When it comes to creating art, England Oaks resident Becky Robertson knows no bounds - watercolor, acrylic, encaustic (also known as hot wax painting), alcohol ink, paper making and even antique furniture restoration are among her creative passions.
"I like doing it all," exclaimed the retired elementary and middle school teacher and principal. "Any time someone gives me the opportunity to create something or learn something new, I say yes!"
Becky is a self-taught artist, although she says she has taken a few classes beginning in the 1960s. When life's journey brought her to England Oaks five years ago, she decided to share that passion with fellow residents by teaching a weekly art class at England Oaks and at a nearby art league.
"I have so much time to enjoy what I have always loved," Becky said. "I enjoy teaching and the residents here are wonderful students. I'm proud of how far they have come with their art."
Becky is also an antique hunter who has found many "gems" throughout Rapides Parish. With the help of her son, an amateur woodworker, she restores furniture and re-sells some pieces at the local antique mall, along with some of her art work.
"I have always been a visual learner," Becky said. "When I was a kid I was always drawing on the black board in school. That's what I like about art. It's so visual."
And when she is not engaged in art or antiquing, at England Oaks Becky enjoys socializing with the "coffee klatch" and playing Bunco, dominoes and pinochle with her friends, who are just like family.
"England Oaks is the perfect place for me," she said. "We have such a great social group here. It was so easy to make friends. When my husband and I moved in, we had a couple practically adopt us. They showed us around, introduced us to everyone and made sure we felt welcome. And we did."
What also made the move to England Oaks so easy was the lure of a low-maintenance lifestyle. "We had such a big house - about 2,500 square feet," Becky said. "Maintaining it took so much effort. It was more than just inconvenient, it was a chore. We decided to give that up and travel in our motor home for a few years before we came to England Oaks where all of the chores we hated are taken care of. Fewer chores and more time for art is a great thing."
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