FAQ

You don't need any experience with drawing or watercolor for any of my online courses.

I promise to provide you with a better foundation in drawing and watercolor than any other online course available. Period. 

WHY I TEACH

I teach drawing and watercolor because — after a lifetime of personal practice and seventeen years of teaching throughout the country at the community level— I firmly believe that these disciplines provide a creative path for self-realization. Drawing and watercolor offer unique ways to integrate your body, mind and spirit. Draw and watercolor as you discover yourself and your place in the world.

What do you get? 
Fundamentals first. You learn everything you need to know about drawing and watercolor to start a practice of your own. You receive relevant, relatable supplemental lessons about historic artists. Each lesson includes a spiritual principle to help you contend with internal resistance to the practical exercises.

In the process, you discover that drawing and watercolor are about so much more than making a nice picture. You better understand and learn to accept yourself, develop your awareness, become more present.

The whole of this course is greater than the sum of its parts.

Am I the right fit for this course?
Here's a check list of what you need:
  • curiosity, an open mind and willingness to grow
  • computer 
  • email 
  • camera or scanner (an iPhone is fine) 
  • phone 
  • ability to read and follow directions 
  • some trust in yourself and the process 
  • commitment of 3 - 5 hours a week

How long is this going to take?
It depends on the course you sign up for. 
  • Enter Here is an independent, self-paced mini-course
But I hate computers! (Or... But I work at a computer all day!)
For this course, the computer is simply a tool. You only have to read the lessons and watch the videos on screen. As contrary as it may seem, this online course is designed to turn you away from the back lit screen and heighten your awareness of and interaction with the beautiful physical material world of light and color and form on earth.

I cannot understand what it means or how it works to learn drawing and watercolor on line!
I know, I know. It's new. Look at your lack of understanding about the online learning environment as on a par with your lack of understanding about the foundations of drawing and watercolor.

On your first day of school, you walked in the door and had no idea where to go, what to do, how to behave. Your teachers guided you, told you where to sit, how to raise your hand, how to turn in your assignment and operate in the school environment as they presented you with the content of what you were learning. The same is true here. As your teacher, I guide you very clearly through our learning environment and help you personally and as a group with any technical problems you may run into as I am providing you with the content of your drawing and watercolor education.

How many hours a week do I have to spend?
Our phone calls run about 45 minutes each week. Reading the lessons and watching the videos can take you 1-2 hours. Doing your assignment work can take you 1-2 hours. That works out to be about 3 - 5 hours per week - depending on the way you work.

Most studio art classes run 3 hours. If you figure in driving time and homework time, you spend as much time (if not more) for an in-person class.

As it turns out, my online course is far more efficient than an in-person class. I am able to present (and you are able to absorb) the course material without the chaotic distractions and interruptions of actual group settings.

Why did you put this course together?
After 15 years teaching drawing and watercolor in communities across the United States, I have created the best of my courses (and more!) online. During the workshop year of my online courses, I ran in-studio courses simultaneously. While I love to have students in my studio, the online course is a far more efficient and effective teaching method.

What can I expect from your online courses?
My online courses are highly interactive and include over my shoulder video demos, lessons in text, images and video, my signature series of progressive exercises designed to help you understand key elements and principles, homework (!), lots of practice, bonuses, surprises, readings, recommendations, community with your fellow students, and Thursday evening meetings by phone in front of your computer for reviewing work, constructive feedback, interaction with your course mates and Q + A.

I'm in another country!
That's okay, as long as you speak and read English! If you're Down Under, our phone meetings will be the next day for you. If you're in Europe, you can tune in early the next morning, listen to the calls on the following day or we can make a special arrangement. If you're in Hawaii, you'll be joining us early on the conference call days.

Wherever you are, you'll receive written feedback on all of your course postings plus a recording of every phone call. You can also ask questions in advance that I can address during any conference call.

I do not understand what an online course is! How does it work?
Online courses are still a bit of a mystery to many. Essentially, I do all the work! At least as far as presentation, organization, communication, technical set-up and instruction is concerned. You read what I write, look at what I post, watch what I demonstrate, and listen to what I say in the privacy of your own home or favorite comfort zone.

Then you do your work. You sit at your computer, laptop, iPad or smartphone and receive emails, watch videos, and follow instructions, drawing, painting and reading in your own space, at your own pace.

All of your lessons, resources, videos, exercises, assignments and your homework, live in a private online course site accessible only by the members of our group. You have the opportunity to get to know your course mates through their drawings, watercolors and voice as the course unfolds. All you really need to know is that you want to learn about drawing and watercolor. I will attend to all the details.

But I'm busy on Thursday evenings!
All of our meeting calls are recorded and posted at the course site after each call. You can easily listen in for a "make up class" to hear what you missed (although the more we have on the calls, the merrier it is.) The beauty of participating online is that you have far better scheduling freedom and more information from previous classes at your fingertips.

Do I need to buy materials?
Yes. You can find a link to the materials list for each course on each course description page.

What if I have my own materials?
It's fine to substitute but check with me first to make sure that you have the right paper and colors. I teach you about materials and have spent a lot of time experimenting with and selecting the best quality materials at the best prices.

I want to but I'm too busy!
Well... you might want to think about switching things up a bit. Do you really want to be so busy? Do you have to be so busy? Can you schedule in 3 hours a week? Can you try it for 12 weeks?

Tell me more about the course.
On one level my method provides a solid foundation in the basic elements of drawing and watercolor. I teach an accelerated beginner course covering materials, understanding of the mediums, fundamental elements of 2-dimensional representation, essential principals of design and some standard techniques.

On another level I help you learn how to see better. How to better see the world around you, your self, and your relation to what you see. By learning to see better, you develop your awareness. As you develop your awareness, your living experience deepens and you learn to know yourself better. This affects everything... your job, your cooking, your health, everything.

On yet another level this course is embedded with historical content. You learn about artists throughout history who worked with similar subject matter and struggled with similar problems. I don't present art history in an academic or linear manner. You'll immediately relate to historic artists and understand their work in an unusually intimate way.

But I really am an absolute beginner!
We are all beginners. And if you think you don't know anything (you do) or can't do anything (you can), you're in a good position. It means that you're teachable.You're willing to learn.

But I already draw and watercolor!
Great! If you find yourself running into problems and frustrations over and over again, my guess is that you're missing a building block in your foundation. Join us as a review and at the end of the course, you'll have far more secure footing than you have today. That's my guarantee to you.

Do you give critiques?
My "critiques" are different.  I don't criticize your work or "technique" (though I help you understand and refine it.)  I recognize and encourage your strengths and gifts. I make sure that you understand your unique gifts. I give you constructive feedback to help you develop.

Why are your courses so long?
The truth is that 12 weeks fly by in a flash. 24 lessons, also. In fact, my courses are highly accelerated experiences of concentrated material. You cannot expect to scale Everest in an afternoon.  Or learn to play chess in one night. Or ride a bicycle or surf at first try. You have to practice. 

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell claims that the key to success in any field is to practice a specific task for 10,000 hours. Yes, I know that may seem impossible from the point at which you are now reading. 

In Kundalini Yoga practice, the rules for successful results from meditation are different: 40 days to change an old habit, 90 days to establish a new habit, 120 days for a habit to become automatic, 1000 days to master a new habit.

Respect yourself and the practices of drawing and watercolor. Give yourself adequate time to learn and develop a practice.