Every summer when I was in elementary school, if I didn’t have summer school, my dad would give me math lessons from the dreaded orange arithmetic book. Back in the late 50s, summer school was for kids that didn’t have the grades to pass. I did my time in summer school and I thought that when my report card showed I didn’t have to “do summer school,” I’d have a break. My dad thought differently. No summer school meant that I had to do math problems from that orange book.
Every night, my dad would come into my room and have me sit at my desk and then he would explain what I would be working on the following day. No playing in the sprinklers or flooding the front yard with the irrigation pipes for the fields. I’d be doing math problems. He would start with the page number and what was on that page.
“Do the problems 1 though 20 but skip every other one. Only do the odd number problems, show your work and don’t cheat I’ll know if you do.” I didn’t know that there was an answer book that he used to check the problems. I also didn’t realize that in the back of the book was a lot of answers and some “how-tos” that explained some problems and also gave the answers. I suffered though each summer doing math problems that included some word problems. I thought, “who in the world would needs that junk?” Somehow I made it through.
Summer programs for kids need to be somewhat fun. I’m not saying that all summer should be games, trips to the big Disneyland, sleepovers, video games and the like, but enrichment is always a good thing. Giving kids an option to take an art class, music or try some tumbling enhances their brain. Studies show that kids that are involved in some kind of art perform better academically.
Continue reading “Every Summer”
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”
“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!
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)
Member-Early Enrollment: $184
Materials Fee: $20
Register: San Diego Book Arts