I took my first acrylic painting class when I was 13, and followed up that learning with taking graphic design in high school. My first painting class consisted of 8 weeks of 1 hour classes in a non-structured lesson plan environment. Basically, you were given a blank stapled canvass, bottles of cheap acrylic paint in the 5 basic primary colors, and were told ready-set-go. In my graphics design class we always received a lesson and then completed an art activity related to the lesson that was shown that same day. Classes in high school were also under an hour.
Nowadays you can purchase an art book from a store, and learn just about any skill set through disciplined study. So then the questions we must ask ourselves when choosing an art teacher to learn from are:
1. What is the need/ purpose of an art teacher
2. What can an art teacher teach you in-person that you can not get from an art book?
The answer to the first question is simply.....
"A great art teacher inspires their student first, and guides their student to develop their creativity, technique to discover their own style."
The answer to the second question are the following 3 qualities:
1. GREAT PERSONALITY: They have excellent/ above average customer service skills.
2. DIVERSE IN MULTIPLE ART GENRES/ MEDIUMS: A great art teacher is a student themselves who is always expanding his/ or her horizons by developing their current artistic skill set by trying new mediums, and learning a variety of genres.
3. INTERMEDIATE- MASTERY OF CHOSEN SKILL-SET TEACHING: I have always believed that as a teacher you must always be in tune with current industry trends and be continually educating yourself on new techniques and artistic methods. That being said, as long as you have created works, there is a skill set that you posses, and must master to teach your students well. Just because some one is a great artist, does not mean they will be a great art teacher, no matter how much of an art education they have. Teaching is not easy, and is one of the most challenging and rewarding careers if done right. It is great to teach traditional methods (foundation skillets) such as:
But unless you can unravel the mysteries of creating artwork, and make learning art less intimidating, more fun, and keep your student's engaged from the beginning to the end of the class, you have not yet mastered the 3 top qualities. Never under estimate your student's potential, as you will be surprised what you can learn from them
Some of you may be saying:
"Okay this is it! The time has come....now what?"
or maybe you are one of those planning savey folk that says................................................................................................................................
Either way, the goal of every man or woman's retirement is to be happy, content, relaxed, rested, smiling, and carefree. You have possibly been putting off some of your greatest wild adventures into your bucket list for years. Now you have all this time on your hands, and you want to make sure you spend it wisely. I have always lived by the modo, that if you try new things, and explore your inner child-like curiosity, you will experience great things, and more meaning to your life. It can be hard after years of putting family first to do the right thing, and take the time you have earned to spend doing things you are passionate about, but it is never to late to start. Of course you can enlist the help of a retirement coach to put a plan together, or you can let your imagination lead.
Art has an amazing way of bringing out buried emotions and memories (good or bad) from our past and our current circumstances and packaging them into something beautiful. Think of whatever you create artistically as a keepsake, or a memoir of the life you led. Art is like a photo of your heart. You can either places these photos in a scrapbook or a box, or put them on a canvass for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Creating art builds confidence, and taking an art class is a great way to make new friends. You got to start somewhere.
I encourage you to take an art class, and bring it all together. To learn more please visit:
Due to popular demand, I will be offering Intermediate acrylic painting and drawing classes for adults starting April.2017 at Michaels every Wednesday from 3PM to 5PM at the Polo Park location.
This class is ideal for Artists with some painting and drawing experience who would like to learn how to work with specialty brushes, neon and metallic paints, sponges and painting knives tricks and techniques.
From taking these classes you will learn how to:
1. Reduce paint waste
2. Save time by mastering specialty brush stroke techniques
3. Learn how to create a hyper realistic piece with only two to three brushes
4. Learn how to create texture with finger and sponge painting techniques
5. How to take photography of your choice and render it into a gorgeous painting in class in under 2 hours. (Students must submit their images a week before hand.)
6. Receive one on one coaching in a small class room setting to work out you =r learning kinks in the classroom so you can focus your energy on creating beautiful artwork at home faster.
Students are recommended to sign up for a one month series of 1 class per week to learn intermediate foundation skills and receive adequate coaching.
Each week we will cover the following categories with students having the ability to select the subject area they would like to focus on based on their interests:
Register in person @ Michaels Polo Park and automatically get 40% off of your Grumbacher student supplies and in-store savings!
How about a little art prescription therapy?
For years, researchers believed that addictions was a disease, and that at the utmost it could only be treated with medications, and rehabilitation centers with very little hope of recovery. What researchers have know learned, and studies have shown is that addiction can come from childhood trauma, but also from a lack of adequate healthy social connections in ones adult life. It is important to separate the person from the addiction, and realize that every addict has the hope of recovery.
I can honestly say that I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I have been to dance and fitness. One might say how can addiction to physical exercise be bad? Well amazingly it is. It can reak havoc on your joints, muscles, organs and heart. Too much of a good thing, is just that. The question is when do you draw the line? When does it end? For me I had to realize that me as a person mattered more than looking like girls in fitness magazines, I dance because I love it, and I am good at it. Winning in a dance competition because I have trained a little extra is a bonus. Plus exercise IS something that should be apart of our daily routine. The difference between an addiction to a hobby and an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or prescriptions is that it is never a healthy hobby even in small doses.
In my childhood like many others, I experienced trauma. I didn't want to fall into drinking, drugs or cigarettes, so I turned to health and fitness and creativity to cope with my emotions. Unlike exercise, creativity never hurt my physical body, spirit, mind or emotions, and as long as I stayed on a budget.
For a couple of years I worked in Downtown Winnipeg as a an Art Therapist/ Outreach Worker in two different Drop-In Art Centers located in temporary homeless shelters. At first only one or two people came to the class, then bit by bit more came until the entire room was full of students. A room full of students than transformed into three volunteers, which lead to two casual paid assistant positions with myself. Empowering participants through individual and group artwork sessions to build confidence, gain social skills, personal life ambitions, and heal from trauma could came with 30 mins. to 3 hours here and there. I truly believe that:
"Transformed people, transform people."
To conquer any challenge in life. we all need a mentor and a positive role mode. I try to be that person for my students by making art more approachable and less intimidating.
cognitive behavior patterns that lead to having an addictive personality can be unlearned from cognitive rehabilitation, and art therapy is a proven method of success. This is why I have found in my occupational experience, that so many people who are attempting to recover have failed with scheduled counselling and prescription medications. Art doesn't need to have a structured, rigid format to be art, and the path of recovery isn't a clear 12 step program either.
The goal of an art class for the purpose of therapy or creative expression for an individual should be healing, at their own pace. Un-prescribed, raw, non-methodical, self-lead healing. Sometimes when working on an art piece new light can be shed on areas of darkness as the brain begins to work better as decision making patterns begin to shift and align.
Being an "addict" can usually carry a much more heavier meaning. Usually when someone is an addict there is determinatal affects of the addiction already present in their life. No one can go back in time and change their past, However, art can help them re-frame it into something positive. This opens the door for the addictions to speak less, so the heart of the addict can speak more. Opening the individual up to talk to therapists, and even sometimes family about their experiences so they can move on, and move up in their life.
A previous addict can not be successful in life management if they have not worked on the root cause of their addiction, their "triggers." Triggers can come at any time for any reason, no matter how positive a person is trying to be. Whether it is dance, music, fitness, fixing an old car, or painting mini figurines, everyone needs a hobby to "escape" to or express those triggers in a positive fashion.
If it wasen't for the the mentors I had (dance and art teachers), I wouldn't be the person I am today. I know one thing for sure, arts saved my life. Every one deserves excitement and adventure in their lives as part of Maslow's Hierarchy needs.
Leadership has so much responsibility, match that pressure with relaxation and fun.
Studies have shown that individuals in leadership positions that take time off of work, or work creative activities and adventures into their work week are more productive, less stressed, happier, get sick less often, and ultimately live longer. Many countries have know integrated mandatory physical exercise, afternoon naps, volunteer opportunities, and creative team building exercises into the corporate work day.
As a small business owner, and project manager for almost 10 years in the community services and corporate world I learned the hard way that a full day of managing personal and work responsibilities with very little play can not only put you at the risk of burning out, but it can also very easily zap the joy out of what you do for a living. Even if it is what you love. Boxers know that for every step you take back from your opponent (stress), you can come back harder and better with a well thought-out punch. All Artist's when creating a piece step back from time to time or take a break from a project for months to explore other ideas to bring new life to the piece once they return to it.
Just like you go to the gym to "work out" your body, your creative mind needs the same "workout". Many people in leadership believe being creative is a luxury, or an unnecessary use of time, but it is quite the contrary.
I encourage you to take a couple hours out of your busy day to take an art class.
Classes are every monday from 1pm-3pm and every Wednesday from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Michaels store classroom (840 St.James Street, Winnipeg, MB). For more information please visit:
If you are interested in ArtWithSas teaching a 2 hour Beginner Grumbacher guided lesson plan in either still life/ floral/ seascape/ or landscape at your workplace please email myself directly with your email@example.com
Stephanie A.E Strugar
Certified Grumbacher Painting & Drawing Instructor.
She is a retired Certified Face/ Body & Temporary Tattoo Artist.
Caricaturist. She is currently an active
Public Speaker, Consultant, and Arts Educator in the Manitoba and greater Canada area.