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How to Create A Life You Love

by Rebecca Schwieger | Dec 1st | @releaseyourcreativity


Goodbye, Comfort Zone. Hello, Transformation.

This past year, change knocked loudly at my door and pulled my heart strings in unknown directions far outside of my comfort zone. While we humans fear change and crave the cozy comforts of certainty, both are often what holds us back from creating bigger, deeper, richer and more successful lives.

When was the last time you had a dream, hope or goal that mattered deeply to you, and instead of fully going for it, fear and “real reasons” stopped you? Welcome to the shadow of your comfort zone.

Embrace Change + Befriend Uncertainty =


You cannot see what’s right in front of your eyes because you are locked into a perception of “what is” (comfort is sneaky and will do anything to keep you “safe”!). When my students and I are discussing their paintings in progress, I often suggest that they flip their artwork upside down. Consistently, the response is one of mind-opening surprise. “Wow, how did I NOT see that before?!”

Suddenly, a new world of ideas and inspiration opens up.

In the art of your daily life, where do you get stuck seeing, doing, fearing and believing the same (very convincing) beliefs and stories over and over? How do these narratives hold you back from what you most long for? Life is a creative process. Flip your stories, and your comfort zone, upside down. View things with a completely new perspective. Take new risks. Do something different. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Make some waves.

“And there I was again, on the edge of my comfort zone, having to reevaluate my beliefs. What new things should I allow in? What should I keep out? And what should I let go of? I think it’s called transformation.” #changeyourmindset #transformation #authenticliving

May be art of flower
May be an image of outdoors
May be art of rose
May be art of tree

How to Create a Life You Love

by Rebecca Schwieger


“The greatest risk you’ll ever take by far, is to stand in the light and be seen as you are.” @jordansmithlive


Rebels. Change makers. Artists. Risk takers. The brave amongst us.


Choosing to be authentic is a path of self-worth, courage and self-honesty. In this process and practice of saying yes to your true self, you create full permission to be all of you- your light and shadow, your desires and fears, your greatness and inner-wounds. You allow yourself to be seen, held, loved and expressed, first and foremost by yourself to yourself.


Authentic living is a spiritual path where you come to understand that you exist for a reason. Dimming your light out of fear or shame just won’t do. There is only one of you in all of time, you have a purpose in this mysterious tapestry of life, and to suppress, deny or hide who you are is a disservice to humanity. And you know it.


Society often programs us to be “nice and good, to make others happy, don’t make too many waves”, and yet much of that conditioning equals self-abandonment and excessive self-sacrifice. When was the last time you asked yourself, “If fear didn’t exist, what life would I live? What are my deepest dreams and desires? What makes me feel alive? Whose story am I living?”


Artistic expression is authenticity in action. In this spiritual practice, you make and take up space for your you-ness. You witness, embrace and express your inner-life in full color. You say YES to all of who you are, knowing that in standing in the light and being seen as you are, you are embracing your full potential and inspiring others to do the same.


#paintinginprogress #progressnotperfection #acrylicpainting #consciousliving #landscapepainting #betheartistofyourlife #authenticity #selfexpression #selfworth #reallove #loveyourselffirst #selfcarefirst #truecolors #authenticliving #authenticexpression #bebravebeyou




Change is part of the creative process. “I want to change my painting but I’m afraid I will mess it up.” My painting students say this constantly. The human desire for change is often met with fear, both on the canvas and in daily life. Fear of failure. Fear of what others will think. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of rejection.

Change involves risk. When there’s risk, there’s reward.

What do you risk- what is the price you pay- by avoiding the changes you desire? Giving in to fear is often the most costly. In this acrylic floral painting, I’ve painted and repainted the background over ten times. From reds to pinks to golds to shimmer to matte, and now, back to white. What’s the worst thing that can happen? If I don’t like it, I’ll change it.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael B Jordan


May be art of flower


Nothing is permanent except for change. This is why Buddhists follow the philosophy of detachment closely. This is not an apathetic approach to life, but instead, a realistic one. When it comes to art, change is all part of the journey. 

Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

by Kristen Andersen and Pat Pinto| Sep 21, 2021 | @theartstudiony

Meet Pat Pinto

Pat Pinto began taking classes with The Art Studio NY in 2007. At the time, she lived only two buildings down from the studio. Pat recalls the moment that prompted her to begin her classes; While walking home one day, I saw a flyer taped to a lamp post that said something like ‘Have you not painted since you were a child? Come back and find the artist in you again’. Come back I did… and I never looked back.”

Pat’s first ever painting with The Art Studio NY

In 2010, Pat left the city to move to Red Bank, New Jersey, thus discontinuing her lessons at our art studio. Although no longer able to attend lessons in NYC, she stayed in touch with Rebecca and even attended her Costa Rica Art Retreat a few years later. 

Once NYC entered lockdown due to Covid-19, The Art Studio NY began offering online art classes, welcoming Pat back into our virtual studioJust knowing that I had set time each week to create was a blessing in itself.   The bonus was joining a group of like-minded artists and having time together to share our work and support each other…

“Whether live classes or online, I have always found The Art Studio NY to be a safe, supportive, encouraging and engaging environment. It was so refreshing to be back.  I didn’t quite know what I had been missing in my art until I was back with TASNY.”

Since discovering our online Mixed Media class in 2020, Pat feels she has gained a new found confidence in the freedom of expression the medium has allotted her.  Pat is proud to say she now considers herself an “artist” after all these years. 

Prior to my return to The Art Studio NY, I used to just say ‘I paint sometimes’”.

Pat’s art classes have made her look at everything differently. “I now appreciate how it makes me feel —  the good and the bad and everything in between,” she shares, “I love how I feel when practicing.    The exploration in each piece is intoxicating –  and keeps me going back for more”. 


“I have learned to trust myself and push myself to do things that I have not done before.”


When asked what advice she has to share with an artist at the beginning stages of their journey, Pat shares,

“There is no such thing as ‘no talent’.  Art is what you feel inside and we all have feelings and it is your opportunity to express your feelings and stretch yourself.   Don’t be afraid – you got this!

Pat, we are so thankful our online painting classes have allowed us the opportunity to welcome you back to our studio! Thank you for your continued support of our studio, it has been such a pleasure watching you grow as an artist.


Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

by Rebecca Schwieger | July 29 | @releaseyourcreativity 

How to Create A Life You Love

Creativity is a spiritual practice and force that returns you to the truth: YOU are a creator. In art, and in daily living, the artist within you forms an alliance with the Creator of the Universe.
Your inner-creativity is your greatest gift. This divine spark is life’s most powerful instrument, and it lives in and through you. Every moment, you have the power to create a life of your wildest dreams.
There is little distinction between creativity and spirituality, it’s one and the same. When you open yourself up to the natural creativity that is within you, you align with more joy, peace, freedom and strength. You own your true power.
Creativity is love in action.
Repeat this to yourself now three times, and say it daily until you believe it and live it. “I was born to be happy, healthy and free. What I want, wants me. I am a true creator. I am here to express the true me.”
May be art of Rebecca Schweiger, tree, mountain and nature
May be art of tree and nature


There are countless benefits to creating, but there is an added benefit when creating in NATURE! 


Research reveals that being in nature can reduce anger, fear, stress, and increase pleasant feelings. The benefits of nature are not only emotional, but also physical. Being in nature can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. 


Nature can also help us cope with pain, and can be distracting while undergoing surgery or an uncomfortable procedure. In a study by the physician, Robert Ulbrich, patients that underwent gallbladder surgery while viewing trees were able to tolerate pain better than those that only looked at a wall. Even a picture of a tree is relaxing! 


Regardless of one’s age of culture, humans LOVE nature and can greatly benefit! Add an art class to time spent in nature and you get double the benefits!


Sign up for a kids or adult art class outdoors today!


by Kristen Andersen | July 9th | @theartstudiony

Meet Artist Elaine Hirsch

Elaine’s art journey started from a very young age. She took many in person art classes throughout her life; in college, when she was first married, private classes here, acrylic group classes there… She also taught Hebrew Calligraphy to high school and adult learning classes. Elaine’s interest in art was furthered by her late cousin, Ben Schilmeister, who was an amazing graphic, portrait and calligraphy artist. Elaine practices art in a variety of mediums; pencil, chalk, charcoal, pastel, and acrylic. 

The Hebrew letter Shin -Elaine Hirsch

Part of Elaine’s responsibilities at work include a program called Wise Aging, where students learn positive ways to navigate a meaningful transition to the next chapter on life’s journey. After raising families and having careers, one owes it to themselves to rediscover who they are. Life after retirement is the time to start a new chapter– to reinvent yourself, according to Elaine.

My grandmother of Blessed Memory as a teenager- Elaine Hirsch

Because Elaine was already working from home due to the pandemic, she thought she would give online art classes a try. On April 6th, 2020, Elaine joined her first online zoom class at The Art Studio NY. At the time, Zoom was something new to Elaine, but it is now something she uses quite regularly for work and The Art Studio NY. It has been a really useful resource, especially considering it has allowed her the opportunity to join NYC based art classes from Arizona. 

After being asked why she decided to revisit art classes during the pandemic, Elaine answered, “I thought the art classes would be healing… it’s reclaiming an old hobby of mine”. Elaine confessed that she hoped she to return to her artistic practice after retirement. “I’ve always practiced art, but I’ve never practiced as intensely as what The Art Studio NY has provided,” shares Elaine. 

“I’ve re-found my passion”

Acrylic Painting of a Cactus in Bloom – Elaine Hirsch

Elaine admits she finds herself fighting the urge to continue painting in exchange for a good night’s sleep. Now she has her own space in her office where she paints. Portrait paintings are her favorite. Portraits really capture a person’s essence and personality. Elaine shares that her portraits really are a way to help her process emotions. For example, she had a very dear friend, Mali, that died of cancer, in addition to her cousin, Yishai, who also died of cancer this year. In Rebecca’s class, Elaine painted the two of them and it was very healing. Unfortunately, Elaine couldn’t go to their funerals so this was a way to connect with them one last time. After the paintings were done, Elaine sent the portraits off to their families. 

Portrait of Elaine’s cousin who recently passed away.









Acrylic Painting of my Dear Friend Mali Who Recently Passed Away – Elaine Hirsch

Elaine’s art practice is a way for her to stay connected to herself and those who shaped her. After Elaine’s talented, artistic mother passed away 3 years ago, Elaine feels she is continuing to honor her by keeping the family’s art practice strong. If Elaine could give her pre-pandemic self some advice, she would say, “I should’ve started this a long time ago.” 

My Three Granddaughters at the Beach – Elaine Hirsch

My Mother of Blessed Memory as a Teenager – Elaine Hirsch



by Kristen Andersen | June 29 | @theartstudiony

Meet Molly Whalen

Molly has been attracted to making art since her older sister, Kate, took Drawing and Painting classes in high school. Studying her sister’s sketchbook led to Molly deciding to take art classes in high school herself, followed by a college Bachelors in Art Education. Since then, Molly has worked as an Art Educator in the City School District of Albany, NY for 30 years and recently retired in June of 2020 during the COVID pandemic.  

Molly loved working with the pre-K through 6th grade children in her art room because it was a place where they could experience hands-on-learning, create beautiful art, and use many different mediums. Molly used Children’s Literature within her art lessons. She taught art history and painted daily with the kids because they are so uninhibited and free with the colors! “It was demanding at times, but became a vocation and part of my life journey that I will never forget,” she says.

Molly started taking online art classes at The Art Studio NY in the Fall of 2020 with Rebecca Schweiger and finds it quite enjoyable! “Rebecca is a warm, well-informed, positive, and experienced painter/Art Educator/ with a great sense of humor! She validates all the students’ effort, artwork, and vision for their art.”

 An oil painter primarily, Molly has started using collage and acrylics a lot more this year. 

“My painting inspiration comes from a love of nature and the outdoors. I hike in the NYS Adirondack Park and surrounding areas of New England with my family and friends. The forest, ocean, lakes and mountains bring a sense of joy and peace to me, in this very stressful world we live in. I feel connected to something much bigger than the day to day minutiae of life when I am hiking and exploring the environment.”

The critiques and feedback from Rebecca and the other classmates in Molly’s group make her experience at The Art Studio NY more memorable each week. “I really value what Rebecca and the other women see and say about my paintings and look forward to the Thursday morning classes. Not only do I enjoy seeing their work, but I learn from everyone else’s successes and mistakes. I like the videos that Rebecca shares with us on art techniques and relevant artists. It will be great to come to NYC soon and take an in-person class.”

Molly is most proud of her recent dedication to painting, her openness to learning new things and making “virtual learning in Art” a success.

“I am proud of the results that I have achieved with my artistic journey and being able to view mistakes as opportunities,”

She continues, I have achieved greater confidence, renewed interest in my artwork, and a sense of a creative community due to The Art Studio NY that I didn’t think I could with online classes. It’s really fun to connect with other artists around the world in a zoom art class!

“I look at my pre-pandemic self and say, ‘Don’t neglect your unique, individual, soulful, and artistic self ‘. As a wife, mother of three children, and 30 year educator, I was overextending myself. I was constantly giving, planning, working, and trying to stay in control of everything. That didn’t nurture my inner-self, it neglected my personal artistic expression, and made me feel burned out. I was blessed with so much, but needed to slow down to listen to others, be ‘in the moment‘ more, have faith, and actually appreciate my life instead of living on the hamster wheel.

 My advice to any beginner is to just approach an art class like any other enrichment class, let yourself relax and enjoy the process.

I believe that everyone can create, the classes are for all ability levels and the teachers at TASNY are talented, knowledgeable, and welcoming to everyone. 

 The pandemic has impacted Molly’s “Art Appreciation” practice because all the museums and galleries have been closed for so long. She misses being inspired by the exhibits and art/artists that are shown in those wonderful places. Molly studied abroad in London for a semester in college, and visited many museums and galleries in Europe while she was there. “I think museums are like big Art schools, with so much to see, hear and learn from! I would love to work at one of the big Art Museums in NYC.

“My artistic influences are: Georgia O’Keefe for her extensive palette, beautiful works of nature, and lifelong dedication to painting. Vincent Van Gogh for his Expressionistic style, subject matter and oil paint texture. Frida Kahlo for her ability to portray real emotion in her portraits, women’s issues, and her commitment to learning/painting through adversity. Faith Ringgold for her storytelling, quilting, and honest communication of race and diversity through Art. William Johnson for his perseverance, colorful portraits, painting style and life story. And Helen Frankenthaler for her exploration of Abstract painting, large scale of her work, and use of meditative color field painting.

 Art has changed my life because it has filled my senses and excited my mind since I was young.

I am a visual learner who is motivated by the creative process, but who also loves literature. Art has allowed me to become educated, be social, travel, and be employed in Art Education for many years. Because of this I celebrate diversity, appreciate cultures and history, am more patient, and view the natural world as awe inspiring! I see the interconnectedness between Art, Math, Science, and Technology and embrace the “STEAM” approach to teaching and learning. Art has certainly changed my life for the better.”

Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.


by Rebecca Schwieger | June 22 | @releaseyourcreativity 

How to Create a Life You Love

The Art Studio NY is NOT your regular art class. “Normal” doesn’t fit us.
We are a family, a tribe, and we care. About you. Each other. We are a community of non-artists-turned-artists-because-everyone-is-creative-deep-down. We are learners, yearners, growers, questioners, deep divers, dreamers, humans in it together,
We. Are. A. Place. Where. Everyone. Is. Welcome. Just as you are. A safe space to exhale and just BE YOU.
When the entire world is pushing you to be someone else, to fit in and fit molds we just weren’t made for, to please everyone, we have your back. We want you to be you, and to express, the true you, with art as your elixir and magic wand.
This art studio home doesn’t happen by itself. Many hands and hearts work on and in it tirelessly. We are at it in the morning and night and across time zones and weekends and during pandemics and lockdowns and while the world reopens and closes and sort-of-opens-but-what-now’s.
Lindsay Eller, artist and art educator extraordinaire, is part of the magic… she is adored by her students around the world, her colleagues, and now…. her baby boy!

to Lindsay on the birth of her son, Elowen!

As the Earth continues to turn, we at The Art Studio NY WELCOME THIS NEW LIFE!

by Kristen Andersen | June 18 | @theartstudiony

Anna Chatsisvili

Anna has been taking painting and drawing classes since childhood, until she stopped at some point to focus on her conservatory studies and career in Pharmaceutical Sciences. One day, the Biotech company she was working for organized a painting workshop. This workshop reminded Anna of how much she enjoys painting. Leading Anna to pick up her paint brushes and start painting again. Anna’s family has been super supportive of her artistic journey– her sister being her biggest fan, fondly remembering Anna’s childhood paintings. Anna’s parents bought Anna’s first huge tripod, and her partner gifted her an online advanced painting course with us at The Art Studio New York as a Christmas present.

“Painting has enriched my life with creativity and inner peace.” 

Time and Space Distorted, by Anna Chatsisvili

This online class that Anna was given is Rebecca Schweiger’s advanced online painting class. Anna has been a student with The Art Studio NY since March 2021. Anna says, “I think it is great that I am able to join an art class in New York City from my home-based atelier in The Netherlands!” Being the only European in the class, Anna has found great pleasure in meeting people from across the world with the same passion for painting. 

“The class gives me a sense of community, structure, and energy”

Shades of Green, Anna Chatsisvili

Some of Anna’s favorite painters are Klimt, Tsereteli, Akhvlediani, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, and Renoir. Anna’s mother has cultivated her love for painting since a very young age. “She enrolled me in painting classes, and when I was 10 years old, she got me an amazing encyclopedia of art history – I still love those books!” Anna also fondly remembers her middle school art teacher who taught her a lot of new techniques and inspired her to paint.  

Network, by Anna Chatsisvili

When asked how the pandemic has affected her art practice, Anna shares that it has given her the opportunity to devote more time to painting. It has also taught her to appreciate the things that we take for granted in life. The hardest part of the pandemic for Anna has been the uncertainty. Anna shares that she “feels excited and creative before art class, fulfilled and uplifted afterwards.  I also find it very fun to prepare my own colors – I only get the basic colors (yellow, red, blue, white and black), and create the rest myself.”

The Tree, by Anna Chatsisvili


“Rather than just a hobby, painting is a need for me, a way of meditation and self-expression. When I paint, I lose the sense of time. Is painting my ikigai? Probably.”  



               Metekhi Church at Dusk                                          Eternal Flow                                                   You and I 

Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

by Kristen Andersen | June 9 | @theartstudiony

For Bari, by Jeannie Blaustein

The radiant florals & shades of pink juxtaposed the circular & linear patterns of the azure pottery are what makes Jeannie Blaustein’s For Bari truly stand out. The story behind the artwork is what captivates us. 

Bari Moss (left) holding For Bari, gifted to her by fellow artist and The Art Studio NY student, Jeannie Blaustein (right)


As Jeannie’s good friend Bari Moss’s birthday began to approach, Jeannie thought it would be the perfect opportunity to put her new found painting skills to use and paint something for her friend. Bari is a talented artist herself and Jeannie has enjoyed many of her mugs, bowls, and vases over the years. Every morning, my coffee tastes better because it’s in one of her beautiful mugs, and I feel so grateful for the craft and beauty she’s brought into my life. I absolutely love the colors and patterns she creates,” says Jeannie.

She continues, “I thought what better way than to use her own work as my inspiration! So, I bought flowers and set up a still life. I waited until the moment of the day when the sun casts strong shadows into my living room, and snapped some photos! I made a large print of the photo and worked on it for weeks. Each detail reminded me of Bari’s gorgeous work, and gave me pleasure to try and capture her art in another medium.”

For Bari has taken Jeannie about 2 months of the 18 total months she’s been practicing oil painting to complete. Jeannie started painting 4 months prior to the pandemic- only painting once a week in her studio art class.

Now she practices art on a daily basis– whether it’s at home or on the go, Jeannie makes sure to squeeze in a paint session each day. 

“I really don’t know why I paint,” Jeannie says, “About two years before I signed up for my first class, I started hearing a small, still voice within me that said, ‘You need to paint.’ I don’t know where that comes from and, honestly, I tried to ignore it. Until I promised a wise friend of mine that I would start painting so I signed up for a beginners class and took it over and over again! As soon as I started, I fell in love… Color, the process of mixing colors, and finding something that feels just right brings me a lot of joy.”

Attending an online art class really helped Jeannie during the pandemic. It’s been a wonderful way for her to stay connected to her artistic practice and fellow students of art. Jeannie’s advanced oil painting online class consists of mostly the same group of students which contributes to a strong sense of community within the virtual art class. This camaraderie has helped Jeannie feel encouraged and supported to continue practicing, trying, and learning. “My instructor, Rebecca Schwieger, is full of ideas, examples, and radical encouragement at every turn. She has played such an important part in this last year for me, and I’m so grateful for her open, accepting, and enthusiastic approach to painting,” shares Jeannie. 

“My life has changed completely. All I want to do is paint. 

‘I’m taking both painting and drawing, and I notice that I’m seeing the world through new eyes. I take pictures with my phone all the time now, always alert to something that I might want to paint or draw. I feel more alive and connected to the world around me, both the beauty and the ugliness, because it all needs to be told and shared and acknowledged. And I get excited about looking at things in this new way. I helped launch an organization 4 years ago called Reimagine End of Life, which helps people confront the realities of death and dying while also supporting them in living fully during the precious time we have. In painting, I feel I’ve discovered for myself something that makes my life richer and more beautiful, and I feel so fortunate to have found painting, even at 58 years old!”

Jeannie spent the first 8 months of the pandemic in Cape Cod, where she fell in love with the colors of the gorgeous landscapes








When asked what advice she would give her pre-pandemic self, Jeannie says, “Paint every day. Life is short and unpredictable. Figure out what matters and what you love, and honor that in yourself.” 

Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

Meet TASNY Student Pilar Lagos


Kristen Andersen (KA): Why did you decide to take an online art class? Describe your experience.

Pilar Lagos (PL): Art brings me joy. This is the main reason why I made the decision to take an online art class this year (2021). 

With the pandemic, I started to notice that my days and weeks were becoming a blur, so around the holiday season in 2020, I took time off work even though I knew I would have to stay put in the city. At first, I was feeling sad that I would not be able to fly home to my native Honduras to spend time with my family. I was also worried about how I would fill my days; I felt stuck and restless at the same time. 

Fortunately, after spending an entire year at home with my husband, I began to notice that he is always able to entertain himself. He’s either studying for his PhD, reading fantasy or sci-fi books or “hobbying”, as he likes to call it. 

I figured I could also do the same thing; find ways to keep myself busy and enjoy much needed rest. So, I ordered a bunch of DIY embroidery kits and dusted off my watercolor paper and paints from previous art classes. Needless to say, spending time off immersed in my own art practice rekindled my interest in drawing and painting. So, without giving it much thought, I signed up for two classes with the Art Studio NY and stayed on. 

CVST, by Pilar Lagos

KA: What have you gained from taking virtual art classes?

PL: I have gained the ability to spend time alone with my ideas and not be afraid of my thoughts.  Before the pandemic, I kept my social calendar full and didn’t really make time for myself or my art practice.

I’ve also learned to be much more patient with myself.

For example, I’ve learned that if I want to achieve good value on a drawing, spending the time on a piece will reap results. Part of the creative process is to be present in what I’m doing and being unafraid to pause to let ideas simmer.

KA: What advice would you give your pre-pandemic self?

PL: I would tell myself to never stop doing art, even when life gets busy. It’s ok to carve out time for yourself to do the things that you enjoy. 

KA: How has the pandemic impacted your art practice?

PL: The pandemic has impacted my art practice in several good ways. 

For example, when I took a children’s book illustration course at the University of the Arts London in 2017,  I went there with the goal of creating and finishing a children’s book. This did not happen and I felt frustrated that I did not experience a eureka moment. In hindsight, I didn’t even have a character in mind, yet I was expecting so much from myself.  

What I failed to notice at that time was that a week in London playing with colored pencils, pastels and markers, sparked my interest in the different techniques that artists use to illustrate children’s books. From then on, I started to collect children’s books and would spend hours looking at each page. One thing led to the other, and, in 2018 I took another picture book course at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, this time with a character in mind. Yet again, I felt frustrated that I could not illustrate my character in the way that I wanted because I lacked basic drawing skills. 

This year, I set myself the goal of learning to draw. I told myself to enjoy the process rather than rush it. I also allowed myself to explore different mediums and not fixate on a particular project. 

In a way, my pre-pandemic art practice was a reflection of my life. I was always rushing, taking the subway from one place to another and did not allow myself to rest or reflect.

Now, I feel much more grounded in my art practice. I physically have nowhere to go on a daily basis so I take out my paper and allow myself to explore and play with paint or graphite.

KA: Why do you practice art? What has attracted you to this hobby in particular and why has it stuck?

PL: I practice art because it makes me forget the outside world and I’m transported into my little bubble of joy. I think the reason why this hobby has stuck is because I finally relented to my obsession with perfectionism. I have given myself the opportunity to learn; to be a beginner and enjoy the process of achieving something new (and unexpected) each time I sit to work on a piece. 

Cortical, by Pilar Lagos

KA: Do you have an artistic influence (a favorite artist, someone in your life, someone you look up to, etc)?

PL: My all time favorite artists are Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondriaan, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet. More recently, I’ve become obsessed with the work of Michelangelo. My favorite illustrators are Marion Deuchars and Francesca Sanna. 

More personally, I consider my mom an artist and my biggest inspiration. She was always ready to help me out with my art projects while growing up and made sure that my brother and I were exposed to art. I recently found an old photo of my family at an art exhibition. It’s not surprising that my younger brother went on to become an amazing architect, and, here I am in my mid-thirties, doing art again. 

KA: Has art changed your life, and if so, how?

PL: Yes, I’ve become more protective of my time and how I start my days. Art has given my life a sense of structure in this very unknown world that we are living in right now. 

One of the first things that I do every morning is spend a few minutes working on a piece. I’ll either go back to add more value to a drawing or continue working on a second or third layer of a watercolor piece. I usually do this before work and before my husband wakes up. It’s a pocket of time that belongs to me and I like to savor it as much as I can. 

KA: Do you have any art pieces in particular that you’re really proud of? 

PL: I am particularly proud of the distorted portraits that I drew in the ‘Fear-Free Drawing: Portrait and Figure Drawing Class’ with Lindsay Eller. Around the time of the course, I had a very sudden and painful positional headache, which turned out to be a spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak. I was in constant pain and bedridden for 10 days. Surprisingly, when I drew in bed, I would forget that my head was pounding.

I placed all my energy on what I had in front of me, a sheet of paper and graphite pencils. 

When Lindsay tasked us with the exercise, I wanted to draw a portrait that would depict the pain that I was experiencing underneath my skin. When I drew the first piece, I literally felt that I was releasing all the pain in a very tangible way.

Venous, by Pilar Lagos

Spontaneous, by Pilar Lagos


Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

by Rebecca Schwieger | May 25 | @releaseyourcreativity

How to Create A Life You Love

COVID times have pushed us to take stock. Of everything. Investing in the life category of friendship is a worthy cause. New friends or old friends, who you surround yourself with impacts the story of your life.
Friendship can be fierce. I pick them, they pick me, we pick eachother. Some last forever, some are like the ever changing seasons, some come and go. Welcome them all.
With my female friends, I am part of a secret soul sister society. With these bonds, I’ve experienced something as strong- if not stronger, at times – than blood family. Into my 20’s, friends were a given. Come my 30’s, I woke up to what a privilege it is to choose and be chosen within my sisters’ clubs.
My mother always said, “There’s no friend like an old friend.” It is a great privilege to witness, and be witnessed by, friends who we have laughed with, cried with, grown and changed with, shared our longings and fears and tears and worries and conflicts and wounds and successes and best and worst selves with, together.
To live our individual lives and know there’s both a cheerleading squad that has our backs as well as a gang of truth tellers that won’t sugarcoat it, even when it’s hard to hear. Soft love, tough love, sister love.
This weekend, I celebrated a beautiful sister, Rebecca, and I’m so proud of her. For her grit and her growth and her commitment to healing and wellness and heart-centered living. She is the creator of her life, her business, and now her sacred beloved upcoming marriage, that stands for conscious love and a life well lived.
Deep friendships sweeten the game of life. Many people say that it’s harder to make great friends as we get older. I do not agree. We all thrive with connection. We need it. It just takes open vulnerable hearts that choose each other for the long game.


by Kristen Andersen and Laura Salzberg | May 20th | @theartstudiony

Meet Laura Salzberg


Laura did not grow up drawing and painting. Her art journey began in high school when a classmate taught her how to develop film and to print black and white pictures. This led to Laura going to college to study photography, where she ended up learning about drawing, painting and mixed media as well. This opened up a whole new world for her; for the first time, she thought of herself as an artist. She did a little drawing, collage here and there but without a support system, it didn’t amount to much. After college, Laura began teaching special education in NYC public schools. Once Laura married and had her son, she stopped making art altogether. She found that she didn’t have the time or energy to do both. Her husband tried to convince her to go back to making art but it was met with resistance. Finally, when their son was about 15 and pretty self sufficient, her husband gave her a gift certificate to TASNY for Christmas. Laura started taking classes with Rebecca and other teachers at the studio and she didn’t stop!

Untitled, by Laura Salzberg


 “I found art again. I was very insecure and not sure I could do it again but Rebecca and the other teachers were so supportive, the community there was so friendly that I could take my time, develop my own style and skills and found the courage to try new things.”


Now, Laura and her husband are renting gallery space to put on their first solo show featuring Laura’s paintings! She will be exhibiting about 26 paintings  – acrylic paint and mixed media with some combination of acrylic paint, paper and mark making materials. The idea first came about when her husband suggested they do this on their anniversary last year. “Why wait for a gallery?” Laura’s husband is a jazz musician and wrote a suite of pieces based on three paintings of faces Laura did a few years ago. On opening day of the gallery, he’ll perform the songs with his trio and the paintings will be projected on a wall nearby.

Deivi at 6 years old, by Laura Salzberg

In Laura’s words, “I have continued to focus on making art dealing with issues like resistance, fear, lack of confidence, how to build an art practice, how to let people know what I do, how to improve my work, all things I think I’m getting better at and I can see progress over the last few years. I guess if I were to give advice to my pre-pandemic self it would be ‘Don’t stop. Keep going, don’t judge’”

“I don’t think of making art as a hobby, something I do in my spare time for fun. It is who I am. I am an artist.”

Those Eyes, by Laura Salzberg

“Pushing paint around, watching the colors mix, noticing happy accidents, making new discoveries is fun! Making art and seeing my own progress has helped me feel more confident as an artist and as a person. I can say to the world ‘I am an artist, this is my painting, it’s good enough to hang on the wall of this gallery, I think you’ll like it, if you love it you should buy it. I think it will bring beauty to your home.’ I couldn’t say that with confidence a year or two ago.

“I think that people see my earlier face collages as a totally different body of work from my abstract work but I see it as a progression. After the face collages, I wanted to work in a looser, more abstract  style. I have never totally let go of collage and do some collages with paint and some paintings with collage.”






Come see Laura’s beautiful art at Prince George Gallery at 15 E 27th St, NYC on Friday June 11th from 4 pm to 6 pm, and Saturday June 12th and Sunday June 13th, 2021 between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm. 





by Kristen Andersen | May 17th | @theartstudiony

Meet Diane DeFilippo



Acrylic from Mixed-Media Class, by Diane DeFilippo

Diane began taking online art lessons with The Art Studio NY when a friend invited her to join in on a lesson. Feeling isolated and alone while working from home as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Diane figured an online group class seemed like the perfect outlet! 

Vase with Flowers from Acrylic Class, by Diane DeFilippo

A self-taught artist; Diane was given a Learn to Draw kit by Jon Gnagy as a child. At about 8 or 9 years old, Diane learned step-by-step how to draw perspective and shading from this kit. Amazed at how she was able to accomplish this herself, her practice pushed onward.  

“Moved by the beauty of Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, I have been drawn to reproduce their work.”

Van Gogh Irises, oil painting by Diane DeFilippo

Before art class, Diane feels; “pent up and restless”. After her art classes, she feels; “calmer, recognized”.

The last year has been challenging for the collective. Diane shares her personal experience with the pandemic as, “Feeling isolated and fearful– not only for myself, but for my family. It has been difficult caring and being present for clients who have experienced trauma working as nurses directly with Covid, their losses & fears, the chaos families felt regarding work and school, frustrations on how to adapt with shopping, less opportunities at gyms and restaurants and other organizations which were social outlets for my clients and perhaps the only thing keeping them structured each day. While doing this for others I also needed someone or something to help myself.” Working from home was an “opportunity in disguise” for Diane to finally have time to focus on herself.

3 Graces From Drawing Class, drawing by Diane DeFilippo

 Immersed in the beauty of colors and shading, Diane felt a sense of accomplishment with each finished product. Diane finds being fully focused on mixing the correct color, recognizing the shadows and variations in tone, and trying to capture it on canvas or paper to be quite calming.

Diane shares, “By taking a virtual art class I was able to keep safe while still interacting with others. Intrigued by the idea of learning more artistic techniques, I wanted to learn the science behind the art as opposed to copying someone else’s art.”

“[My art practice] has given me positive feedback to see my work as an accomplishment. This, I’m sure, has improved my self esteem and is something I could be proud of doing and doing well. It has taught me how to slow my mind down and focus on detail– this has given me a feeling of relaxation, which comes along with the mindfulness of focusing on what’s in front of me instead of inner anxiety and worry.”

Renoir’s Seascape, oil painting by Diane DeFilippo

We are so glad to have Diane as part of our artist community at TASNY! Thank you, Diane, for sharing your story with us. We hope Diane’s story provides those intrigued by art the push they need to begin their practice. 

Bushkill Falls PA Path, oil painting by Diane DeFilippo


Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

AT LEAST once a year, I go someplace I’ve never been before.

To know that the “stuff” that matters, I can carry on my back and in my heart.

To expand and learn and grow.

To see through new eyes and open to fresh perspectives.

To make new friends and delight in old ones.

To leave the routine, remember the magic, and bathe in the beauty.

To remember that through compassion and our shared humanity, no matter where I travel to, we are all much more similar than we are different.
#newdaynewyou #createalifeyoulove #goplaces #dalailamaquotes #changeisgood #mixedmediaart

-Rebecca Schwieger


May be art of outdoors

May be an image of rose and outdoors

by Rebecca Schwieger| May 9 | @releaseyourcreativity

You are a mother.
I am a mother.
She is. He is. We all are.
And we are all children, too.
On Mother’s Day, the “traditional” type of mother celebrated is a woman who gives birth to a baby. Flesh of her flesh.
I’ve learned that the bravest mothering we can do is, first and foremost, towards our own selves. To love and care and devote ourselves to that child within, to healing the old wounds, showering ourselves with compassion, forgiving our own epic mistakes, and learning to sooth and hold ourselves tight where life hurts the most.
To telling ourselves new stories that feel empowering and hopeful, and to letting go of the old narratives that drag us down. Mothering ourselves births a full embrace, acceptance and expression of our authentic selves.
We love better, bigger and fuller when we first practice self-mothering. The love we give to others- kids, spouses, coworkers, strangers, lovers- is then done with a fullness.
When you can walk through the fire of life and mother yourself through it with a showering of love, you, and every single person you ever touch, will be all the better for it.
It all- everything worthwhile- starts with mothering yourself first.
Happy Mother’s Day to the inner-mother inside of every person on the planet.

by Rebecca Schwieger | May 4 | @releaseyourcreativity

Susan is a true blue Manhattanite. She is smart, sassy, classy, warm, friendly and genuine. She always pushes herself to explore, learn, and leave her creative comfort zone. As an interior designer in New York City, she’s a wizard at weaving together color, texture and space.

During in-person art classes pre-COVID, Susan was most often the student who continued working on her artwork long after the class ended. The class would end at 1:30p, and Susan was there at 3p still working away, warmly sharing rich conversation with staff and students alike. Susan is a core member of our studio family.

One thing we miss the most during the pandemic is the connective conversations IRL and time spent together with people like Susan, talking about everything from family, art, and city culture, to books, movies, and restaurants.

We are grateful to Susan for her support of our studio this past year, and she has continued to be a member of our art studio community through our virtual art classes every Thursday for the last year.

In yesterday’s class, Rebecca taught the group painting techniques of how to create an abstract floral painting. While Susan typically works in watercolor paint, she felt inspired to take the risk of jumping into acrylic painting, integrating all she’s learned from years of art classes at The Art Studio NY.


#soulart #arttherapy #onlinepaintingclasses
#theartstudio #artandhealing #remoteartclasses #artathome #createathome #createanywhere #artworkshops #acrylic #painting

 by Kristen Andersen and Emily Kilma | Apr 28 | @theartstudiony


Meet Emily Kilma, one of the Art Studio NY’s first students.

Emily began her studies at TASNY in Fall of 2007, when Rebecca was still teaching out of her apartment’s living room. In college, Emily was formally trained in drawing, painting landscapes, still lives and nudes. Emily went from working as an art director for various fashion publications to becoming a stay-at-home mom and a freelance graphic designer. After her very long hiatus from art, she was ready to try her hand at abstract and mixed-media painting. A quick google search introduced her to Rebecca’s studio, thus beginning her relationship with TASNY. 

“My experience was amazing! I felt so welcome and understood and free to create. It was the coziest, tight knit group of people with Rebecca as teacher, friend, healer and magic maker.”

When asked how her art classes at TASNY have impacted her, Emily says;

I gained so much validation and peace with art making at Rebecca’s. I found my unique expression and haven’t stopped since”.

Now that 13 years have passed since Emily began her lessons with TASNY, Emily has created a wonderful body of work! She is taking commissions and gearing up for some exhibitions. The pandemic was a sudden shift that impacted us all. Like any change, there are sacrifices to be made. Emily shares the hardest part of the pandemic for her was socially distancing from her family and friends. She also shares that it was difficult for her to feel safe in public. Not to mention, it was an exercise in patience waiting for her art supplies to arrive! But with the negative comes the positive; 

“The pandemic has set my art practice on fire in a good way! I had been working full-time and missing my art so much-it was missing me too! I got laid off and immediately got to work painting and creating again in my studio.”


Emily’s art practice began as a way to create art so she could decorate her apartment–but it has turned into something so much greater. Through her art, she found her authentic self. She uses her art as a way to freely express herself and share it with so many.

 “I love that I can make people feel something when they look at my art-that it resonates some place deeply and mysteriously inside themselves.”

Emily admires artists like Helen Frankenthauler, Gerhard Richter, Richard Diebenkorn, Elizabeth Peyton, Cecily Brown… and of course, Rebecca! When describing her experience with TASNY, Emily says, I felt like I had arrived easily and soulfully into the fold. I made awful art and then okay art and then ‘my art’- it was incredible. I grew and became the artist that I am today-largely due to the freedom and divine teaching of Rebecca”.

Emily says art has transformed her life in an indescribable way. It has helped her to do what she loves and love what she’s doing. 


“recover” by Emily Kilma 30″ x 30″ mixed-media and collage on canvas



“beloved” by Emily Kilma 30″ x 40″ mixed media, collage, ink, and pastel on wood panel


To view more of Emily’s art, please check out her website Emily Klima (


Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

by Rebecca Schwieger | April 18 | @releaseyourcreativity

How to Create A Life You Love

The only thing that stays the same is that nothing ever stays the same. Just when you think you finally get how it all works (“it” being life), the tides change.
In a recent post-vax retreat to Miami, the first thing I did was run straight into the ocean for a soul cleanse. Instead of feeling soothed by the abundant waves, I was stung by a Portuguese Man-of-War.
Afterwards, I knew if I skipped a day of swimming, I might grow afraid. So, despite the inferno-like burn on my entire arm, I ran back into those turquoise waters every day for weeks. The current always lifted, lowered and carried my body differently than the day before. Same ocean, never the same waves.
The tides of life forever change, and what matters most is how you choose to ride them. Through tapping into your creative power, you can consciously create who and how you want to be. With every changing tide, you create your life anew. Again and again and again.
Creativity isn’t reserved just for artists, it’s a powerful force that lives inside of you. You’re always creating, and it’s your choice as to whether you do so unconsciously as a victim or bravely awake as a warrior.
Your life is your canvas, and it’s up to you how, and what, you make of it.
May be an image of Rebecca Schweiger, ocean and beach

by Kristen Andersen | Apr 19 | @theartstudiony


Meet student artist, Robin Price

Robin Price is one of The Art Studio NY’s first online students. Originally from New York, Robin moved down to Virginia with her husband over 20 years ago. Despite the 400 miles between NYC and Robin, she was able to take her first art class online with us at The Art Studio NY!

Once the Stay-At-Home orders were enacted, Robin found herself (like many of us) with a whole lot of time and not a lot to do. Robin was always interested in being able to paint, and she soon found herself on our website, signing up for an online watercolor class with our art studio. 

The pandemic has been incredibly hard on us all. However, Robin’s experience is a bit different than the average pandemic story. Shortly after the lockdown started, Robin went to the doctor for her routine mammogram screening. The doctors found a lump near her breast and everyone’s initial thought was breast cancer.

After more tests, it was discovered that the lump was not from breast cancer, but from stage 4 ovarian cancer. 


Robin remembers clearly the day she was informed of her diagnosis. “I’m sorry, what?” she repeated, in shock. It had to have been a mistake. She’s a woman in good health, exercises regularly, eats well– how could she have stage 4 carcinoma?

At first Robin’s weekly online art class was a way to break up the monotony of the long pandemic days. Once she began her treatment, however, Robin was determined to create more than ever. Her diagnosis is always on her mind and art is a distraction– a way to quiet the worrisome thoughts even if for a moment. Her art practice leaves her with a sense of accomplishment, it makes her feel good at a time when nothing else could. 

Before art class begins, Robin feels a sense of “anticipation and excitement”.  After all, it is always important to have something to look forward to. Robin’s virtual drawing class instilled within her a sense of community.  The Art Studio NY’s smaller class sizes create an atmosphere of camaraderie and familiarity amongst the instructors and students. After class, Robin is left with a feeling of satisfaction and a creative spark that stays with her throughout the week. 

The more she practices, the better she gets. Seeing how quickly her artistic skills improve makes her want to practice even more! Robin’s therapeutic art practice usually consists of finding a photo online and trying to recreate it with watercolor. After months of practice, she finds herself learning to handle paint better– with more delicacy and intent. 


“The more I paint, the more I want to keep doing it!” 

Here is Robin showing us how strong she is after finishing chemo.


Robin loves painting florals, Japanese florals, and landscapes. 


Robin likes to incorporate the color teal into her artwork as it is the color of the ovarian cancer ribbon. 


The Art Studio NY team thanks you, Robin, for supporting us throughout those uncertain months. We are so happy to hear that art is able to keep you anchored during a tumultuous time in your life. We couldn’t be more grateful that you are still here with us! Here’s to kicking cancer’s butt; the world needs you here to create more of those elegant watercolor flowers you love so much. We look forward to seeing many, many more artworks from you!

If you’d like to learn more about ovarian cancer and show your support for those affected by it, please visit @nocc_national (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition) on Instagram.

See the source image


Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

by Kristen Andersen and Kate Mailer | Apr 12 | @theartstudiony


The transition from in-person learning to virtual was a swift and unexpected one. Fortunately for us, online learning has been a wonderful opportunity to connect us with not just our usual NYC community, but artists from all over the globe. This week, I’d like to use our blog as a platform to spotlight one of our regular NYC students, Kate Mailer.


Kate has taken art classes at The Art Studio NY’s W96th St location since 2016


“I have been practicing art for many years as a relaxing and meditative activity, but I always and still  feel like a beginner!”


Kate has been practicing art since the 1990s. She started out doing small drawings in colored pencils which led to a further exploration of different mediums– pastels, ephemera, acrylic, oil, and mixed media. Kate even enjoys art in the form of writing!


“What I find with art is, I can do some form of it, whether abstract or figurative,  almost anywhere; inside, outside, alone, and with other people around! I love doing art with kids and chatting to them while we draw or paint together,” Kate wrote. 


Kate was one of the first of our online students when we made the initial transition last March.  When asked how the two modes of learning compare, she says there are upsides to both. 


“I love the in person studio classes at The Art Studio New York. The teachers are all so wonderful and supportive while also offering great advice and tips. I also loved the social aspect of it. I have dear friends from the class and we would often go to lunch afterwards. They are all incredible artists who I am in awe of.”


While we all miss learning in person together at the studio, online classes do have their own advantages. Kate shares, “I have loved the chance to just be at home and have the class available online with all of my materials available and at my fingertips. I also love having the chance to take different courses- two which I have taken steadily- painting with Rebecca and drawing with Amy- as well as some other classes in different mediums- which I would not have done had I had to travel by train to get uptown! The community with my friends has continued and blossomed as we have all taken class together online for almost the whole year! We hope to have lunch in person again, though, at some point.”

My Desk 2020, mixed media by Kate Mailer

Kate’s recent art piece, My Desk 2020, has been the talk of the office lately. Its bright colors catch your eye, while the scrupulous details keep you staring! In Kate’s own words: 


“What initially inspired me was the colors and shapes of the flowers of the central candle holder. I have many such items in my apartment and had just finished a mixed media/ more collage-y  abstract piece that had started with another candle holder. I thought this would be another such mixed media piece but then I got caught up in drawing  and painting other objects on my desk- the spines  of my journals, my paintbrushes in their jar,  an art journal piece I had done. Then I decided that I would include postcards I had been writing to registered voters urging them to vote in local and national elections.  Once I threw in my “I voted” sticker, it became for me, about 2020 and the combination of writing, doing art and engaging in politics. Which is why I included my calendar for 2020.

‘The mediums I used to create the piece were pencil, Caran D’ache Neocolor water based wax pastels. The pastels I used as both watercolor and as a crayon/ drawing tool. I also used black ink. I am quite experienced with these mediums. I’ve used them in many places both at home over this past year and while traveling for many years.”


We are so excited to see what 2021 has in store for Kate’s art practice. Kate, we thank you for your continued support of our studio. The Art Studio NY just wouldn’t have the amiable atmosphere it does if it weren’t for students like you. 



Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.


by Rebecca Schwieger | April 4 | @releaseyourcreativity

How To Create A Life You Love

Passover, Easter. Holi. Soon, Ramadan. Spring.
We’re living the season of release, rebirth and renewal.
Whatever holidays you do or don’t celebrate, be sure to pause and celebrate YOU. You’ve gotten this far, with all of life’s ups, downs, ins, outs, breakdowns and breakthroughs.
Our society is results, appearances and achievement oriented. And yet, the unseen is where the treasures lie. All of the times you failed and had courage to dust yourself off and get up again. The heartbreak you healed, the time you were on your knees alone and praying for help, the moments you vulnerably asked for what you need even though you feared rejection. The days that fear gripped you and you chose to face the unknown.
Today, give yourself space to pause. Thank yourself for your bravery that daily human living requires. Acknowledge just how far you’ve come. Know how worthy you are to step into all that you desire.
Look at you, precious one. You’re doing it. You are brave. Celebrate yourself.
May be art

by Rebecca Schwieger | March 25 | @releaseyourcreativity

How to Create A Life You Love

When you are staring at choices around stepping out of your comfort zone, both big and small, which do you choose: courage or comfort?
E.E. Cummings said it best. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
I have long felt intense, “convincing” fear around all sorts of things. You’re human, and thus so have you.
Fear of success, fear of failure. Fear of living fully in my most expansive self, fear of playing it too small. Fear of “what will others think” to “what do I lose when I care about what others think”? Fear of big changes, fear of no changes. And more.
Just when I begin to dance with greater levels of empowerment and standing in my truth, self-doubt and fear get LOUD. “You’re not safe, danger ahead! The rug will be pulled out from under you, bad things will happen!” Bravery: Our hearts rely on it for everything worthwhile, and our reptilian brains fight it.
Fear is a gripping force to reckon with, it lurks in the shadows of the narrative that tells you safety exists by staying tight in your bud.
Safety that is fear-based is chosen at the expense of living your deep desires, full-on and full-in. If being and becoming all you’ve been born for is tossed in the name of safety, it’s an epic fail.
Are you willing to dance with discomfort (temporarily) for the sake of your own expansion? Facing such intense emotion (fear) isn’t easy, and yet it’s crucial. The bigger the life vision, the more you’ll fear. Courage and bravery are non-negotiable for a life well lived.
When in doubt, ask Maya Angelou for North Star wisdom. “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
Artwork: “I Am Brave. Are you?”, mixed media on canvas, 12” x 12”
May be art

by Kristen Andersen | March 26 | @theartstudiony


The first daffodil of Spring has bloomed! 


We plant daffodil bulbs in the Fall and they don’t bloom until Spring. We wonder all Winter whether or not those bulbs will actually sprout…sure enough, however, those happy, yellow flowers greet us every March! The first flowers of the season, reminding us that we made it through yet another winter, and soon enough, we will be basking in the Summer sun. 


The Spring weather has inspired me to try my hand at gardening. I’ve purchased cute plants at the grocery store before, but never have I been able to keep one from meeting their untimely demise. This time around, however, I’ve actually found success in not only keeping a plant alive, but also getting a plant to grow from just a seed! I’m not sure what it was, but this time, it just clicked. Plants flourish and reproduce in the wild all without human interjection. If just the soil, sun, wind, and rain could keep plants alive, how hard can it be for me to partake in the process? 


The hardest part of gardening is waiting to see if a plant will actually grow from the little, tiny seed. The germination process takes place underneath the soil, so you have no idea if it’ll sprout until it finally does. After a few days/weeks/months, a little, tiny, green seedling starts peeking out through the boggy soil. That little sprout brings with it the feeling of accomplishment, encouraging you to keep going– your hard work is actually paying off!


If it wasn’t for the whole timeline of gardening, I would have gotten into it earlier. It takes a good while for you to see the fruits of your labor. I wanted a hobby that provided instant gratification. I felt like I needed to see results right away to validate this adventure is worth my time and effort. This mentality ended the day I realized time is going to pass whether I planted seeds or not. Wouldn’t that be nice if I have a new baby plant at the end of those two weeks as opposed to nothing?  


In fact, you can take that notion and apply it to any hobby. Time will pass whether or not you’ve started practicing a new language. You may as well spend 15 minutes today learning what you can. Sure, it does take a while to learn how to play an instrument, but the sooner you start, the sooner you will no longer be calling yourself a beginner. Every renowned artist there is started out knowing nothing, it took years of practicing their skill to become as notable as they are. 


The idea of time passing us by can seem scary– it is scary, I will not discredit that. But we are brave enough to accept our fear, understand it, and look at it from a brighter perspective. Let’s make the most out of our finite supply of time and just enjoy it. Treat your time like the most valuable commodity in the world. Invest it in the right places and you will reap what you sow!




Sign up for a LIVE online art class today! We have classes for adults, teens, and kids. The Art Studio NY’s nurturing style of teaching is perfect for beginners. Engage with some of New York’s top rated artists and mingle with students who share a similar passion for art.

How to Create A Life You Love

by Rebecca Schwieger | March 22 | @releaseyourcreativity 

In life, you are either growing or decaying.
Expansion is what our souls crave. Beware (be + aware): Clinging tightly only to your comfort zone leads to rapid decay.

When invited to lead a 2-day, 12-hour virtual art retreat for PS educators by the radiant

Adrienne Hecker Sapione

(who taught for years at

The Art Studio NY

, and who taught me the quote of growing or decaying in life), doubt was my first reaction. “That’s a lot of hours, I don’t usually work on the weekends, I’m not sure, my plate is full…”

I snapped myself out of my fog quickly, and chose to say yes to both a growth mindset and to Adrienne. Yes to the unknown, yes to
Entering as strangers on a zoom screen, we co-sculpted a shared brave space, feeding our hunger for authenticity, freeing our self-expression through art (beginner friendly), opening to vulnerability, unmasking fears, challenging false beliefs, letting go of control in order to make space for the joy of “the now”, and learning together as community.
The experience that I almost no’ed excites me so much that I’m giving birth this second to:
Our Brave Creative Tribe
Dare to BE YOU, freely express all parts of yourself, and feel inspired to authentically play, deepen your joy, and express yourself in art while you learn to create a LIFE YOU LOVE.
Stay tuned for more info, and drop a line if this sparks joy in you. ❤️🙏🏾
May be art
May be art of nature and tree

by Kristen Andersen | March 18 | @theartstudiony

Grief, depression, anxiety, shame, anger… all unpleasant yet inescapable experiences. 

These negative emotions may become so intense, so debilitating that they get in the way of our daily functioning. It becomes very difficult to remember what happiness was like when all you are feeling is sadness. 

Once I learned that these feelings are almost universal, I felt comforted, in a way. I thought it was amazing how we all struggle with our own internal battles and hide it from each other so well. How do we manage to get out of bed and go to work on the days we feel like there’s nothing worth doing? 

I’ll tell you how we do it; we do it because we are stronger than our mind gives us credit for. Our minds are programmed for self-preservation. It doesn’t want us to go out into the world where we will be exposed to the possibility of getting hurt emotionally or physically. Our minds are like our overprotective and over-bearing mother. At a certain point, you will have to tell yourself “Hey, listen, I know you really love me and I appreciate it, I do… but if you really loved me, you would trust that I am strong enough to face the things that scare me”.

We have to remind ourselves that these tumultuous times will eventually pass. Allow ourselves the allotted time to feel sorry for ourselves, there is no shame in that. It is our job, before anyone else’s, to love ourselves. With love comes forgiveness. Forgive yourself for these negative emotions and the circumstances that preceded your visit from them. 

Remind yourself;

This too shall pass.


student artwork


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How To Create A Life You Love

by Rebecca Schwieger | March 16 | @releaseyourcreativity 

The only constant is change, and it’s up to you whether you flow and grow with life’s tough times or resist (and your troubles persist), all alone, in your defended brick-walled fortress.
At times, the Universe decks you when you least expect it. I call these “baseball-bat-to-the-head” (BBBTTH) moments, and they’re humbling.
Joined in our shared humanity, this COVID year has been a serious and devastating BBBTTH.
No matter WHAT life drops at my door, I’ve realized the most important question to ask of myself is:
What are you here to teach me? What can I learn from this, and how can I grow?
As we continue to endure this shared rollercoaster, consider carving out time for your own inner-accounting. Ask the questions that matter now before the world speeds back up.
PS. One big learning for me is how quickly change happens, and how time waits for no one. So, I’m cranking up the volume on maximizing JOY. Stay tuned, prerecorded art classes are on the way!
May be art
May be art

How to Create a Life You Love

by Rebecca Schwieger | March 4 | @relseaseyourcreativity

It was a girl friend crush at first site when


and I met over 15 years ago in NYC. I even still remember what I was wearing.

Recently, Ya-Ya asked in her fun-loving (yet serious) way, “Rebex, if you paint flowers in your next Sunday night class, can I have the painting?”
Translation: Rebecca, will you please paint a watercolor floral and gift it to me?
Last night in “The Art Class”, I created this watercolor painting. It now belongs to Yael. Today, she ordered a frame.
If you don’t ask? A guaranteed rejection from yourself to yourself, and disconnection from what you desire.
Ask for what you want and need. At worst, the answer will be no, and you’ll be better for it, knowing now to seek elsewhere. At best, you’ll flex your courage muscles, learn, grow, say yes to yourself and hear yes from another.
Either way, you win by asking.
May be a closeup of rose

by Kristen Andersen | March 5 | @theartstudiony

The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining longer, and soon enough it’ll be time to trade our winter coats for denim jackets. Snow melts to reveal fertilized earth that will soon bear the fresh blooms of Spring. Following in nature’s footsteps, we can take this time to sow the perfect personal environment for new ideas, fresh energies, and soon-to-be memories.


1. Fresh air

Spread open those curtains and let the sun shine in! Humans need sunlight the same way plants do. There’s got to be a good reason why cats love to spend their time in the sunniest spot in the room. Crack open the windows to get some fresh air circulating. We learned in our earliest science classes; humans breathe in oxygen and out carbon dioxide. Make sure to take a few minutes a day to let the waste riddled air out and fresh, oxygen-rich air in. Taking care of little details like this really can make all the difference.


2. Organize

Categorize your items according to groups that make sense to you. Assign a spot for everything. Notice the items that you find constantly lying around everywhere, then create a spot for them. Only take them out of that spot when it is time to use it, once you are done using it, sacrifice an extra 30 seconds to put the item back in it’s assigned place- your future self will thank you! 


3. Take Inventory

Tidying up is the best time to take stock of everything you have and everything you don’t. Take a few moments to write on a note the items you’d like to pick up next time you’re at the store. This way, you won’t have to desperately wrack your brain in the store’s parking lot before going in.


4. Out with the old

Perhaps while taking inventory, you may even notice you have a surplus of a specific item. All of those extra items really do take up a lot of space! Take this time to donate your excessive, no longer used items. Make space for the things you actually do use. 


As a final thought, a rule of thumb I always go by, “if it takes under 2 minutes to do, do it now”

Hopefully these tips can be the little nudge you needed to do that thing you’ve been pushing off– finally mark it off your To-Do list so you don’t have to worry about it anymore!

May be art of bird and nature