on Artistic Transformation
Ideally, for an artist, painting should occur at the subconscious level, as if by intuition. To achieve this, I first train the conscience until the conscious thought is no longer necessary to control the hand, and the hand becomes a free-flow of the mind. Transformed individuals become exceptional artists.
on The Importance of Observation
My strategy is based on clearing the vision of the artist-to-be from any adopted limitations such as assumed views, habitual brushwork and "style". Having a style is not bad, but a style, acquired before the ability to see, is mannerism, not a real style. Once the "clearing" is established, the true process of training-the-mind-to-see can begin. The first step to accessing one's unlimited artistic potential is through learning by observation. An explanation must precede observation. Otherwise, the observation - no matter how intense - by itself can rarely result in Artistic Seeing.
on My Teaching Strategy
What I found through working with hundreds of students over a period of 30 years is that it takes approximately 12 hours to prepare the beginner for this transformation. This process of accelerated learning is based on altering the habitual way of responding to visual information. Individualized assignments and specific exercises lead to breaking through the normal limits of the individual's perception to help their mind to see, rewiring the brain for seeing newly. Students experience a life-changing shift in their perception of the visual world. They are surprised to find "seeing" to be such a profound experience.
on Artistic Seeing
This is a phenomenon occurring inside the necessity to depict. Artists become aware of the fact that visual information is a range of simultaneous optical illusions in color, light, shape and distance. To reproduce these effects on a surface, the painter must know the laws of perception. This is what the beginner classes are about. In order to create an interpretation convincing to the viewer, the artist must learn the craft of creating a convincing illusion (in abstract art as well as realistic) where the believability depends upon the artist's own understanding of the laws of perception, ability to see, and their control over the technical means (the skill).
Olya Losina, founder & Art director
Olya Losina, born in Moscow, Russia, to a family of professional artists, received her MFA from the Moscow University. The multifaceted 5-year training under the well-known Russian masters - in painting, drawing, art history and graphic design, in an array of other art disciplines, - played a critical role in her decision to teach. Wanting to explore art collaboration and try herself at design, Losina chose a career of art director at the multilingual book publishers “Progress Radouga”, one of the largest publishing facilities of the Soviet Union. Discovering young talents and inviting them to try book design was her debut in mentorship. She selected illustrators, worked with galleries, archives, museums, and auction houses, including Sotheby's. This decade-long tenure and the inspiration from Moscow’s vigorous art scene fostered her development as a painter. She shared an art studio with her parents, both prominent artists.
In 1991, Losina moved from Russia to California, joined the faculty of the Athenaeum School of the Arts in La Jolla and opened her own art school. In 2007, she founded Losina Art Center in San Diego with the purpose of "Teaching art as science". Losina has introduced her method of accelerated training to over 500 individuals, who advocate for the transformational system that enabled them to tap into their natural artistic ability. Losina’s reputation for “breeding great artists” and a very successful college portfolio program attract clients from all over the San Diego county and Mexico. Olya converts non-artists inside of a 3-hour class, teaches absolute beginners how to draw effortlessly, trains emerging artists and coaches professional painters, graphic artists and designers. On occasion she accepts a child who exhibits during an interview the maturity to hold attention in a conversation. At the center, Losina showcases art exhibitions of emerging artists (mostly her students) that are beginning to attract interior designers and art collectors. In 2010 Losina was invited to partner with the Timken Museum of Art to provide training to museum members and docents.
Losina's method extends beyond her own studies in Soviet Russia. Her strategically and consciously built approach provides the student with understanding of how the old art is related to the subsequent styles and how they affect the newer trends. Losina teaches how the mutual influences of the world cultures cross, why the great examples from the Masters’ lives as human stories relate to our own artistic experiences. Her students get a glimpse into what was the driving force for the artists to create at different periods of the world history, including the great Soviet schools of Realism and Avangard. Having grown up surrounded by art and artists, Losina continues to hold ties with Russian artists, art institutions and art collectors; here in the US she puts forth efforts to create a vital art scene in San Diego, organizing art meetups and workshops reaching out to the community. Her classes and workshops have the reputation of being “psychological”. Losina method is based on her interest in how the mind works in this transformation from a non-artist to a true artistic genius. Having studied the psychology of learning, she reaches her students at the subconscious level, offering not only the art instruction, but also the explanations of the process of learning; what happens in the brain, why, when and how we begin to see and learn effortlessly. Teaching art in this manner stimulates the student’s mind, engaging memory, perception and a childlike ability to see newly and create freely. The omnivorous learners at Losina’s studio explore how the the art-making seamlessly slips into science: physics, chemistry, anatomy, neurology, etc. A talented teacher, interested in the individual's way of accepting information, she finds great satisfaction in helping her students discover their artistic uniqueness.