Christine Awad Schmalz wants to help you tap into your creativity while you’re stuck at home.
An artist, Schmalz is posting videos of easy-to-follow art lessons twice a week until Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home quarantine is over.
“When (the coronavirus) hit Washington, I thought this would be a great idea to give parents and kids — or anybody, really — an opportunity to create art at home and to take their minds off everything that’s so stressful right now,” she said.
Schmalz, 68, owner of the Art Workshop in Mukilteo, plans to post 14 videos featuring projects that involve painting, drawing and sculpting. Follow her on Facebook, and you’ll see new videos each Monday and Friday.
In each video, she points out ways you can improvise if you don’t have the right art supplies or skills. For example, if you don’t have clay to make a sculpture, she shows you how to make your own. In another video, she notes that you can draw with just a pencil if you’d rather not use a permanent marker.
“I try to keep it real simple so people don’t have to go out and shop for art supplies,” Schmalz said.
Schmalz went to the New York City School of Visual Arts and the Atlanta College of Art, where she studied drawing, painting and sculpture. Her artwork has been shown in solo and group exhibits in New York City, Dallas, Texas, Los Angeles and Seattle. Most recently, her work was exhibited at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner.
In 1994, Schmalz founded the Art Workshop in Texas, through which she provided after-school art classes for the Plano, Dallas and Richardson school districts. After moving to Mukilteo in 2003, she set up the Art Workshop in school districts here, including Everett, Snohomish, Mukilteo and Marysville.
For 10 years, Schmalz ran her business out of the Art Building on First Street in Mukilteo. When the building was demolished in 2018 to make way for the new Mukilteo ferry terminal, Schmalz was forced to move her studio in to her garage. The state paid the Art Workshop’s moving and renovation costs.
Those videos she’s posting on Facebook? She made them to help train art teachers who were working for her through the Art Workshop.
If Inslee’s ban extends beyond April 6 and Schmalz runs out of videos, she said she will shoot more.
“I like teaching, so videos are a nice way to go,” she said. “I’ll have to learn how to use different platforms first.”
Schmalz said rewatching the videos has inspired her to remake some of her own art projects. She doesn’t have a favorite.
“I like all of them, actually,” she said. “They’re all different mediums, and they’re fun. I love nature and animals, and so you’ll see a lot of that.”
Since August, however, the Art Workshop has been closed while Schmalz recovers from back surgery. Schmalz has found more time to paint as she recuperates. She works in oils, painting mostly seascapes and landscapes. Most of them are on 18 by 24 inch canvases.
She said her paintings sell just about as soon as she finishes them. She posts them on Facebook, as well.
“It’s been a lot of fun. I enjoy creating every day,” she said. “It’s meditative, so you’re not worried about anything while you’re creating — you’re just focused on your project.”
Schmalz has posted two video art lessons so far.
On March 18, she posted a video showing how to paint a Northwest winter scene featuring a tree-covered mountain in acrylics. The video already has more than 200 views.
What you’ll need for the project: A 9-by-12-inch canvas. Black, white, blue, pink and purple acrylic paint. Small and medium-sized paint brushes. A pencil, a Sharpie, a napkin, newspaper and a paper plate.
Then, on March 23, Schmalz posted a video on how to draw a chipmunk with pen and ink. That video has been seen at least 100 times.
What you’ll need for that project: An 8½ by 11 inch sheet of paper, a pencil, an ultra-fine Sharpie and a fine Sharpie.
Facebookers stuck at home say Schmalz’s videos have been a lifesaver.
“Thanks! My grandkids are here and climbing the walls,” Norene Hawn wrote.
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