Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Emotional Benefits of Art

Most art lovers would agree, that creating, viewing, and appreciating art, is good for the spirit and can certainly affect your mood. Art encompasses many creative forms and every piece of art is as individual as its creator, so its effects on our psyche and emotions are varied and diverse.

The expression of creativity in all its variations, is immensely related to many aspects of our “sense of well-being” and purposefulness in the world. But though many of us know all of this intuitively, what are the proven effects of creating and appreciating art?

Various art forms have been used in therapy sessions for decades, and there are therapy and counseling programs that have been fully developed around art and creative expression. The effectiveness of Art Therapy is based upon the idea that everyone is creative in some way, and does not require its clients to be Picasso, but only asks that they be their uniquely creative selves.

The Proven Emotional Benefits of Art

1. Through creative expression, people are often more able to see parts of themselves more clearly. There are aspects of ourselves that we tend to keep hidden or may have blocked away when we were kids for self-protection. Exploring the world of art and creating art can be used to open up those blocked areas and help us to release, otherwise, trapped emotions.

2. Trained Art Therapists can help you to process those unlocked emotions. It can be challenging, at any age, to deal with emotions that were never allowed to surface. Working with an Art Therapist can be extremely beneficial in working through our emotions in a healthy way.

3. It’s important to know, that research shows that you don’t need a therapist to benefit from art therapy or creative expression. With a bit of study and reading, combined with your participation in some art form, whether it be creating collages, working with watercolors, or taking frequent trips to the museum, anyone can benefit and experience a greater ability to be more open with their feelings, and develop an emotionally healthy practice of sharing with others.

4. Art appreciation and creation can help to reduce the amount of stressful emotions that occur, and have also been proven to lessen anxiety and tension. Combined with a healthier lifestyle, other enjoyable emotional outlets, such as spending time with friends, as well as quality time alone,- art and the expression of creativity, can be a true catalyst for emotional healing.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Northeast Art Workshops & Retreats 2014

I always like to try to share with you a glimpse of my workshops, I was just in Gloucester MA giving a workshop for the Northeast Art Workshops and Retreats. It was so much fun, wonderful people, great food, just a absolutely beautiful location.
Sometimes people get a little nervous about taking a workshop and don't know what to expect, so consider this try not to make demands on yourself, be open, have fun, make new friends, be inspired and learn. Can't wait for September of 2015 when we will be painting rocks.

Great Food

New Friends

Great class

It was wonderful to see how much everyone developed during the week and how their confidence grew. We had experienced artists and beginners. I try to take the stress out of learning something new and give you a framework to be able to be open and explore.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Simple and Easy Brush Tutorial

Here is a "Simple and Easy Brush Tutorial" that was filmed at Cheap Joe's in Boone NC teaching a workshop. Cheap Joe's is a great place to submerge yourself in a workshop and Art Supplies. The people are so friendly and easy to work with and if your really lucky you might run into Joe himself and hear one of his many wonderful stories.

Here is a snippet to give you an idea of what the workshops are like. 
My next scheduled workshop there will in June 2015

For a complete selection of my signature Watercolor Brushes visit my store http://www.shop.birgitoconnor.com/ or for a listing of other workshops my website and more information visit http://www.birgitoconnor.com

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Benefits of Taking a Watercolors Workshop

Sometimes people are a little nervous coming into a workshop, they may think that they are not good enough or don't have the experience or others may judge them. In a workshop environment everyone is really there to learn. Even the best and most experience artist can struggle with another artists technique, that's why it is called a workshop, if offers everyone the space to experiment, have fun, make mistakes, learn and play.

Many art lovers know that various forms of art are beautiful, and can add much joy to your life. Aside from gorgeously decorating your home; the love of art, and creating art, can be beneficial and healthy in many ways. Creating art is able to increase one’s sense of well-being, and help to expand your overall feeling of happiness.

Watercolor is best known for the beautiful transparent layers of color and jeweled like effects that it can create. It has a reputation for being the most intimidating of all mediums, since most people believe that if you if you a mistake there is no fixing it unlike oil, acrylics or collage. But really that is not true, just like the medium itself work with change and allow it to flow.

What to expect from a workshop

Whether you feel that you have natural artistic talent or not, joining a workshop can benefit you in many ways. You may end up discovering artistic talents that you were unaware of, or simply begin to allow yourself to express emotions in a more fun, relaxing, and creative way.  Try not to set your self up with the expectation of creating great art or that you have to be the best artist there is, that is why it is called a workshop, it is about the learning experience and application of new techniques and how you will interpret them into your own style. If by chance you do create great art, then that is an added bonus, but don’t put that pressure on yourself. If you’re a beginner and enter the class with the idea that you are there to learn and have fun you are ahead of the game.

Some major benefits of taking a watercolors workshop: 

A New Mode of Expression

Taking a watercolors workshop opens the door for new ways of expressing yourself and releasing emotions. Sharing your deepest thoughts with a close friend or family member may not feel right all of the time; being able to share your feelings and emotions in a more abstract and personal way, is perfect for certain moments in life. Working with watercolors is a very free-form way of allowing your emotions to flow.

The Joy of Discovering Hidden Talent

Sometimes you don’t know what you are capable of, until you give it a try. Joining a watercolor workshop may help to uncover hidden artistic talents, you may have never known you had. In this way, you get to know yourself more deeply and intimately through a creative expression. The world of art is vast and takes on many different forms. Through working with watercolors, you may find your passion in other forms of artwork as well.

Helps to Relieve Stress

Art classes have the ability to take your mind off your worries and the stresses of everyday life. By taking a workshop, you can have a special time set aside for focusing on learning and creating, instead of any problems you may be facing. Worry is simply another form of energy output, and learning to paint, can give that energy, an alternative way of releasing itself. For those who find it challenging to meditate, working with watercolors is another great way of bringing some imagination and peace into your world.

Experiencing Personal Growth

Trying something new will allow you to realize that you are never too old to begin again. Many people in their 70’s, 80’s, even 90’s, have learned to create artworks that express themselves. Learning and exploring something new at any age, expands your spirit, brings about positive thoughts, and opens up possibilities in the mind. Anna Mary Robertson Moses, more famously known as, Grandma Moses, was a very well known American folk artist. She began painting in her late 70’s, and lived until 101 years old. The majority of her success came after the age of 80.

So join a watercolor workshop today, and see what fun you have, how much your imagination increases, and discover the new and exciting adventures that will unfold for you.


How Watercolor Works: 4 Quick Tips for Beginners

Watercolor has always been perceived as a very unforgiving medium that offers very little control which can cause a lot of frustration. But the effects and luminous washes possible with watercolor are unrivaled. In order to take advantage of the way watercolor works, there are some basic things you need to know.

Find the Proper Materials
Using brushes that are too small or a poor grade of paper are paths to frustration.

Think Backward
Instead of beginning with the darks and then adding the lighter colors, begin with the lighter areas and then move toward the darker colors.

As a self-taught artist with years of experience, I have found that it is most important to simplify. I have tried to convey this through my articles, books and DVDs. You’ll get a feel for my techniques with the very simple step-by-step demonstrations included in Watercolor in Motion.

Use Enough Water
Once you have an understanding of how to really use water and color to your advantage, the rest is up to you. The world is wide open. 

To view the entire article online at the ArtistNetwork click here

Learn watercolor painting tips

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mendocino Spring Flowers Workshop

We all had a great time in Mendocino for my Spring Flowers workshop. It challenged all the students repeats and newbies alike. One gentleman picked up a brush for the very first time the day before sand he did a great job in the workshop. You just need to be willing to make mistakes and HAVE FUN. My next workshop will be May 18-22 at  Dillman's Creative Arts 
For all other workshops visit http://www.birgitoconnor.com/birgitevents.html 

The same composition with different approaches in the background.

I loved seeing their smiling faces

Mendocino Watercolor Workshop

They all did a wonderful job in the workshop - congratulations everyone

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stopped in Sanibel / Captiva

What a lovely Island. 
I am inspired by my walks on the white sand beaches covered with shells and different birds.