GREENVILLE — The late Greenville, Ohio artist and art teacher Martin Wogaman taught art teacher Sandy Cable – Barringer never to criticize but to be critical; something she applies to her art classes.
“It must always be positive criticism and I try to keep that in mind,” she said. “There is a time and a place for everything.”
Barringer is a 15- year member of the Greenville Art Guild and teaches art to adults in the Martin Wogaman room, in St. Clair Memorial Hall, in Greenville. She took lessons from Wogaman when she was a child. When she was asked to teach by a member of the Anna Bier Committee, she said ‘No’. But the answer fell on deaf ears and out of persistence, Cable – Barringer was made an art teacher.
“And I am so glad,” she said. “I am a better artist today because of my teaching. I painted instinctually, from my childhood with Martin Wogaman, and I didn’t have to tell anyone why I was doing specific things in my process of creating art. My hand goes to certain colors and I use them or mix them without thinking about why I make those decisions. I suddenly had to educate myself to teach others in order to be a better teacher.”
Cable – Barringer does this by reading everything she can get her hands on and by putting herself in the student’s position.
“One day I was working on a piece and couldn’t get the right shade of blue,” she said. I had to say, ‘Ok, if this was a student, what would I tell him/her to do?’ It gets really interesting sometimes.”
While Cable-Barringer’s great love is realism and portraiture, she works in and can teach all genres, using most medias, including: watercolor, pastel, charcoal, oil and acrylic. She responds to the artist’s needs and advises accordingly. Much of her work is in problem solving and teaching artists to see color, and the relationships of color in light and shadow.
“I want to show them how to paint something and paint it well,” she said. “I tell my students, ‘I am what I wanted years ago. I wanted someone that had read a lot with a lot of experience and could tell me. I don’t want to have to read 50 books and set hours and hours in a classroom. I have created a shortcut for them. I think that is very valuable.”
Cable – Barringer said all of her students are painting as professionals and do not require the same kind of structure someone needs at the beginning. But, she has students attending classes that have never painted. One lady began painting to help get through her grief. Assistant professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York Jennifer Drake created a YouTube video in March, 2016, showcasing the results of a study, looking at how children and adults can use drawing to regulate their emotions or improve their mood. In the study, participants were asked to think of negative or disappointing events and then to draw from five to 30 – minute intervals in two ways: as a form of expression and as a form of distraction.
“What we found across many studies, is that drawing does improve mood more than non – drawing activities: more than copying shapes and more than writing,” Drake said. “In the short term and when used as a form of distraction to turn away from negative emotions and feelings, that is where they seem to have the greatest benefits. That’s where they are showing the greatest mood improvement, suggesting that drawing as a form of distraction can be used to regulate emotions.”
What makes a good student?
“Someone that wants to be,” Cable – Barringer said. “I think it is exciting and my students do too. There are really no absolutes or formulas. When something comes alive and creates a spark in them, that is exciting for me.”
Cable – Barringer ‘s classes are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon at the – noon at St. Clair Memorial Hall, in Greenville. The class is $50 a month. For those interested just show up.
To find out more about Jennifer Drake’s research, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5WTmDwtCbg
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