Creating Happiness

Updated: Apr 27

Isn’t it strange how time seems to have taken on an elastic quality? A month within a week span, a minute snapped by in a day. Somehow we are busier than we have ever been. This week has been all that and more.

We launched a fundraising campaign for ART YARD Virtual Programs, we’ve been nominated for a Happiness Award, Advanced Studio via Zoom catapulted into a new level of awesome and in CREATE we are discussing books.

Artists have a highly developed ability to engage in the process of imagining. [Latin imaginare ‘form an image of, represent’ and imaginari ‘picture to oneself’, both from imago, imagin- ‘image’.] I find the process of activating my imagination is extremely helpful during stressful times. Therein lies the inspiration for lesson I lead on Monday for ART YARD Advanced Studio on Zoom.

My aim was to accurately and clearly describe (but not show) images of photographs and paintings so that participating artists would be able to depict the images in the materials of their choice. I selected interesting visuals which referenced artists I admire and want to explore with the Advanced Studio crew.

After an overview of the concept, we began with one minute listening to my narrative without drawing. Dennis kept time. After one minute drawing began as I continued to describe the visual for five more minutes. At that point, artists were able to ask clarifying questions as they continued to draw for another 8 minutes. We repeated this process five times.


Take a look at these wonderful pieces. The drawings are followed by the image that I described.

Vera Tineo, Visualization 1
Ed Rath, Visualization 1

Image for Visualization 1:

Gisèle Freund, Frida in the Garden at Casa Azul, 1951
Sarah Gumgumji, Visualization 2
Fatima Traore, Visualization 2

Image for Visualization 2:

Beuford Delaney, Paris Window, 1952
Quentin Williamston, Visualization 3

Akash W. Visualization 3

Image for Visualization 2:

John Singer Sargent, El Jaleo, 1882
Evelyn Beliveau, Visualization 4

Zeke B., Visualization 4

Image for Visualization 4:

Remedios Varo, Still Life Reviving, 1962

Jane Huntington, Visualization 5

Marie Roberts, Visualization 5

Image for Visualization 5:

Lois Mailou Jones, Ode to Kinshasha, 1972

After we had completed all five peices I turned on the “screen share option” and shared the images. Everyone was abuzz with Ahahhhhhh’s, Ohhhh!, Frida!, Sargent!, Oh THAT kind of diamond, and Oh my goodness!


With the rigor we have come to expect, we proceeded to engage in a spirited and joyful critique.


Kevin shares his drawing from Visualization 4
Fatima shares her drawing from Visualization 4
Zeke shares his drawing from Visualization 4

To see more of the work, check out the Zoom Advanced Studio Visualization Gallery page.

In other ART YARD Advanced Studio news Kevin, Fatima, Evelyn, Vera and Quentin have joined forces as the senior curatorial team for In Reflection the virtual exhibition from the Kentler International Drawing Space Flat Files this summer. The Fab Five, as Dennis dubbed them, will be curating the exhibition from the extensive holdings in the Flat Files, writing a curatorial essay, making videos of curatorial talks and artist interviews.

This week’s CREATE topic is BOOKS.

Meridith McNeal, "Magical Things from Quarantine Books", 2020, watercolor on paper, 12x12"

Our CREATE discussions open on Wednesdays and remain active and members are welcome to join in by posting artwork, photos, book reviews, bibliography and all other things that relate to our inspiration. Images are compiled on our Gallery page.


Some images from the thread thus far:

Felix Plaza, "Manet-The Still Life Paintings" (Book Painting), 2020, paint on paper
Akash W., "The Book Thief", 2020, pencil on paper
Jennifer Dodson, "Inquisitive and Book-loving Belle", 2020, watercolor, oil paint marker, and sharpie.
Marie Roberts, "Frances uses Books as a Stepping Stool as she Rearranges the Art"

We are stoked that ART YARD is in the running (in second place, the last time I checked) to receive a World Happiness Award! You can vote for us on this link.


In just two days of posting, our fundraising campaign for ART YARD Virtual Programs has raised more than 1/5 of our goal! YOU CAN HELP by donating what you are able and by sharing the campaign with friends and family or posting to your social media accounts.

Thank you ever so much for your support of the work we are doing.

In happiness,





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Kentler International Drawing Space

353 Van Brunt Street

Brooklyn, NY 11231

Frida@ARTYARDBKLYN.org