Artist creates a brand new life

Millie Palmer had constantly wanted to research watercolor portray, and when she noticed Sonserae Leese’s watercolors as a part of an artwork showcase in Newport Beach ultimate fall, she changed into inspired.

Leese’s artwork didn’t appear like conventional watercolors. When Palmer approached Leese and found out that she taught artwork to children on a one-to-one basis, she asked if she could be inclined to educate her to color as nicely.

Until then, Palmer had felt misplaced trying to analyze in a study room placing. “I felt like I didn’t realize what I become doing,” she stated. ”I additionally didn’t sense like I become getting any instruction or remarks.”

Leese customary the process and commenced tutoring in Palmer’s Newport Beach domestic in December. They meet weekly.

“She shows me what to do step by step, beginning with coaching me fundamental drawing,” Palmer stated. “If I’m doing something wrong, then she’s there to provide me consistent remarks, and if I don’t realize, she tells me, for instance, to make it darker or lighter. She’s very wonderful.”

For Leese, who has worked for extra than 30 years as a professional artist, one-on-one tutoring for children and adults has emerged as a fulfilling and happy revel in.

After residing in Los Angeles at some stage in her 15-yr profession as a visual artist in films and TV, she currently moved to the town of Orange. Her tutoring clients live normally in Newport Beach and surrounding areas.

But for a year and a half of earlier than her new start in Orange County, her international become the other way up. Her marriage ended and she left her million-dollar domestic.

Soon she turned into without a home in any respect.

She stayed briefly at a safe haven in Los Angeles, “but all ladies’ shelters have a 30- to 40-day most,” she stated. “No one can get lower back on their feet in 30 days.”

Her years of tenting and mountain cycling, starting at a younger age, prepared her for wilderness survival.

“I camped in tents and campers inside the mountains, seaside camp websites and inside the middle of nowhere,” she wrote on her website. “I cooked food on park grills and campfire pits. I wasn’t frightened of the dark or any animals.”

“If it hadn’t been for me getting to know everything approximately camping and surviving, I in no way could have survived being homeless,” she added.

The things she saved, like her art substances, brought her paintings, and she supplemented her income with transport and other small jobs.

Things started out to show round when she advertised her services on Wyzant.Com, a tutoring referral internet site, and started out getting a few clients. She performed a few art workshops and moved to Orange County to begin tutoring in earnest.

Leese believes every person has a treasure chest of assets, and her intention is to help others understand their presents. She these days founded a nonprofit, Sophie’s Dream, which pursuits to apply the arts to help humans heal from traumas and “fully restore a person physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially.”

“What I’ve been thru myself and suffered the identical trauma permits me to help others,” Leese said.

Leese believes that creating artwork is a found out skill and now not always only for people with natural expertise.

“I teach the usage of positive feedback and now not optimistic criticism,” she stated. “For instance, I might say, ‘You understand what might improve this’ rather than ‘This seems terrible.’ I care about the character and steer them within the path that’s going to assist them via being fine but straightforward.”

Palmer, who didn’t understand how to draw in any respect, first discovered the fundamentals, incorporating simple physical games such as drawing shapes (circles, cones, and rectangles) and writing her name time and again until she crammed a web page, accompanied by using shading and analyzing light and shadows. She has stepped forward to using colored chalk.