• Shawn Dell Joyce artist

How Online Art Classes Build Your Skills

Unless you were born in the 80's or later you didn't grow up online, and probably cast a wary eye at anything technological.

Being a late boomer myself (yes I'm 55 next week and can't believe it myself!) I fall into that category as well. Technology is not my friend.

The recent pandemic and self-isolation has brought all of us closer to technology. We currently see the world through a screen of some kind. Our reality is interpreted by technology. Our loved ones are viewed, touched, and receive virtual hugs through the internet.

Welcome to the brave new world. Now get over your fear and embrace technology.


Art is something sacred to most who practice it. We think of it as above technology, unfettered by the internet or somehow pure. Ok maybe 50 years ago, but today, art is firmly rooted in technology and the two are intertwined like lovers on the beach!


Many artists are hesitant to embrace teaching or taking online classes because they don't feel that technology can interpret art; colors will be skewed by the screen, images will be fuzzy and out of focus, it will be hard to keep up, etc. While these things do happen, what makes it all worthwhile is you feel safe to explore, and often make breakthroughs online that you wouldn't make in a room crowded with other participants. You can try and fail and no one will know. This can be very freeing!



During quarantine, people really need stimulation. Art creates new neural pathways and helps battle brain problems like dementia, and Alzheimer's, and keeps you sharp. Don't be intimidated by something just because you haven't tried it-that's contempt prior to investigation.


Instead, challenge yourself. Push your boundaries and strive for something just outside of your ability. This is where the cutting edge of artistic growth is. That is where I always strive to be.


We have to use our minds, and build our skills as much as well use our bodies and build our fitness. Having a regular art practice (meaning same time every week or at least daily) is soothing and creates a sense of peace and calm in your mind. People liken it to a spiritual experience.


In Betty Edward's book; "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" she likens art, or the experience of being on the right side of the brain, as similar to prayer, meditation, or a spiritual experience. In other words, it helps you get outside of yourself and your fears.


Are you looking for a challenge? Here's a few online classes that are both challenging and skill building:



Figure Drawing class-learn how to capture gestures, measure and sight. Two sessions

Still Life Drawing class-sharpen your ability to discern values and perspective. Two sessions.

Plein Air Class-join me online and paint the beach, parks, and challenge of changing light! Four classes plus a nocturne class for $75.

Acrylic class (part 2) which is challenging but geared towards beginners. 4 classes $75

Want to register through your fave nonprofit and benefit them as well?

Register through Wallkill River School, Morean Art Center, Dunedin Fine Arts Center or Beach Art Center

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© 2020 by Shawn Dell Joyce.Shawndelljoyce@gmail.com