Frances’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Frances’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
As an Undergraduate I exceeded the requirements for a minor in Art History, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average across 42 credit hours of Art History.
Additionally, I have direct experience from working in 3 major Fine Art museums, as follows:
1. My first Masters Degree if from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a teaching assistant I facilitated the inclusion of children with Autism into enrichment programs. This work included taking trips with the children into the AIC Museum Collections. After graduation, I was hired to continue this work as an adjunct professor.
2. In the late 1990’s I worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. As an employee, I was afforded curators' tours of each feature exhibition as training as well as having daily access to the Masterworks of Western Art.
3. Most recently, I was an independent copyist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY City.
In addition to the work I did in these world-class museums as an employee, I was a frequent visitor of the collections, studying items of special interest to my own studio practice, taking photographs, sketching and doing personal research.
In completing my Masters of Fine Art Degree, specialized study of contemporary art was required. Focus on historic painting techniques was my major. I graduated with honors in May of 2010.
Exploring the history of art through frequenting Museums & Art Galleries has always been a very important part of my intellectual and creative life.
I have 20 years of full time field experience as a Board Certified Art Therapist, including specialized work with children and adolescents coping with developmental disabilities like Asperger's syndrome. Expressive art experiences can be a vital means of non-verbal communication and emotional processing for individuals whose verbal and expressive capacities are limited by developmental handicaps, by disposition or from the effects of challenging life circumstances, as in those shut down by grief from bereavement. I have had success crafting an authentic and supportive healing alliance with many Asperger's clients through facilitating their self expression and personal competence in visual modes, using painting, drawing, clay and collage/mixed media.
As a Board Certified Art Therapist, I spent 20 years working with special needs children. I have worked with many students on the Autism spectrum. My Masters' Thesis in Art Therapy was an in depth case study of work I conducted with a teenaged boy challenged by Autism, a language disorder and other limiting conditions.
Though my practice did not become a specialization in autism, I have over the years helped many student with developmental disabilities ranging from mild to severe.
I enjoy supporting high school and college age students in career development in the arts and in art therapy. I have been a supervisor of art therapy interns for 3 Masters Degree programs. Currently, I review portfolios and provide constructive feedback. I have an extensive network of colleagues in art based careers and can make appropriate recommendations and referrals, as needed.
In the mid 1980's I was a graduate student in Fine Art at a State University under a full scholarship that included a teaching assistantship. For 2 years I taught a 2 semester course in the foundations of design, including color and composition. Part of my responsibilities was to prepare undergraduate students to submit portfolios in application for consideration as art majors. Though my students had diverse interests from architecture, to theater arts to graphic design, to name but a few, ALL of my students were accepted into the major of their choice. I was told by the departmental directors that this had never been seen before & that repeatedly the best portfolios seen in the reviews were from my students. I was then placed on the curriculum development committee. In my second year I replicated these outstanding results of each student reaching a level of excellence and a professionalism in presenting their work that won them acceptance and recognition. Since then, in other capacities I have supervised interns in various schools.
I have 2 masters degrees from premier art schools, including a recent MFA from the NY Academy of Art's prestigious graduate school of figurative art. I am dedicated to supporting students reaching their personal goals and finding the opportunities best suited to their personal interests and predispositions.
I am able to give constructive feedback on the following areas critical for a successful portfolio:
1. the quality of the imagery/statement/ideas presented int heart
2. technical facility and understanding of color harmonies, balance and compositions
3. quality of execution
4. professional standards for materials and presentations
5. relevance to the desired field...see below
Given the fact that I have 4 art degrees in different disciplines I am qualified to coach students seeking to apply to colleges or for jobs in:
1. fine art painting, drawing, printmaking & sculpture
2. illustration & cartooning
3. fine crafts including embroidery, garments, fiber arts, ceramics, jewelry
4. graphic design
5. art therapy
6. art education
7. special education
I have a BFA in fine arts as well as an MFA. On both levels I concentrated in painting and drawing.
My Masters of Fine Art degree is from a prestigious Academy that teaches the Old Master's techniques for realism, thus my understanding of drawing techniques is extensive and historically based as well as expressive and personally realized.
Additionally, I have a graphic design degree in illustration and an understanding of drawing from a commercial perspective as well.
Furthermore,I understand drawing as a medium for the expression & processing of deep emotional feeling and highly personal intention. I have effectively nurtured drawing abilities in "gifted" individuals as well as in those who evidence disabilities or special needs.
I excel in supporting drawing students in developing their personal statements on graphic as well as thematic levels.
To succeed in the art world originality is necessary. While copying is a powerful tool for learning, one must integrate the lessons of history and contemporary practice. My students emerge from their technical studies with abilities and a vision that is uniquely theirs.
As a board certified art therapist I have 20 years experience working with children of every age in most major disability categories. I have had students with mild dyslexia as well as those with profound versions of neurological uniqueness.
Often dyslexic students are highly visual. Art experiences/processes can help them learn in non-traditional, alternative ways.
I have had gifted dyslexic students go on to be successful members of society. And, I have facilitated a gratifying quality of life practices for very limited students suffering dyslexia in addition to other kinds of cognitive limitation.
Addressing limitation through strengths is important. For dyslexic individuals, visual thinking and artistic expression can be absolutely critical to their living a balanced and productive life, as well as to succeeding academically with whatever accommodations may be necessary.
I am adept at building on visual/artistic strengths and facilitating art in a holistic, respectful manner that helps the whole student grow & maximize potential.
As a tutor I can assist dyslexic students directly, and as a adjunct professional in educational and mental health fields, I can assist parents advocating for their dyslexic children by building a portfolio of the child's work and making recommendations that could assist the student's team to better understand/serve the student in school.
Task analysis on one of my specialties, that is, breaking complex processes down into single steps where students experience success at every juncture. This kind of systematic thinking can then be generalized to other kinds of learning and problem solving. Often this has been helpful for dyslexic students who do not understand things in usual ways. Thus, they can learn new ways of breaking information down, planning ahead, expressing themselves and building self confidence..all trough art making.
With a Bachelor's degree in Painting, a Masters of Fine Art degree in Historic Painting Techniques and an established exhibition record nearly 30 years long, I have much to offer painting students. My specialty is supporting the personal expression and excellence of my students, so that they are not only painting competently and without technical difficulty, but that they are painting uniquely, personally, significantly/meaningfully. My experience in illustration and art therapy give me a wide range of tools for understanding how painting operates on personal, interpersonal and commercial levels, thus, supplementing my understanding of fine art painting. I can help students with a wide variety of inclinations and goals, each expressing different intentions an dreams through paint.
In customized lessons, I teach painting from the following perspectives:
1. contemporary painting techniques like "process painting"
2. Historic painting techniques, including direct "a la Prima" painting executed in a single session or indirect techniques involving the slow building of an image in glazed layers
3. techniques for perceptual rendering and realism/naturalism
4. spontaneous paintings, expressionistic methods
5. oil paint on canvas or panel (including teaching canvas stretching and making your own grounds)
6. water based paint including, tempera, acrylic or watercolors
7. large scale murals on site, permanent enamels on walls, etc.
8. modular or assembled large scale works where components are generated separately and assembled
9. mixed media where paint is one of many components
10 archival issues: making paintings to last, preserving those you have created
11. basic orientation to hazardous materials in painting, and best practices in handling or avoiding toxins.
When I was 5 my grandmother, who had a business making curtains, began teaching me to embroider. My mother, who sewed wedding gowns and dance costumes, taught me garment construction. By the time I was a teen I was making and embellishing my own clothes. I am adept at machine sewing as well as hand work. In undergraduate school I included courses in fiber arts and folklore in my electives. In folklore, I embroidered projects in research of ethnic designs and traditional stitches from Poland, where my father's family is from.
Professionally, I have taught students of many ages basic sewing skills, even designing and implementing large projects where teens sewed toys that were given to young children in a treatment center. I have effectively taught sewing to both boys and girls.
My sewing expertise falls under these categories:
1. quiltmaking: hand or machine piecing quilt tops, hand or machine quilting of layers, finishing
3. embroidery in cotton, silk or "crewel" in wool yarn
4. sewing garments, usually by machine but by hand is possible with lots of time.
5. doll making, human figures and animals, made from patterns or original drawings
6. bead work, beaded jewelry
7. weaving: improvised looms and box looms
8. the basics of using patterns & thereafter, pattern construction
With 20 years experience in special education settings as a board certified art therapist, I have taught art to over 500 students, in 5 states and the District of Columbia. I have worked extensively with issues of child development, disability and adjustment issues.
At this time I am most interested in tutoring students who need assistance with:
1. flourishing as artists, the gifted and talented in art, with or without a concurrent disability
2. developmental disabilities NOT involving significant acting our behaviors, DD children or adults
3. Assisting individuals in need of building confidence & self esteem through their art making, very important when disabilities limit progress in academics.
4. basic attention and focus skills...prerequisites for studying
5. basic functionality...sequencing, planning, memory, improved motor control
7. art basics, color mixing, exposure to an array of materials/processes
8. self motivated artists of any age & any skill level
I cannot accommodate:
1. oppositional-defiant behaviors or other patterns of non-compliance
2. involuntary participation...as in the parents insist but he child does not want to participate
3. aggression, acting out, disrespectful or violent behavior in any form
4. severe motoric impairment, as in CP & neurological disorders
5. assisted toileting
6. Profoundly limited IQ's
7. ESL where the student cannot fully understand what I am saying in English
8. thought disorders
9. self injury
my studio is not handicapped accessible. I could work with a student in a wheelchair in their own home if able to speak/comprehend, with hand dexterity and the ability to self-monitor and toilet independently