and improving the soil in her garden.

“Today I’m making vegetable broth with Deb. It will be good to clean out the kitchen of vegetables. I have some celery that’s lost it’s green I can use for broth in my Instapot. Deb’s classes are always real practical things you can do yourself to save time and money.”

Mary first heard about GetSetUp thanks to ElderSource her local area agency on aging. It was a huge help to have during the pandemic because Mary had only her two puppies Champ and Chase as a company while she is social distancing. She appreciated being able to connect with people in classes since she is normally a very social person. Now the GetSetUp Lounge has made it even more fun to chat with people before and after the classes to connect, she said.

“The nice thing is you can take the same class like those on business more than once. Because each time there are new people in the class and they ask such good questions.”

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