Teaching Method


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.


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.


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.


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 and Art teacher

Ms. Losina creates talent. She is the founder of Prima Materia Institute – the “talent pool” of San Diego, where hundreds of students have gotten connected to their artistic potential. The accelerated system of teaching that she created makes it possible for anyone to become an artist in 12 hours or less. Someone with no artistic experience can come to try a class and walk away an artist.

Olya Losina was born in Moscow, Russia, to a family of professional artists. She graduated from Moscow University with Masters degree in fine art. The Russian style of art training, not the American art education, became her model for launching a business in the US.

Olya opened her first art school in La Jolla (Losina School of Drawing and Painting) and many locals came, attracted by unusual projects she offered. Her classes were rapidly expanding till they outgrew the small space on Herschel Ave. Losina became recognized as an effective art teacher when she became a faculty member of The Athenaeum in La Jolla and started teaching classes and workshops there. Her unusual workshops at the Athenaeum helped to grow her reputation: her generous sharing of her knowledge was consistently drawing students from all over the San Diego county and across the border from Mexico. Referrals came by the word of mouth: “In Olya’s classes everyone paints well”. So when she decided to expand and move her school into a large Old-Town warehouse, she already had a strong following. Classes were expanding. But her goal was to “elevate art education to the status of literacy”. Such a mission required a more substantial facility. When she saw such opportunity in 2007, she, together with her husband moved the school to a larger space, and Losina Art Center was established. The new curriculum now included annual memberships for more serious students, College Portfolio Program for high-schoolers, short workshops for busy executives and travellers, one-on-one coaching for professional artists, and special accelerated programs for out-of-town students. But how do you convince those who believe that “it’s too late to start”? So, for these people, as a first step in their artistic transformation, Losina created the “Learn to Paint in One Day” workshop designed to “jump-start” absolute beginners. “We have been a two-man orchestra”, Olya says, “but now we want to build a team and expand, because my system is teachable”. Now, to grow the school to fulfil the mission of changing the way art is taught, Losina is focused on training art teachers in her accelerated system, so that they could service more people.

Losina wants to make art education accessible to all in the US (though she also has her eye on the rest of the world, naming Russia and China to start). Losina is planning to offer webinars, online classes, and online critique – to reach out beyond San Diego and the US.

In 2010 Losina was invited to partner with the Timken Museum of Art to provide training to museum docents. She wants to introduce art to other professionals whose work traditionally does not call for art studies: scientists, politicians, medical doctors, teachers,Teaching Method

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