Due to Covid-19, we have had to close our space in the Turnagain Arts Building in Anchorage, Alaska. If you've been there, you know it is a very narrow space, and almost impossible to socially distance in there! I could maybe have 4-5 people in there, but classes that small aren't going to keep paying the rent! And I simply don't have the funds to move into a bigger place. So I decided to close up the physical studio and move everything into storage for now.
As sad as that is, I'm choosing to look at this as a new beginning, with new opportunities! I feel like this will allow me to focus more on art, and more on what my clients would like to see. Even without the studio space, I can do a party or class at your home or business (more on that below), and will be doing some online classes! Moving to online classes allows me to help people no matter where in the world they are - from the comfort of their own homes! I also hope to create more custom art, like my pet portraits, and this will allow me time to focus on those as well.
I would love to come and do a painting party for you at your home or business (in the Anchorage/Eagle River, Mat-Su Valley, Girdwood areas of Alaska) - if socially distancing is possible, and masks are worn. We can come up with the perfect painting or craft project for you! Please email me your ideas, the date you wish to have your party, and your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another thing I'm toying with is creating art kits - all the supplies you need to create your own art! It might be painting supplies, drawing supplies, or wood burning! (Or something else?!) Some of them will go with online classes, and some will be stand-alone. I'm thinking of making some custom kits, made just for you, where I prepare your canvas or other surface with the image you want, and you do the painting or drawing - kind of like paint-by-numbers. This would be most useful in pet portraits - you send me the photo of a pet, and I get everything ready for you to paint it - *without* you having to draw it yourself! Let me know if you think this would be something you're interested in.
I'm looking forward to the possibilities in moving forward, and hoping for the best! I think we can make Palette into something even better than ever, in spite of Covid-19!
I’ve been putting off this post for as long as I could because I didn’t want to add to the growing list of “this is how we’re dealing with the corona virus pandemic.” But it’s time to let you know where things stand.
I traveled out of state, with my kids, to surprise my mother for her 85th birthday. When we left Alaska, just over a week ago, the situation was very different from what it is today. In fact, over the weekend, things changed so exponentially fast, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to fly home. But we did, and arrived home last night about midnight.
While we weren’t in a “hot spot”, we did travel, and let’s face it, just air travel on a good day can be worrisome, as far as germs are concerned. Our flight back to Alaska was quite full. Given how easily this virus spreads, and how people can be carriers without having symptoms, I’d rather approach things as if my kids and I are infected, and err on the side of caution. None of us wants to pass anything on to anyone else. The health authorities don’t necessarily warn us to self-quarantine for 14 days, but they do recommend taking our temperature 2 times a day for the 14 days. Since things are changing so quickly, I’m thinking they will implement 14 day self-quarantine for ALL travelers soon, regardless of where you’re traveling from. I’d rather not take any chances and just be a step ahead in this case.
For this reason, I’m postponing the one class I had scheduled (Alcohol ink flowers on Mar. 21st) and will not be scheduling any new classes till things are more stable. This is definitely going to be hard on me, financially, as my other “job” is substitute teaching - subs don’t get paid time off or anything for doing online classes, of course, because we don’t do any of that. If I can figure out how to set up a camera to catch the action, I will maybe do some online videos just for fun... but any tips will be much appreciated! I can also do custom paintings for you during this time, which not only would help a lot, but I would enjoy the distractions!
Please stay safe out there, and remember, all these closures and restrictions are to slow down the spread. Please do your part to help the effort - keep yourself healthy by maintaining distance from other people, cancelling social events, keeping shopping to a minimum, and stay home if you start feeling sick! I’ve seen far too many people that say “I don’t care if I get sick!” Which is great, but please don’t spread this around to people who could suffer complications and die from this.
Be well, and we will create art again together soon!
I taught 4 private painting parties over the last 2 weekends. Some interesting comments were made, that I would like to address. At EVERY one of those 4 parties, someone mentioned a painting class they had taken in the past. I was appalled. (disclaimer: I have no idea who these instructors are, or what studios they may have been affiliated with. This is not a personal attack on anyone, just commentary on how my beliefs as an instructor do not align with the instructors mentioned here.)
Last week, I did a team building painting class for a local company. One man said that they had done the same activity a couple years prior. In that class, the instructor actually TOOK the paint brush from his hand - a grown man - and told him he was "painting it wrong" and "doing too many swirls." Then the instructor and assistant cut him off from white paint because he had used "too much." At the 3 other parties, comments ranged from "you're so much easier to work with than the last teacher I took a class from" to "she said I was doing it wrong."
I'm sorry - but WHAT WERE THESE INSTRUCTORS THINKING? There is NO WRONG in art!! It is a process .. a journey, that is meant to be savored and enjoyed.
My favorite quote from Bob Ross is "There are no mistakes - just happy accidents." As an art instructor, my job is to guide you, teach you techniques, and let you explore - never to tell you "how to do it right." I'll give you my opinions, maybe explain what I may do with something, or give you a few options to try. I try never to touch your canvas with a paint brush. It's your canvas and your art - if I start "fixing" things or showing you techniques directly on your canvas, it starts to become my art. That's not what you're coming to a class for!
I have three goals for each class or party:
1) I hope that each client enjoys themselves and conversation with other clients.
2) That you get involved with and appreciate the journey we are on together.
3) I hope that everyone leaves with some art they like.
The last is not very possible without the other two. Sometimes even when we've had a good time, we still end up with art we're not very happy with. It happens to me quite a bit! But if someone can say "well, it didn't turn out the way I hoped, but I had fun" then it was a successful class for that person. On the other side of the coin, I guarantee, if I take a brush out of someone's hand and say they're "doing it wrong," and make them miserable during class, they will leave with a piece of art they hate.
I guess what I'm saying here is that maybe some of the instructors in the past have given you a bad taste. I'm here to change that for you. Classes with me are a safe space to explore your art as you see fit. I'll give you tips, techniques, guidance and "what I might do here is..." but I will never ever tell you you're doing it wrong. As far as I see it, if you're creating art, you're doing EVERYTHING RIGHT! <3
Do you ever say "This is such a busy time of year for me!" and realize you say that just about all year round? That's where I find myself these days. And yes, I am very busy, both in my personal life, and my business. And I couldn't be happier!
I am a substitute teacher (my "day job") and requests for subbing jobs are always pretty steady. My son is graduating from high school in TWO WEEKS! (Ack!) He just had his talent show last weekend, where he won first place! I need dental work done, including a wisdom tooth extraction. I have paint parties coming up! I have a photography job this weekend. The list goes on....
In the past, this kind of busy-ness would get me overwhelmed and resentful. But now I am doing something I LOVE: teaching art classes. I had no idea 5 years ago that this is where life would bring me. I was teaching art at a community center, which was wonderful, but it wasn't very successful, and it wasn't something that I could "do" with my life - it was a side job, at best. But I kept doing what I loved doing, and eventually started teaching classes for the former owner of Palette, Larissa. That's when I really, truly realized that this is what I want to do with my life. I found a passion in me that I didn't know was there!
I feel like I am a natural teacher. I have taught in so many settings - as a parent, as a sub teacher (of course), as a Weight Watchers leader (you'd never know looking at me now haha!), and as an art teacher. It comes so naturally to me to explain and show techniques. I love art and music and all forms of expression, so pairing those passions with teaching has just been a perfect fit for me. I can truly say, "I'm happy!"
And I would love for you to come and join me at a class! I'm so excited for the ones coming up next week! We will be painting adorable piggies at Turnagain Arm Pit BBQ restaurant on May 7th at 6pm. Yes, it's a little warped to paint pigs at a BBQ place, but the owners love pigs, and we just had to do it! :) It will be a lot of fun, and the food is amazing! On Saturday, May 11, there are two events! We will be at Zip Kombucha at 4:30pm, doing a craft and painting for Moms and kids (ages toddler to 12 years). Or, really, send any adult friend or family member along with the little ones, or an older sibling. These will make super cute gifts for Mom, Grandma, Aunt, or any special "Mom" in your life! After that, at 7pm at our studio in Spenard, we will paint a lovely flower with alcohol inks. This is going to be a Paint & Sip style, party, but older teens are welcome to paint too.
Please visit our Book a Workshop page to sign up for any of these! Hope to see you soon!
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