If you can draw a stick figure, you can create amazing art with me!
By Leann Schmidt
It’s true that some people are natural born artists while others struggle to do a good stick figure. But don’t despair, life is NOT so unfair!
There are other satisfying forms of art that you can do with a high degree of success almost every time, and you can do this art together with your friends, or as a way to meet new friends in a social environment.
My “non-artist” friends are stunned by their beautiful creations, and my natural born artist friends are thrilled to apply their skills to new art forms. Everyone wins, and the world is a more beautiful place with more art in it!
Everyone benefits from art! Little kids, teens, college students, veterans, adults, seniors – artists and non-artists alike! You may be wondering why a non-artist would want to do art (but probably not because you know you want to). The reason is simple: art feels good when you’re doing it. Even if only temporary, it’s true that engaging in an art activity can lift depression, relieve anger, expel anxiety; it can help you out of a rut. It can help with grief, the loss of a precious life, the loss of a relationship or a disappointing life circumstance. It can brighten an already cheerful mood, it can elevate you to a greater sense of happiness.
It’s nearly impossible to do art and not reap the feel-good benefits. I’ve never seen an argument between two people doing art, have you? There’s a reason for that. The tone of the voice changes, there’s a sense of belonging and inclusion, a willingness to help your friends and neighbors, a need to be kind, to appreciate and respect others with whom you are creating art. I could give you all the science behind this, or you can just draw from your own experiences. People are happy when they do art, including you.
Art also opens your mind and lets you think of creative solutions to seemingly non-creative tasks. There are a lot of hidden benefits to doing art.
What Kinds of Art?
There are many forms of art that most people can do, even those who believe they have little artistic ability. My focus is on acrylic pouring and water marbling, both of which result in stunning art pieces. For these forms, the art is a combination of curiosity, science and preparation (not in brush paintings or pencil sketches). In this vein, I have put together a series of formulas that practically guarantee your success from your very first painting, even while granting you a high degree of freedom to try different techniques and color combinations.
Acrylic Pours using weird things around the house such as…
Pouring paint through sink strainers resulted in these paintings (no paint brushes used or destroyed):
Spinning a lazy Susan while dropping paint on top resulted in this painting
Pouring paint and using glass for Geodes, can actually look just like geodes!
What happens if I don’t like my art?
It happens, because that’s part of art experimentation. But no need to worry, we have a backup plan for that too! Here are a few “goofs” that were easily transformed into stunning artworks.
Using plastic or a wet paper towel, we slowly slide paint across the top of the painting. It can look something like this:
Didn’t quite like the result, so I blew the paint around a bit with a hair dryer. Tada! A Bouquet of Flowers!
And then there’s Water Marbling…My new love!
This technique begins by floating paint on water, creating a design, and then transferring the design from the top of the water to a sheet of paper or bit of fabric. This art has origins in Turkey, and is very easy to do beautiful swirls. I have tools that help you create beautiful designs in the floating paint, or you can free hand designs and identifiable objects like flowers and birds (or anything else). Here are a few samples, all on fabric: