Tag Archives: teaching

Post-a-day 2011 ~ Teaching Learning and New Art

I make art. I write. I teach. Most of all, I learn. I am surrounded by beauty and beautiful people. OMG I am blessed!

I notice small things. I make big things out of small things.

About the joy of teaching:
“My” students are learning and excited about what they are learning. They are producing beautiful drawings and paintings. They are bringing them to class and sharing. They are motivated and doing more outside of class. They come into class and share AHA! moments that happened for them during the week. They are having fun with art and sharing with their kids and grandkids! They are seeing trees, colors, faces, shapes, light, contrast, textures, balance, the moon and the world in new ways!

Adults, they came into class thinking they “couldn’t” draw. They wanted to learn to draw. Oh! Did I already say how excited they are?… excited about learning and I am excited about how much they are learning and seeing. I teach from a fundamental principle of 90% of learning to draw, or paint, or make art is learning to see… then learning how materials work in the physical world, how our optical nerves register information and eye-hand motor skills. We practice. Then we practice some more – like riding a bicycle, practicing until AHA, we find our balance!
We look at art and what has been done before and why. We talk about art history, artists, why art, what’s art and what’s Art and who decides or decided. I ask a lot of questions, they think, then answer thoughtfully, listening to each other. I actually don’t “teach” much, I allow them to teach each other and me… shh! Don’t tell them. LOL! I’ve just learned to ask questions… and love seeing them think, watch eyes pop open and “get” their own answers, discovering, uncovering what they already know…

We are having fun, laughing a lot and are noisy and silly in the Library. Shhh! (Our Library is an exciting place to be!)

Teaching inspires me… opens my brain to new ideas and ways of looking at the world, people, my own work, what I know, what I have learned from GREAT teachers and friends and students.

About making art…
I first learned to see by looking, to draw by drawing, by daily practice… and now I make environmental art, noticing the small, putting many small things together, noticing shapes and colors and patterns in my messy studios. My students have inspired me once again… Less computer time and more studio time, working with my hands and physical materials.

As I tell these students, I once learned to draw like Michaelangelo, and he already did that and is dead! Revered, admired, copied ~ he did what he did so beautifully. The ability to draw is in each of us if we can write our name or make marks on paper or walls.

So, now I paint and draw with stone from a natural palette calling attention to small things. I paint with light, photographing nature and stones. For me, making art is an amazing balance between light and dark, heavy and weightless, lifted by laughter & joy and built on a solid foundation of ancient wisdom, observation, and yes, feeling. It is a dance requiring access to both sides of the brain simultaneously. Even that requires practice.. daily doses of right and left brained activity.

The color filled display of fall has fallen, leaves are on the ground, returning to nurture the earth through winter ‘til spring. The seasons flow and I will go to ground, as well, in a sense. Working with my hands and eyes and in my studios. I LOVE creating OMG responses, in myself and others.

This video says it so well: OMG moments from Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude (shared by Cheryl Richardson)

Here is a tiny peek at my winter series in stone – many, many works in progress… this is part of one.

Bloomin' stone

May your day be filled with creative living and dancing with the right side of your brain! Life is not set in stone, just some of my art work. 🙂

Namaste ~ StarBear

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Postcard from My Dream – Perspective

Fresh Perspectives

The ELEMENTS of Art and Life and Nature run in Parallel Lines in my brain.
I am an artist. I see as an artist, I think as an artist, I teach as an artist, and I still learn as an artist.
Yesterday, I was blessed to arrive at the beach (studio) and find no one else’s tracks on this stairway. I have been here so many times before and always had to follow someone else’s tracks, so my heart was leaping with Joy at the opportunity to finally get this shot – with no tracks. At last, with perfect timing, I was the first one there. It took 2 years! (Patience)

Perspective – I learned to draw perspective when I was nine. Lying on the living room floor, with a great big drawing pad, my dad patiently taught me to see how lines disappear at the vanishing point and how to move the vanishing point. Basic elements of art and seeing. The farther away something is, the smaller it becomes. Color diminishes, pales.

I think I spent weeks showing him vanishing points and perspective on walks, in the neighborhood, standing at the back of the church, looking up the aisle. He must have been very patient, too.

Perspective is part of how I learned to see… to draw, to live.
When something is close it appears large, and even if it is far away, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We just can’t see it.
People, love, life are like that. Sometimes it’s all about putting things into perspective… Yesterday I was blessed with fresh snow, no tracks and a perfect example of perspective.

Life is wonderful!
May your day be filled with perspective – knowing what you can’t see right this minute is out there, you just have to keep moving to a new point of view to see it! At the bottom of the stairs, I found more basics… and beauty.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Post-A-Day2011 – Postcards from my dream…

Every journey begins with one tiny step...

This inspirational postcard came about over time… I go to “my” summer studio, camera in hand, daily. Sometimes I go with a specific intention, to build something, to find something, to take a specific image. The day I took this photo, it was early morning, and I went to catch a sunrise. When I reached the lake it was foggy. No sunrise visible that day. Instead, I found footprints in the sand. There were big prints and little prints, mostly unclear, in dry sand. This one little footprint in wet sand was so clear! As I was shooting, I imagined a little kid walking dancing playing laughing on the beach with a parent. I imagined the parent keeping the child safe, calling a child away from the big waves, lovingly. I imagined a happy camping trip with a family. I didn’t know what I would use this photo for, I just had to shoot it… before a big wave washed it away, forever.
Some time later, in a phone call with a friend from Dream Boogie, we talked about our long term dreams. I remembered this image, I thought taken for no reason. To encourage her (and myself) I made this postcard and sent it to her.
It is a small part of my dream. To encourage others, to inspire, to use my gifts and skills as an artist to support others to grow into their dreams.
I have such fun at the beach! It is a clean canvas and sometimes I paint or draw on it and sometimes others do it for me. I just have to look, see, notice, shoot and share. Sometimes I teach and sometimes I am taught. Always learning, and each day the beach is different, just like life. I am grateful to the child who took a step close to the water, that the footprint lasted overnight and for parents who love their children. Mine did. Thanks!

Have a dream? Want to make it real… follow footprints, notice where they lead. You never know when you can use them or who walked there first. You can make your own footprints, dancing to your dream.

Namaste~ Star Bear