Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Getting the Happiness Quotient Right in Art Class

Focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs!
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

butterfly art
Butterfly art by SchulmanArt
In my weekly art classes I always like to end each class with a "group discussion" I used to call these critiques, but now I call them discussions. I want to encourage the students to praise each other and find the good things in each others art. That doesn't mean that I won't make the occasionally helpful suggestion or gentle push in  a more positive direction for their art, but overall I like the energy in the room to be positive. I like my students to leave happy. Of course during the class when I walk around the room making lots of suggestions to improve their art, but at the end, I like to talk about what works. When I am not sure what to say about the piece I will often ask the student "What do you want to say about your art?" or... "Tell us about your process" or... "Tell us what you learned while creating this..." This really puts the emphasis on what they learned and helps the other students learn from the other students. I also like the end discussion because taking the art class should involve social and community building so there always needs to be time at the end to regroup and focus on other people, not just the students' own art.

This morning I read a really good articla called "22 Things Happy People Do Differently" which actually is an article from Oct 2012, but I wasn't surprised when I read tip number 11 which said:

Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

and I thought "wow!" this is exactly what I am doing in my art classes and that is the secret to having everyone leave happy-- it isn't the tea and cookies ( although that is nice-- I do that in my private studio classes) but it is the positive energy of giving the students and opportunity to praise each others artwork!!

Both my live classes ( here in New York) are fully booked; however, I am now teaching online art classes!

how to paint
Want to be a part of them? Explore more techniques for making your art even better! Sign up now!
All these things I found on etsy today while searching for happiness!!!

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Friday, March 8, 2013


Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?~ Mary Oliver  

new blog post by @schulmanArt, Miriam Schulman

bug art for sale
The Summer Day, 11x14" art by Miriam Schulman
As my art evolves, sometimes I have paintings in my studio that no longer fit my style. For example, I did a grasshopper and although I really liked the grasshopper itself, the painting was no longer speaking to me. I thought the colors in the background were too dark and ominous. I also decided I wanted to incorporate some fun patterns using mixed media techniques I
BEFORE- watercolor on canvas
have been mastering. I also was bored of the butterfly. The butterfly painting was nice enough, but I felt it was too pedestrian. So both paintings were transformed in my studio yesterday. I am particularly please with the transformation ( metamorphis!) of the grasshopper art. Check out the before and after photos of my art and tell me if you agree!
BEFORE- watercolor on canvas
AFTER - mixed media Butterfly art
I would love to see the art in a cottage chic or Boho decor room. The mixed media artwork combines the best in collage and watercolor on canvas.The bug paintings would also be cure in a kids room or a shared kids' bathroom since the Insect Art with a touch of flowers and butterflies would appeal to both boys and girls. Don't you think the art would also look great hung up next to each other since the are in the same color palette?

Today I am going to spend the rest of my day looking around for other canvases I can transform. I have a few in my insect series that I think could use some form of whimsy.
A frame is not required for display since the sides are patterned orange and aqua like the front.
how to paint online art classes

BTW, Did you know I am now teaching online classes in watercolor and mixed media? I joined forces with some other talented artists to offer online art classes? You can read all about my online art classes and join us! I would love to get to know you and help you on your art journey!

explore other artists on etsy  discovering their art journey!
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Dear Winter, I have found someone else

Dear Winter,
winter paintings
The RideSize: 7.5x11" Original Watercolor Painting ©SchulmanArt
I have found someone else whom I think the world of and his name is Spring. I have been flirting with Spring for a while now,  so I think it is best if we stop seeing each other for a while. I really enjoyed our relationship. I have memories of our dates together. Like the time we took our family sledding. I pulled my daughter's sled up the hill while she froze behind me. My son insisted that my husband pull him up the hill.  You are really beautiful and I don't deserve you. See, it isn't you, it's me. I spent 12 years of my childhood in Miami and Atlanta and I never really got into you. If you don't mind,  I'd like to sell the paintings I made when we were together. I think they would give someone else more happiness. Best, by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

winter art
Looking for art for childrens' room? This illustration pictures a father pulling an empty sled white a little girl freezing in her pink winter coat follows. The framed print would be adorable in a kids room but the landscape painting would look good anywhere that you want to remember the joys of winter and sledding.

 *New* Online art class starts on the first day of Spring!

online watercolor classes schulmanArt Miriam Schulman
online art classes
Want to learn to paint like me? I am now offering online art classes and I would love to have you join me! My first online art class starts March 21, 2013, but registration is now open! I have invited two amazing artists to teach classes so you will get instruction from three teachers in their media on creating beautiful trees. If you are looking for techniques to inspire you, this is the place to be. Not only will get the videos, but you also will have access to my free arts community where you can chat and ask questions with other artsy souls. Only 36. ( an incredible value) for the full ecourse!!! 

Winter Memories found on +Etsy 
Discoveries on etsy!

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