Society of Decorative Painters -
1220 E. First St. Wichita, KS 67214
Phone: (316 ) 269-9300 Fax: (316) 269-9191
Hours of Operation: 8:30 - 4:30 Central Time, Monday - Friday
Contact list with Emails and Office Phone Extensions
by Cookie Trent tda and Vicki Alley tda
You bought the manual. You studied the manual. You took the test. You passed!
Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a Teacher of Decorative Art. Now, the questions are: who are you going to teach, what do you want them to learn, and where are you going to hold these classes? These are all very important questions, so let’s see if we can give you the answers you need to succeed. We asked two of our Teacher Development Program experts for their opinions on getting started.
Cookie Trent tda: When I thought about teaching fourteen years ago, I asked myself a lot of questions. Some were simple to answer, but others led to additional questions. Let me share some questions you might want to ask with some possible answers.
Who will you teach?
First, ask yourself what your skill level is. Then teach at least one level lower. An intermediate painter will feel more comfortable teaching a beginner painter.
What medium will you teach?
Teach in a medium that you feel comfortable using and can use in a variety of ways.
What subject matter will you teach?
Teach what you are proficient at, such as still life, flowers, or animals.
What surfaces will you use?
Teach on surfaces with which you have had success. You can have a series of classes with one design element but assorted surfaces, such as fabric, canvas, wood, metal, clay pots, candles, etc.
How long will your class be?
If your class is three hours, then you should be able to paint the project in one hour. This will give you time to demonstrate, observe students painting, make corrections, and clean up.
How will you teach? Will you teach technique? Will you teach projects? What’s the difference? Do you have to choose which? Can you teach both?
If you can benefit from one of these items, that is great. Good luck on your teaching journey.
Vicki Alley tda: There are no special students and no magical place you need to go to teach decorating painting. As you learned in the TDP Manual, people have different reasons for learning something new. You need to find these people, reach out to them, and get them excited about the opportunity to learn something fun and rewarding.
Who are you going to teach?
If you are new to teaching, talk to some of your friends and relatives, and invite them to your practice class. This will help you get your feet wet. Also, if you are with a chapter, ask if you can teach a class with your fellow members. Both you and the chapter members win.
What are you going to teach?
Cookie nailed it when she said, “Teach in a medium that you feel comfortable using."
Where are you going to teach?
Check out your local community. Do you have any mobile home communities in your area? Most of them have clubhouses. They love to have people come in and teach them something fun and new. If you have a local art gallery, maybe they have classes, and you could offer to teach there. Some libraries will let you come in and teach. Contact the local chambers of commerce to see what the different cities have in the way of community events. Consider setting up a booth, display some samples of what you would teach in classes, and have people sign up. It’s always important to have painted items, some of them as class samples, ready for them to see. That’s actually how I got started teaching classes.
And … enjoy the class yourself. Fun is contagious. Your students will have a much better time and enjoy the class more if you can show them you are having a good time as well!
Cookie Trent tda and Vicki Alley tda have both been teaching decorative painting for a number of years and love what they do. If you have any questions about the Teacher Development Program, please contact Cookie at email@example.com or Vicki at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can.(Back to Top)
You’re going to San Diego? How exciting! Whether it’s your first time at Conference or you have been before, it’s always good to go over a few things to make this year’s trip the best ever.
Make New Friends
One last word of advice—be sure to contact your credit card companies before you leave to advise them that you will be in San Diego that week. This will not only help the credit card company, but it will protect you as well.
See you there!(Back to Top)
by Mary Kingslan Gibilisco CDA
Everyone gets creative block. None of us can be on our game every day. Here are ten things you can do to break the block:
by Mary Kingslan Gibilisco CDA
Talking with my friend Sandy regarding creating an art studio got me thinking: An artist doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars to outfit an art studio with furniture and supplies. A little creativity can produce some very functional pieces. Some of the best artists I know paint a multitude of great artwork all from the dining room table.
Sometimes the best art studio setups come from reusing items that you already own. Here are some creative ideas for setting up a functional art studio.
Art Studio Tables: An easel isn’t the best painting support for every artist. So an art studio table provides the artist with the flat surface to mix, prep canvases, transfer, varnish, and more. If there is limited space in the studio, one solution for a flat work surface is to use a card table that folds up. Another option is laying an old flat door on top of a set of two-door filing cabinets. This not only provides a long work surface, but it also provides storage for your supplies right at your fingertips.
Drafting tables aren’t just for drafting anymore. They can be adjusted to different angles and often have built-in holders for pens, pencils, and rulers. A table can be found on the cheap these days, since so many draftsman now use a computer instead.
Alternative Art Palettes: A small table can become an excellent freestanding palette for artists who don’t like to hold a palette while painting. Have a piece of glass cut to fit the top of the table to protect it. The glass allows for smooth paint mixing and is easily cleaned. If need be, cut the legs of the table to achieve the perfect height.
The door of an old toaster oven is another palette alternative. The glass window is great for paint mixing, and the handle gives the artist a firm area to grip while painting. Old toaster ovens can be purchased at thrift stores or flea markets. You can use tiles left over from a bathroom or kitchen remodel project. Old dishes work well also.
Art Studio Storage: An artist can never have too much storage in a studio for storing brushes, finished paintings, papers, canvases, towels, and paints. Here are some ideas for inexpensive, creative art studio storage:
Using a little imagination, any artist can have a studio that fits his or her needs, no matter how small the budget.
by Jay Staten
More and more painting instructors use projection equipment and multimedia to better demonstrate techniques to the entire class. For the teacher or the chapter wanting to use this type of equipment, their mission is to find the best projection system for the least amount of money. We have worked hard to create a checklist to assist any teacher or chapter in making their purchasing decisions.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Technical advances are being made daily. The information given here should be evaluated in the context of digital equipment generally available in the marketplace at the time this article was written.
Multimedia projection equipment can do an exceptional job in helping students learn. In a recent study by InFocus (a classroom think tank), they found:
Things you will need:
Projectors come in every shape, size, weight, and lumens, both wired and wireless. There are currently more than twelve hundred different projectors on the market. So where to begin?
The classroom environment is very important when selecting a projector. If the projector is always going to be used in the same classroom, with the same light each time, you can easily narrow down your requirements. You will not need the flexibility or portability of a travel-teacher or a chapter that meets in different environments on a regular basis.
Lumens: Projectors come in a whole range of brightness performance measured as ANSI lumens. Generally speaking, select a projector with a minimum of 2500 lumens to ensure that larger audiences can see the display even with bright lights in the classroom. Also remember, the bigger your screen, the more lumens you will need.
Resolution: Projectors come with several different degrees of resolution. Typically, the higher the resolution, the better the projector will be for displaying fine details in a complex piece. The standard SVGA (800x800) resolution may be fine for a small environment, but it does not have a large throw distance, meaning the student in the back row can clearly see the details. You need to consider the size of the room and the distance between the back row and the screen. Generally speaking, if you have a 60" (5-foot-wide) screen, students should be able to read 24-point type from 30 feet away. For artwork instruction, it is probably better to consider a minimum of XGA (1024x768) resolution.
Aspect Ratio: Traditional projectors with SVGA or XGA resolution have a built-in aspect ratio of 4:3—meaning that you can project four units wide to every three units high. Choose a projector that has the option to select widescreen projection as an option. A pull-down menu should give you the capability of a 16:9 or 16:10 ratio setting.
Wired or Wireless: Today, you have the option of purchasing a wired or wireless projector. Which to choose depends on the input devices you will be attaching. If you are using tablets and smart devices, instead of a traditional camcorder or interactive projection camera, wireless may serve you well. If you will be using a traditional laptop and camcorder or interactive projection camera, wired is probably a safer bet. Currently wired projectors are less expensive than wireless.
Weight: You probably want a project that any teacher can lift without much problem, so a projector between 5 and 10 pounds is a good starting point. If you are a travel-teacher, consider looking at the new featherweight equipment. Generally, these cost more, but they may be worth it over the long run.
Component Inputs: Make sure that the projector will handle the devices you want to attach, such as laptop, camcorder or interactive projection camera, tablet, smart device, speakers, etc. For most art classes, the ability to plug in a laptop and digital camcorder or interactive projection camera is sufficient. Make sure that the unit you purchase is compatible with PCs and Macs.
Lamp Life: Always inquire about how long the lamp within the projector is expected to last. Some will last as long as 2,000 hours. It is also important to note the price of replacement bulbs. Sometimes replacement bulbs are as expensive as the actual projector (especially on older models). Think about buying a projector that comes with at least one replacement bulb.
Remote Control: Simply put, don’t buy a projector without a remote.
Costs: Adequate projectors cost from $300 to $1,000. The biggest difference tends to be the ability of the project in a larger or small environment, the weight, and the lamp life. Evaluate your needs before purchasing. And check out the reviews on that particular device online.
You will need a surface to project images onto. Again, depending on the environment of the classroom, your choices are far-ranging. If the screen will only be used in one location and can remain constantly set up, you might want to consider a fabric screen that can be adhered to the wall. These screens are excellent, can be used with high-definition equipment, and may be purchased for under $50.
But more likely, you will need to move the screen, putting it up and taking it down on a regular basis. Consider purchasing a 60" (5-foot-wide) pull-up screen. These usually have an aluminum frame, with a tripod base. The screens weight around 20 to 25 pounds. Prices for these range from just over $100 to $500, depending on the sturdiness of the aluminum structure.
CAMCORDER, INTERACTIVE PROJECTION CAMERA, or WEBCAM
You will need a camera to capture the hands-on aspect of the class. In art instruction it helps to see how a teacher moves with each stroke. This image will then be projected onto the screen.
The world of the camcorder is changing by the moment. You no longer need a traditional digital camcorder to capture the how-to part of your demonstration. It is possible to use tablets and smart devices. For the purposes of this article, I will forgo an explanation on how to incorporate these devices into the classroom, and will stick with the digital camcorder or interactive projection camera.
The simple interactive projection camera (sometimes called a documents camera) is designed specifically for digital projection. It is basically three technology tools in one. It can be used as a webcam, camera for project, or a traditional photo/video camera. It connects with a simple USB port to the PC, Mac, or directly to the projector. It comes with its own stand, allows for easy zooming, does not require replacement bulbs, and is lightweight and portable. Luna sells one for $199.
Camcorders can also be used. You will need to have a stand to lock the camera in place above the instructor’s worktable. Most mid-range camcorders will work nicely. Make sure that the camera is compatible with your laptop or can be directly plugged into the projector. This is usually a matter of checking cable compatibility. Right now, a camera with USB ports will suffice. A decent mid-range digital camcorder costs $300 to $400.
Before buying, consider trying an older camera that may be lying around.
Webcams can also be used and are very cheap. The biggest problem is making sure that there is enough light in the visual range for the webcam to pick up subtle details. Webcams do not tend to be too accurate in terms of color.
Note: That color may be an issue with any camera and projector combination.
Today, if your sole intent is to project what the instructor is doing with her hands, you do not need to use a laptop or other computer. But if you will be moving back and forth between the camera, prepared files (such as PowerPoint), video, or online information, a laptop is the best way to make these switches in what the projector will display on the screen. Almost any reasonably new laptop will do. You definitely do not need a top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art laptop for this work.
TABLETS AND SMART DEVICES
Today, you can use your tablets and smart devices to replace both the camera and laptop. There are mini-projectors specifically made to be used with these devices. If this is something you would like to consider, check out the Internet for instructions and ideas. There are currently a number of YouTube videos that will provide information.