See the #1 Reason Why I LOVE Teaching Art!

I LOVE#1 Reason Why I LOVE Teaching Art!

I LOVE to inspire YOU to create!

I dare you to set aside time, in this busy, fast-paced, technological world, to get quiet so you can access your creative genius and make the world a better place!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a testimonial email from a student that made me so happy. Check it out!

“I was always intrigued by mandalas so for my 38th birthday I contracted Gina to lead a workshop at my home. Me and four friends were guided on a transformational process where we developed a connection with powerful and creatives aspects within us. Gina, and the mandala itself, was the impetus for many real life changes. Several months later I met my future husband and in October 2013 we gave birth to a beautiful flower – our daughter, Angelina. I have made over 12 mandalas in the last 2.5 years since Gina’s workshop. Each one represents a different aspect of my life. Creating mandalas has become something like abstract meditation to me, drawing on wells of divine wisdom in areas such as communication, partnerships, and service. I feel more empowered. I have more joy. Gina is an enthusiastic lover of mandalas and, as such, is a tremendous spiritual resource to our community. Thank you Gina!”
Check out some of the mandalas that Karie has created since her workshop!
karie_spowart_mandala1 karie_spowart_mandala2 karie_spowart_mandala3

Personalized Mandala Birthday Party WorkshopJune 2012
San Ramon, CA

Wassup? Heyyy – the Artist in me salutes the Artist in you, let’s start a new lingo revolution!

I’ve decided to start a new tradition in my classes, akin to the salutation, Namaste, that is used in many yoga cultures.  Namaste, in Sanskrit means, the Divinity in me bows to the Divinity in you.  Wassup? Heyyy, in my newly made up lingo means, the Artist in me salutes the Artist in you!  (artistic side note:  it should be said in a fun and melodic way to keep the energy light)  Also, I think it’s a fun experiment to see if I could really start a new movement through made up lingo, to acknowledge the Artist within each of us. Because WE REALLY ARE ALL ARTISTS!  We have each just had different experiences of art and art experience.  hmmm, just like life.

I am really feeling like an artist as I write this at four in the morning on a cold, stormy night.  On a night, I might add, where I actually have  a rare opportunity to sleep, uninterrupted, because my nine month old is at his grandparents for the night, but I can’t because I keep thinking about the incredibly, beautiful images my students are creating and the notion that most of  them and most of the population for that matter, has about not being artistic. Or more specifically, most adults in our population would have a hard time saying with conviction “I AM AN ARTIST.” Trust me I get it, because I think, I just started saying it today, in the circle, our human mandala, as I’m teaching an Art workshop.  Crazy, I know.  But more importantly, mostly, I think because they may not have natural talent to draw life like images.  Which is quite different than not being artistic.  Isn’t being artistic, just being willing to create something you don’t like.  Or if you create something you like, doesn’t that then obligate you to create more.  Why is it that, as the story goes, that you can ask a group of five year olds if they consider themselves artists and all of them will raise their hands, but as we age, people no longer will claim their artistry.  What an interesting and popular , perhaps modern neurosis we’ve all seem to adopt, about “not really being an artist.”  I mean what is art.  We’ve all been to museums, galleries and arts shows, where you”re thinking “huh?”  I don’t get it?  Or, I could do that?  Or, I could, never do that?  But, how does one know unless, they dive into the mystery.  One of my teachers told me, “An artists job is to get to the final place.” I love that thought.  It means all one has to do is begin. Another teacher told me, “You have to be willing to make ugly art.”   I agree.  My approach to art, thus far, and of course, is also a metaphor for my life…the job is to turn the stuff I don’t like into stuff I like… and to have fun doing it… trying as many different mediums and methods as possible… in order to determine my style and preferences. In order to live the artistic life of my dreams.  There, that’s my current recipe.

Art Angst

The more art classes and workshops I take, the more I realize that I have this pattern of always loving the other participants work more than my own.  I’m taking an adult art class with some girlfriends and we’re learning how to do block printing by carving rubber, and although, I thought my design was okay, I was really into everyone else’s designs more.  I have to keep reminding myself, that this thing, i.e., a piece of rubber or canvas or whatever I am creatively working on, does not define me, or mean anything about me.  That, what is important is learning the techniques, and then practicing them, taking what I learn about my preferences for certain lines, shapes, texture, composition, etc., into account, so that I can create art that I love as much as I love other people’s art.

5 Days in Laguna Beach with my mentor – Paul Heussenstamm

I took a road-trip to beautiful, Laguna Beach, California, with my sweet, husband, Jason and my four and half month old baby boy, Zackariah, so that I could deepen my painting practice and gather information to begin teaching workshops. I spent the week with ten other women artists, each completing a painting, while learning some of Paul’s mandala techniques.  It’s always difficult for me to decide on which image I want to paint, but I was inspired by a huge painting of the Buddha’s head, which hung on the wall next to me in the new studio, and I wanted to choose something that I had never done before, something advanced, like a face. I went through the usual journey with the painting, from working in stacatto and overthinking everything, to letting everything flow, and allowing myself, as my teacher would say “Yield to the Paint” and as I would add “Yield to the Process”, which is sometimes liking it, and sometimes not liking it.  Ultimately, I ended up loving it and couldn’t believe I had created it, or better yet, had allowed it to be created through me.