10 Ways To Make Your Art Class Work For You

10 Ways To Make Your Art Class Work For You

Taking art classes as an adult can be tricky. An adult student doesn’t seem to need to be directed to the learning process. Adults choose to take a class. There is no grade to encourage you. The class or classes are for enrichment or professional development. We sometimes take classes in different disciplines of art to receive more knowledge and to learn specific techniques. This can be very rewarding but it can be frustrating when we discover that we can’t paint or draw like the instructor. We sometimes blame ourselves, the instructor, our tools, the people around us, or even that the weather was too cold or too warm. But we don’t need to put ourselves through all this when we want to take a class. We just need to follow a few steps before the class and keep reminding ourselves what this class is for. 

1. Have an Intention

When I say what it’s for I don’t mean watercolor landscapes or acrylic abstracts, I mean what the class is for, for us. Each one of us takes classes as adults to hone our craft or learn a new technique and enrich our art in some way.  Ask yourself why are you taking this class? How do you think this class will add value to you and your art practice? Is the class really something you think you will enjoy or can be of support to you and your art practice? 

2. Keep Your Expectations Realistic 

When we enroll  in a class we hope it will be like no other or that we will become enlightened with the force like Luke Skywalker was with Yoda. But this rarely happens. So why are we so disappointed durning or at the end of the class that we can’t paint like the master teacher? We put so much expectation on the class and instructor and maybe we are taking the class with friends that we hope will be supportive, and also have some fun learning together. Right? But does it happen? Let me give you some assistance with this. I know it very well after living it oh — so — many — times.  If anyone says that they are an expert and have the secrete to create paintings that will, “sell like hot cakes,” or be the answer to everyone’s dreams, run the other way. Why? Because 99% of the time there isn’t an art class that can do that. We hold ourselves to that idea that this will be the silver bullet, but it won’t happen. What does happen is we blame ourselves, instructor, people around us, and — yes — even the weather. But — the blaming ourselves is what does the most damage to ourselves and our art.  I know this because I see it in my students. I have seen it in me, too. I shoot myself down and lose much ground in where I want to go as an artist. I lose the ability to paint for months after a long workshop. I will never get  back the precious time I lose because I think I am not an artist and that I know nothing. I get so wrapped up in classes and hoping for the silver bullet that I don’t create any art. 

Continue reading “10 Ways To Make Your Art Class Work For You”

Why Do You Paint?

Why Do You Paint?

I’ve been asked, “Why do you paint?” Sometimes people ask, “why do you create?” I’ve always answered, “I can’t not create.” But, I think there’s more to it. I think I’ve been holding back from my collectors, students, and people in general. 

I’ve been thinking about so many things this past year. Thinking about our world situation and watching the news has sapped my energy and made me feel like a panicked mess. I haven’t wanted  to think about art, let alone paint.

I played some with some of my old favorite tools and mediums, and signed up for some online classes that were not me at all. I wanted something to drive me forward and help me back to making art even if I wasn’t really feeling these new classes. 

I started thinking about my students and how much I missed them. So, I taught myself how to create virtual classes on Zoom. I pushed myself to build content to engage and inspire my students. I took a few more classes and fell back in love with watercolor. I created more content and lessons that I could launch online for groups of people. I felt that even though we couldn’t be together in person, I could still offer my students good quality classes.

But what about me? What got me creating? What did all those classes do to get me going? And, why am I still feeling I’ve lost my way?

Continue reading “Why Do You Paint?”

Pending Euphoria

Pending Euphoria

Rhapsodic

From the Greek, from euphoros-healthy. From eu+pherein, to bear-birth, deliverer,produce.

euphoria…a feeling of well being or elation

To be marked by elation by high spirits

Rhapsodic…extravagantly emotional

Enthusiastic…filled with or marked by enthusiasm

From the Greek, enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein, to be inspired

Enthusiasm…1. a belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit. 2. A strong excitement of feeling

Pending…while waiting

There’s a feeling I get. It’s a happy, elated feeling. Something’s coming, but I don’t know what it is. It feels good, and I get very excited at the thought that I might be on the verge of something grand. 

“Pending euphoria” is a tool that you can use to get your creative nectar going. In general this feeling doesn’t have a checklist of behaviors that can be diagnosed. It’s just a good vibe that, if left unnurtured, fades and withers like a tender, unwatered seedling. When the pending euphoria hits, it may feel  like a brick thrown through a window. Or sometimes, it’s like a gentle breeze tickling my skin saying, “Hello Sweetie… I’m here. Something’s coming.” That’s pending euphoria.

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Changing Direction

Changing Direction

At the beginning of the year, I created a vision board. I’ve been creating one or two a year for about five years. This one was all about what inspired me. There were things I thought I’d like to make and colors I was drawn to. It didn’t stay that way for long. In March, my vision board did not reflect how I was feeling, but most of the colors stayed the same. Now, nature inspires me. Going on little walks and wandering in my own backyard made me feel that all I needed was to be in nature and experience all its beauty. I made a small vision board that reflected this renew love of the outdoors.

I love flowers, trees, and mountains with creeks and streams in and around rocks, covered by mossy slime in the most vibrant greens. After I created my nature vision board that I call “The Dirt”, I had dreams of making art with dirt and mud, rocks, and brick dust in a muddy stream that made me want to cry with joy. I hung these works on a clothesline under a freeway overpass. I’m not sure why there was a freeway in this dream. I have had this dream a few times and think that I need to explore its contents.  

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Making Neutrals with Complimentary Colors

Making Neutrals with Complimentary Colors

Greetings Artists,

We are still artists, and we need to create now more than ever. I want to encourage you to send me photos of your work and or questions as you create. We will make art and work on lessons to feed us through this time.

So here’s a lesson for you to try. Get your color wheel out. If you don’t have one, find one on the internet.

This is my color wheel.

Pick two complementary colors (complementary colors, using any two colors directly opposite each other on the wheel.)

I chose blue and orange.

I used watercolors, but you can do this with acrylic paints also.

Continue reading “Making Neutrals with Complimentary Colors”

The Gelli Printed Codex: How to Use a Gelli Plate, Create Handmade Art Books

The Gelli Printed Codex: How to Use a Gelli Plate, Create Handmade Art Books

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

Stephen King

In conjunction with San Diego Book Arts, I will be teaching a new workshop on the many uses of a Gelli Arts Printing Plate in the context of a hand-made art book.

Come explore magic of your own creating as you explore the wonderful world of Gelli Arts. Guided by award-winning artist and instructor, Aleta Jacobson, you will begin your weekend with an immersive arts experience, using Gelli Arts Printing Plates to create art prints that are uniquely your own. 

You will learn the ins-and-outs of using a Gelli Plate and create colorful art prints on paper and fabric using stencils, feathers, string, mark-making tools, customized stamps, and hand cut masks. Each technique will be an exercise in self-discovery and risk-taking as you learn to layer objects onto your prints to form unique, expressive images that will be bound together in a handmade, fabric-bound art book. Then, Aleta will show you how to make and use washi tape, stickers, and ephemera to turn your book into its own work of art.

Take a risk; get inspired; explore all your creativity has to offer!

Event Details

What: The Gelli Printed Codex
A 2-day workshop with Aleta Jacobson

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019-Sunday, April 29, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Where: Fallbrook School of the Arts (map)

Cost:
Member-Early Enrollment: $184
Member: $230
Non-Member: $305

Materials Fee: $20

Register: San Diego Book Arts

Moving On

Moving On

Sometimes we need to listen to what some call — the inner voice. Or you might say the universe is trying to tell me something. I have not been listening for awhile.
I’ve told my students to paint/create from the heart. It’s in us. Everything you need is already there. It’s in all of us. Finding and listening to that inner voice or the universe can be difficult. We think we know it all. But if we were honest with ourselves we’d see we don’t know it all. We have tendency to just leave things where they are. It’s going along. No need to disturb a thing at rest. But where is the adventure?

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I’ve been humming along with my business, 511 Art Studio for over ten years. The past six years I have had 511 Art Studio as a stand alone space for artists to come and create. People that wanted to learn a medium could come, create and enjoy making art. I’ve had lessons, classes, workshops, open studio time, and private lessons. I had up to six different teachers coming in and teaching at the studio. The studio is booming. As with all businesses there is paperwork. Taxes, keeping supplies on hand, keeping track of the other teachers as contractors, and attendance of students, plus scheduling every body and every class has been a full time job in itself. But I have done it all. I’m not trying to show off here. I just want you to see that running an art studio is a big job.
My business sense come from working for Hallmark Cards for over ten years back in the 90’s. Hallmark was the top at business and they would not accept anything less from their account reps or district trainers (my two jobs while I was there).

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Things clicked with the studio and I just held on for the ride. I’ve met a lot of great people, have wonderful students and each time one of them won a ribbon or sold a piece I was a proud Mamma. I’ve seen children grow up and become artists in their own way. After teaching for over fifteen years and having the 511 Art Studio open for over six years, I’m listening to my inner voice. It’s been a tapping on my shoulder. “It’s time, go make your art again.” For the last six months or so, friends and artist friends, have said I was doing too much. I was told if I don’t slow down and refuel I won’t create the art I want to create. And because this has been my goal, to help others be creative and make art, I need to follow my own words. Create every day, even if it is just a little sketch. Bring more art into the world. We need it. We need to create art because I believe that art makes the world a softer place. Even the wild, crazy, and emotionally jarring art makes us softer. So many people tell me that they are not creative and I’ve proved them wrong. It brings me so much pleasure when they say, “I didn’t think I could do it.”

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“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose…”

This is my time. My time to move 511 Art Studio back to my home. My time to create more. My time to have a more relaxed atmosphere for my students. I will still have classes, private lessons, and open studio time once I get my space set up to accommodate a group larger than four. Maybe once in awhile I’ll have one day workshops.
Change is difficult. I know that and understand that some will have issues and challenges. But I will help them through that, just as I helped the learn to create, paint, and draw.

“The only thing that is constant is change.” –Heraclitus

Thank you to art teachers, students, partners, business associates, fellow artists, and most of all, family and friends that have supported along this journey.

Stay tuned for updates. I will be posting my move and renovation of 511 Art Studio.

Stencil Girl’s Blog

Stencil Girl’s Blog

http://www.stencilgirltalk.com/2016/04/stenciled-journals-message-boards.html

This is the link to my guest blog post for StencilGirlTalk blog. Enjoy.

I am so honored to be a guest blogger for Stencil Girl. I am a bit of a stencil freak and a big fan for Stencil Girl.  When they said let us see what you got I ran with it. Some of my faves are used to create new and unusual things. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.

Please follow the link above.

Happy Art Making, every day.

Mixed Media Collage - Justa Mirage
Justa Mirage

 

Design, Memory, Craft… by Faber-Castell

Design, Memory, Craft… by Faber-Castell

The company Faber-Castell has been an art supply company since 1761.

Doing the quick math… 255 years. That in itself is amazing. I was a fan with their fine art products from early in my art life. I bought a sketchbook in Italy when I was there on a 2 month art exploration lead by my Girl Scout leader. I still have the book someplace. Faber-Castell are the pencils to have. I still have some from my high school and college days. Now I have more of their products to be thrilled with.

I do love art supplies. And the quality of Faber-Castell are the best. A little side note is that they support the Biodiversity in Good Company initiative. They care about the artists and the environment. Their carbon emissions are offset several times over with how they produce art products.

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Delicious Gelatos etc.

The newest line Design, Memory, Craft is no exception for quality and versatility. These Gelatos, Inks, Textures and tools are for mixed media and paper crafters. I am in love with them. There are 52 wonderful colors, I’m drooling. These are art sticks, that are creamy, vibrant pigment, water-soluble and permanent. But not the Italian ice cream. Which by the way, these creamy art sticks have the feel of painting with lipstick.  They can be used with or without water and work well on any porous surface. I read a blog post on the Faber-Castell web site by a friend and fellow designer/artist, Laura Bray, about Faber-Castell Gelatos. She used the Gelatos to paint on fabric and then sewed the piece into a very nice bag to carry your art supplies.  But you can do so much more with them also.

 

20160113_130459So I got to thinking that if you can use these creamy sticks of soft beauty on fabric to paint why not use in a fine art piece. I wanted to play with the colors and texture medium that came in one of the sets I bought. The first set (yes I have more now), came with 5 Gelatos, a palette knife, Texture Luxe, stencils, stipple brush, dot dabber, misting bottles, and drip dropper. I tore open the package. I didn’t have anything in mind other than I wanted to try these on a canvas and make art. I was not disappointed.

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Adding the Texture Lux in silver.

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I think I will add some paper to this piece and maybe some more color but while it dries….

My last thoughts.

I want to open people up to new ideas. I want people to be adventurous with their art and supplies. I get a buzz when my students discovers something new. Or if they get excited about what they are creating when they didn’t think they could or their work and creative process is an eye opener for them. This feeds my soul as an artist to see them grow and learn.  Just because something is “suppose” to be for one type of art doesn’t mean it can’t be used for other things too.

 

I had an art escape with a canvas, Gelatos, palette knife, Texture Lux, paintbrush and water.

When we close ourselves off of one kind of art or art supply we limit our creativity. And I believe that when we do that we don’t grow as artists. I wish everyone an adventure in their art and to create from the heart.