Are you looking for the perfect gift for the experience seeker? This past year we have had many people enjoying and purchasing gift cards for art classes and workshops. Many gift cards are given as retirement gifts, but just as many are given as birthday gifts. We all seek out new and unique experiences to give as a perfect gift. Men, women and kids enjoy Raye of Light gift certificates because of the opportunity to create. They can try any class, from painting, to drawing or even pop art!
However, we do get a lot of questions about the gift cards and thought with the holiday season quickly approaching, we would attempt to make things easier and answer a few.
Gift cards come in denominations as small as $25 and as large as $100.
Your gift is not a card, but rather a personal customized gift certificate in .pdf file format. The certificate is personalized with the name and occasion of the recipient. We’ll email the file to you and you can easily download and print the certificate in the comfort of your own home or office.
Gift cards expire at the end of every calendar year.
The recipient of the gift card must contact us to set up their date and time to visit the art studio.
Finally, you do not have to be an artist or creative person to enjoy the gift! Every person, no matter what their age or ability level, is taught how to create something special in the class of their choice.
We would love to once again help you give the perfect experience this Holiday season. Art classes in a small setting are comfortable, personable and enjoyable. You can even give a studio experience to your family or co-workers – up to 6 people. With a little imagination the possibilities are endless!
Drawing comes and goes, in stages, as our child develops. So, how do we know at what age our kid might have talent or a knack for drawing or painting?
Preschoolers start drawing with scribble lines that move into simple shapes that represent forms by the time they reach kindergarten. As they develop their thinking skills, they start critiquing their own ability to draw.
The Dawning Realism (7-9 years old)
At this stage in artistic development, children are beginning to become more critical of their own work. Drawing up to the age of ten is usually something enjoyed by school age boys and girls. It is at this stage of development that most kids decide whether to continue to draw for enjoyment. Many times, they stop themselves because of a comment or comparison that shuts down the joy in making art. This happens as their reasoning skill set and identity develops. If they are deemed talented, they might whether the storm, and they start drawing on a more sophisticated level seemingly overnight. This change is attributed to the next stage of development.
The Pseudo-Naturalistic Stage (10-13 years old)
According to Matt Fussell, from the Virtual Instructor.com, “The use of value and light is now apparent in drawings. Children at this stage of artistic development are very critical of their own success. Success is determined by the level of realism achieved in the drawing. Frustration is a common occurrence. It is exceptionally important to encourage students at this stage.”
This is a vulnerable time when many kids stop drawing. Timing is important so that the frustration level does not hinder their love for drawing which is just starting to mature. This is the age to invest in your child’s interest and talent. Most kids come with their sketch book filled with pencil simple line drawings. They might get recognized for their ability to draw form or copy highly stylized drawings like Manga.
When kids arrive at this level of artistic ability, is when we start to receive inquiries into drawing/art lessons. We typically meet with you and your child in the studio before you would start any type of art class or lessons. We have taken many kids that love to draw and developed their hand eye dexterity taking their ability to the next level. Typically, middle schoolers receive instruction and support in creating portfolio pieces, and the proper presentation of their art. The reward is a skill which can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment.
Contact me for more information on private and semi-private art classes. We are currently developing an after-school drawing class for girls, called, “Girls with Graphite“, see below flyer and link for more information.
The reward of treating yourself to something comes with age. We earned the reward with hard work and therefore, the thrill of receiving it is so much sweeter. When we allow ourselves time to focus on our own needs, we want that reward to be fulfilling and special, like taking private art lessons.
Taking art lessons when you are an adult is satisfying on many levels. The first reason is that we are making time for enrichment and knowledge. Second, we are looking for new experiences that open us up to growth. Lastly, we have a need to create or nurture an inner voice or creativity.
Of course, this does not mean you’re an artist looking for a formal education. Private art lessons mean different things to different people. It can be that one thing you do for yourself for no other reason than to explore a new world or activity. Art can also be as important as exercise when it comes to wellness. As we age and take control of our free time we look more to mental and physical health. I have often heard from my adult students that it “clears their mind” and is “relaxing” after class.
In fact, according to Psychology Today’s article on art making and stress reduction, adults may experience a measurable reduction in their cortisol levels after a 45-minute art making session. Cortisol is often defined as a “stress hormone” that is correlated with levels of stress in the body. So, we suggest that along with that Paleo diet and yoga or Pilates, a private art lesson or two might just be what the doctor ordered.
During your private are lessons, you will be catered to and creatively met at your level. Art is personal with us and we customize your learning to draw paint or print so it inspires you and helps create lifelong learning. Why not try a class?! We even accommodate your time. After all, time is the most precious commodity we have…well, that’s what we have learned now that we are older and wiser. Contact me for more information on private art classes.
In a recent meeting with a group of very creative people, someone made the comment, “Color is scary for some people.” That statement really threw me off guard. I don’t understand how color can be scary. It’s just an odd concept to me, since I feel that color is life itself. Color is associated with so many things in our day to day lives, like moods, the seasons, appetite, gender, light, sports, identity and so much more. In fact, there is even a color of the year chosen yearly and psychology of color too. So, how can color be something to be afraid of when it’s all around us?
If you are afraid of color, it may because you don’t understand color and how colors work together. A good, simple, old school approach to becoming comfortable with using color is to use the color wheel. The color wheel is a circular chart for color reference. Every color can be made by using the primary colors, which are red, yellow, and blue, and adding the neutrals of black and white. When you mix yellow and blue you get green. Mix red and blue and you will get purple, and if you mix yellow and red, orange is the result. Orange, green and purple are called secondary colors because they are derived from the primary colors. Finally, there are tertiary colors, which are a third set of colors that are made using primary and secondary colors. For example, when you mix purple with blue the result is blue violet. If you mix purple with red, you’ll get magenta. The placement of the colors on the color wheel show you how colors will work together in your art.
When you begin working with color, keep it simple by selecting no more than three colors to use in your art. This simplicity will help you develop an eye for color. Then once your eye is trained, you can ask yourself what your art needs. Color can make your world a happy place or a place of solace. It’s all around you and the non-verbal messages are sent daily into your world. Don’t be afraid of it – come and explore it in a class. On April 10th and May 9th you can come paint with colorful alcohol inks.
Some of you many remember block printing from your middle school or high school art class — and not in a fond way. I still hear horror stories from clients that remember trying to carve into hard, brittle linoleum blocks and trying not to stab themselves, all while trying to make something artistic in the process.
Well, my friends, those days are gone! Speedball and companies like Moo Carve have created the “soft block”. This new material is thicker, softer and allows for intricate and detailed carving all while saving your poor fingers from injury. The soft block allows you to carve with ease and focus on your design instead of fearing it.
February is a great time to reignite your love for block printing, by making you Valentine’s cards! The block printing process allows for the printing of multiple copies of the exact image which makes it a great choice for your Valentine’s cards. You can even print the same image and embellish it with markers making slight variations to the same design. You can even get your little ones in on the fun, by having them help with the printing process or by having them embellish the prints. Each card can be different and as special as the person it’s intended for.
If you decide to do tackle block printing at home you will need the following supplies that can be found at art supply stores like Art Things in West Annapolis or online here:
an ebony pencil (for sketching and making a transfer backing)
your carving tool
a soft pink or blue speedball linoleum block
a soft roller for inking
smooth non textured paper
water soluble ink in the color of your choice
After drawing the image onto paper, simply rub the ebony pencil on the back of your design, making a carbon or graphite back. It can easily be transferred to the block by drawing over the design again. Carve out your design and then you are ready to apply the ink to the carved design. The process is trail and error until you get the feel for the brayer and ink. Then carefully turn over the inked block and press firmly and/or massage the block to transfer the ink to the cardstock.
If you have a change of heart and would like to take a class on block printing first, please come see me on Saturday, February 10th. Use this link to learn more about the class and to sign up yourself or with your family. Once you learn this skill/art form you will want to personalize every paper surface and tee shirt you own!