February 8, 2013

Jan Olsson: Debunking The Myth That Good Artists Require Innate Talent

“There is something that we learn in our culture about drawing that makes us believe we should just innately be able to do it. But people wouldn't expect the same thing in playing a musical instrument, or ballet, or sports.  You have to learn the various series of steps and practice them until you become skillful at them."  -Jan Olsson  .

Paris Drawing Painting classes
Jan Olsson with her sketches in her Paris art studio
Many times when we pick up the pencil or paintbrush, if our resulting work isn't museum quality, then we consider ourselves a hopeless cause.  Don’t stay in the trap of believing that artistic skill is all about innate talent.    Come to Jan Olsson’s studio for art classes where she will unlock the mysteries of being able to draw and paint. 

Jan dispels the innate-talent myth by breaking down the different aspects that come together to create works of art such as edges, volumes, perspective, light, shade, color, and depth of space.   With an untrained eye, the average person isn't aware of perceiving these elements when viewing paintings and drawings.  Throughout her courses, Jan will teach you to see and recognize these elements, so that you can incorporate them into your own works of art.

For over 20 years, Jan has been helping WICE students develop their artistic talents.   Originally, Jan came to Paris in 1988 on a year sabbatical from teaching art at Mary Baldwin College, with a fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.   She started as a Visual Arts instructor at WICE by offering a Paris Sketchbook course.  Since then she has taught various courses in  painting , drawing, live-model figure drawing, and printmaking.  Throughout her career, Jan’s artwork has received international recognition by a myriad of solo and group exhibitions, and art awards.  

Art class drawing painting Paris
Student work based on Soutine exhibit at L'Orangerie Museum
by Lisbeth Ring Pedersen, Fiona Mir, and Mariel Delarbre
At Jan’s painting and drawing studio, your artistic creativity will be inspired by the expansive view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.   This is a safe place where you can give yourself permission to create artwork without judgments or comparisons. Jan’s classes attract a variety of people from long-term students with art degrees or many years of practical experience, to new students wanting to try something they've always wondered about doing. 

Paris art class drawing painting
Carnet de Voyage
The ongoing Carnet de Voyage course gives an introductory instruction in drawing.  Each course section focuses on a different drawing element.     During this course, students will document their experiences in Paris by creating a book (carnet de voyage) that combines drawings with writing and photography.

Periodically Jan offers printmaking courses, located at her studio in the historical gem -La Ruche artist residence.  This 16-sided building (beehive shaped) was the Wine Pavilion at the 1900 World’s Fair and was established in 1902 by Alfred Boucher as a  residence for artists.  
La Ruche hidden behind trees

Some benefits from taking Jan's courses:
·         Confidence in your ability to develop a new artistic skill or hone your existing talent.
·         A documented record of your time in Paris – Carnet de Voyage.
·         A space for expression that is your own activity, apart from your family and work. 
·         Enhanced understanding of the composition elements of paintings and drawings. Impress your friends, in museums!

Jan Olsson's upcoming courses:
·         SM182  Contemporary Drawing The Urban Scene  (5 Sessions)
·         SM191  Live Model Drawing -  The Expressive Image  (6 Sessions)
·         SM192  Painting from the Masters – Marc Chagall and Narrative Painting (6 Sessions)
·         SY131 Contemporary Drawing  - Nature and The City (5 Sessions)
·         SY141  Live Model Drawing -  Nature and The Human Figure (6 Sessions)
·         SY142  Painting from the Masters - Still Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse (6 Sessions)

What are you waiting for?  Take one of Jan’s classes and give yourself the chance to show that you do have talent to be proud of. 
Space is limited – enroll and secure your spot today!

To learn more about her artwork and exhibitions, visit janolssonart.com.

***By the way, the next time you see Jan Olsson, congratulate her on her 25th anniversary of teaching art classes at WICE.   Do you have fond memories of taking classes with Jan?  If so, share them in the comments section.  We’d love to hear them!  

Post by Veronica Kugler