Mixed media: A Fun new class I am offering

Are you in a creative slump or want to try out other forms of art media? Then, my course, Drawing, and Painting: A Mixed Media survey is the perfect fit for you! To learn more about this wonderful course, visit https://www.frederick.edu/. Go to the schedules link and select, ILR Fall Schedule 2022 to view a detailed description about this course.

In this course, I will provide you with detailed art demonstrations, with different art media provided each week. We will draw and paint our way through different art styles such as Impressionism, and even abstraction. The wide variety of art media and styles will stimulate your creativity, and provide a space for you to create in a judgment-free learning environment. Beginners and seasoned artists are welcome, no experience is necessary, although some experience with drawing or painting can be helpful. This is an in-person, noncredit course at Frederick Community College.

The Color Wheel: It’s Not just for Kids

Today I wanted to share a bit about the skills you will learn if you take my Oil Painting course for beginners. Did you know that the color wheel is not just for kids? Maybe you remember using crayons to make one in elementary school, but it’s still a useful skill to have as a beginner artist.

In my course, I will teach you how to use the color wheel to mix oil paint colors so that you will not have to buy every color under the sun to get that perfect purple or orange! The color wheel can also be a useful tool in determining what colors look good together, called color schemes. We will start with the class exercises to get your feet wet with oil paints, such as painting techniques, and also painting skills such as color wheels and value scales. No experience is needed, and beginners are welcome! These exercises will help you with class projects and give you the confidence to make your own artwork outside of my class, should you wish to continue studying oil painting on your own To learn more about my upcoming oil painting course, visit https://www.frederick.edu/. Look for course schedules and select ILR Fall Schedule 2022. You can use either the pdf version or the flipbook version. These are non-credit courses without any homework or grades.

Color Wheel, 2020, Jodie Schmidt.

Lessons Learned: My Gypsy Path as an Artist

This week I am writing about my somewhat haphazard journey toward becoming an artist and some lessons I have learned along the way. I also add a few insights from some famous artists that I feel provide a meaningful segue for my thoughts. A few months back when I was hosting an Artist opening show at Spin the Bottle Wine Company in Frederick, MD, one of the visitors to the wine shop asked me how I got my start as an artist. I answered that my mother had always encouraged me to make art and that she had enrolled me in a watercolor painting class at the age of nine. Since then I have taken many other art classes at the Howard County Center for the Arts (acrylic and watercolor), Howard Community College (drawing and photography), McDaniel College (graphic design, sculpture, drawing, and oil painting), and art classes with local artist Rebecca Pearl for watercolor, to name a few.

My journey has not been a straight path to overnight success. Instead, it has had many ups and downs, despite how things might look in my carefully timed and worded Facebook Posts and artist biographies that I write. For example, I don’t post artwork that I don’t like for the most part, and the ones I do post have often been reworked several times. Furthermore, the artworks that I show in galleries, coffee shops, etc., are examples of my best work, culled from unfinished works, experiments, and messes. In the words of poet Langston Hughes, “This life ain’t been no crystal stair.”

I can’t speak for the path of other artists, but after I graduated from McDaniel College with a bachelor’s degree in art, I struggled to find a path that would work for me. After graduation, I had to balance the realities of everyday realities such as student loan payments, with my dreams of being an exhibiting and teaching artist. My transition from being an art student in a creative bubble, to the world outside those walls, was not seamless. For instance, it was hard to deal with the isolation of being an artist without a group of creatives to cheer me on or encourage me when rejection inevitably came, in the form of rejection letters from Graduate Schools, such as Towson University, MICA, and James Madison University.  There were also rejection letters from art galleries that rejected my artwork. At the time, I thought the only way to be an artist was to teach art or to exhibit my artwork in juried art shows.

During this time, I took classes in a variety of subjects other than art, trying to find out what I wanted to do with my life, such as history, social work, and graphic design. None of these seemed to “fit”, and I usually ended up returning to art again at some point, either by taking another art class or by making art on my own time on days off from work or in the evenings. I worked in customer service jobs as a library assistant, and hostess, and next, I work as a Receptionist at a Funeral Home. I have learned that there are many different ways to be an artist, whether it provides your livelihood or not. At present, I divide my time between working as a part-time Adjunct faculty art teacher and making art in my spare time. I’m constantly looking for new opportunities to exhibit my art or share my art with others on Instagram and Facebook, or at art festivals or coffee houses.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned during my creative journey as an artist was to be careful with whom I showed my art and to carefully filter people’s comments about my art to see if they are helpful. I’ve had some bad critiques in the past and so I try to choose people who have my best interests at heart and who have some art training but are not pretentious or mercilessly blunt.  Source: Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, and 10 Life Lessons from History’s Most Famous Artists, Kim Smiley, 03/02/17.

And finally, another lesson that I am currently in the process of learning is that it takes a lot of time, sweat, and tears to perfect one’s craft as an artist. By no means does excellent work occur in and of itself. It takes years of practice and determination not to give up on practicing one’s art. For example, according to Kim Smiley, the Renaissance sculptor, painter, poet, and engineer, Michelangelo, knew that it took patience to create art, and likewise, Leonardo Da Vinci, states, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”  According to Smilet, artists should “go against the grain” of our modern culture to get everything done quicker, and instead take their time to create quality work and the patience to carry it out. One way that I am working on practicing my craft has been to challenge myself to draw a portrait a day, or as often as possible. Every time I create a portrait of a celebrity, changemaker, or another historical figure, I post the results on Instagram. So far I have created 91 line portraits out of the 100 I planned to make. It’s a work in progress. If you are interested in following my drawing challenge, 100 faces in 100 days, you can find me on Instagram as jsjsschmidt2, or you may view my website, www.artofschmidt.com, which has a link to my Instagram page and is updated each time I post a new drawing.

Author’s Note: This blog post is from my archives but the artwork is new, and it illustrates some of the new work I have been making in my art sketchbook.  The goal for these works has been to try to re-do unsatisfactory artwork in these pages and complete the work as a series which different topics each month. This month my focus is on nature. I only started this project about a month ago, and have already learned so much about color, value, and composition!

And by the way, if you are looking for a fun class in which to practice your color mixing and drawing skills, you might enjoy my course: Beginning Pastels at Delaplaine Art Center. To learn more, click on this link: https://delaplaine.org/. I give detailed tutorials on topics such as how to mix color and create value scales to help you to create the artwork you will love! I teach the fundamentals of art such as line, shape, color, and value to give you the tools to make artwork both in my classroom and beyond! There is no grading or homework, so the pressure is off if you were thinking it was another academic type course. I try to teach you fundamentals in a fun and supportive environment.

Page from my sketchbook made with Prismacolor colored pencils.
Another page from my sketchbook with a mixture of acrylic paint, gel pens, and watercolor.
One of my first re-do paintings was made with oil pastel, a medium I am not very familiar with but wanted to work with more often.

The Ultimate Drawing Class for Beginners!

Are you a beginner artist? Do you want to learn how to draw but feel overwhelmed about which method to try? Contour drawing, blind contour drawing, drawing upside down, constructing with shapes, etc. Then my class, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner is perfect for you! I will offer you guided instruction focusing on specific drawing methods every week, such as Contour drawing, blind contour drawing, drawing upside down, etc. Trying a variety of drawing methods can help you find the one that suits you best! This course is inspired by Betty Edwards’s book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/.

And if this class is full, try your hand at another course I am offering, Classic Drawing, and also at the Delaplaine. This course is also a great fit for beginners, or artists who are rusty in their drawing skills and want a brush-up. This course has a slightly different focus. We will be focusing here on specific elements of art, such as line, shape, form, and texture. I will alternate the class projects with step-by-step handouts and drawing from observation. The focus here will be on applying each element of art every week to your exercises and projects to build more aesthetically pleasing artwork. Whichever class you take, learning the skill of drawing, or improving your drawing skills is a fundamental tool in your artistic toolbox and will greatly improve your artwork, whatever medium you choose, whether it’s: collage, painting, sculpture, pastel, etc! I’ve been drawing and painting for many years (since about age 2) and find that drawing weekly keeps me to tackle any painting with confidence!

Day 1, an upside-down drawing from my course Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
Contour Drawing and Constructing with Shapes, an exercise from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
A project from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner, Uses a toned ground and a picture plane viewfinder.
A Negative Space exercise, from my Classic Drawing course.
Project from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
A contour drawing exercise from my course, Classic Drawing.
The final project for my course, Classic Drawing.

A Journey into my new Mixed Media Course

Are you a blocked creative who’s lost their creative mojo? Then my course, Drawing, and Painting: A Mixed Media Survey, maybe just the antidote to your artist’s block! Journey with me on a survey of different art media such as acrylic, pastel, pencil, watercolor, and collage to learn different art techniques based on masterworks created by Monet, Klee, and many others! Take a sneak peek into the process of creating a Haystack house, based on the book that inspired this class, Drawing and Painting into Calm by Susan Evenson. To learn more about the course, visit https://www.frederick.edu/class-schedules/downloads/ilr_fallschedule2022.aspx.

Update: New Courses I am teaching at Frederick Community College this Fall!

Hello friends, family, visitors, and fans,

I am teaching two great classes this fall! If you have always wanted to try Oil painting but felt cautious, come and give it a try! Click on https://apps.frederick.edu/Flipbook/ILR_FallSchedule2022/index.html, to learn more! I teach noncredit courses in the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Frederick Community College in Frederick, MD.

Introduction to Oil Painting is very beginner friendly and will focus on basic skills such as value and color mixtures. The projects will be beginner friendly featuring landscapes and still lifes in an Impressionistic style. It’s a very forgiving medium and much easier to master than watercolor. I promise!

On the other hand, if you want to try a variety of different art mediums and learn which ones were capable, you will love my Drawing and Painting: A mixed Media Survey course. Do you love mixed media and art history? Then this course is perfect for you! Click on https://www.frederick.edu/class-schedules/downloads/ilr_fallschedule2022.aspx to learn more!

New items in my Red Bubble Shop are available, just in time for Halloween!

Hello friends, family, and fans,

It’s been a long time since I have added new content to my commerce art shops, so I thought now would be a good time to update my portfolio. I just added some new original artwork to my Red Bubble commerce shop. These artworks can be made into a variety of functional or decorative objects at affordable prices! For example, I have mugs, prints, clocks, aprons, and much more! My focus this month is on Animals and Halloween since it is getting closer to that time of the year! You don’t have to spend a fortune to own some fine art pieces on this site, and best of all, it’s an original kind of artwork.

Quoted the Raven, Nevermore, Mixed Media, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.
Dinosaur Party, Pen, and Pencil on Paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.

I am also working on making the original works available for sale on my Etsy commerce site. Come visit my red bubble shop and see what’s new:https://www.redbubble.com/people/jsjschmidt2017/shop?asc=u&ref=account-nav-dropdown. I plan to post a variety of small paintings and sketches at affordable prices. Thanks for stopping by!

Mixed Media Cow, torn paper collage, ink, crayon, painted papers, colored pencil, and candy wrapper on mixed media paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.

The Benefits of Creativity

Did you know that creativity can enhance your life in many ways? According to a Forbes article entitled, “Here’s how Creativity Improves Your Health,” by Ashley Stahl of Forbes, being creative has many benefits. These benefits include: improving your mood, reducing stress, and improving cognitive function since your right and left hemispheres to work together when you are creating.

It doesn’t matter what form creativity takes to get these benefits. Some different creative activities such as sewing, coloring in a coloring book, etc. Join me this summer in my Continuing Landscapes in Pastel to improve the quality of your life on many levels and make time for creativity in your life! To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/.

Continuing Landscapes in Pastel, Summer Course Update

There are still some spots available for my upcoming, Continuing Landscapes in Pastel at the Delaplaine Art Center. If you are an oil painter or love to work in color, but would like to try out a new medium, this might be a great course for you.

Or, if you want to work in a more forgiving art medium than watercolor, pastel could be the perfect choice for you! It’s a wonderful medium that combines all the characteristics of drawing which is generally a dry media, with the painterly characteristics of color and texture, such as oil painting, but in contrast, pastels have no drying time.

Working in soft pastels also doesn’t require a full complement of art supplies, such as pallets, brushes, or water jars. Instead, you can get started with just some soft pastels, erasers, pastel pencils, and pastel paper to begin your creative journey. Easy to set up and easy to clean up. No brushes or palettes to clean! And it’s so easy to correct your mistakes, with a kneaded eraser. What could be better? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the projects we will work on colorful meadows, fall scenes, and even a mixed media garden landscape. Please visit: https://delaplaine.org/ to sign up or learn more about this wonderful course!

Did you know value is the key to a successful work of art?

In my experience as an artist and teacher, I have learned how important it is to incorporate a wide range of value in my own artwork and art demonstrations. Test the truth of this insight by joining my art course, Continuing Landscapes at the Delaplaine art center this July! We will start with pastel techniques, and then work our way through the elements of art, such as value and color, etc. to build successful landscape pastel paintings. To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/.