Painting Engaging Stories


This course is an introduction to the practice of fine art as the catalyst for engaging in your everyday story. Using watercolor techniques students will investigate how the practice of fine art enhances your capacity to re-focus and amplifies your ability to engage in the artistic expression of your story and the stories around you.

Discover how to apply painting techniques to make your observations and reflections a daily commitment through the studio driven methods of art and psychology. This course is designed to introduce students to multiple practices in the fine art of painting, using media such as water color, ink, and painting transfers. With an emphasis on aesthetics and the applied psychology of everyday experience, students will have the opportunity to increase their creative confidence. Work is designed to enhance your attention and sensory appreciation to everyday experiences, in-class and during short field trips.


Barbara A. Karanian, Ph.D., is the founder of the Design Entrepreneuring Studio, as well as a lecturer and previously visiting Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Design Group at Stanford University. Barbara teaches and studies how a person’s behavior at work is framed around a blend of applied theoretical perspectives from social psychology and cognitive psychology; and fine arts.

Barbara makes productive partnerships with industry and creates teams that find unmet user needs by using and teaching her validated applied psychology, leadership and design thinking methods. Her recent work examines ways to generate creative work environments; perceived differences in on-line and off-line lives; and a driver’s response to existing automation. She works on storytelling initiatives that bridge the intersection of Silicon Valley and Hollywood with Digital Film Tree.

Barbara received her B.A. with a double major in Psychology and Fine Arts from the College of the Holy Cross; her M.Ed. in Art Therapy from Lesley University, and her Ph.D. in Educational Studies in Organizational Behavior from Lesley University. Always inspired by student co-authors, she was awarded best Teaching Strategies paper by the American Society for Engineering Education’s (ASEE) Entrepreneurship & Innovation division in 2012. Barbara likes to paint pictures.