Join the Painting Party!

Cathy Salustri


Join the Painting Party!

Jerry Distefano watches as instructor Betty Staebell shows him watercolor techniques.

 Katie Dickson smiles as she talks about her painting habit.

 “I enjoy it so much. I painted 40 years ago, in oils, but I haven’t gone back to oil. So much fun,” she says. “Such a nice group of girls.”

 She thinks for a minute, then says “and boys.”

 “I was just going to say!” the lone man across the room, Jerry Distefano calls out without looking up from his own canvas.

 Theses students come to the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center to learn watercolor painting techniques from Betty Staebell, the May “Spectacular Senior” featured in this week’s Gabber and all month long on the reception all of the Center. Ms. Staebell walks around the room during the class, offering advice and encouragement. Sometimes she takes the student’s brush and lays in a few strokes, just to give the student an idea of what they should do.

 Ms. Staebell started volunteering at the Senior Center in 1984, spreading her love of painting. She currently teaches the watercolor class, which meets every Wednesday at 1 p.m. and costs nothing.

 The Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center also offers an art workshop (currently full) and an open art studio at 2 p.m. every Monday. For a full list of classes, please visit the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center web page.