Your Brain on Art

I recently picked up Unthinkable by Helen Thomson at the local library. It is a book about unique brains. Each chapter explores the story of a patient whose brain is notably different than the “norm” for various reasons. My favorite Chapter, “Seeing Auras”, is about a gentleman who sees colors with people not in a psychic reading sort of way, but as an add on to things like body language, emotion cues, etc.

Thomson goes on to discuss a brief overview of synesthesia. Synesthesia is defined by Merriam Webster as: “a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated”. A synesthete can hear color or see colors with music. There is an overlap in sensory experience. Thomson explains that these sensory pathways in our brain already run close together, and it is believed that synesthesia is a result of “pathways of communication between sensory regions that don’t normally exist”. (Thomson, 80).

Thomson then suggests that we may all have aspects of synesthesia and can
strengthen or build these crossovers with use. Now to get to why I am writing about this on my blog: I think artists inherently build unique ways of seeing the world through the act of making art. A plein air painter will begin to notice colors in light that a non painter might not. A sculptor my feel the sensation of certain sounds or smells in the molding of clay or bending of metal. From personal experience, I know that I see shapes and colors in places I once did not. And many of my students have expressed similar sentiments.

Simply put, the practice of art is not just about developing the skills of mixing greens, using the right marks, or understanding perspective. The repetition and practice of art regularly is literally rewiring your brain and changing way you experience the world. This cannot be learned. You must grow it by making art regularly like building a muscle. Artists of all experience levels benefit from challenging themselves and being uncomfortable. It is only when we step out of our comfort zone that we create new connections, break mindless habits, and add complexity to our senses.

Helen Thomson, Unthinkable, Harper Collins, 2018

A Note on My Teaching Philosophy

I have been teaching art for over a decade. Most of my classes are designed by me and are geared to embrace a range of experience levels.
Being an artist takes WORK. But it is never too late to start. I believe one should start in a way that will be less intimidating. Don’t spend thousands on supplies and then be afraid to “waste them” on “bad paintings”. The hardest part of making art is not to learn the tools or techniques. The hardest part is breaking old habits and being fearless in trying new approaches.

As a teacher, my goal is to help the individual on their unique journey while providing general goals and lessons for everyone in the class to learn from and respond to. I hope you will consider taking a class with me at some point. I offer classes in painting (acrylic), abstraction, pastel, mixed media, landscape, drawing, and more. Click on the classes link above to see what’s coming! Feel free to contact me with any questions . I hope to make art with you soon.

Best Regards


Redfin Blog

I recently contributed a quote to Redfin’s latest blog post:


Opt for strong color combinations for the best effect

As an abstract landscape painter, I believe that simple but strong color combinations (such as complementary colors like orange and blue) create the best effect. – Beki Borman

You can see the full article here.

‘Tis the Season to buy local art!

Upcoming Holiday Sales!

MIAD Holiday Sale

Preview Night
Dec. 2, 6 – 9 p.m.
$10 admission, purchase tickets at the door.

Free Admission
Dec. 3, 5 – 9 p.m.
Dec. 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

273 E. Erie St. Milwaukee

COVID-19 Protocols: All individuals at MIAD are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

ABOUT THE MIAD HOLIDAY SALE

A holiday tradition held every year during the first weekend of December, the MIAD Holiday Sale is your opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind art and design works created by MIAD students and alumni at affordable prices.

Meet the emerging and established artists and designers who are behind the amazing creations. Gifts range from sculptures, paintings and photographs to jewelry, stickers, greeting cards and more.

70% of sale proceeds support the participating student artists and designers, and 30% benefits MIAD student scholarships.

2021 Waukesha Holiday Art Crawl

December 4, 4-9pm Downtown Waukesha

Come walk through over 20 studios and galleries to see the original artworks in various mediums including decorative and functional art, 2-d paintings, jewelry, pottery, clothing, custom wood work, glassware, photography, casted concrete furnishings, and more. Additionally, there will be live music, gifts, special make it take it art projects, food and drinks, and more.

Come visit me in my Studio at the Springs Gallery/Studios 521 Wisconsin Ave.!

*I will be donating 10% of my proceeds to waukeshafoundation.org/parade