MOTHERHOOD MATRIX-Clay Sculpture by Stephanie Strugar
,You had an amazing night out painting, and now you want to learn more; Awesome.
The purpose for paint nights are to simply introduce adults back to the art of painting. As we get older we tend to limit our abilities creatively by sometimes putting ourselves in a metaphorical box. Paint nights were created to help you shed any fear or doubt you may have about your ability to paint, and show you that you CAN DO IT, and IT'S FUN!
Now that you have attended one or more paint nights you are feeling inspired and are wondering, what's next? Well art classes will now help you expand on the painting techniques you were quickly shown. They will allow you to dive in a little deeper to get your creative fingers tingling. You can experiment with different painting styles while learning in a private, professional, small class setting receiving practical and relevant coaching to help you begin painting at home.
A great art teacher will teach you how to create various landscapes, seascapes, floral, and still life pieces using 2 to 3 brushes in the beginning, working your way into 5 to 10 brushes in just a few months. a skill set that takes artists usually several years to master.. Taking art classes is giving yourself a great foundation to start from, saving you hours of frustration, and money on paint and canvass. Yes of course every artists still needs to experiment on their own, and you will get better over time. Practicing with a mentor makes it easier to spend the precious time you have on creating images you are interested in, and less time in the school of hard knocks working the kinks out.
You don'tt need to go to fine arts school or buy tons of painting books to get started. There are no grades given at the end of a class., just helpful tips, instruction, and new friends. Try a class or two, and see where it leads you. ;)
As a new parent I realized early on, that one on one time with my spouse is extremely important to keep the romance in our stress out so I began searching online for an activity to do as a couple one day a week. He is a sports guy, and I am a dancer, both activities were too time consuming for our 2 or 3 hour babysitting limits.
After searching through the Leisure guide and facebook for an activity that was affordable, fun, new, and started after 6:00pm, and ended around 7:30pm or 8:00pm during the week and weekends, the options looked limited, After a long day of work and baby care I wanted to make sure I came home sober with energy left to care for our child.
Most importantly, we wanted to save money and put our hard earned dollars into savings for our son. So what was the solution?
We both have an interest in art, so art classes looked like a great fit. Simply put, art classes are inexpensive in 6 sessions or more, and we are sharing a skill that we can pass onto our son when he is older by doing art with him. Finding art classes that start in the 6:30pm-8:30pm time range can be tricky, so when my son was old enough I began teaching beginner art classes in the evenings for adults.
If you are interested in attending, I would love to have you! To learn more:
From henna tattoos, to cheek, nose, and full face designs, you will learn:
- safe hygiene practices
- body art color theory
- specialty brush stroke and sponge application techniques
- quick, easy, and impressive 5min to 10min designs that can be completed with just a few steps
- most popular henna tattoo designs
- henna tattoo care
- how to mix henna, and the do's and don'ts of henna applications
Over the years I have trained various teens and adults on how to do body artistry correctly, giving them the chance to provide face painting and temporary tattoo application at the various corporate, family, and grads I was commissioned too.
My goal is to show you just how exciting, simple, and interesting body art can be for recreational purposes. Workshops are offered in an intimate setting of 20 or less students, and my "Body Art with Sas" training book will be available for purchase after the workshop to help you build on your new skillset.
Just like yoga and dance, art is another way for a young boy to see that his power and strength does not just lye in the size of his biceps, but in his heart as well. More and more these days young boys are developing eating disorders, considering plastic surgery, abusing steroids and energy drinks trying to be like the "loud and proud" men they see in movies, tv, video games, and music videos. Yes boys will be boys, and being physical is normal way for boys with developing testosterone to behave, but boys are emotional creatures too.
When boys are not taught how to effectively manage their emotions in difficult and stressful situations, they lash out physically or internally. Alot of young men are afraid to express their emotions in front of their peers as they get older, and in turn,push it deep down inside until they are overwhelmed with anxiety and lash out. I truly believe all young men are capable of being gentle physically,as long as they have a spiritual and creative outlet to safely express it in.
I have had the privilege of teaching young boys dance, yoga, and music from the ages of 2 and up, and have witnessed first hand how they can grow into gentleman who are respectful to women verbally, and less violent with their peers. When they play fight they know when to stop,and are much more equipped to verbally express their feelings before a serious conflict arises. Some of the boys I have instructed were the bully or were being bullied in school, and it amazed me how by simply listening to them nervously express their emotions when they first began to open up made a huge difference. All of a sudden they were asking to help me co-teach and would even bring me water and drawings, as well as food.
Art teaches boys how to engage in nature, science, history and various subjects in a non confrontational way. For boys with learning disabilities, or behavior challenges they can become and remain engaged in subjects that they may otherwise have done poorly in over time. Art not only raises boys mental intelligence, but their emotional as well.
Art naturally makes a person pause, slow down, and think about the world around them and allows for the greatest or most painful memories to be turned into something positive.
Whether you purchase them art kits for them to use at their leisure at home, or sign them up for an art class, a meditating child, is a more balanced child.
I wanted to use my experiences as an artist with a disability to help others, so in my early twenties I began working for various community and social service agencies on a part time basis. As I began to work full time, hearing peoples stories became too much.
I am sure you have read about firefighters, paramedics, policemen, nurses,doctors, soldiers, bus drivers, and social workers who have struggled with PTSD with very little success in recovery when reaching out for help. This truth remains partially because there is such a stigma around mental health.
Good news is thanks to social media and collaborative efforts by companies and not for profit organizations campaigns, the table has been opened to encourage people to talk about mental health, and be available to their loved ones if they need to talk. Slowly we are di stigmatizing mental health and PTSD, but there is still room for improvement.
As a caregiver, I truly believe that people who work in the social and public services industry really do care, and humans can only absorb so much pain before it boils over. These same everyday heroes tend to work over time, and
double time, giving very little space for downtime. Downtime is especially important for caregivers as they witness some of the worlds greatest tragedies. They run towards the fire when we run away, knowing they may never come back. Caregivers also feel at times over burdened, under-appreciated and simply like they aren't doing enough.
I left the community and social services industry in my mid twenties from burn out.I did not know I had PTSD till I learned more about it. I felt ashamed, as who was I to complain when other people around me were hurting so much more? I felt like I needed to be strong for them, and was scared to be judged or rejected if I spoke up about how much I was hurting. I would be okay for a while, then I would be triggered,and fall into depression. It was a vicious cycle, and as time went by it became harder to "stay happy" for a while again.
Thank goodness an artist's husband donated her art supplies to me when she passed away. I began to paint again. What I created was not for the purpose of sale or for me to post on instagram. It was just a way for me to divulge my most intimate pain in a private and healing way.
One day I was painting, and it dawned on me that I was no longer sad when I painted. I also realized I was happier more than I was sad. I had been painting for about 5 years when I had this Epiphany. Everyone heals differently in their own timing. Although I danced, sang and wrote songs, nothing quite expressed my deep emotions quite the same way as painting.
Counselling is paid for by work places, and I think dance, art or music classes should be too. Not only as a preventative measure for caregivers in the front-line, but also as a recommendation when they are beginning to show signs of distress.
As a workplace you can show your support to your staff by offering art classes in house, or creating a culture that stresses the importance of play hard as equally as they work hard. Providing these opportunities to your workers will make them more productive, help them keep the passion alive for what they do, and help decrease the turn around rate,.
I can honestly say in all of the workplaces I worked, not one of them ever reached out to me. When I reached out to them they simply suggested I took time off. Time off will only help a person so much. Extroverted and introverted people deal with trauma differently yes, but each of them needs an outlet regardless. My mother is and has been a nurse for almost 30 years. I witnessed her heartaches, passion, and joy as she positively affected so many lives. I also remember her putting herself last, which caregivers tend to do. She is now taking my art classes, and to see the joy in her eyes makes me happy because she deserves it. She is so dedicated to her field that she is only semi-retired, but now she understands the importance of loving herself as much as her neighbor.
Sue used to watch her mother paint on the veranda and wonder how she was able to draw gorgeous swirling flowers with just a flick of her brush. It was like magic to 9 year old Sue. How does she do it? She wondered.
In high school Sue always wanted to take art classes but she never thought she could tackle the assignments. After all, her doodles and sketches in her book were just drawings she did after school in her spare time when no one was looking. No one really knew in her family that she wanted to learn how to draw or paint really, cause she never asked,.
One day Sue was walking by her local art supply store in town, and saw a sign that read "art classes for beginners" she thought wow! Here is my chance! So she hesitantly walked in, and signed up for the class, and a week later on tuesday she showed up for her first lesson. she sat patiently and eagerly, shy of course, but ready to learn. The Instructor began to paint and with quite the artistic vocabularey she explained the techniques, and somehow sue got lost. Sue thought to herself: " I thought this was gonna be fun." At the end of the class, allthough a little disapointed, she saw on the register a sign up sheet for another teachers course. This sign up sheet was on bright pink paper, and when she looked at the instructors bio and picture she didn't look so intimidating as the other instructor, so she signed up for her course.
Two weeks later she arrived at the new teachers course, and this time, she wasent shy to put her hand up for instruction. Sue was blown away byt the teachers chipper personality, and excitement to instruct her,. There was so much passion in her eyes and voice when she explained the steps. Sue could finally understand them. At the end of the class she had a finished piece, and a new found confidence in her artistic ability.
Sue wasent sure where her new hobbie would take her, but she really felt like she was learning something great, and making new friends at the same time. Plus, it felt kind of cool to decorate her home with works of her own. Sue found that with the right teacher, and a willingness to try something new, learning to paint wasen;t so scary after all.
Certified Grumbacher Painting & Drawing Instructor.
Certified Face/ Body & Temporary Tattoo Artist.
Public Speaker/Blogger/ Community Advocate
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