October 2013 – Ten Things to Remember When You Take An Art Class

The month of October has finished up with most of us artists signed up for classes being offered at the annual “Art of the Carolinas -2013”.   For those who are new to taking art classes there are basic things that you will need to know.  For some of you who have been taking classes and nobody called you on some of your behaviors, the list is worth the read.   Just consider this an attempt to help educate both new and experienced class takers.  I took some classes last year and realized none of us are too experienced to learn a little something new in class convenience and etiquette.

One: always bring a plastic bag to use as a personal trash can.   Two: bring a roll of good paper towels.  You will be grateful when you have to clean up a paint or water spill.  Three: if allowed, pictures are nice, but have a pen and paper ready to write down pearls of wisdom your teacher may share.  You’ll think you will remember what was said but that usually doesn’t happen.  Four: teachers usually tell you what brushes or tools to bring.  However, I have learned that if I have favorite brushes that serve me well in several ways, I bring my extra familiar brushes too.  Teachers usually don’t care as long as you do have similar brushes like the ones they’ve asked you to bring.  Five:  if you are like me, toss the granola bars and bring a few good snacks.  Just don’t eat while you paint and make sure that you wash your hands first.  There are things in paint products that don’t need to be in your digestive system.  Also, try to limit the crunch factor so as not to disturb the class. If you like fruit, prepare it in mouth size slices.  Six:  If you have a special need, let the class organizers know beforehand that you will need accommodation.  It’s easier to accommodate someone before regular class attendees have piled in and grabbed all the primo seats.  If you don’t have  it addressed before the class, ask the teacher  to recommend a good spot where you might be accommodated.  We teachers do try to make accommodations for those who have special needs.  Seven: No matter how great you think your conversation and thoughts can be to others, leave the talking to the teacher.  He/She is getting paid to teach. Having two or three “Chatty Birdies” communicating makes it hard on the rest of us to hear the teacher.  Don’t make us or the teacher have to be the bad guy and tell you all to “Shhhhhhh”.  Eight:  Be polite to those taking the class with you.  No matter how great you think your painting is,  find something nice to say about  your colleagues work.  Kindness will be remembered long after an ” I’m so good and this is so easy for me” remark or attitude  has been expressed.  Nine:  As your class is finishing up, in your own work spot, start cleaning up little areas that are not being used anymore. This is where you will find that the first item on this list, the lowly trash bag to be a blessing.  Finally, Golden Ten: After the Class has finished, personally thank your teacher.  Quietly, pass out your business cards and ask for business cards from your colleagues.  As a former teacher told me, leave them with a memory of you smiling and waving bye.  If they get to fame before you do, it will be nice if they remember you as being that friendly person that took an art class with them.

The Healing Ceilings Tile project is going great.  I had my first tile installed at Rex Chemo Infusion Center in Raleigh, NC.  My second one, with lovely pink flowers and hummingbirds is almost done.   I’ll be taking art classes at the Art of the Carolinas -2013 this weekend.  Hope all of you, my dear readers, hold good thoughts for me to do well.

Take Care,

Dianna and Mark