I am a mixed media artist from New York City with a passion for art. While I thoroughly enjoy my alone time in the studio, for me there has always been something magical about the creative synergy and artistic combustion that develops when a roomful of artists work together.
For this, and many other reasons, I spend a great deal of time teaching art workshops. I am an instructor at Pratt Institute in NYC and have been fortunate to have taught across the United States and internationally as well, in Australia, Mexico, Canada and The UK.
As a self-taught artist, I recognize the importance for those without formal training to have an opportunity to learn creative skills. For people who have had an art education, the ability to continue to learn and challenge themselves is key to growing as an artist. I have attended many art workshops and retreats myself and understand how much we can all learn from our fellow students. This is true for me as an instructor as well.
I recognize that while people attend classes for different reasons, there is always a sense of excitement, passion, purpose and eagerness in the workshop space. I can feel it and so can the other students. As a rule, attendees are open and generous, sharing ideas, art supplies, and energy. There is a sense of community that develops over the course of my classes that makes the experience more meaningful.
As an instructor, my goals are to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere where people feel able to create, explore and stretch themselves artistically. I think it is important that people are educated about the materials that they use, leave with a range of new techniques that they can use in their own art practice, and have some serious fun while learning. There is always laughter in my classroom. I spend a good deal of time helping students learn to create without thinking as a means of getting into the zone, overcoming self doubt and hesitation, and silencing their inner critic .
In the end, I feel a successful workshop is one in which a student will leave with a desire to make more art, a take-away idea or technique that they would like to explore more, and a sense of artistic accomplishment and satisfaction from the day.