Search

Blogs Blogs

Art Blogs

Newest Most Active

As I think about how my own passion for my practice became an art form, I also begin to explore what I consider to be my mastery, as posed by this question by WyzAnt: How did you master a subject or concept that challenged you in school?   I then thought about why I like art. I believe art is limitless because it is freeing, it allows us not to think in binaries but to put it in a large grey scale. It allows us to put into perspective something that we have discovered to be a passion or interest greater than what we have known it to be before provoking it.   I went into school believing that I found what I was interested couldn't be found in it. It's true. I discovered I loved poetry. I loved conceptual writing, which is a little like weird internet poetry but more directed towards looking at writing as an art. In other words, writing that in itself can indicate a relation with something else outside of it. For example, the font, weight, colors... read more

I thought I'd write a bit about why I chose to sign up on WyzAnt. When I was attending Penn State, I became disillusioned with the art instruction available at universities. To me, it seemed that the curricula were heavy on theory (what is art, why do people make art, and a personal artistic voice) and unconscionably light on technique! Now, I don't want to short-sell my instructors in any sense. They did a fantastic job within the expectations of their field and the university, and they are my examples for how to effectively communicate artistic ideas. Wherever I looked in the mainstream art-education universe I saw a huge gap in the teaching; students never really learned how to observe nature and faithfully record their observations! Technique, as it pertains to drawing and painting the way I teach, can be defined as "the physical and mental skills with which an artist translates their understanding of the observed world into a work of art." I found that I... read more

"I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit." ~John Steinbeck   There's an artist in each teacher and each student: teaching is the collaboration of two innovative minds. As a tutor, I see living, breathing artwork that is guided simultaneously by intuition, creativity and reason. I'm in a gallery surrounded by the curiosities and masterpieces of knowledge. Each piece has a story that narrates a small piece of the creators' lives.

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful manner-... read more

As a special educator who has worked in the public schools and tutored privately, I've observed that all students learn best in an emotionally supportive environment. Most students with special needs have accumulated a long history of negative learning interactions over the years. They feel inferior to "better" students, they sense that teachers expect less of them, and above all, they are painfully aware of their parents' disappointment and anxiety. I have tutored students at very different grade levels and found many of them full of anxiety, to the extent that in some cases absolutely no work was accomplished due to emotional roadblocks. Why? The problem may be an emotional one to start with, or it may arise because by the time parents decide to pay for help from a professional, they have exhausted themselves trying to understand and explain why their child is blocked. An emotionally supportive environment, paradoxically, may not be the one in which they are most loved:... read more

I am not interested in following the books to teach a lesson; I am interested in getting students to be excited about the work that they do.  I want my students to change.  I want my students to learn how to put their work into action.   If you haven't seen this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXpbONjV1Jc - you should!

Hello!  I am writing to let you know that in 2014, as an ART TUTOR I will be offering lessons that you don't need to haul any art equipment to.   If you want to schedule more then one lessons, and invite some friends, the lessons would have, food and music in a quiet not distracting setting and I would come to your residence.   Great for Summer parties with kids!  Adults can take in the fun too, for everyone needs some fun time, and down time, from everyday schedules.  I have an open backyard for painting if you prefer lessons at our home.  (Weather permitting.)    I am excited this year to try something new and FUN!  There is Art companies out there who can do the same thing, but you don't know the instructor.  Get to know me.  I am a mother of 5, and enjoy art.  I help out doing art in my daughters school once a month.  I have experience, and schooling, and a degree.   If you want an... read more

I will be the first to admit I wasn't always a great student when I was in school. In regular school, my own folks couldn't help me with my homework as neither parent had finished high school. They tried, but it was too much for them. So I really struggled through grade school and then high school. In college I struggled once again. I was smart, but I just couldn't understand some subjects the way they were taught, which honestly seemed all backwards to me. Science was a particularly difficult subject at the time. Try as hard as I might, I just could not seem to make sense of anything I was learning. Then everything changed when a relative suggested I get a tutor. I looked around and found a great tutor. What a difference he made in my life. Suddenly, the things he did to help me made me realize that it wasn't me that had a problem; it was the way the subject was being taught in school. He helped me to create a context for what I had to learn, and gave me a logical order for everything... read more

I want my students to enjoy the hands on learning experience of fine art, and to accomplish this I strive to create custom curriculum catered to each student. By understanding the needs of my student and what their goals are I can keep their interest and the process of learning fun.  I believe in teaching through encouragement and positivity, and the importance of not taking yourself too seriously.  As Mrs. Frizzle always said, "Its time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"

On June 2, 1989, my life changed forever. A brand new world was brought to my attention. I moved into the main land of the United States. I am Puerto Rican, meaning natural born American, but was raised on the island of Puerto Rico. Don't get me wrong, I have always been more fourtunate than most people with my condition. You see, I have a condition called Spina Bifida. I guess it would make more sense if I explain myself. Normally, during the first month of a pregnancy, the two sides of the spine (or backbone) join together to cover the spinal cord, spinal nerves and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord). Spina bifida refers to any birth defect involving incomplete closure of the spine. Myelomeningocele is the most common type of Spina Bifida. It is a neural tube defect in which the bones of the spine do not completely form, resulting in an incomplete spinal canal. This causes the spinal cord and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord) to stick out of the... read more

Today, I covered a few different techniques with S. - some simple and some more complex. The first dealt with ways to transfer a drawing or sketch to good paper, using charcoal dust or charcoal sticks and an ordinary hard pencil (HB or 2B). The next technique was an easy color method using ordinary crayons and india ink. I noticed that the crayons made today are of lesser quality than many years ago, so I told S. that we would re-visit the technique in a future lesson using oil pastels instead of wax crayons. (The crayons did not "resist" the india ink sufficiently. It seems the wax binder is of inferior quality though made by the same company I used in the past.) I had sent S. an email with a link to an interesting website about perspective in art. As we accessed various links to different aspects of the information, I drew some sketches to explain more clearly what is meant by "horizon line", "vanishing point", etc. We then found various works... read more

S. had her first try at gesture drawing at a horse farm in her neighborhood. We lasted about 20 minutes: though it was fun, the bugs were biting. We returned home and S. tried her first sketches of trees. Again - the bugs were too annoying, so we went inside the house and reviewed recent homework. S.'s homework was adequate but it is clear that she needs to move away from dependence on line. Conceptually, she understands gesture drawing and how to build a more finished work over a gesture drawing. We spoke about the "spirit" of a drawing and why it is important. Since her grasp of line is already strong, it is now the time to challenge her by moving into more shading and contrast. For this reason, the last 20 minutes today we looked on several artists' websites. These are artists who draw exclusively in charcoal and, as I emphasised, they use only techniques that she already knows. She seemed a liitle surprised that these sophisticated and dramatic results are achieved with... read more

S., aged 14, invested a bit less time for homework last week, as she was very busy. However, she did experiment with pen-and-ink and has purchased markers and graphite pencils, as well as two sketchbooks of better paper. She is going on vaction soon and I hope she will take her sketchbooks along. I suggested she start to think about drawing portrait and figure. I brought along "Anatomy for the Artist" by Jeno Barcsay and showed her how the artist breaks down human anatomy into components. The book is informative about the skeleto-muscular structure as well. We also discussed the problems of foreshortening while viewing objects (and bodies) in space. I suggested she draw a self portrait sketch or a portrait sketch for homework. Later, I emailed her links to figure sketches by great artists, from Durer and Da VInci to Singer-Sargent and Giacometti. I also brought some small pages of good textured papers of various colors for her to try out, as newsprint... read more

When Redlining works for my students, I try to keep their stylistic choices in mind, even as I correct anatomy.   For those who don't know, Redlining is the process of drawing an informal sketch over another person's piece of art to point out and correct flaws, especially in anatomy. The sketch is usually in red, hence the name. However, as I often correct posing, rather than drawing over the original sketch, I set them side by side.   In this piece I not only corrected the pose and anatomy, but corrected the misuse of bandages to bind [which can be very dangerous, bruising and even fracturing ribs, and often causing permanent scarring] into a small leather riding corset.   In this piece I did two redlines. The first one simply corrects the anatomical structure of the picture, but the second one shows what I personally would consider better poses for the idea the artist was trying to portray.   In this... read more

I worked for several years as a Craft Specialist for a major retail chain.  Being allowed to use and demonstrate new products for the store gave me a wide knowledge of a variety of crafts and artistic hobbies.  I was also responsible for coordinating crafts with children, which as a teacher, was a win-win situation for me.  I also made it a point to tell parents the educational benefits of the activity we were doing.  It is incredibly important to me that a child have an artistic hobby, a creative outlet that allows them to produce something tangible.   Yes, children, really everyone, needs to get outside and be active.  I walk every single day.  However, my hobby is crafting - mostly making jewelry or knitting.  That is a stationary activity and doesn't provide physical activity for me.  So what good is it?  There are many benefits that we don't even consider!   Probably one of the earliest crafts that kids participate... read more

Reading is my favorite activity at any time of the year.   I especially love to read books. Books on religions, theology, art and world cultures.  I read them in hard copy, on-line, and on my Kindle. I also listen to audio-books and books-on-tape/cd's that i borrow from the library.    In the summer I enjoy reading English "tea-cozy" mysteries. "Tea-cozy" mysteries are fun with great plots and are not  too  violent. Violent books and movies give me nightmares, so I don't do "violent".   When I was younger and learning French and Spanish in high school and university, I would read magazines and books in these languages. (I still do.) Of course, I didn't understand all the vocabulary (and still don't) and needed to look up some words. I didn't look up all I didn't know, that would have taken too long, and I was impatient to get on with it.   Somehow the more I read the more I was... read more

Do you want somebody guide you to discover the journey of Chinese language, Chinese traditional culture and art? Here I am. Hello, I am an art designer. I was born and raised in Beijing, China (in Chinese, say I am a Beijinger). I have taught foreigner to speak conversational Chinese for 6 years. I created a special way which is according to the “Chinese Oracle bone script” to help them understand the meaning of Chinese character and to help to how to write the Chinese character.  You will find it is easy and interesting to learn Chinese. If you are interested in the Chinese traditional culture and art, I also can teach you the Chinese ink painting and to help you to know more about the Chinese traditional culture and art. I also can cook quite delicious Chinese food, if you want to learn it, call me too.   [*The “Chinese Oracle bone script” is the earliest known form of Chinese writing, dating from about 1200–1050 B.C.  It is... read more

Over these coming warm weather months I plan on incorporating lessons in the parks of New York City. This is an ideal place for drawing, watercolors, painting and of course live sketching. Today I worked with a students who is focusing on creative concepting for an illustration series. I look forward to working with new students who want to broaden their fine or digital art skills while taking advantage of all the resources NYC has to offer! Feel free to contact me if you would like to learn how I can help you with your creativity.

Have you ever felt like you have fallen into a rut, stuck doing the same things, with no noticable improvement in the quality of your life, career, or relationships? Falling into a rut means you are following tried-and-true but well worn steps instead of taking a chance or exploring new areas. What is the primary reason we do this? Fear.   Most people make their decisions based on some level of fear. “If I try that, I might fail.”, or “If I do this, others will think poorly of me.” or the big one: “If I take a chance, I might end up living in a van down by the river.” Fear is the biggest factor that holds people back from trying new things and fulfilling their dreams. I better not chance it; it’s just too risky. Don’t get me wrong; we live in dire economic conditions right now. There are millions of people in this country out of work or under-employed, so there are real-world consequences to going off on a new path on a whim. The fear of losing something... read more

1 2

Art Blogs RSS feed