Master Drawing Workshop: Bargue Drawing Skills

This class teaches essential Realist techniques.

Students will learn essential Realist, academic techniques in an encouraging open environment conducive to learning. In this workshop we will learn all about accurately judging proportion and achieving a likeness. We will copy the master drawings of 19th Century artist Charles Bargue, who created a drawing course that was popular in the ateliers and academies in Europe during that century. The painter Vincent Van Gough taught himself to draw using the Bargue drawing course.

By copying these drawings and then applying what you have learned to drawing from life you will become a more confident artist. Suitable for beginners and artists at all levels (1 day of 5 hours or 2-day workshop).

Portrait Drawing with Charcoal

Learn how to capture a likeness using the beautiful, painterly medium of charcoal on toned paper. This class teaches traditional academic concepts, but in an encouraging open environment conducive to learning. Students will learn Realist techniques that were taught in the academies and ateliers in 19th Century Europe. French ateliers and academies started their students off with charcoal drawing before painting, and we will take the same approach. This approach begins with a few lines forming a simple abstraction and eventually evolves to a highly realistic drawing. This method is a step in a natural progression towards realist portrait painting in oils. Suitable for intermediate to advanced students (1 day of 5 hours or 2-day workshop).

Secrets of Classical Drawing: The Still Life

Learn skills taught in ateliers and academies in centuries past and put them to use to create your own fresh artwork. You’ll learn tricks of the trade — classical drawing techniques to arrive at correct proportions and to create the illusion of form in two dimensions. These skills can also be utilized when drawing traditional subjects like figures and landscapes, or they can be incorporated into your own contemporary practices. Still life drawing is an excellent way to learn important Realist techniques before attempting realistic portrait or figure drawing or painting, and it’s a beautiful artform in and of itself! Suitable for beginners and artists at all levels (1 day of 5 hours or 2-day workshop).

Foundation Quilting

In this fast-moving workshop, you will learn a quick contemporary construction technique guaranteed to expand your quilting abilities. Foundation quilting yields immediate finished results by combining piecing and quilting. This workshop is suitable for beginners and experienced quilters alike. Several samples suitable as small wall hangings or pillow tops will be made during class.

Contemporary Mosaic (or Crazy) Piecing

This fast-moving fun class explores a spontaneous approach to a traditional quilting favorite with an emphasis on contemporary design. Participants will learn a new way to piece quilt blocks together and ways to create unique arrangements of blocks. Using rotary cutting and machine piecing they will create pillow tops or start a quilt top. A great way to use up scraps from other projects. Pieces will not be quilted during the class, but quilting options will be discussed.

Fabric Printing

(Requires washable table tops and access to hot water and a sink.)

This hands on, fast paced workshop offers a free approach to fabric design using stencils, found objects and simple tools. This is a workshop for those who enjoy experimentation and working with fabric, or those who feel they would benefit from a new mode of design. Using textile pigments, participants will learn several low-tech and improvisational approaches to fabric printing. Participants will move through a series of exercises to immerse themselves in the printing techniques and then move to a print tote bag or tea towel.

Japanese Tie-Dye

(For facilities with hot water/dye capacity, sink access, and washable tabletops.)

This workshop teaches the fundamentals of fabric pattern dyeing using an updated version of the ancient Japanese tradition of Shibori (tie-dye). We will be using fiber reactive dyes in an immersion process. Participants will produce several samples and a silk scarf. This high-energy workshop yields great immediate results. Completed fabrics are suitable for quilting, home decorating, and use in one-of-a-kind wearables.


“Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me: Slow Looking at Art”

Ever find yourself spending more time reading the label about a work of art than looking at the artwork itself? This happens to all of us, especially when we are curious about the artist, the artwork, and its meaning. But there are benefits to slowing down our eyes and our minds to fully take in what is in front of us and to having an experience with an artwork that is unique to the viewer and the piece, unique to you. This program focuses on a small number of artworks and provides looking exercises to give us time to pause, rest our eyes and thoughts, and consider a work of art in a visual and contemplative manner.

“Choice, Chance, and Ants: This is Art?”

This lecture focuses on themes and movements in modern and contemporary art such as Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Fluxus, and performance art, specifically examining the role of choice and chance as a means for creating artwork. We will discuss how and why artists use selection versus arbitrariness in their artistic creations and consider the benefits and drawbacks of such approaches to art making.

Say What? The Use of Text in Modern and Contemporary Art

This talk introduces artists, artworks and relevant themes and movements in modern and contemporary art that incorporate text. We will begin by reviewing the historical relationship between art and text, including Egyptian hieroglyphics, medieval manuscripts, and Asian calligraphy. Then we’ll focus on twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists who engage in wordplay, popular culture, as well as societal and biographical references.