| One of Rosalie Laris's paintings of her
Rosalie Laris took her first OASIS class in her mid-50s. She says the classes not only invigorated her, they literally unveiled the artist within her.
“I’ve enjoyed an awakening in myself at age 67,” she says. “I am as surprised as those who know me when they see my paintings. It’s like being seen with different eyes.
Rosalie had dabbled in art at various times in her life but hadn’t really taken it seriously or been consistent. She took a few art classes at Syracuse OASIS and liked the instructor. Then two years ago, she took a pastel painting class with OASIS and “fell in love with the medium.”
“My instructor, Jean Somlo, told my husband that I took off like a rocket,” she says. “I realized that I could still have surprises.” Rosalie gives Jean a lot of credit for her success, saying she is very patient and encouraging.
Rosalie’s paintings have been displayed in a local café for about six months, and she has been contacted about displaying some of her work in a library near her home as well. Syracuse OASIS also has displayed her work.
“I didn’t really think I’d enjoy OASIS classes when I first signed up more than 10 years ago because a lot of the people were older than me,” Rosalie says. But they showed me how active older adults can be and how much energy, joy and determination we can have. Life is good after 50! And along the way, I have discovered that I’m an artist.”