Student Breakthroughs

My human students have been given cute animal personalities to protect their privacy.


This class is really aligned with my core principles about art. You’re really just letting yourself come out onto the canvas.  When I tried academic art in the past I felt stifled and judged, and even harassed like they’re trying to beat the creativity out of you.  This class is really about who you are instead of who somebody else wants you to be. When I let go of the layers that I was admiring I thought I would regret painting over them, and miss the effort and the result, but what I got after was much better.  There’s a lot of pressure sometimes about how our artwork will be perceived, and that can rob you of your creativity and vision.  Now I can let go of the fear and let a painting go where it’s going to go.  


As a graphic designer for a credit union I tap into creativity a lot but in a really compact, tight, computer, pixel world.  Touching the paint and moving into a holistic experience was something I was really craving.  The experimentation was my favorite part and I feel like I could have done that all day. Letting go was a much bigger deal than I thought it was going to be.  It’s not easy to let go.  But the work really tells you when it’s time.  I need to be pursuing letting go in all facets of my life. We have these hard and fast rules about what success looks like and being able to open up to the possibility that we don’t know the answers really exciting for me.   I wholeheartedly recommend this class to anyone.


I recently became a new mom.  I have a 4-month-old so I’m extremely busy. I had my husband watch the baby so I could relax.  It really helped me get rid of the barriers and boundaries that I put on myself as a painter.  One of the breakthroughs I had was when I started painting from the soul and not having a “correct” way to paint.  I recently lost my mother, so I wanted some kind of healing through the painting and I really think I did achieve that.  My painting turned out to be about nature and spirituality, which was something that we both loved to experience together when she was alive.  


Not only is this a freer outlet, but it gives you the opportunity to be more of yourself.  You can do whatever you want and there are no limits.  I liked learning about the different vocabulary and skills.  I became more aware of balance.  I could tell where things fit as well as balancing color, contrast, and line work.  Painting doesn’t have to be an exact replica.   It tells you where it wants to be and where it wants to go and that was a lot more fun.  Its wasn’t until I looked at the piece later that I realized I created a calm eye in the middle of chaos, which expresses a lot of who I am since I’m a busy body and I need to create focus and balance in my life as well as on the canvas.  

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© 2015 by Jennifer Laurel Keller