How I became a teaching artist...

I am one of those annoying people who knew what they would do when they grew up and actually did it. I know, it's annoying, isn't it? Sometimes people wonder and actually ask me about how this happened. You know, like I was handed a little card that said "ARTIST" and then I magically stepped through a cloud of colorful dust and...... poof!

Well, it kind of did happen like that.  So here's the story....

(Skipping past the sad part when I explain why I closed my first business to open this one)

I opened this business as an art gallery in 2002 and represented over 50 local CNY artists. In the 2 years prior, I was painting, competing and selling in local and regional art events. I was member in many art communities and on the board of a couple small art guilds and planned several art events annually. (I'm not one to sit around!)

I was really struggling on so many levels. And my art was showing it.

But less than a year of owning and operating the gallery in a little river side location, a man walked in and changed everything for me.

This gentleman stepped into the gallery and browsed for only a few minutes and asked which paintings were mine. I thought he was just looking to buy some art and maybe sizing me up to see if I was an artist or just a shop owner...and he was. Within minutes, the conversation turned into art-making questions. And he asked me, " Do you offer lessons?" And I said no.

Well, this sweet man, a recently retired city school principal, came back and asked me about lessons...and came back again! Needless to say, he broke me down. I put together a little watercolor lesson, which was (and still is) my favorite medium. He was a tough student, but dedicated and committed to learning as much as he could.

Within a couple of months I had a small class of 6 students and they still come to classes with me every week. Not just to learn art....but because we have built a beautiful community of supportive and inspiring people who love creating together.

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Creating more than just "art"

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Anyone who has attended one of my classes, workshops or retreats knows that I do more than just teach people how to draw and paint. There’s more to this whole creativity thing that we do…every week…month after month…..year after year. And I have been feeling this call to do more, say more, be more seen and heard….

What do I “really” mean when I say things like, “breathe” and “ how does that make you feel?”

and Why don’t I just teach art?....

(Just the facts ma’am)......

Because that’s not who I am !  

I have experienced years of push back and challenges because I choose not to "define" what I do in the "art world, in the classroom and in the studio"

...This has left people to define it for me and I think it's time for me to shed some light on this.

I am an expressive intuitive visual artist...... I have the skill and talent to create "pretty" pictures like landscapes and wildlife and things that I truly love. BUT....

When I am happiest and most authentic in my creative process?......I really and truly feel at home when I  just let all that go....When I JUST PAINT!

....I feel free, connected and empowered.....

This is what I teach! This comes so naturally to me that I struggle offering "standard art classes" and basic "how-tos" and the "all too popular, paint parties".

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Now...as our world seems to be searching for ways to connect, communicate and explore new ways to relate to our communities and our everyday lives....I feel stronger than ever that we HAVE TO LET GO!.

How can I bring myself to the world in the most autherntic way possible?

Through ART  Through Teaching

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  • I am the person who bring light into the places we don’t want to look into.

  • I am the person who guides with grace as people navigate their way back into “being”

  • I am the person who creates with complete abandon

  • I am the person who tweaks those who think creativity is only for the “naturally skilled people”

  • I am the person who quietly reminds us all that we are ALL creative

  • I am here to speak and be heard, “unused creative potential is NOT benign”