Margie Rachelson Samuels is an experienced and award-winning artist and teacher. Samuels studied fine arts at Brandeis University, Harvard University, the Arts Students League in New York, and the New Jersey Visual Arts Center. Additionally, she has studied with the following noted artists: Elaine De Kooning, Skip Lawrence, Mitchell Siporin, Nancy Korde, Don Andrews and Pat Dews.
Samuels has her own studio and gallery where she also teaches watercolor classes for adults and teens. Workshops on specialty topics are held several times a year.
As an artist, Samuels is a full member of the Essex Watercolor Club and the Livingston Arts Association, and an associate member of the New Jersey Watercolor Society. Samuels shows her work with these groups as well as in other juried group and solo shows.
I have been an art teacher for many years now….instructing adults, teens and children in various forms of art. Mostly, I teach beginner and intermediate levels of watercolor. Many of my students come to me totally new to the process of painting; often they are anxious and afraid. Will the class be too hard? Will everyone else create “better” pictures? Will they be able to follow what the instructions? These are common concerns for first level painters. I address these worries by keeping my classes small, and the studio environment calm and supportive. Also, I begin at the beginning with the basics, moving step by step through the process of how to hold the brush, mix the paint, choose colors, set up a painting, etc. But the most important thing that I can teach is the sheer joy of creativity…. If my students leave my classes with a smile on their faces, then I have a smile too.
I believe that beginner and intermediate watercolor projects do not have to be juvenile, simplistic compositions. I value the unique experiences and opportunities that test each of my students, regardless of their painting level. There is almost nothing that I haven’t adapted for these classes. Consequently, my students paint all types of landscapes, including those with complicated skies, buildings with perspective or multiple figures. We tackle still lifes and abstracts, floral compositions and collages. On occasion I arrange for a nude model to pose for us; my beginner and intermediate painters have produced wonderful watercolor figure works.
I offer more than just a pretty landscape to paint. We start each session with painting techniques, and often delve into rules of composition, principles of design and color theory. I give out supporting reading materials to my classes, and I make reference notebooks for my workshops. I want my students to be able to apply what they’ve learned to any future painting opportunity.
My goal is to make every class and workshop that I teach both exciting and challenging, whether it is a beginner class or an advanced class. I want all of my students to feel both artistically pushed and excited by the projects we paint ….and my hope is that they are proud of each of their paintings.