COULTER — Ever since Pamela Warwick was a little girl she’s been interested in the arts.
“I always wanted to be an artist, writer and mommy,” said Warwick, who lives in Coulter.
“Now, I’ve gotten to do all three.”
The last piece of the puzzle — being an artist — started to fall into place within the last couple of years.
Warwick put her art skills to work when her children were in school by helping with plays, concerts and prom, but it wasn’t until after they had all graduated from high school that she decided to take an art class in 2005.
“I had promised myself when the time was right I would take some art classes for myself,” she said.
Warwick took a works of glass course in Ames where she learned about stained glass. After that she started giving herself more time to work on her art and last year, with the strong support of her husband, Tom, really pushed to achieve her dream.
She began doing art glass mosaics, drawing, mixed media collages and acrylic painting.
“I just like playing with all of it,” Warwick said.
She also likes that making art is “non-judgmental” and she has cupboards full of ideas in her head.
“I open them up and say, ‘What if?’ ” Warwick said.
“It’s the most incredible, liberating feeling,” she added.
Last year, Warwick took that feeling and decided to share it with others.
Judy Wrolson, owner of Cornerstone Cottage, Hampton, told her if she was serious about her art, to put a collection together and she’d feature it at a spring open house.
Warwick did so and since then it’s opened the door to different opportunities.
After that she was asked to teach a class at “heARTfully yours” in Cornerstone Cottage and then at an assisted living facility in Allison. It was then that she realized she loved bringing the creative process to others.
Soon she was teaching continuing education courses for North Iowa Area Community College and Iowa Valley Community College District.
“She helps children and adults realize we all have a little creative interest,” said Deb Brown, who coordinates North Iowa Area Community College’s Continuing Education classes in Hampton and has taken Warwick’s classes.
That’s one of the things Warwick tries to convey in her classes.
“Some people say, ‘I’m not creative,’ ” she said. “That’s baloney. I want them to have the confidence that they should explore their creative side.”
Warwick hopes people get the same type of enjoyment she gets out of being creative, or they at least relax and “wash the dust off the day.”
“It’s just a fun time together,” she said.
Warwick hopes the fun continues when she leads this year’s confirmation class at Immanuel United Church of Christ, Latimer, in building their own art glass mosaic. The students will create a unique symbol that represents their faith journey.
“It is my hope that when the light shines through each of their individual art glass windows at home, they will be reminded that the mosaic of their faith journey only really becomes alive and all it can be when the light of God’s love is allowed to shine through,” Warwick said.
She is also teaching NIACC art classes this month and next month and will be participating in the United Church of Christ’s annual conference this summer in Ames.
For more information about Warwick and her art and related business, AMENities, visit www.pamelalwarwick.com.