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The Art Studio NY

#1 Rated Art Classes in New York City!

by Kristen Andersen | Dec 4th 2020

Online watercolor classes 

Enjoy this inspiring journey of watercolor painting classes with NYC’s #1-Rated art studio, The Art Studio NY. In this class, you will learn a wide variety of watercolor painting techniques that will send your creative spirit soaring. In our beginner virtual watercolor lessons you will learn how to combine watercolor painting techniques with your own authentic self-expression in watercolor painting classes.

 

Online acrylic class 

Painting is meditative, relaxing, and inspiring. Our instructors’ nurturing style of teaching encourages you to learn the artistic techniques of painting and self-expression. In our acrylic lessons on zoom, you will receive one-on-one expert art instruction as you enjoy our nurturing and non-judgmental art studio. At the end of it all, you will create many finished paintings to celebrate and hang in your home!

Online oil painting class

Oil paints are sumptuous, exciting, and one of the most popular painting mediums used by artists throughout the world. When you learn oils online in our Zoom oil painting lessons, you will relax, de-stress, and get inspired with encouraging art instruction. We will teach you how to master the most important oil painting class techniquesLearn to express yourself through oil painting. All levels welcome, but perfect for total beginners! 

Online drawing class

 Drawing is one of the most popular modes of artistic expression since the beginning of time… just think of cavemen! Learn to express yourself through this encouraging and relaxing virtual drawing lesson. Learn our fear-free art approach as you learn to draw in our intimidation-free, non-judgmental art studio.Hundreds of past students have been completely amazed at how quickly they learned how to draw in our #1-rated NYC art classes!

If you’re not ready to commit to a multiple week class, check out one of our many one-time workshops. I will warn you, though, once you start creating art, you’ll never want to stop!

How to Create a Life You Love

by Rebecca Schweiger | Oct 16 | #authenticself

Pandemic life has thrown us hard and far from the security we were accustomed to.
When life pulls all of the roots out from below your feet, you are left with an open field. With anchors lifted, feeling lost, ungrounded, and destabilized are all part of the new normal.
Covid life has been hard. And, with every breakdown, breakthrough is there for the taking.
The longer covid times go on, the more I am questioning my life. How do I spend my most critical, non-renewable resource- my time? What fears hold me back, and will I now do something everyday that scares me to break through? What makes me feel alive, what drains my energy? How have I been abandoning the small still voice inside of me that is my true North Star, and how will I listen, in action? It’s time to live the entirety of my life by design, not default. The same opportunity is beckoning you.
Humanity needs an upgrade. Politically. Socially. Interpersonally. We have been sleepwalking, and a worldwide pandemic is our clear wake-up-shake-up call.
Change is pounding on your door, begging for you to answer. You are standing in your own open field. Tend to it. Plant and grow anew.

How to Create a Life that You Love

by Rebecca Schweiger | Nov 11 | #control

Control. You want it. You want to know what you’re doing, where you’re going, how you’ll get there and by when you’ll arrive. In other words, the comfort of control makes you feel safe. You aim to tell yourself and those you love, “Honey, it’s going to be OK, I’ve got the answer.”
The problem is, you’re lying. No one is always in control, life isn’t always safe, and there’s no promise that everything will always be okay. In fact, life promises the opposite.
The spiritual practice of painting requires letting go of control. In art, and life, when things aren’t OK, we learn how to be resilient. When we make mistakes, we learn how to bounce back and create richness. Messes lead to clarity, hurts lead to forgiveness, and tears water the soil for our own growth.

When you accept that you don’t know, a freedom is born.

Suddenly, every possibility is available to you. Not knowing and
not-OK-ness build inner strength, self trust, and the ability to surrender to, and to make meaning from, what life delivers to your doorstep.
“Life is not safe, and so our task is not to promise our kids there will be no turbulence. It’s to assure them that when the turbulence comes, we will all hold hands and get through it together. We do not promise them a heartache-free life, but we do assure them that the slings and arrows won’t kill them— in fact, they will make them kinder, wiser, more resilient. We look them right in the eye, point them to their pain, and say: “Don’t be afraid, baby. You were born to do this.” -Glennon Doyle
Whether you know or don’t, whether you’re OK or you’re not, life has brought you to this very moment. Surrender to it and let it become your wisest teacher and deepest gift. #theartclass #selfexpression

…and other Unproductive Emotions are keeping you stagnant.

By Kristen Andersen | Nov 20 | #selfhealing

 

When I first moved to NYC, I was 19 and living in a one bedroom apartment with two other women. Anna had lived in the apartment the longest. She lived in NYC for the last ten years, and I was living on my own for the first time. I am so grateful for Anna because she took care of me like an older sister. She taught me how to keep a clean apartment, she gave me dating advice, and for a while, she was my only friend. She moved out only a few months later, while our time together was brief, I owe a lot of who I am to that fleeting friendship. 

One night we were having one of our nightly tea talks before bed and without realizing it, she said something that transformed me forever. She said,

“Guilt is an unnecessary emotion. You should try to release guilt as it does absolutely nothing productive.”

I don’t quite remember what brought this conversation up, but it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. Perhaps Anna could feel the potent air of guilt that I carried with me everywhere like a pet chihuahua.

At the time, I felt guilty for everything!

I felt guilty when I didn’t give a subway beggar money. 

I felt guilty for eating sweets after dinner. 

I felt guilty for my thoughts, I felt guilty for my actions, I felt guilty for the way I look, I felt guilty for owning things– I never allowed myself to actually enjoy anything! The sad part is, I didn’t even realize that I was feeling this way. 

Well, that night, Anna planted a seed in my psyche. It didn’t mean much to me at the time, but that seed was propagated a few months later when my mom gave me $60 to help me out with groceries…

Instead of getting groceries, I went straight to Smith St and spent all of my mom’s money at the bar. The next morning, I felt so guilty I couldn’t think about anything except how disappointed I was in myself. I called my mom to tell her that her daughter is a degenerate and she’s better off never giving me money again. My mom’s initial reaction was to laugh and to say “Oh well!”

I said, “No, Mami, I’m serious! You have to yell at me because it’s what I deserve.” 

She saw how distraught I was, so instead of lecturing, she got serious and said, “Don’t feel bad, just do better next time.” 

Don’t feel bad? Don’t feel bad… You mean I can just forgive myself and move on?

Writing this out now seems so silly that such a benign notion was so foreign to me. Not for nothing, but this goes to show how fragile a subconscious mind can really be. We do not realize how detrimental our thoughts can be to our livelihood. 

When you are feeling guilty for something, you are dwelling on it, lamenting, wishing you could go back and do things over again. Well, I hate to break it to you, but Elon Musk hasn’t invented a Time Traveling Tesla yet. All the worry about what you “shoulda, coulda, woulda” is an exercise in futility.

Please, honor your thoughts as they arise. When your brain is focusing on a memory that causes you to cringe, think further; why does it make you feel this way? Is this thought productive? 

Instead of feeling guilty, tell yourself “I did the best I could at that moment. The only thing I can do is to remember this feeling next time a similar situation arises, and to do better next time.” Then, release the thought. If it comes back again, that’s okay. Examine it again, and then release it again.

I know it is easier said than done, but like anything else, practice makes perfect. In the meantime, there are other things you can do when your brain’s Guilt Gear gets stuck. 

Talk to a good friend. 

Go for a walk in your neighborhood.

Cook a meal for you and your loved ones. (Do not underestimate the meditative nature of chopping veggies!)

Put pen to paper and write down your thoughts in a journal.
Or maybe sit down and make some art.

The Art Studio NY‘s nurturing style of teaching is the perfect way to connect with your intuition to really create a tangible piece of your own self expression. The virtual art journaling class is the perfect way for beginners, seasoned artists, and everyone in between to come together from anywhere in the world. You can enjoy creative fulfillment in this relaxing and self-expressive online art class! Learn how to make a meditative art journal that captures your unique voice. This Beginner’s Art Journaling Class  provides the perfect place to explore your feelings through words and art.

Check out our adult class calendar to see what classes are available for you today!

by Rebecca Schweiger |Nov 17| #brenebrown #reallove #courageouslife #belonging

How To Create a Life You Love

Rich. Poor. Black. White. Brown. Orthodox. Reform. Atheist. Straight. Gay. Bisexual. Trans. Successful. Failure. Making one’s way.

Actor Anthony Rapp so perfectly put it, “labels are for cans, not people.” Amen, Anthony.
Do you feel claustrophobic, stifled and trapped when assigned a label (or is it just me?)? Simply said, humans don’t belong in boxes nor cages.
As young children, you went from meeting a stranger at the playground to quickly holding hands, skipping with glee and sharing “I love you’s” in 5 minutes flat. And yet, no matter how openminded you were in younger years, you eventually learned to use labels to differentiate yourself from others.
Sigh. We begin life united, we grow to be divided. What stops us from genuinely connecting with strangers the way we did as children?
FEAR and conditioning (what people convinced us to believe about ourselves and others).

 

We all long for meaningful relationships where real belonging is the foundation.

And yet, by placing labels on ourselves and others, we merely “fit in”. In the words of leading expert (with science that backs it) on human connection and vulnerability, Brene Brown shares, “”We are connected to each other in a profound way and the thing that moves us away from that faster than anything else is fear. When we “fit in” as opposed to “belong,” we acclimate to the situation and hide valuable parts of ourselves, instead of standing for our authentic self.”
Her solution? Focus on what connects us and drop the fearful labels that force disconnection. While rational thinking may have you thinking that “sorting” leads to a greater feeling of belonging, Brown warns that these relationships are “counterfeit.”
“It’s not real connection. All it is – I call it ‘common enemy intimacy,’ the only thing we have in common is we reject the same people,” Brown said. “People who have the deepest sense of true belonging are people who also have the courage to stand alone when called to do that. They are willing to maintain their integrity and risk disconnection in order to stand up for what they believe in.”

 

Every single human being has their own one-of-a-kind depth, inner-world and personal truth.

Before you label someone or yourself, remember that any living, breathing, feeling heart doesn’t belong in a box or a can. You were born to express and fully live the truth of who you really are, and only from that place will you create the relationships and belonging you yearn for, starting with the most important relationship of all, that with yourself. 
 
 
Artwork by: Rebecca Schweiger, belonging with love to Elana Kilkenny

2020 seems to be an era of division.

Time seems to have been divided into two parts; Pre-Covid and Post-Covid. Everyone’s world as they once knew it has been shattered. With destruction, however, comes creation. 

Learning to live in a Covid-19 society has not been an easy transition for anyone.  Our sense of connection has been stripped from us seemingly overnight. We went from seeing our loved ones almost every day, to being alone for months on end. We have all made immense sacrifices to keep ourselves, our families, and our neighbors safe by staying home as often as possible.

This is temporary.

The world will not remain in turmoil forever. Either Covid-19 will disappear eventually or we will learn how to be at peace with it. In fact, it has been about 8 months since the initial Covid-19 shut down in the United States and we are already starting to adapt to this new reality. Over the first few months of the pandemic, I kept telling myself “… when things go back to normal…” I have now replaced that notion with

“… this is the new normal!”

We have virtual profiles, virtual hangouts, virtual jobs, virtual parties, virtual schooling… We now experience the world almost entirely through a screen!

As of last month, The Art Studio NY closed their studio in the Upper West Side– the location where they have served the community since it was founded over 16 years ago. What a bittersweet feeling it was to turn off the lights at the studio for the final time. Bitter, because it is the end of an era. Sweet, because with each ending comes a new beginning. We are without a physical studio, but we are also without restrictions. We are now bigger than we’ve ever been! We are no longer just The Art Studio NY, we have gone way beyond the Upper West Side.

Now is a time to heal.

The discomfort we are experiencing will be but a memory one day. Now is the time to be easy on yourself and be easy on those around you. Remain in control of your happiness, let yourself enjoy peace.

Are you feeling anxious? Stressed? Or maybe just bored? Connect with the global art community and take a relaxing virtual art class! Both kids and adults can benefit from putting aside at least an hour each week to do something just for themselves. The fantastic thing about art is that afterwards, you will have something tangible to show for it!

Here at The Art Studio NY, our mission is to create a sense of community through the practice of art. When you sign up for one of our multi-week classes, you can now bring a friend with you FOR FREE! Share the love, create together. To take advantage of this offer, please visit our adult class calendar to see what multiple week classes we have available for you.

We are The Art Studio USA.

Thanks to technology, we now have students join in from almost every continent on the globe! 

 

Our virtual art classes make New York enrichment accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world.

The Art Studio NY has had the pleasure of serving its neighborhood in the Upper West Side for about 15 years now. We are a place for children to hang out after school, a place for retirees to spend their mornings, and a place for friends to unwind with a bottle of wine after a long day at the office. 

 

As TASNY grew through the years, one of our biggest “problems” (albeit, a good problem) is we just didn’t have enough space for all the students who wanted to be a part of our studio. Who knew the solution was right under our nose!
TASNY initially made the transformation to zoom art classes to keep up with the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to continue to provide a much needed outlet to our students, many of whom have been taking art lessons with us for years. 

 

In doing so, we accidentally discovered that TASNY can provide that same outlet to more than just New Yorkers. 

Within the first week of switching to art classes online, we began receiving registrations from folks in Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida, and more. I remember being so excited to see inquiries coming in from other states. Eventually, we started getting registrations from people in Canada, Italy, the Caribbean, even India and Australia! I thought, how cool is that? We have people interested in our little studio from thousands of miles away.

 

TASNY is more than just art lessons, it is a community.

And apparently, it took closing our physical location to see just how strong that community really is. People are now able to get the NYC art studio experience from literally anywhere in the world. Zoom art classes online are the perfect way to meet people with similar interests as you no matter where you are located.

It’s a place for you to make a new friend, share a laugh, and mingle with people who may offer a new perspective from their side of the globe. 

 

Check out our class schedule to see which Zoom art lesson is best fitted for you!

 

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you.” -Buddha

You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. 

These last few months have been quite trying on us all. Not a single person is left unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic has cost millions of people their loved ones, their jobs, and their way of life. Our lives as we knew it completely changed almost overnight. It is a very traumatic thing to have your sense of security stripped from you. We are all experiencing a distressing moment in history together. Many of us are in a highly emotional state right now. 

And that is okay. Be easy on yourself. 

We are all trying to figure out how to come out on the other side of this.

 

It is such a cliche to hear that meditation will change your life. Well cliches are cliches for a reason! If you know something works, why wouldn’t you do it?

When most people think of meditation, they think of the traditional way of sitting cross legged with a straight back and your eyes closed chanting “Aum”. That can be quite intimidating for those without prior knowledge or experience with meditation.

I’m here to make the benefits of meditation more accessible to you.

Find your “anchor” and focus on it.

In simplified terms, meditation is completely experiencing the present moment. Your anchor is what keeps you grounded to the present.The breath is the most traditional anchor, but rules are meant to be broken. 

Get creative, perhaps your anchor is your feet as they hit the ground while you walk to work. Or maybe it’s the knife on the cutting board as you chop onions for your family’s dinner.

My yoga teacher taught me thoughts can be grouped into two categories; past thoughts or future thoughts. Tidy up your mental space by filing away your thoughts into either the future or past category. Then bring your attention back to your anchor. 

In art meditation, the anchor is your paintbrush. 

 

Focus on your breath and you suddenly remember that you’re alive. You made it this far.You’ve learned from your mistakes and you’re just trying your best.

There’s nothing to worry about until there’s something to worry about.A good friend of mine would always say “Stop worrying, Kristen! When you worry, you suffer twice.” Why waste valuable mental real estate on things that upset you?

Stay present, stay healthy. 

The more you think about the things you don’t like, the more those things control you. And if you avoid thinking about the things you don’t like, they similarly control you as the avoidance surrenders you to external circumstances.

The key is to find balance. Be brave and acknowledge the truth. If something is bothering you, think of resolutions. The sooner you make the change, the faster you will reap the rewards of said change. Many people are hesitant to begin art classes because they claim they are unskilled. Well, duh, of course you are unskilled if you’ve never taken a class! 

Talent is not something you are born with, it is ambition and practice. If you set your intentions on something and put in the time to work on it, you will be successful. 

Don’t let negativity distract you. Be powerful. Be in control of your happiness.

If you are looking for a safe space to practice self expression and exercise your intuition, I highly recommend signing up for our online Art Journaling class. Your instructor will encourage you to stop overthinking and just express yourself freely. Basically, art journaling is like keeping a visual diary to talk about various struggles or aspirations you may have. It is an aesthetic way to document your life!

 

Join Rebecca on Sunday Nights for her FREE online art class live streamed to Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram: @theartstudiony

Facebook: The Art Studio NY

We are all artists and most of us don’t even know it.

 

Art, in simplified terms, is just expression.

Hanging up posters of your favorite band expresses who you are through the music that resonates with you.

Cooking dinner for your family is a way to express your love and affection for them.

Photographing a particular scene expresses the desire to remember that particular moment forever.

 

Many physical and mental health benefits are linked to artistic practice. 

Just one google search will bring up enough articles about it to keep you reading until quarantine ends. There’s plenty of literature written on that subject by people way more qualified than me. So instead, I’ll share a quick anecdote.

 

My grandmother was a very feisty lady. When she passed away, I was faced with the typical existential anguish we all experience when a loved one passes. I felt grief, guilt, sorrow, fear, distress- all of these emotions just swirled around in my brain, making me feel as though I was a prisoner of my own mind. 

 

Then one day I found a beautiful photograph of my grandmother from a vacation we took together. I thought this picture was so beautiful it just had to be a painting. I wanted to give the painting to my grandfather because I knew he was also having a hard time dealing with her loss.  So I picked up a paintbrush and got to work.

 

As I painted, I could feel the emotions that have been tormenting me travel from within my brain, to my hand, onto the paintbrush, to then be deposited onto the canvas by the oil paint. 

 

The emotions were no longer disrupting my mental peace because they now existed on the canvas.

I turned an invisible foe into a tangible art piece . Through my own art, I was able to express my love for my late grandmother, and share a vulnerable experience with my grandfather. 

My grandmother, Haydee Jimenez.

 

TASNY’s goal is primarily to teach the technical applications of art- how to use your medium as a tool to craft the elusive visions within the mind. But it is more than that; it is a community, it is a support group, it is a home. 

One of my many mantras are, “I want to be a blessing to everyone I meet”.

I think this exists in TASNY’s philosophy as well. We want to help improve each one of our students’ lives by creating a nurturing, welcoming environment- a safe space to be vulnerable. By providing online art lessons, TASNY acts as a catalyst for new friendships, new ideas, and a new You. By simply logging on to Zoom, you can enter a place to learn how to create a palpable expression of who you are so you can share it with the world, just like I shared my expression with my grandfather. 

 

I love this butterfly that our student Onagh painted during Rebecca’s online art class on Sunday nights.

Click here to register for Rebecca’s FREE Sunday night online art lesson!

And here’s Onagh’s kitty lazily enjoying our virtual art lesson 🙂

Restore the Community One Zoom Art Lesson at a Time… 

 

One of my dad’s favorite episodes of Seinfeld is the Bubble Boy episode. Ever since I was a kid I thought the idea of Bubble Boy was hysterically absurd. Well, I wouldn’t have laughed if I knew in 2020 we would all be living like Bubble Boy.

I think all of us are going to remember the week before the NYC lockdown until the day we die.  

There was an air of anxiety that hovered over the city. With every passing day, the streets became less and less populated. We all had that one friend ‘who has a friend who knows someone who works for Cuomo’ and they warned us: “Go to the store, buy supplies for a month, they’re going to shut everything down.” 

Some of us were panicking, some of us thought it was all baloney, but really, we just didn’t know what to expect. While a lot of tragedy has followed this unprecedented event, I am one to look on the bright side of things and I will say there’s a silver lining to everything. 

Because of the global pandemic, Zoom has become a household name seemingly overnight. Zoom is now the number one software for “modern enterprise video communications”. Here we are, emerging out of the golden age of technology. Almost our whole country began operating virtually in just a few short weeks. During this time, there’s a lot of talk about what is essential and what is not. Something that is missing from the conversation is the essentiality of human connection. Human interaction is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. 

When TASNY first made the announcement that we will be operating online in reaction to the Stay At Home orders, we had a few doubters. “What’s the point of online classes? I can just watch a video on youtube or something.”

Anyone who’s taken an art class knows it is so much more than just instruction and demonstration.

It is a dialogue, it is an exchange of ideas. It is time that you specifically set aside to work on something for yourself. It is a place to nourish the creative being that exists within you.

Zoom is a software that will instantly connect you with anyone anywhere by sharing a link or using a meeting ID number. It is a brilliant innovation that has proven itself to be an incredible resource. 

Zoom art classes are a fabulous way to learn something new and meet new people literally from your living room. TASNY is here to provide you with the environment to not just improve upon your skills, but to connect with the world around you. Zoom art lessons are a platform to access the in-studio experience, right from the comfort of your own home.

Corona Can’t Stop Our Summer Camp Magic

 

With the school year coming to an end and an air of ambiguity surrounding the months ahead, one question that keeps being asked is “What about summer camp?!”

Some of my most cherished childhood memories are those that I made during summer camp. Summer camp is a classic staple of American culture. It is an integral part of almost every coming of age tale.

My heart aches to think that the children of today might not get to experience the same charming nostalgia of a summer camp experience.

So, we have made the decision to move forward and provide COVID-modified Summer Art Camp for our community!

Let’s keep the magic in summer and provide a nurturing, expressive, and SAFE environment for our kids to remain socially connected during this uncertain time.

 

TASNY will be strictly enforcing all of the CDC’s guidelines for a safe and healthy summer camp experience:

-There will be a maximum of 8 campers per day per group 

-Campers will have their own set of art supplies to prevent the sharing of objects

-Masks are required for teachers and students for all indoor activities

-TASNY will provide all necessary hygienic supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectant. 

-TASNY will follow an impeccable cleaning and disinfecting schedule multiple times throughout the day

 

Socially Distanced Studio Summer Art Camp 

TASNY has provided our community with a loving and nurturing art camp at our studio for years. That will not stop this year! Our Summer Art Camp offers a variety of interactive and spirited creative activities every hour of every camp day. 

 

Socially Distanced Outdoor Summer Art Camp

Join us for summer days in Central Park, Riverside Park, and various other spacious outdoor locations. Our Socially Distanced Outdoor Summer Art Camp is an opportunity to stay safe while also enjoying tailor-made, encouraging one-on-one expert art instruction in drawing, painting, artistic techniques and individual self-expression from a variety of artistic mediums.

 

Online Art Camp

Our virtual summer camps are a fabulous option for those who would like to experience the magic of summer camp from the safety of their own home. We offer a high-quality art experience where kids and teens can learn from our expert art teachers. Online art camp is the perfect way to expose your child to new painting, drawing, and mixed-media activities and help them discover new friendships this summer. Kids are sure to experience a boost in self confidence as they enhance their social and communication skills through artistic expression.

Online Creativity Camp

Not only are we offering our typical Summer Art Camp online, but we are pleased to announce we now have an ONLINE Creativity Camp option as well!

 

Creativity camp is an excellent program for the kids who are artistically inclined but want to participate in a range of exciting guided camp activities. 

 

Creativity campers will engage in a variety of fun activities such as creative writing, art journaling, TikTok dance competitions, singing, yoga, and so much more! 

 

Flexibility and Customization

Choose from a variety of online summer camp packages best suited for your scheduling needs and your child’s interests. Our various online camp programs offer the largest range of interactive and diverse creative activities to match any child’s interests and needs. 

We are also now offering a Create Your Own Bunk option. Grab your besties and create your own private bunk! We will customize all online activities to what your bunk loves best. Choose activities from a curated menu, and let us create the magical summer your kids are dreaming of, all from the safety of home.

Register for a half day, a full day, or a week. Visit our website to find more information about our summer camp program!

Original article posted on The Guardian on May 14, 2020.

Zoom with a view: how lockdown art classes are booming online

Quarantine has led to a rise in those with and without artistic experience heading online for a range of immersive classes

 

On 30 March, Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons posted a selfie on Instagram holding up a painting of two vases – which he made himself.

In the caption, Parsons told his followers that he created the artwork with the help of an online art class. “They’re doing live classes via zoom and, quit to my delight, I was not only able to figure out how to use zoom, but I also painted this in the process!” he wrote. “No museums are asking to display my first still life painting, but I feel just a little bit more peaceful from the process … and I got to see real life other people who were also taking the class – a real gift right now!”

Parsons is not alone. Thousands of us have been turning to Zoom, the video conferencing platform, to get a creative workout. From life drawing art classes to small-town museums, pandemic cartoons and upcycled sculptures, it seems to be the perfect answer for cooped-up creativity in our current quarantine.

Parsons took his class with Art Studio NY, which hosts painting classes, from watercolors, to oil, acrylic and a “fear-free drawing 101”. The school’s virtual art classes draw the likes of international students (one artist recently tuned in from France). “It’s really amazing to see people coming together from every corner of the earth to make art together,” wrote one of the teachers on Instagram. “In uncertain times like these, this is the least we can do to help keep our spirits alive and our feelings united.”

 

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Original Article can be found at CNBC. Posted on April 14, 2020.
valentinrussanov/Getty

Anxious thoughts can be more difficult to escape in sustained isolation, such as the widespread lockdown measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, but arts and crafts have been shown to help distract from these feelings. 

The coronavirus has so far infected more than 1.9 million people worldwide, with 119,686 deaths, according to latest figures from Johns Hopkins University. 

The scale of pandemic and its impact on billions of people, in limiting physical contact with others, has meant that many are looking for ways to distract themselves while stuck inside their own homes.

Clinical neuropsychologist Katie Carey Levisay, who runs a private practice in Denver, Colorado, explained that crafting can help as it requires focused attention and forces us to be completely immersed in the moment.

“We’ve all experienced that phenomenon when we completely lose track of time and our awareness of what’s going on around us diminishes,” she told CNBC. 

This is what is known as “flow,” Carey Levisay said, a term popularized by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s. 

Being engrossed in a creative project temporarily allows us to stop worrying about the future or dwell on the past. 

Creating something for ourselves and others also helps our sense of self-efficacy, or the belief in our own abilities, Carey Levisay said. 

Using time purposefully has also been linked to lower depressive symptoms, she added. 

“The rewarding experience of creating, sharing, and using our time well all stimulate the reward centers in the brain to release ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters (dopamine) and our endogenous opioids (endorphins),” she said. 

Crafting can also keep the brain effectively stimulated because, in many cases, it combines the learning and perfecting of new skills with those that have already been mastered, Carey Levisay explained. 

These activities also use many different parts of the brain, or require “whole brain recruitment.” For example, quilting requires visuospatial processing, which is the ability to perceive, analyze and transform images, while knitting requires working memory and math.

She said it is also unique to other cognitive enhancing programs, such as the memory enhancement present with computer games, because it is a blend of “intellectually stimulating” and “rewarding/relaxing” activity. 

Online classes 

Most in-person arts and crafts classes have been cancelled as a result of lockdown measures, requiring the closure of many non-essential businesses in order to limit the further spread of the virus. 

New York-based school The Art Studio is hosting online classes for adults, teens and children, as well as offering online art parties for children’s birthdays.

Adult online classes include oil and watercolor painting for beginners, as well as “fear-free drawing 101.”

U.K.-based business Sew Confident is holding “Virtual Sewcials,” in addition to online classes teaching people how to make their own dress or jumpsuit via Zoom. 

Marvel illustrator Will Sliney is also giving live classes on YouTube to teach children how to draw comic book characters.

Dear TASNY Friends,

If the unknown of Coronavirus is making you feel afraid, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Creativity is a spiritual practice that boosts your mood, relieves your anxiety, and leaves you feeling soothed during uncertain times.  Practice these 3 EASY tools to ease your stress as we get through this together.

 

1. CREATE PERSPECTIVE: When you change how you see things, what you see changes. When you have fear-based thoughts that trigger anxiety, ask yourself, “What new way can I see this threat?” With creative problem solving, you transform your perspective. No face masks available? I wear fun scarfs, take selfies, and I share my “daily look” with loved ones to uplift us all.

 

 

2. CREATE TIME FOR GROWTH: During this challenging time, what do you miss the most in your life? What do you NOT miss at all? Make an honest list and reflect on it.  How can you create change that will serve your best self when life “goes back to normal”? Start now. Getting real with yourself is grounding.

 

 

3. CREATE CONNECTION: We are social beings, we need each other. Join a structured online activity and put it in your schedule. I am grateful that during this dizzying time, people worldwide share that our online art classes are soothing, healing, and providing a community that feels like home.

Wishing you safety and health,

Rebecca

 

 

Going to The Art Studio NY was the best and continues to be the best gift I have ever given myself. 

 

 

 

When did you start taking art classes at The Art Studio NY, and why did you begin to take classes (what was going on in your life at the time)?

I began with The Art Studio NY in September 2015. I was a fashion photo art director in print retail advertising. By 2015 and earlier print advertising was not the way anymore. More retailers chose web advertising and my creative services were no longer necessary.

I began designing photo storybooks. They were albums that contained stories the client would supply in their own words. They involved being given their photos that needed to be edited, the story, then design and produce as a hard covered book. Very time consuming. It was a great idea and people loved them. However, they were not willing to pay the price.

 

What class/e did you take, and what classes are you currently taking?

I decided to sign up for art classes. I never had fine art training. Never picked up a brush or oil paint. I was really, really scared and at times, frozen.

My first class was Mixed-Media and I did it for about a year and a half. Then I combined Mixed-Media with a landscape, and abstracts.

By around 2017 I switched to “water based oils” These are oil paint that has been manipulated to clean up with water. The paint acts and feels like oil without the toxics. I started off with a landscape then I began painting people. Now I am taking Intermediate Oil Painting classes with Rebecca and I love it.

 

 

What makes your experience at The Art Studio NY unique and memorable?

Going to The Art Studio NY was the best and continues to be the best gift I have ever given myself. Everyone who works there is great. They are friendly and make me feel like I belong. In the classes, the students are welcoming and very supportive of one another.

 

What is something you have achieved because of your art classes that you never thought you could?

 I can paint well.

        

What are you most proud of when it comes to your artistic journey?

That I worked very hard and I had the ability to listen to my instructors. If I didn’t understand I was not ashamed to ask. The instructors are patient, tolerant and kind.

 

What fears have you overcome, on and off the canvas, since starting to paint?

            ON THE CANVAS: Being afraid that I would not be able to achieve what I chose to paint at the time.

            OFF THE CANVAS: Constantly hoping that my eyes, brain and hands would work as a team.

 

 

How have your art classes allowed you to relax and relieve stress?

It is the opposite with me. First, I stress and once I have succeeded, I can relax.

 

How have your art classes changed your life, either in your art or your everyday life?

I see myself as a different person now. I am very proud that I took such a huge chance for me and it worked.

 

What advice would you tell a total beginner who feels afraid of taking an art class or they feel they “have no talent”?

I would say that if you think about taking and art class, it is a sign. If you have no talent then you would not have thought to take an art class.

When I was 13 years old I had an opportunity to apply to Art and Design High School and I did. A while later I received a letter telling me that I need to come and take a test to get in.

I put together a portfolio of work that was required in the letter I received.

My Dad took me down and on the Subway I told him I was scared. He said “of course you are scared, that’s normal. But remember, just try your best. And besides, the other kids are scared too.

 

 

How to Create A Life You Love

CHANGE YOUR LIFE. NO MORE EXCUSES.

 

I’ve officially begun my own 10-minute a day challenge, and I invite YOU to join me.

What nurtures you, fulfills you, what’s that “thing” you want more of but you “don’t have time”?

The things that make me happy, make me come alive- meditation, painting, exercise, nature, deep connection to others- I push them aside regularly for other “more important” tasks. And yet, what could be more important than our own happiness, health and fulfillment?

Starting my days from now on, I’m creating the time for what matters. And it won’t even take much! Creating just 10 minutes, day after day after day, are baby steps… that combined, equal BIG leaps.

 

 

10 minutes daily during:

1 week= 1 hour 10 minutes

1 month= 5 hours

1 year= 60 hours

5 years= 304 hours= 1 week and 6 days!

 

You have 10 minutes. I have 10 minutes. NO MORE EXCUSES. 

When our lives end, no one will say, “Damn, why didn’t I work more?” And yet, if life ended tomorrow, what would you wish YOU had made more time for?

Create time for what makes you come ALIVE in these easy steps:

  1.  Choose one daily practice that inspires you, fulfills you, and makes you the “you” that you want to be.
  2. Choose a time daily when you’ll spend 10 minutes engaging in this activity uninterrupted.
  3. Add it to your calendar. Daily, for 30 days.
  4.  
Rebecca Schweiger

What do you WANT in your life? I mean, reeeeaaaallllly want. In a dig-down-deep-in-your-soul-kind-of-want. Now is the perfect time to get quiet, take a pause, and ask yourself important life questions as the 2019 cycle ends and 2020 soon begins.
 
My questions include the following. What questions will YOU ask yourself? Share them with us on FACEBOOK. We’re in this together!
 
*What makes me happy, and how will I build more of my life around what feeds my soul?
 
*What stops (sabotages) me from doing more of what I love, and when/how will I address this roadblock, in action?
 
*My health is my wealth. What will I do to enhance my health and well-being?
 
*What angers and resentments (aka poison) can I let go of, and how?
 
*When I get very quiet, what does my inner-voice say, and what do I need to do to listen and act on it daily?
 
My beloved best friend and I experience and talk a lot about a space we refer to as “beyond”. This “beyond space” is a reality that we find ourselves in together often, and yet often, we couldn’t have dreamt it up even if we tried. The magic and wonder of life’s grandest possibilities are available to you if you surrender and open yourself to a bigger reality. When you make space for more goodness, it will rain upon you.
 
In the next days ahead, I’m going to spend time nurturing the seeds of my grandest dreams. I hope you will, too. Plant those seeds. Water them, and they’re sure to grow.
 
Our hundreds of weekly students at The Art Studio NY rave that our inspiring art classes nourish their spirits, enhance their wellbeing, provide stress relief, help to achieve goals and dreams “beyond”, and in a nutshell…. it’s the best part of their week. We hope to nurture YOU through art this coming year.

 

Wishing you a meaningful and creative 2020! May you make the time to nurture your grandest dreams.
Rebecca & The Art Studio NY Family


“I was working, had 3 little kids and a household to run. I wasn’t doing anything for my enjoyment or self-fulfillment. I needed more free creative time. The decision to join the art class changed my life!” – Annette Back

 

When and why did you start taking art classes at The Art Studio NY?

I started taking classes in the fall of 2014. At the time, I was working, had 3 little kids and a household to run. I wasn’t doing anything for my enjoyment or self-fulfillment.

Some friends of mine took me to a paint party at The Art Studio NY for the evening. That night I had a big AHA moment. Since graduating from School of Visual Arts, I had not painted – I used my creativity only for my clients, and that is not the same as expressing yourself freely. I needed some more of that free creative time. The decision to join the class changed my life!

What advice would you tell a total beginner who feels afraid of taking an art class or they feel they “have no talent”?

Go for it. Just try it. Most of the time, if you have the urge to paint, you have the talent within you. It’s just not tapped.

What makes your experience at The Art Studio NY unique and memorable?

I take a weekly class “Dare to Paint: Intermediate Oil Painting” on Wednesdays with instructor/Founder Rebecca Schweiger. The atmosphere, the teacher and the comradely of the students is what makes my art class experience unique and memorable. We all love to be there and help each other. It is inspiring to see the progress and completion of each others work. The feedback is invaluable. I have made friends for life.

What is something you have achieved because of your art classes that you never thought you could?

I have achieved the confidence to go out into the art world and exhibit my work confidently.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your artistic journey?


I have learned to paint freely, experiment, and recognize a happy accident. Also, I am currently building a body of work.

What fears have you overcome, on and off the canvas, since starting to paint?

I have overcome the fear of “doing something wrong” or “messing it up” on canvas.

How have your art classes allowed you to relax and relieve stress?

There is nothing like following your inner voice to create.  I love it. I now paint at home as well.

How have your art classes changed your life, either in your art or your everyday life?

Yes, I am now exhibiting, selling, working at home as well as in the studio. I want to paint more now.



To learn more about Annette’s artwork, please visit her website at :










If you’re like me, you may be feeling a certain stress as summer is replaced with “fall takeover”. Amidst the pressures of daily life, we all need a healthy escape. My favorite way to recenter myself is by spending time in the woods. I could sit silently for hours, just simply “being”, listening to the leaves dance in the wind, watching time pass.  In nature, I love to watercolor painting to express what I see and feel, forgetting everything, while letting my paintbrush do all of the talking. 

Students at The Art Studio NY always say how meditative and cathartic painting is. I fully agree.

I recently explored the #blueridgeparkway and #blueridgemountains and now that I’m back in Manhattan, when I close my eyes, I still see the expansive layers of blue mountains for as far as the eye can see.  

The journey with a paintbrush allows me to visit the woods anytime I want. Through watercolor painting, I re-experience the quiet of nature and visit that same escape in my mind, imagination and through painting, without having traveled a mile. 

What and where is your healthy escape that brings you peace in the midst of life’s hustle and bustle? Entering our 15th year at The Art Studio NY, we are grateful to offer nearly 100 weekly escapes in the form of adult art classes, teen art classes and kids art classes. We invite you to our art studio this fall to discover your home away from home, where you can escape, recenter, and reconnect with the fulfilling and meaningful self-expression you’re needing and longing for.

Rebecca

Although Jenny Casey, an Art Director and fine artist in Brooklyn, New York, could be creative in her day job, Jenny craved to practice her fine art, as she hadn’t painted since college. She discovered The Art Studio NY and has been taking NYC art classes there for over seven years. Through these years, she has developed a bold, powerful, abstract style of painting.

“The Art Studio NY not only gave me a place to create art in their NYC painting classes, but I also have an amazing art community and family there. I wanted to take an art class that wasn’t demanding, but still pushed me to the next level creatively, and this art studio does just that. It’s a weekly getaway where I can release my raw emotions on canvas and clear out the stresses from the day,” shares Jenny.

As Jenny reflected on her creative art class journey, she shared, “My teacher, Edward Holland, had a great way of comparing life to art in our NYC art classes. If I was stuck on what to do next with a painting and feeling like it had to be perfect, he encouraged me to try something totally different and make it my own. I learned to not allow the painting to control me, rather to trust the process. I find this to be reflective of the need to try to be ‘perfect’ in our day-to-day lives. It is beneficial to push myself to try new things and get out of my comfort zone. This teaching, and others, have made a huge impact on my creative journey, and I’m so grateful to The Art Studio NY for that.”

Jenny began exhibiting her vibrant, abstract, mixed-media artwork in 2013, and has been featured in art galleries throughout the country, including Walter Wickiser Gallery in NYC, the SOFA Art Fair in Chicago, and the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Virginia.

When it comes to her NYC painting classes, Jenny’s paintings are inspired by her passion to express raw emotions and vulnerability on canvas. She paints in a meditative way, and her artwork stems from her own thoughts and feelings, evolving from one to the next, while incorporating bold colors and textures that evoke a sculptural feel on canvas. Her work depicts feelings of release, while simultaneously balancing the process of refinement and restraint.

Jenny’s latest artwork is currently exhibited in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, at 95 Bedford Street, throughout July. For more information, visit jcaseycreative.com or follow her on Instagram, at @jcasey_creative.


Spring 2013, New York City, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. An undergraduate student and medical student are struck by the lack of  interaction and activity amongst children hospitalized in the wards. There was a complete lack of mental and physical stimulation for the kids, and they were listless. Encouraged and mentored by Dr. Edward Burns, the two students started TEACH to promote healing for hospitalized children through creative and engaging teaching. 



Studies show that happier children have better medical outcomes, which is why TEACH is so proud of how the work engages hospitalized children and stimulates them.  



TEACH is a completely volunteer run not-for-profit that has undergraduate and graduate students engage hospitalized children with exciting STEM module activities. Since its inception in 2013, it has reached over 3,000 children across more than 30 hospitals, in more than 8 states. 



The Executive Director of TEACH remembers the young boy in Downstate hospital in Brooklyn, who was so unhappy that he had tried to run away the day before. At that time, TEACH was running a Yeast Balloon module, which uses yeast, sugar, a balloon and a water bottle, to teach children about respiration. After listening to a brief description of the exercise,  the young boy was intrigued enough to emerge from under the covers and became completely engaged. He had so much fun doing the experiment that he would not let the staff take it away from his bedside the entire day. Surgeons, staff and volunteers were all amazed by the response the Yeast Balloon had received from the young patients. One surgeon even wished he had performed the experiment himself! 



Help TEACH attain the goal of reaching 500 to 700 children in 2019 by supporting their first fundraising event in collaboration with The Art Studio NY, a paint night! Kosher appetizers and refreshments will be served.





How To Create A Life You Love

I’m Sick Of Your Bullsh*t

You may find a blank white canvas scary, intimidating. You’re not alone. I once taught a private painting lesson to a woman in her 50’s; She was so overwhelmed with terror that she needed to pause and take a Xanax. Of course it wasn’t painting she was afraid of. Rather, her old self-doubting, “I’m not good enough” narrative reared its fangs.

She could have given up, we all know how convincing fear can be. Instead, she chose courage and chose to confront her own bullsh*t. In time, her fear was replaced with confidence and strength. She created meaningful artwork that inspired her to also make new empowering life choices “off the canvas.”

@elizabeth_gilbert_writer posted this stitching by artist @badasscrossstitch, and my “TRUTH!” bell went off. On the other side of your fear and bullsh*t is freedom. Power. Transformation. PERIOD.

The blank canvas has become my spiritual teacher, always asking (telling) me to face myself full-on. The REAL blank canvas, of course, is facing every day anew. Waking up, seeing the day as the ultimate blank slate. Pregnant with possibility.

Lately, I’ve been making every attempt to apply in my life what I do freely on the canvas: Experiment with new life choices, dare to face and move towards that which scares me. Embrace and play with the unknown. Surrender. Let go of control. Be fully present. Accept that life is often different than what I expected. Make space for a life that is colorful and messy and rich and layered. See that there are no such thing as mistakes, and that I can turn errors into learning and beauty. Realize that I am carving my own life path and it’s not going to look like anyone else’s life, and that’s something to celebrate rather than be ashamed of.

What if everyday, you woke up, clicked OFF your autopilot switch, and clicked ON your self-awareness, your choices, your button of “I’m sick of my own bullsh*t, today is the day I’m going to stop worrying or replaying _________________ (insert your own bullsh*t here), and instead, CREATE and lead with my truth, authenticity and courage.”

What would your tomorrow look like if that’s how you started your day? You’re that powerful, you know.

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Not only do enriching art classes take place in our Upper West Side art studio, we bring our art classes to schools, libraries and businesses throughout the New York City area! It’s an absolute pleasure to teach hundreds of children about art, self-expression, and personal creativity at the 22 various branches of the Queens Library system. Some of the kids we teach do not have art offered in school, and our art classes are their opportunity to tap into their inner-artists. These spirited pastel paintings are inspired by aboriginal animal art. 

“Ada and Francesca are warm and gifted instructors.  They were patient and supportive of everyone’s work and process.  Everyone enjoyed their sessions, finding the projects engaging, challenging, exciting and more.  The work was really beautiful, too – see photos attached. Thank you so much again for your help in arranging The Art Studio NY program at DOROT.” – Wendy Handler, LMSW –  Director, Lasting Impressions: DOROT’s Legacy Project

 

For the past 8 weeks, we have been teaching an art class to 20+ senior citizens at Dorot  for what is called their “Legacy Project”. Each person created artwork that is deeply personal to them, while learning new creative techniques and modes of authentic self-expression in every class. The course culminated in a final project where participants created artwork that reflects what legacy they want to leave in the world. Some pieces included photos of family, grandchildren, and meaningful chapters of their own lives while others created self-portraits reflecting their own unique spirit.
 

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Countless studies now point to the importance of both creativity  and spending time in NATURE as a path to your happiness and wellbeing. Enjoying art and nature together is so great for your health that some doctors are now prescribing it.  



Psychologists have conducted studies that show being in nature reduces stress, strengthens relationships, and improves health. “Experiencing awe in nature is a powerful way to impact people’s psychology, even as they’re doing something they really like to do,” says Researcher Craig Anderson.



Why do psychologists think nature is so healthy? The sense of awe. Experiencing awe helps you to pause, slow down, experience beauty, and feel how massive the miracle of life truly is. This perspective shift allows for your own stresses and problems to suddenly become smaller when placed in a new, larger and more expansive perspective. 



Bonding with nature is even becoming a common form of preventative health care in Japan. Studies share that spending time in forests, known as shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, find that time outdoors improves cognitive abilities, reduces anxiety, and decreases rumination. Try disconnecting from technology while taking a walk, drawing outside, or even sitting on a bench to look at the intricate details of a blooming flower. Studies show that even being outside for 30 minutes a day can benefit your mind, body, and soul.



“Our findings suggest that you don’t have to do extravagant, extraordinary experiences in nature to feel awe or to get benefits,” says Anderson. “By taking a few minutes to enjoy flowers that are blooming or a sunset in your day-to-day life, you also improve your well-being.”



The Art Studio NY is dedicated to nurturing the happiest and most fulfilled YOU. This summer, nurture your health and wellness through creativity, artistic expression and outdoor art classes in nature. The beauty of nature, the freedom of creative expression, and the warmth of community. What could be better? 

NEW DRAWING CLASSES IN CENTRAL PARK start JUNE 1.

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Countless studies now point to the importance of both creativity  and spending time in NATURE as a path to your happiness and wellbeing. Enjoying art and nature together is so great for your health that some doctors are now prescribing it.  

Psychologists have conducted studies that show being in nature reduces stress, strengthens relationships, and improves health. “Experiencing awe in nature is a powerful way to impact people’s psychology, even as they’re doing something they really like to do,” says Researcher Craig Anderson.

Why do psychologists think nature is so healthy? The sense of awe. Experiencing awe helps you to pause, slow down, experience beauty, and feel how massive the miracle of life truly is. This perspective shift allows for your own stresses and problems to suddenly become smaller when placed in a new, larger and more expansive perspective. 

Bonding with nature is even becoming a common form of preventative health care in Japan. Studies share that spending time in forests, known as shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, find that time outdoors improves cognitive abilities, reduces anxiety, and decreases rumination. Try disconnecting from technology while taking a walk, drawing outside, or even sitting on a bench to look at the intricate details of a blooming flower. Studies show that even being outside for 30 minutes a day can benefit your mind, body, and soul.

“Our findings suggest that you don’t have to do extravagant, extraordinary experiences in nature to feel awe or to get benefits,” says Anderson. “By taking a few minutes to enjoy flowers that are blooming or a sunset in your day-to-day life, you also improve your well-being.”

The Art Studio NY is dedicated to nurturing the happiest and most fulfilled YOU. This summer, nurture your health and wellness through creativity, artistic expression and outdoor art classes in nature. The beauty of nature, the freedom of creative expression, and the warmth of community. What could be better? 
NEW DRAWING CLASSES IN CENTRAL PARK start JUNE 1.

A family that paints together… 

Bring mom and the family for a painting workshop and go home with a beautiful painting. Instructors will guide you so if you’re not the “artist” of the family, you don’t need to worry. You can pick from 2 different workshops happening on Sunday, May 8th. Mom will surely be happy to have the family together and create something beautiful. In addition to something to hang up on your wall, you’ll also have the great memories of creating together. ALL levels welcome, and we recommend ages 5+ participate in the family workshop. The 2 hour workshop starts at $45. Get your paints, canvas, and family ready!!! It’s gonna be a great time. 

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Need some Mother's Day craft ideas? Take a family workshop and even create Mother's Day crafts for kids and other family art projects at The Art Studio NY.

Day in and day out, people tell me they are not creative. When you realize that you have an inner-resource (yes, you are an artist, you might just not know it yet!) that you never knew existed, it is life-changing. You then ask yourself, “What else am I capable of that I never imagined possible?” 
Unlock your creativity and enjoy a taste of art with our NEW 1-day workshops. You’ll discover a gift that will change your life: The gift of your authentic self-expression. 
With love,
Rebecca Schweiger 

Learn more about our kids art classes and after school art programs in NYC. Also, try our a 1-time adult workshop art class this season and get a taste for art, or try a new medium! Click Here to learn more.

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Day in and day out, people tell me they are not creative. When you realize that you have an inner-resource (yes, you are an artist, you might just not know it yet!) that you never knew existed, it is life-changing. You then ask yourself, “What else am I capable of that I never imagined possible?” 
Unlock your creativity and enjoy a taste of art with our NEW 1-day workshops. You’ll discover a gift that will change your life: The gift of your authentic self-expression. 
With love,
Rebecca Schweiger 

Learn more about our kids art classes and after school art programs in NYC. Also, try our a 1-time adult workshop art class this season and get a taste for art, or try a new medium! Click Here to learn more.

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