Almost in Bloom

 In The Artist Date, Weekly Forum Discussion

I believe that art is the birthplace of self-awareness, and that through that awareness, we learn to embrace our natural, imperfect beauty and transform into our most authentic selves.

My big vision is to one day have my own studio, much like Donna Downey’s previous studio (pre-retreat house), where I can facilitate courses and workshops with local and international artists, bringing more opportunities for discovery, play, growth and creativity to our amazing city, and the people in the area.

In order to get there, I need to start small. So, my current vision, and a big step for me, is to start teaching my own art classes. Upon admitting my desire, I have been amazed at the divine timing and the opportunities presenting themselves to me! In fact, I already have 2 workshops booked, and a whole series in the works! I have a perfect location, with amazing people and supportive advertising. I have a rough plan for it. Here it is:

I am going to start with teaching a series of mini 6×6 inch whimsical flowers, in my abstract-ish style. Each class will be a different flower shape and colour, allowing students to do whatever their heart desires, whether that be to follow step by step instructions or go off in their own creative direction. After a number of different flower classes, I will offer an intermediate class, where we paint a larger painting, and I show how to put multiple flowers together and paint a glass vase! Big step! So the students must have attended at least one mini flower class prior to registration, so they are not too overwhelmed. If the interest is there, I may also include an intermediate class or a two-part class where we paint a bug on a flower, like my little damselfly on a tulip, a bee on a daisy, or a ladybug on forget-me-nots.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach these classes in the heart of the art scene here in Hamilton, on James Street North, in a relatively new shop called Home of the Makers, where I also have my own space to display and sell my paintings!  It’s the perfect opportunity to see what people are interested in learning next!  My first class is coming up Thursday, March 7th, the night before the March Art Crawl.

I truly believe these classes fill a missing link between absolute beginner painting events, and actual art study courses.  I will be teaching simple subjects and techniques, using artist quality supplies, allowing people to dabble with the “good stuff” and see the difference between the different brands and quality of paint.  There is SO much more that one can do with good paint.  And no one will be disappointed with the colours and vibrancy of their finished pieces, I am confident in that.  I remember feeling like a kid in a candy store when I went to Donna’s studio and we got to use Golden and Liquitex for her workshop, and then Daniel Smith watercolours were provided for Jane Davenport’s class!  It made such a big impact!  I was so much happier with my results. And I think anyone who is pursuing an interest in art needs the opportunity to experiment and justify the cost of the nice supplies. As well as allow themselves to USE the supplies and not save them or make them precious. We are worthy of using nice things that make us happy.

Since I am passionate about helping people transform the epidemic of perfectionism, I hope to inspire them to use art as an emotional oxygen mask, while encouraging play, growth, discovery and healing through pausing to “smell the roses”; to feel the paint on their fingers, and to admire the beauty of what is, while learning to accept every mark that encompasses their unique beauty. This is about so much more than painting a pretty picture. This is about playing, trusting intuition and allowing one step to lead to the next in order to express oneself. My hope is to teach people to recognize the necessity of self-care and give them permission to practice this through art and play. My belief is that they can use art not only as an escape from the monotony of everyday life, but also discover their inner child while nurturing acceptance, kindness, compassion and love. My motto is:

EMBRACE CHANGE, PLAY, CHAOS and LOVE

Written by: Liz Chamberlain; Lizzie Lou Mixed Media

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