Flagler Artists: The artist as a teacher

Her artwork is on display in many locations around the world, but for Sherry Waldman, some of her most rewarding work is what happens at her teaching studio in Palm Coast in City Marketplace.
It’s where she teaches. On a daily basis. It is where she is passing on a love for art and instilling confidence in budding artists.
“To be able to bring it (the art experience) to the local people and to have watched so many of my students become great artists in their own right to the point that many of them are now selling is incredibly rewarding,” Waldman said.
She started teaching seven years ago. Some of her first roles as an instructor occurred overseas as she was completing commissions.
About eight years ago, she and her husband took a vacation to Palm Coast.
“We went out for coffee, bought a house and never turned back,” Waldman said.
After she retired to Palm Coast several years ago, Waldman decided to continue the work she did in New Jersey: hand-painting furniture. She added in personalized painting on surfboards.
And later she opened her studio with three classrooms and a big store chock full of the supplies that artists need but often cannot find in Palm Coast.
She still does her own artwork – murals, canvasses, and surfboards – but her passion these days is rooted in teaching others how to become confident artists.
She started teaching classes online when COVID-19 hit. Even though she mostly interacted with students on screen, many were coming to her home to pick up supplies she would leave on her front porch for contact-free pickup.

Once COVID-19 restrictions began to ease, Waldman recognized she had a devoted following of students needing regular classes and a place to work.
“I’ve never been so busy since moving here,” she said with a clear sense of purpose in her voice. “I love teaching and I love that my students get so excited about it too. I love their ah-ha moments.”
Teaching has also given Waldman an opportunity to grow professionally.
She recently organized a course titled, “M.A.P.” or Mastering Art Program. It is designed to guide a beginner through the various lessons at his or her own pace. Students select which pieces – work created by Waldman – they wish to work on for each level of the program. In the first three levels or tiers, the student completes seven paintings.
“As I watch them, it is remarkable the skills they gain,” she said. “They often cannot believe how well they are doing.”
The master level requires students to work “for awhile” as Waldman describes it.
“They practice, they make mistakes, they learn from those,” she said.
Her studio and its classes have found a local niche as well as becoming a draw for people from outside the area who come to Palm Coast for a few days to paint and learn. Her Facebook page has more than 11,000 followers.
“It’s just inspiration overload,” Waldman said. “This has been a really good journey and I love the art family that has been formed here.”
You can learn more about Waldman’s work at her website: www.sherrysartstudio.info.