Spreading Sunshine

When someone discovers that they CAN paint and learn to see like an artist, it can make a difference in their life. Sometimes it is life changing.

Like the people I have taught in long term healthcare facilities who are so exited to find they can create art when many other people can not. The satisfaction of creating something many others admire is very therapeutic and increases their sense of self worth at a time when they are no longer able to do so many things for themselves.

Though diagnosed as quadriplegic this man has a slight amount of movement in his hand and with a few adjustments and assistance he has greatly enjoyed having the ability to create artwork others admire.
Finding their ability at a young age gives children confidence and can start them on a path of creativity that will touch many parts of their lives.
This retiree has learned something with each painting she has done
and loves new challenges with each subject choice.

For others it may not be such a dramatic life change but can provide a satisfying new talent to explore. Many retired people have it on their “bucket list” to try painting and this method gives them a clear way to learn and get fast success. Learning new activities is a proven way to increase brain function as we age.

When so many people have been lead to believe you have to “have the gift” and have not allowed themselves to consider they might be able to make art, creating art is a very exciting thing to realize you can learn at no matter what age or despite many disabilities.

Their excitement and pleasure is very evident! As an instructor it is equally exciting for me to hear them tell me how much they love it and only wished they had started painting much sooner.

If you can make a difference in someones life, what better job is there?

http://www.artis4every1.com
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Need Inspiration?

Good gracious! I can only write a short bit as I am going to have to run to let my bursting inspirational treasure trove out and actually paint before I burst!  How did I get so inspired? I happened onto a series with Waldemar Januszczak a wonderful British art documentary producer and presenter. (google him)

I started with the Four part Series on The Impressionists that I found on Amazon Prime. WONDERFUL!!! SO complete and showed you right where it happened and even the places in real life they painted. SO many backstories too!  I will watch again I am sure!

Then I jumped into his piece on Gauguin- Extraordinary!  This poor man had a hard life and was very brave with how he faced his troubled path that led to his great paintings.

This led me to a piece on Rubens- Who would have guessed he had accomplished so MANY types of art and architecture? AND had made real impressions on the political issues of the day?

I jumped next time into Andrew Wyeth (with a different presenter) that taught me to look at Wyeth in a new way. Tonight we may watch Waldemar’s Vincent Van Gogh series.

If you do not have Amazon Prime where I found these, I have found them on YouTube and may look on Netflix… Search them out!!!

I have to get my brushes moving, now! Even though I am thinking about painting and helping create paintings every minute I teach it is not as satisfying as PAINTING ! Given my current routine right now I do not do as much as I would like.

But enough of this chattering! I must go paint before my window of opportunity closes and the world demands my attention again .

Keep those brushes wet!

 

 

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Taking your work wherever you go.

So whats the new trend in jobs?

Working REMOTELY !

All three of my adult children work “remotely” now, as well as my daughter-in-law. and part of the time, my son-in-law  as well. Their jobs went from offices to their homes to wherever they hang their hat! All are doing it a little different .

My daughter an interior designer started the trend when she tried to quit her job as she prepared to go on a world wide wander for over a year with her fiancé. Her boss, another interior designer kept her on doing project management from wherever she was that had internet! Now she is married and lives in Tokyo, Japan and still works for the designer in San Diego CA.

My oldest son and his wife decided to move to Maine from the Boston area and found his data analysis job allowed him to slowly work less days in the Boston area office as he transitions to being fully remote and is now doing one day a week in town.

His wife was hired as they left town to do a full time job remotely as a search administrator for an executive recruitment firm and reports to the Boston office once each quarter.

My younger son does commercial real estate and does his research and calls and emails from his home office in rural central MA . He goes into the nearby cities to show clients a property or have meetings.

SO I have thought about how to make this job of mine, teaching painting and  training instructors, to be more portable to a degree as well! I spend several weeks at a time at Cape Cod helping my elderly mother in her home and several weeks in my home nearly 3 hours away in Central MA.  I also spend 8 weeks a year teaching painting in a girls summer camp out of state.

As I am transitioning to being semi-retired I have slowly cut down the number of weekly classes from my peak of 10 or 11 classes per week to 6 or 7 now. Three classes at a longterm care facility, one at a senior residence (with independent as well as assisted care residents) and 2 senior centers. I have two sporadic groups of adults that meet 1-2  classes per month as our schedules all dictate.

I envision having only the two senior center classes and one or two adult classes  and do the rest of my teaching in various workshops as I desire.

I have always done workshops and paint night style parties and I hope to bring those to people I know outside the area sometime so I can combine traveling and visiting people I know offering a class or two along the way. I have begun doing more  workshops in “destination” locations, not just in my studio.

(!!! Contact me to get more info on my September 2020 painting retreat at a beautiful villa in Italy!!!)

I put all my Ai4E1 instructor training online several years ago. Now I have programs online for those that just want to learn to paint, not be instructors. Learning the Ai4E1 Painting Method and the Color Mixing program online is great for people just interested in making their own art.

These gradual changes allow me to be in several places and still make my business work for me.

How would you make your business work remotely ?

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Technology- Friend or Foe?

As I struggle to stay out there in cyberspace I find it is increasingly frustrating and unsatisfying. Yes I can talk to my friends and family on the other side of the world but it seems to suck you in and then you loose big chunks of REAL time in the REAL world!

I love being present in THIS day and recording the things I love on a canvas, to visit the scene I love or the feelings it brings me over and over.

Which is why I love to turn others onto this tool for enjoying those things you love just a little more. This is the magic that people discover when they learn to see like an artist. Not only can they save those special scenes but now they will see them more intently as an artist learns to see so many details and colors that people never notice as they rush thru life.  I love when a student tells me “I was looking at the clouds yesterday and there ARE so many colors in them! I always thought of them as just white. ”

So before I get sucked into spending too much time here again I will say ENJOY your real time day! I am off to paint!

Who could you help to see the world with more detail and color?

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Creating Art: better than drugs

For myself, I notice that when too many months go by that I have not made time to PAINT, I feel ill equipped to face the barrage of bricks life can throw at you. Things just start to get me DOWN.

So it is no surprise when I began making artists out of people who had no expectations that they too could create, people began seeming much happier the more classes they came too.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the gray halls of long term healthcare facilities. The first class they grumpily proclaim “I can’t paint” or “I am not good at painting” but soon as they make it through a few layers on their painting they get happier and more involved.

After a few paintings they let me know that “This is the favorite thing I do all week- Can’t you come everyday?”

It obviously effects many people the way it does me. Not a very scientific study maybe but I would say it should  be a part of many more people’s lives. We might see a lot more happy faces out there!

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Why would anyone work for themselves?

When I first started teaching people how to paint, in 1987, it was with no expectations. I needed a little part time work while my kids were in school and my mother who ran my family’s nursing home suggested I have a painting class there. I had graduated from an art school and did a lot of freelance painting  so it seemed like I would have no problem. The art school was a three year full time fine arts program but it did not grant a degree so the usual public school teaching jobs were not an option. 

 

Not that I had ever wanted to teach at a school. I had seen what the art programs were like in  public school. Very grim and programed and at the high school level, heavily attended by kids that were only there because they thought it would be an easy course. Consequently they spent the class fooling around and tormenting the poor teacher. I vowed then I would NEVER teach. 

 

But when I began my class at the nursing home I quickly realized I had different challenges to help these people actually create paintings of their photo. They had vision troubles, memory and attention issues, their hands often shook and they were not very strong or confident. They were often victims of stroke so they had to use their opposite hand. None of them had ever drawn or painted and had no confidence they could.  I had to think of something quick as they were all waiting to see if it was worth the effort to come out of their rooms as nursing home activities can often be rather dull. Creating this method was a “learn as you go” process for me and I realized I would have to simplify the process of painting down to the very easiest level if it was going to be used by these folks. With each painting I created the method they needed to succeed.

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It soon worked out so well that when activity directors moved to a new facility they wanted classes there as well. Word spread and I could see there was potential for this to become a full time job, which it soon did. Well, at least what I call full time. I worked three or four one hour classes a day, four or five days per week.  I soon expanded to senior centers and retirement communities where the classes were an hour and a half. So my full time work week was 12-15 hours a week averaging $65 per hour. It was enough income for me, but the phone kept ringing with people wanting more classes. Not just at nursing homes, but for kids and adults with time in the evenings. The demand grew to be more than I could handle and that is why Art is 4 Every1, 

my Instructor training business, was begun. I still get calls and inquiries for new classes. But I found 13 classes a week was all I could handle, especially while my training business has begun growing.

 

WIth this business of my own I had complete control as to how many classes I could handle and where and when I wanted to drive to do them (I don’t go if its too snowy!).  This is one reason people love to work for themselves-CONTROL over their time and location. What do you like best about your job? Maybe you would like control over your time as well.  There really are options out there for those who are creative enough to invent themselves a business!

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SO why does painting or making art make YOU feel good?

by Cale Griffith

by Cale Griffith

Morning Light" by  Elaine Griffith

Morning Light” by Elaine Griffith

Everyone has different images that make them feel happy. I think when people learn how to create the images they want they feel in control of their happiness somehow. Maybe that is why studies say it is so therapeutic and healing. This is my own unscientific theory about why it has become such a hot thing to bring art to those who need healing.

When you first discovered you could create drawings or paintings that looked like something cool, how did you feel? I remember I loved to make scenes with me in them looking like something I imagined I wanted to be. I still have a picture of me as a princess that I drew when I was 6 years old on the cover of my first china tea set.  As I got older I remember drawing myself as a stereotypical artist of the 50s with the French beret worn at an angle on my head and sitting at an easel. I loved that I could create my own reality and put it into a picture that I could feel a part of for as long as I wanted. I think that is still what I like when I paint for myself- to create a scene that I want to be in. Nowadays I tend to paint the woods; mosses and trees that I love to be close to. Everyone has something, even if its just certain colors smeared on a page or patterns and textures, that brings them a happy glow.IMG_1759

Wouldn’t you love to bring that ability to make images to other people so they could have that marvelous feeling we have when we make art? What better tool for creating happiness can one share?

And what I have discovered over these 25 years of sharing “the art of making art”, is that I receive great joy from watching new artists find their voice. Maybe you will find the same sense of purpose I have with this special teaching tool that Art is 4 Every1 offers.

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Helping world wide relations one painting at a time!

Helping world wide relations one painting at a time!

Art is 4 Every1 is always a huge hit with the staff visiting from overseas, even though their is not much free time at camp for them several find they can complete a painting with this fast method. This Is Ting Fan’s first painting. She was proud to have it to bring back to her family in Taiwan.

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Spanning the last two years

Could nearly two years have passed since this last post ?? What a long, busy, crazy sad, happy two  years it has been! The student Spring show in the previous post went well. In the Fall, we had a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign to finance the creation of our online instructor training program in November ( it’s almost done!)

library showIn April 2013 we had another student show, this time at the Worcester Public Library including also a show of my own latest art and that of my son Cale, who began creating art in February!

March ended with a shock when my loving husband, Eddie,  passed on very unexpectedly on March 21, 2013.

before my  soulmate moves on

before my soulmate moves on

He had been building the last frame for my paintings to be in the show and the show went on despite this sad surprise just days before we opened. With the help of my son Cale and my daughter in law Jessica we somehow got it ALL hung and had an opening that was well attended. The Fall was soon upon us and I taught another Instructor training course.  I also decided to turn the larger half of  my garage into a beautiful studio for working in and teaching classes.

it's almost done!

it’s almost done!

And now it is winter and the New Year and I am stopping to catch my breath and get my feet under me again. Take stock of where I am headed. SO stay tuned and you will see!

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The Celebration of the Artists

Students and me enjoying the showLet the Show begin!  This weekend was the opening of  “Pass on the Power – A Show of Unexpected Artists”.   The artists were delighted as their friends and family could admire the paintings hanging in a professional display at a fantastic professional gallery space. We had a large turnout for the music , wine and food opening event.  So many visitors were amazed at the quality of the  work especially on some of the displayed FIRST paintings which had been marked as such. The work was from students of all my classes- from nursing homes, chronic care facilities, adult and teens at my home studio classes, as well as the nursing home classes of three of my trained instructors.

I think the show brought to mind some thoughts which I displayed at the event, hung high from the ceiling amongst a funky hanging of paint spattered table covers and painting smocks, for contemplation when the viewer looked up.

“For in the end two things are created: a work of art and an artist. Which is more valuable? ”

“Which is more important? the product or the process ? For each artist, sometimes for each piece, it is different. ”

Another wall had this thought—-

SAVE THE WORLD- 

When you learn to“see like an artist” You see the world full of design and color mixtures. Your mind thinks:“It would make a beautiful painting!”  There are also artists who find great release in letting a canvas speak out what they can not say. They feel they have been heard when they paint it.

If more people were artists would there be more focus in the world on CREATING instead of DESTROYING ?  Save the WORLD- Create Artists!

…….Which is after all the mission of Art is 4 Every1 – to create more artists. For those of you out there that already know the joy of being an artist, think about joining me in bringing this possibility to the many who find great benefit when given the opportunity to learn this way of expression. check out the training courses  on the website (www.artis4every1.com)  and sign up for the newsletter so you will know when the online course is also available.

Create Artists!Ai4E1 Student Show

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