I started an abstract art class at the Torpedo Factory last week. The instructor is a renowned artist from India who also teaches at the Smithsonian. We are learning to use a variety of materials; so far we have worked with charcoal and pastels, which I have never worked with before. The instructor is stressing working in layers, and I am applying what we are learning to my painting at home. The class is teaching me to slow down and be mindful, to enjoy the process of creating art as it evolves. The thing I love most about creating art is that it allows me to be present, to be in the moment, and all of the cares of the world are left behind. What a gift. I am really enjoying the class, and I plan to use the concepts I learn to find new directions and approaches to my art.