Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sharing a bit of Art and Black History in Oak Forest, IL

Toni Ruppert @Orland Park, IL Library - Van Westrop, photographer
In honor of Black History Month, Birmingham born artist Sylvia Westbrook will join me as we share our art and celebrate the life of two African American women artists; Boston-born Lois Mailou Jones and Chicago based Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly.

We will celebrate them with a “Meet the Artist" night in which we discuss their work. At our venue, Acorn Public Library(Oak Forest, IL), our work will also be on view.  We will answer questions from the public. 

I am thrilled!

I’m especially happy to be showing with Sylvia.  The quintessential artist, Sylvia creates in oil, acrylic and pastel.  Having seen her abstract acrylic paintingss - I know attendees are in for a real treat.

Though Sylvia studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she says her talent is a “God given ability.”

Sylvia will talk about Lois Mailou Jones and I will discuss Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly.  In addition to talking about these artists, Sylvia and I will share our work which will include new pieces of art.

The show will go up during the month of February and the “Meet the Artist” night is scheduled for February 9th.

If you are in the Chicago area -- do join us:

What:  “Meet the Artist"
When:  February 9th, 2012, Thursday 7:00pm--8:15pm
Where: Acorn Public Library (large meeting room)
             15624 Central Avenue
             Oak Forest, IL 60452

Right now, Sylvia and I are researching and preparing our art.  My goal is to share each step of the event here on this blog - so you continually get a “sneak peek.”

Are any of you familiar with either Lois Mailou Jones or Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly?
Feel free to share information and any pertinent links with me in the comments below.

Meanwhile, is there something you'd like to know about these great artists?  We invite your questions.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Original Art Goes to Print

Angel of Glory ©Antonia Ruppert
Watercolor on paper
I knew while creating this painting that it would be a message about praise to God.

The title came to me after Chicago-based artist Joyce Owens asked me if I had considered Fine Art America( for prints of my “Angel.”  This week, my “Angel” has been well “liked” on my Facebook page.

I decided then and there that I would offer prints.  More in a minute.

First, here are some stanzas which I feel further explain this painting:
Heav’n with alleluias rang,
When creation was begun,
When God spoke and it was done.
Ye holy angels bright,
Who stand before God’s throne
And dwell in glorious light,
Praise ye the Lord each one.
Assist our song, or else the theme
Too high doth seem for mortal tongue.
Richard Baxter, Poetical Fragments

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
 From the heavens praise His name;
 Praise Jehovah in the highest,
 All His angels praise proclaim.
 All His hosts together praise Him,
 Sun, and moon, and stars on high;
 Praise Him, O ye heav’n of heavens,
And ye floods above the sky.
William J. Kirkpatrick, (Psalm148)

As of today, not only is the original watercolor painting available, it is also available as a print. You can see my new profile at Fine Art America - an online market place where artists like me sell their work.
So grateful to be able to share this with you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

21 Ideas Learned from Teaching Art

@Toni Ruppert  "Danielle" - future Picasso

Who was your favorite teacher? A big part of what I do is teach others what I do. I achieve that through art classes. I currently teach at two locations  - the Art House through the Oak Forest Park District and the Vogt Visual Art Center in Tinley Park, IL.

At first, I got into teaching for the money. Seriously. I wanted to make an additional income part-time. I knew I could teach others what I know about art.

Of course, over the eight years I’ve earned way more than money teaching.  I’ve stayed involved with students because I stay fresh and current in my own work by teaching them. Lately, I’ve been wanting to take my teaching skills to a brand new level. The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong has become by "Bible." 

With a little help from The First Days of School, here are the 21 things I'm learning from teaching:

  1. Preparation = success.  When I’m unprepared, it shows.
  2. Each student will exceed my expectations.
  3. Each student has the potential to be a great artist.
  4. Some “slow learners” actually learn art differently. 
  5. The brightest and most promising artist in class might just be my autistic student.
  6. Repeating and practicing a technique leads to mastery.
  7. A stubborn artist who refuses to learn is soon given her wish.
  8. Training the artists of tomorrow is an honor.
  9. Learning art and teaching new techniques keeps my own art fresh.
  10. There is more than one way to paint and more than one way to teach it.
  11. When I’m on par, my students misbehave less.
  12. All positive: I try and use all positive words in my art room.
  13. Teachers are managers.
  14.  A computer can not replace an effective teacher.
  15.  I say Please and Thank you to my class.
  16.  I must consistently install routines and procedures.
  17.  Learning art is better than watching mindless reality TV.
  18.  In terms of materials, being unprepared does not work.
  19.  Being READY for my class leads to success.
  20.  I believe in collaboration, so I have lots of helpers/assistants in my art class.
  21.  I welcome each student with a smile.

From my days of playing teacher with my brothers and sisters, I knew one day I’d inspire others.  I’m grateful I get the chance to do that with art.

Who was YOUR favorite teacher? How do you motivate, teach and inspire the ones you lead? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Painting of the Year

"Chasm of Unbelief"
©Antonia Lucas-Ruppert
Acrylic, Ink & Pastel on Canvas

Okay.  So my daughter received a card for her birthday.  The card said she was strong, ambitious and capable.  I was like “Wow” that is what I think about her too. 

This image on the card was so striking that I decided to play around with my own strong imagery.

I am following an amazing book - Flavor for Mixed Media by Mary Beth Shaw.  I found myself playing around with acrylic, oil pastels, soft pastels, mediums and ink. 

I was like “Oh Snap! I get to paint like this?”

After painting this piece, I lovingly handed it to my friends on Facebook who came up with some awesome titles.

  • Thinking Way Too Hard
  • Looking Inward
  • The Dream... Surreal
  • Sustenance
  • Window of the Soul
  • The Chasm of Unbelief

I really appreciate it when I can collaborate with others on things like “titles.”  The title I’m choosing is “Chasm of Unbelief.”  I got chills when my good friend Leanna posted that. 

I chose this title because in reality the red and black mid section of the piece represents all of the obstacles we must go through sometimes in order to come to belief or peace.

(Thanks Leanna.)