I believe making art should be like a party! So do my students, shown at our retreat on the Texas Coast in April.
Here is my classroom, ready for new artists. My studio looks out over the beautiful Texas Hill Country. I always invite new students to come in and gift themselves with some time, hence the gift bags full of art supplies. Painting should be fun. No judging, no comparing with one another, just learning in a safe and comfortable environment.
I believe one of life’s greatest joys is smearing paint around on a blank canvas.
Almost from the beginning of my painting days, I have wanted to share my joy with others. Now my studio, literally the home of several award-winning artists, is called the “School of Joyful Art!” Beginning artists from age 5 to 95 share in the joy of painting. We have only one rule: we WILL have fun. Of course a secondary rule is to try to remember not to dip your paint brush in your coffee cup or wine glass.
I once said that I wouldn’t enter a show that my students were in because it wouldn’t be fair. Since seeing all the awards my students have received, I think now it wouldn’t be fair to their teacher! Nothing makes me any happier than to see the smile on the face of a student. Realizing their work has merit, that they too can share in the joy of creating, makes me very happy. Painting is like riding a bicycle. The more you practice, the better you will get.
This artist took a little convincing, but once she discovered her style, she really went all out! Here is her prize-winning painting, “ARABESQUE” done by Sherry Humphreys. She was awarded Best of Show in the Canyon Lake Art Guild “Lasting Impressions” in 2014. What a thrill for us all!
In October, I offered a one day workshop for beginning artists. We started our day with fresh blueberry pancakes and scrambled cheesy eggs, cooked by chef John. Then, we retired to the classroom and went to work.
These are the first paintings of four individuals, ranging in age from eleven to sixty four, finished in only four hours!
The first was painted by eleven year old Ashlyn, who loves mixing colors.
Cheryl Gryta, my sixteen year old granddaughter, painted “A Perfect Day.”
I plan more workshops in the fall and spring. We will paint on my beautiful deck, then critique over a glass of wine and a light lunch. By the way, the colorful patio pillows were another workshop, called Grammy Days. Grandmothers and their lovely grand- daughters painted the pillows and learned the joy of spreading acrylic on fabric!
When I have beginning painters, I normally schedule classes for four to six weeks; however, some students have been with me for four years! I no longer call myself their teacher. I am just their coach, encouraging them to continue with the beautiful work they have done on their own. I am always amazed at their diverse and beautiful work: Bailey, a high school senior, has been with me for more than two years. She is such a joy, and I will miss her next year when she goes off to college.
Bailey’s “Madonna,” a gift for her mother last Christmas.
Two of my more advanced clients (I no longer call them students!) paint with me weekly, and their work is always exciting and joyful. When we decided to name our school, this is how we were influenced. “Joyful Art” very accurately describes the work I see my students doing.
“IF I HAD HALF A MIND,” and “FEEDING FRENZY” by Jan Rose.
“BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA” Diptych by Mary Ann Anderson
“QUILTED PINTO” by Robin Telano
“NATIVE AMERICAN WOMAN” by Alice Stockton
This summer we held Kid’s Camps, and our students learned to make color charts, value studies, paint their favorite animals and make sketch books. Next week, they’ll make paper and design note cards.
We had Grammy Days, where adults came free if accompanied by a child. We painted self portraits, made beautiful patio chair cushions and generally had a good time.
We’ve painted barefoot on my deck to calypso music, spent three nights at a beach retreat where we made marbleized paper and collages with a guest teacher, taken field trips to museums and had our first show at the local library. My studio is truly my happy place, and I hope for my students that they make precious memories.
My classes are tailored to each individual. I like to find their interests, their concerns and their joys and meet them wherever they are. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning to paint. I promise you, it will be fun.