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Vol I Issue 5

Winter greetings from all of us at Odyssey Art Centers! We were delighted with your overwhelming response to our inaugural issue of Artifacts. It's always gratifying to hear from old friends with fond memories. We hope to keep you inspired with our quarterly visits. All sorts of exciting things are happening. Enjoy! (top of page)

It is my practice to randomly ask parents how the art classes for their children are going. A few days ago, a parent told me she had no idea how her child was doing, or even what she was doing because her daughter tells her nothing, but seems to always want to come to class. The mother then told me recently she found her daughter sitting on the floor, wanting to show her several Buddha positions and telling her their meanings. Here at Odyssey, truly painless learning takes place. To witness a seven year old in an art museum knowing what message the Buddha is giving by his hand position, is truly impressive. Several parents have told me they visited the Cloisters, and their children, some of them only six years of age, were able to fully explain the Unicorn Tapestries, tapestry-by-tapestry. This understanding adds credibility and depth to the children's own projects that they create. Incorporating all of the above into an art program is not an easy task. Our teachers work hard during class time and, as part of their training program, spend many hours visiting museums and researching subject areas so that they will be able to fully explain the various topics. Interestingly, the feedback from the teachers indicates that the learning process is fun and just as personally enriching for them as it is for the student. The results speak for themselves. The majority of our students who signed up at the new centers are still there. The few children who have left, want to come back, but find it difficult now because the new centers have waiting lists. Clearly, we're doing something right! For my part, its extremely gratifying to see this program I've loved for so long become a part of so many other people's lives. (top of page)

For several years we have had the good fortune of being able to share in the largesse of Cunard's Cruises. In exchange for sharing our art talents. Odyssey Art franchisees have been similarly blessed. We now may be able to share this bounty even further. Opportunities will be available on the QE2, Royal Viking Sun, and the Vistafjord, all at the top of the cruise world.

Since the cruise art experience is a microcosm of the Odyssey Art experience, those who have been with Odyssey are best equipped to create the atmosphere. We intend to run short training sessions and to book those successfully completing the training onto cruises. Small training and booking fees will be required. If you are interested, please call us at (914) 631-7148 or email at (top of page)

The nineties have turned out to be an exciting decade. Advances in technology and culture have given us endless choices of how to live our lives in the best and most personal way possible. However, there is always a flip side to the positive results of change. As our world becomes more complex, we must work harder, live faster and often times lose sight of what's important. More and more we are becoming aware of the effects that dual income necessity has on the family unit.

Thankfully, corporate America is beginning to realize the importance of happy employees. Offering personnel the opportunity to spend time working at home in order to be closer to their families is one way that companies give back in return for higher productivity. Conversely, more and more we see parents taking their families' destinies into their own hands and starting family businesses which provide more quality time with children.

Whatever the final choice, the pivotal result is that we stand back and take a look at what is really important in life. Spending time with family is often forgone due to time pressures. It's nice to know that we have choices and that society is moving towards a more family friendly culture of work. (top of page)

Why did Linda decide to expand Odyssey as a franchise rather than to hire artists to work for her? The answer is simple. A great part of the joy of her life is having her own business. The flexibility of having hours she chooses on days she chooses are really important to her. Linda figured that people would work harder too, if the business was their own. Of course, she realized that it would be more difficult for her in that the instructors would have to be trained in her methods. She also realized that she would have to be extremely selective in choosing who could open a center. All this has come together in the past few years to produce three other little gems of learning centers where a highly individualized program has flourished. (top of page)

The transformation of a blank, flat surface into something that lives and has depth is exciting. Origami is a simple, fun way to breathe life into a blank sheet of paper. Its also a great way to explain geometry to your children.

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What could be better than doing something you love? Doing it in wonderful surroundings, of course!

I've had the unique experience of sharing my watercolor expertise with others at both Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts and aboard Cunard's cruise ship, The Vistafjord.

Tucked away in the beauty of the Berkshires, Canyon Ranch offers a laid-back, peaceful, communing with nature, getting in touch with yourself opportunity to tap into your creative spirit. Watercolor itself, as well as the Odyssey method), sets the stage for creativity. In Odyssey Art classes, people enthusiastically enjoy experimenting. They're given a basic recipe which they can take with them to use again and again.

Meanwhile, aboard the Vistafjord, all the world's a stage. Exotic locations become a backdrop when people participate in the Odyssey Art at Sea program. My recent cruise brought my fellow passengers and me to Russia, Turkey, Greece and Italy. Our studio location gave us magical inspiration with sliding glass doors opening over the front deck, affording us vistas of open seas, mountains, and sunsets. While the classes weren't as long (there's so much to do aboard a ship), the students were still able to create masterpieces. Many of my students (and the numbers grew steadily each session) had never painted before and were thrilled with their achievements. The experienced artists enjoyed the experimentation and freedom which is factored into the program.

While exotic locations are wonderful, reality must bring us home. The creative spirit is just as easily tapped in my studio. Photography is a second passion of mine, and I sometimes use the numerous roles of film I take on my trips as reference material to spark my memory and imagination. I share these with my students; or sometimes we use Odyssey's unique drop method creating flowers, foliage, or fantasy.

Wherever the location, the focus of my classes (for children and adults) is to learn and grow; and, of course to have fun.
In addition to teaching at Canyon Ranch and on Cunard Cruises, Odyssey instructors are available to give on-site workshops in creative art techniques.

- Carol Hickey, Odyssey Art Center, Fleetwood
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Dad, Peter Joselow (in the Sleepy Hollow adult group); Sarah, age 9 (in the Sleepy Hollow older children's group); Micah, age 6 (in the Briarcliff children's group); Alice Joselow, mom, and Jonah, age 4 (in the Sleepy Hollow adult-tot group). All members of the Joselow family are Odyssey Art Students.
In our busy lives we simply can not get enough time to stop and allow ourselves some creative time. Between work, school, homework, religious school, sports, music lessons and volunteer activities, we can hardly enjoy the seasons passing by so quickly. Odyssey Art classes have become a part of our creative time.

Each week, we individually look forward to exploring a new activity, a surprise perhaps, or something familiar like glueing sticks together to make a super city, drawing a self-portrait in craypas, or painting the leaves we see blowing around our neighborhoods this time of year.

We look forward to the warmth of a bright and cheery studio filled with constant input from Linda's dog Fletch on the floor, to the fantastically decorated ceiling. We often find special moments with both Linda and Kim (from the Briarcliff center). There is nothing that needs to be graded or judged. We just build upon skills that we find within ourselves. Our entire family looks forward to the Odyssey Art classes and we sadly miss them during summer break.

It is important to make the time to explore on our own and learn from others. Odyssey allows us to do this.

- Peter Joselow

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Letters to the Editor:
Owning my own Odyssey Art Center franchise has given me great personal satisfaction. Not only do I have a career working in a field I love, I can also be a full-time mother. I have loved art since I was a child. I will always remember what a good feeling it was to be successful with the things I created when I came to Linda's art classes. Now it gives me great pleasure to see my students experience the same proud feeling of accomplishment.

- Kimberly Dunn

What is it about the seasons? As someone who comes from the west, I am constantly amazed by the effects that the changing of seasons have on people and the landscape. You really begin to develop an appreciation for the little things that each season brings. For instance, I experienced my first eastern spring this year and was astonished by the pure number of different hues of green. Life was new, and everything seemed to glow. Presently, I am living through my second New York winter, albeit mild so far. At first, I dreaded the bare trees, but have grown to appreciate the unique nature of a stark landscape. Last night, I looked up at the moon through bare tree branches covered with icicles that sparkled as they swayed in the crisp breeze.
Working with Linda to produce the Odyssey Artifacts newsletter has inspired me to think about nature as the dynamic work of art that it is. She has that effect on people. Maybe you know what I mean...

- Lisa Feingold, Editor

we welcome your comments and suggestions

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Odyssey has some pretty talented past and present students.

Regitze Hess, an architect and civil engineer in Denmark, who was one of Linda's first students, is working on a project for the Danish Ministry of Architecture having to do with introducing architecture to children. She remembered the "future city" she made while attending Odyssey, and consulted with Linda about how to introduce a "hands on" architectural project to Danish children.

Clare & Gay Verre still have their original stitcheries done in Linda's classes in 1974. Linda has them on display in her studio.

Farrin Anello recently performed exceptionally on her SAT's. She is a national merit semi-finalist. Way to go Farrin! (top of page)

H.G. Caspari will be publishing a new box of note cards featuring Linda's watercolors in January, 1998. (top of page)

Odyssey is grateful to H.G. Caspari Inc. for supplying us with beautiful note card reproductions for our summer artist of the week series and note card reproductions of illuminated letters.


A special thank you to: Sam Halajian, Sarah Joselow, Alex Steiner, Alene Anello and Cole Caulfield, who helped create the illuminated letters for the Odyssey Newsletter. (top of page)