HARKER HEIGHTS — When Gretchen Williams retired from teaching biology in 1990, she decided she wanted to focus on her own interests. After putting it off for decades, Williams finally started taking a watercolor class for seniors about two weeks ago.

“I started to do things for me. Art was one of them,” said Williams, who has been attending the weekly course Wednesdays at the Harker Heights Recreation Center. “I have always admired water colors. It’s just something relaxing and a thing of beauty.”

Joe Friddle has been teaching the local class since 2005. He said the seniors in his class are like “little kids,” who paint all week and come early before class starts to show off their artwork.

“Besides doing the art, they come in here and they have a ball,” said Friddle, who retired from Killeen Independent School District in 2002 as an art teacher.

“We get some magnificent pieces of artwork done.”

Ruby Sisco has been attending the class for about four years and said she enjoys learning something new every week.

“I knew nothing about watercolors besides just playing around with children,” she said. “I learned that it’s one of the harder ones to work with because water moves so much. I’ve developed more of an appreciation for other people’s work, that’s for sure.”

When she first started taking the class, Williams said she was nervous about the wine bottle and grapes Friddle instructed her to paint. Soon, she mastered it and realized painting with the camaraderie of her new friends is relaxing.

“I get to see what everybody else is doing and learn from them,” she said. “It’s something constructive that gets me out of the house.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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