Phyllis Nasiopulos

My art journey started by default. Last year, I made a casual comment to a friend about her upcoming art class in watercolor. She invited me to join her, and I couldn’t find a reason to say no. Let me fill-in some important information. My only exposure to art instruction was when I was a high school student. I never learned about technique or theory. I had someone who could draw do the sketch, and I’d fill it in. Not exactly the method to hone or develop skills. Fast forward 50+ years, and I found myself in a watercolor class. The good news is I never knew watercolor was “hard”. Because I like books, I found artists who said drawing was not important. BINGO, I found my muse. Just slap the paint on the paper with some water, and you have a painting.

With more research and watching of various online instruction, I learned you can’t do any kind of art if you can’t draw. So, I signed up for “how to draw” classes online. I was instructed to draw 100 circles a day for the rest of my life. That’s fine, except I started this whole journey a bit late. As fate was on my side, I started seeing links to Kara’s FACES classes. I loved ALL the styles of drawing from the realistic to the more abstract. I must admit, I put off my registration, but fate would have none of my procrastination. This year, 2019, I took the challenge, and I’m loving every minute. I’m learning to let go, observe more, be patient but move on. I’m only on class 4, so I expect there’s plenty more to fill-in all I don’t know, and that’s a great deal. Each class takes a different approach with different medium. I’m picking up art tools that I might have never considered and trying things I might have avoided. I’m very impressed with the teaching. Each class has videos that take you step by step through the process. You also have support materials. It’s everything you need to feel comfortable and be successful. In addition to FACES 2019, I signed up for Fluid Figures and an upcoming class on using values in portraits. I can watch at my own pace, and repeat viewing many times. It’s a win-win.

Being part of the art community has allowed me to be inspired by people who are taking this journey with me. I see there are many ways to interpret something, many ways to see color and line, and there is no one ‘right” way. The people in this group are always generous with their praise and careful with their comments. It’s safe.

This opportunity came to me at the perfect time in my life. I’m a retired high school English teacher who spent over 40 years talking about the art of literature. I spent plenty of time with a piece of chalk in my hand, but now it has taken on new meaning. I live in a community that fosters art, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and because of our winters, I have plenty of time to practice.

I encourage you to take action. You’ll learn more than you thought you needed, and it won’t require 100 circles a day.”