After opening my art gallery in 2009, aspiring artists visiting the gallery would frequently show me their paintings, ask for advice on how to improve their work, and relate their painting experiences. Their most common question was: how do you get it to look like that?
My own journey into painting involved taking numerous classes, workshops, reading scores of books, and watching videos. To my frustration, each author and instructor had their own Do’s and Don’ts, which usually contradicted other instructors. I had quit taking art classes past the seventh grade because were stuck endlessly doing inane craft projects with construction paper, paste, and scissors. It wasn’t until I quit working for medical reasons that I decided to try painting. My beloved grandfather painted in oils when I was a child and I enjoyed watching him paint with the odor of turpentine wafting in the air; my father started painting in oils in the 80’s and loved it. Why not try it myself?
Since I truly was a beginner, I signed up for beginning painting and design classes. As a business major in college, I didn’t know what to expect from an art class. In one class the instructor would actually paint our paintings for us and then tell us to continue working on it, even though we had no clue what to do next, then scolded us for not doing it right. Yikes! Another instructor liked to single out the new student, me, by gathering everyone else around my easel to show how NOT to do something, even though I was a beginner. I was horrified. I found myself becoming more confused and less confident that I would ever be able to learn how to paint.
Years later, a friend approached me to teach her how to paint after relating her frustration with other painting classes. I finally agreed and started teaching her right in the gallery. After visitors noticed our class sessions, more students inquired about classes and I began teaching group lessons. Now my students are learning and making progress much faster than I did on my own. My goal is to impart what I know in an order that is satisfying to students and encourages them to continue and build on their skills. My classes are precisely what I was looking for when I first started learning how to paint, but couldn’t find.
I am immensely proud of my students and look forward to teaching more aspiring artists the love of painting!
I teach Beginning and Intermediate Oil Painting classes right in the gallery space using drop cloths, easels, tables, chairs, and of course, coffee! The classes are posted on my website.