Tagged Cristina Acosta art teacher and writer

Paint Happy by Cristina Acosta

Paint Happy! Learn to Paint Art Book by Cristina Acosta

Learn to paint with acrylics and draw with the ease of a child, regardless of your age and experience with my book, Paint Happy! It’s been years since North Light Books published it in 2002 and again in 2004. You can still find copies on Amazon. Painting is an old craft, therefore despite changes in materials available, many of the techniques used today are similar to painting and drawing techniques human-kind has used for thousands of years. So — Paint Happy! is  still relevant. Yea! It’s also makes learning to paint fun and easy to start. Making art is a spiritual practice as well as a physical activity, so it won’t always be easy. I’m not going to lie. It can be a schlep. It’s been both for me – easy and flowing as well as tedious, scary and frustrating. Overall, it’s the joy of my life.

Are you encouraged to paint?  Here’s the introduction from my book, Paint Happy! My daughter is now in college and we are both making art. Life has been good.

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Paint Happy! Introduction by Cristina Acosta:

I painted for many years before I realized that I was chasing a myth. Somewhere along the way, I came to believe that to become a good artist, I needed to acquire an ever increasing knowledge of methods and techniques. My attention to technique garnered me a job as the production artist for a billboard company.

After a couple of years painting billboards, I could copy any image given to me in any style, from simple cartoons to photo-realism. By that time, the holy grail of technique seemed disappointingly empty. I had given nearly all of my attention to developing the skill to paint whatever I wanted and very little attention to discovering what I really wanted to paint.

For a few years, I taught college drawing and painting classes. While the students gained “the basics” I noticed that for most of them, consistent academic study didn’t seem to encourage innate joy and enthusiasm for painting. I knew that if I didn’t teach any basics my students would be adrift, eventually becoming frustrated by their lack of ability to correctly mix the colors they needed or to understand what they saw in a painting. I thought that there must be some way to teach artistic skills without getting in the way of a student’s unique vision of the world.

Surprisingly, my epiphany came with the experience of motherhood. By the time my daughter, Isabella, was eighteen months old, she was painting every day with me. Watching her, I couldn’t help but notice that her experience of painting was entirely different form mine. She painted with complete abandon. She was never hard on herself. In fact, when she finished a painting that she really liked, she’d put her brush down and clap and cheer! If she didn’t like, it, she quickly pushed it aside and moved on! She never tried to paint like anyone else (especially her mother!).
Whenever Isabella finished a painting, she would show it to me. I’d look at the piece and very clearly tell her what I admired about it. Her natural style of learning augmented with my minimal positive insights enabled her to learn quickly and define her won style.
During Isabella’s toddler years, I was so inspired by her obvious happiness while creating that I decided to take an hour or so each day and paint in the same fashion. The more I opened my mind to painting with the attitude of a child–albeit a very “experienced” child! – the more my work evolved. Within a few months, my style of painting had completely changed. My work flowed so naturally that the images seemed to paint themselves. I became passionately excited to rediscover that creating could be so simple. My images reflected my joy, and “paint happy” was born! Learning to paint happy was the key that opened my creative soul.
Whether you’re a new painter or an experienced artist looking for new energy in your work, you will enjoy learning to paint happy. My book guides you to connect with your playful inner spirit while you learn the basics needed to become technically proficient.
I don’t intend for you to permanently paint images in my style. My style is the result of my particular life experiences. You may wish to copy my exercises as closely as possible, then taking what you’ve learned, immediately create an image of your own. With practice, your innate sense of design and personal style will develop.

So open this book and enter a world of color. Follow along with your paintbrush in hand, and chapter by chapter the beauty of the world around you and within you will be revealed through your painting.
Enjoy and Happy Creating,

Cristina

Paint Happy is out of print. Used copies of Paint Happy by Cristina Acosta are available on Amazon

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; 2 editions (August 2002) (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581801181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581801187
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
Paint Happy by Cristina Acosta

Artist Cristina Acosta Teaches Students How to Paint Happy

More than technique, more than practice Cristina tries to remind beginners that being

creative involves a mind-set. “It’s about being generous with yourself and putting yourself in alignment with the largest creative energy in the world. It is amazing, but that energy will flow right through you.” 

Cristina Acosta, quoted in Paint Decor Magazine, Winter 2004

Painting encourages creativity and intuition
Painting encourages creativity and intuition

I began teaching at an early age, teaching skiing and swimming at the local mountain resort in Southern California when I was a teenager. As I grew in my artistry, I taught a variety of art classes and workshops, including a five year stint teaching drawing and painting classes at Central Oregon Community College, in Bend, Oregon.

Currently I look at my articles and books as the main method with which I continue to teach. Occasionally, I will teach a week-long workshop. I usually base the curriculum on my book Paint Happy! , though I have taught

Sidewalk Chalk Kids Art Class by Cristina Acosta
Art Festival chalk art for kids event led by Cristina

some workshops introducing students to the Hispanic art of the Ex-Voto Retablo — a form of art used to express gratitude.
I also enjoy giving presentations to organizations. In the past I’ve taught sessions at Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington State and for various arts organizations .

  • You are welcome to contact me regarding teaching for your organization.
  • If you are not representing an organization and would like me to teach you over the phone and internet, we can set up a plan and the price.