Watching Noah Kipp, 10, diligently transform a man stooped under an umbrella, into Santa Claus carrying his sack of toys, it was hard not to imagine the day when I pick up a People Magazine and see him ascend the steps to the Met Gala.

I joined Kipp, a fifth grader at Notre Dame, and five adults at the Art Center Burlington Tuesday night, to turn thrift store finds into holiday d茅cor as part of the Thrifted Holiday Painting class, led by Craig Fleece.

Kipp澳门开奖 canvas was something you would have found in many a Midwestern home in the early 1990s 鈥 it had geese as part of the motif. The old man stooped low to avoid the rain, appearing to give some direction to the two kids in the picture who look as if they may be attempting to wrangle the geese, in Kipp澳门开奖 mind澳门开奖 eye became Santa overburdened with toys.

By the end of the night Santa was listening intently to what two kids hoped would be under the tree on Christmas morning.

The rest of the room was full of chatter 鈥 mostly adults shaming themselves for their lack of artistic talent. It was mesmerizing to watch Kipp tune us out and go to work. His hands never stopped moving as his ideas flowed onto the framework before him like water from an open tap.

It was an easy distraction from my own lack of skill with a paint brush. Walls do not count here.

Craig Fleece assured me that developing talent was not part of the exercise. 鈥淭his is a time to relax and just be here. There is nowhere else you need to be and nothing else you need to be doing but painting this picture,鈥 Fleece soothed.

In a Bob Ross-like way, Fleece had lulled me with that statement. He clearly knows how to shape a mind and relax artistic inhibitions. He is a former art teacher and is now an instructional coach for the West Burlington School District. He fills in as an instructor for art classes at the Art Center of Burlington.

Fleece is a Dallas City, Il native and a graduate of SCC and Iowa Wesleyan College. He has a master澳门开奖 degree from Buena Vista University. His day job involves giving instructional support to new teachers.

He kicked off the painting party Tuesday turning a fancy boudoir bathroom into a snowman lounging in the tub after a long day of standing still in the front yard. His offering included some snowmelt pooled on the floor, before Frosty plunged into the icy waters of the tub. The result looked steamy and refreshing.

If you know Rich Johs you also know Mona. Johs is the IT Administrator for the City of Burlington. He is also the rescuer of a Mona Lisa portrait that hung in his childhood home. If you follow Johs on social media, you know his Mona gets around.

Her smile is said to have been an inspiration for many things. A print of the portrait of the Mona Lisa was Johs framework for his thrifted holiday painting Tuesday. Johs Mona print has a Santa hat now and is holding a gift. Ever the enigma, the recipient of Mona澳门开奖 gift and contents of said gift are safe behind her all-knowing but not telling smile.

My canvas of an ocean side sandy beach is adorned with a snowman listing backwards in the wind next to an out of scale evergreen.

It was suggested that I bring it back next year so it can be finished.