Winter 2019 Classes and Workshops at Washington Studio School

By Editorial Team on December 11, 2018
Maggie Siner, Bed & Angel, oil on canvas. Courtesy of Washington Studio School.
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Register here.
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(Drop-In Sessions Monday evening and Friday afternoon)

Monday

  • Intermediate Painting: Lighten Up!
    Monday, 10am—1pm
    Instructor: Trevor Young
    $455
    Exploring structure, space, geometry, luminosity, and the variety of marks that make up a painting, students in this class will work exclusively with acrylic paint to more quickly build, revise, and resolve their paintings. Confident marks, the drama of light, opacity, transparency, and open-minded flexibility will all be emphasized. Understanding painting as a practice is like whistling – it reflects mental state and flexibility. And fostering a flexible painting process means putting judgment aside, just like we disregard judgment of our song as we whistle it.
  • Intermediate Drawing: Making Marks through Looking and Inventing
    Monday, 2–5pm
    Instructor: Trevor Young
    $455
    Students in this class will learn to decipher space, light and drama through mark making as a process of looking and invention. Understanding space using geometry and quickly calculated measurements will be emphasized, as will the building of gradient layers and rich tonality through a range of graphite and other materials. Use of smartphone technology will complement traditional materials to help interpret value and line. Some weeks will involve free drawing and mark making exercises to encourage the joy in being wild. Understanding drawing as a practice is like whistling – it reflects mental state and flexibility. And fostering a flexible painting process means putting judgment aside, just like we disregard judgment of our song as we whistle it.
  • Beginning Painting
    Monday, 7-10pm
    Instructor: Brian Kelley
    $455
    Students will learn the fundamentals of painting: materials and tools, paint handling, shape, value, basic color mixing, space and composition in this series of foundation classes. The sequence of courses runs the full academic year with a different emphasis each term, and provides a solid foundation for students interested in developing their perceptual and aesthetic skills. Fall term covers shape, value and planes in depth; winter emphasizes color; and spring is pictorial space and composition – although each are covered to different degrees in every term. It is recommended that students take all three terms for maximum benefit, however they can be taken independently as well. Subject matter includes still life, interior space and figure. Oil paint is recommended, although acrylic is fine as well.

Tuesday

  • Methods and Materials
    Tuesday, 10am-1pm
    Instructor: Milena Spasic
    $455
    This hands-on class will introduce students to the technical developments in painting (and some drawing) from ancient to modern times. The emphasis of the class, however, will be on the use of contemporary materials. Topics covered will include tools (brushes, knives, palettes, etc), preparation processes for both canvas and wood panels, sizes and grounds, drying oils and mediums, pigments, solvents, painting procedures and the care of finished paintings. Underpainting, glazing, using opaque and transparent pigments, are among the many hands-on procedures that may be covered, in addition to an overview of modern alkyd resins and acrylic paints. Maintaining a safe and healthy studio practice will also be discussed.
  • Clay Sculpture: ‘Figurative Humanism’
    Tuesday 10am-1pm
    Instructor: Homer Yost
    $455 plus $30 clay fee
    Crucially important for all artists, sculpture sharpens the visual skills essential to seeing and developing the three-dimensional aspects of human form. Through the sense of touch, students will understand masses in relation to each other and surrounding space, as well as the definition and direction of planes, leading to an understanding of gesture, weight, balance, rhythm, and the essential spirit of the pose. The ultimate goal is to develop a vocabulary and ability to connect form and feeling – what Yost refers to as ‘figurative humanism.’ Work will be from the figure model. There will be a $30 clay fee payable to the Washington Studio School.
  • Beginning Drawing
    Tuesday 2-5 PM
    Instructor: Carol Rubin
    $455
    This essential series of foundation courses for beginning students emphasizes seeing and the principles of drawing from life in a progressive curriculum of classes. Students will learn the basics of contour, shape, volume, proportion, line quality, gesture, value relationships, negative/positive space, planes, figure/ground relationship, and the use of basic drawing materials to translate the observed 3-D world onto a 2-D surface. Students work from still life, interior space, the model and occasionally landscape. Each of the three academic terms (fall, winter, spring) has a slightly different focus (line, shape/value, and pictorial space) making it possible to study the foundations slowly, sequentially and in depth over the course of the year.
  • Drawing Into Painting (Advanced Level)
    Tuesday, 2-5pm
    Instructor: Susan Yanero
    $455
    In this dynamic class students will use the figure and other forms in an environment to focus on expressive and pictorial concerns.  The 10-week term will be broken into 3 segments.  Week 1 of each segment students will draw intensively from the set-up using mixed media drawing materials on large paper. Weeks 2 and 3 they will paint from their drawings and photos they take of the set-up, using acrylic paint and some collage on large paper. The final week will be dialog, critique and conversations about next steps. In addition to solidifying observational drawing skills, this class develops confidence in using the visual elements as vehicles of meaning while developing expression through the knowledge of compositional organization. In an environment of trust and support, students begin to work freely in a more personal, inventive way without fear and with complete commitment to their work.
  • Beginning Drawing
    Tuesday, 7-10pm
    Instructor: Martin Wall
    $455
    This essential series of foundation courses for beginning students emphasizes seeing and the principles of drawing from life in a progressive curriculum of classes. Students will learn the basics of contour, shape, volume, proportion, line quality, gesture, value relationships, negative/positive space, planes, figure/ground relationship, and the use of basic drawing materials to translate the observed 3-D world onto a 2-D surface. Students work from still life, interior space, the model and occasionally landscape. Each of the three academic terms (fall, winter, spring) has a slightly different focus (line, shape/value, and pictorial space) making it possible to study the foundations slowly, sequentially and in depth over the course of the year.
  • Looking at Pictures with Wine and Lee (1x monthly)Tuesday evenings monthly, January through June, 7-8:30 pm
    Instructor: Lee Newman
    Cost — $25 per session – Register for 2, 4, or all 6 sessions
    A lively monthly participatory discussion comparing and contrasting master paintings via their thematic content and pictorial structure. Most paintings are housed at the National Gallery of Art or other DC museums and can be viewed before or after the discussion. Valuable lessons in how to look at paintings will be held through congenial conversation over a glass of wine with WSS founder, artist and teacher Lee Newman. While other painters may be discussed as well, topics include:

    • January 24: Paintings for Epiphany
      A comparison of two great Italian masterpieces from the NGA. Fra Angelico/ Fra Filippo Lippi’s Adoration of the Maggi and Botticelli’s Adoration of the Maggi.
    • February 28: Chaos and Order, Dionysian vs Apollonian
      Lavender Mist by Jackson Pollock is compared to Tintoretto’s Conversion of Saul on the Road to Damascus.
    • March 28: Theme of the Double in Literature and Art
      Two Dancers at the Barre by Degas in the Phillips and Two Women in the Country by deKooning at the Hirschhorn.
    • April 25: Little Girls and Legacy
      Velasquez’s Infanta Maria from the Kunsthistorisches Museum as compared with Renoir’s Girl with Watering Can from the NGA
    • May 23: Rembrandt and Titian
      A study in the psychological aspects of portraiture and self-portraiture.
    • June 20: Measuring
      Giacometti’s influence on Euan Uglow and AnnGale
  • Painting Portrait
    Tuesday, 7-10pm
    Instructor: David Ibata
    $455
    Why paint a portrait in this age of selfies?  Why is portraiture experiencing a resurgence now, a new sense of relevance and urgency?  Artists like Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald, Kerry James Marshall, Aliza Nisenbaum, Mikalene Thomas, Tschabalala Self, Henry Taylor, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and more are unpacking the portrait in ways rarely seen before.  Looking at what is both general and specific, as well as timeless and timely in portraiture, students will study the structure, planes, color temperature and the organization of value shapes that make up the portrait in space.  But they will also consider the stories that observable human reality can evoke.  Both portraits of models and self-portraits will be covered, leading to an understanding of the difference between painting the stranger vs. the introspective aspects of painting the self.  Understanding how light, props, overall environment, as well as photographic references contribute to the language of the portrait will also be discussed.

Wednesday

  • Intermediate Painting: Theme and VariationWednesday, 10am-1pmInstructor: David Ibata$455Working primarily with repeated and uncommon still life objects, the class will explore theme and variation through the use of constants and variables in multiple paintings. Limitations of motif allow for expansive explorations in format, point of view, color palette, lighting, emphasis, configuration, and context of the objects. By reframing and rethinking each painting, students will push out of the safe world of still life into the unexpected and unconventional, and will challenge approaches and assumptions about what still life can be. Color relationships will be stressed throughout.
  • Mastering the Figure
    Wednesday, 2-5pm
    Instructor: Diane Wilson
    $455
    While strengthening perceptual and technical skills, this course will investigate the materials, expressive content and visual concepts of painting as they relate to the human form. Students work towards a personal sensibility, while learning to express the complexities of the human form in its spatial environment. Gesture, proportion, skeletal structure, planar structure and placement within the rectangle are all addressed. While the emphasis is on painting, those who wish to draw from an extended pose may do so in this class.
  • Intermediate/Advanced Drawing: Dualities and Juxtapositions
    Wednesday, 2-5pm
    Instructor: Jill Phillips
    $455
    Everything in life involves contrast – we are always comparing, contrasting and relating. Our value systems stem from basic good vs evil, our lives can be tranquil or chaotic. Each day we experience sunlight and darkness, summers are hot, winters are cold. The vocabulary of art is also full of dualities and juxtapositions, and understanding their use leads to work with more powerful meaning and content. We will find these dualities and juxtapositions within single drawings as well as diptychs, large and small, through the use of visual language and with a variety of traditional and experimental materials. With guidance from the instructor, explorations will be personal and individual, thinking of perception in varied ways. The class will address contrast through many avenues and choices, including:large scale vs. small; rectangle vs. square placement within the format; type of mark (heavy or light, dense or spare, gestural or diagrammatic, quick or exploratory); wet media vs. drylight vs. dark value contrast; active vs. quiet areas; geometric vs. organic shapes; deep space vs. shallow; abstraction vs. representation; repetition vs. variation; transparency vs. opacity; chaos vs. order (Dionysian vs Apollonian); chance vs. structure; system vs. process; perceptual vs. conceptual; and more.
  • Figure Drawing
    Wednesday, 7-10pm
    Instructor: Diane Wilson
    $455
    This class is for students with some prior drawing experience. Emphasizing the continued refinement of perceptual drawing skills, the course concentrates on the structure, movement and expressive qualities of the figure. Students work towards a personal sensibility through a variety of drawing materials.
  • Watercolor
    Wednesday, 7-10pm
    Instructor: Paul Pietsch
    $455
    Watercolor is distinct and easily differentiated from marks made with oils or acrylics. The medium is a language of transparent layers of color, crisp brushstrokes and textured edges interplaying with the glistening white of untouched paper. To handle it is to balance the fluidity and the unexpected with the controlled. While watching the alchemy of pigment suspended in water form a shape, the choices are myriad. To interfere or not interfere? To add or subtract from a wash? To control or let go? To glaze an additional layer? These questions are in constant dialog with compositional considerations—such as the size, scale and relationship of the shapes—making watercolor a practice based in playfulness and chance as well as in keen perception and decisive action.This course will introduce watercolor as a medium and a process, focusing on its unique attributes and strategies for using them in a personalized way. The course begins with explorations of watercolor properties and painting techniques before focusing on assignments that encourage individual development through a strategic and responsive approach to watercolor painting. Students will work from still life set ups, photographs and the live model. Through group discussions and critiques, students will cultivate a classroom community based on dialogue, exchange of ideas and positive feedback. The ultimate goal of the course is not to teach students how to paint in a particular way, but rather to enable students to develop a competency in the medium that facilitates their own artistic explorations.
  • Clay Figure Sculpture
    Wednesday, 7-10pm
    Instructor: Jon-Joseph Russo
    $455
    Crucially important for all artists, sculpture sharpens the visual skills essential to seeing and developing the three-dimensional aspects of the human form. Through the sense of touch, students can comprehend how volumes move in space and discern their planar directions and construction, as well as the proportions, balance and composition of the pose. Work will be from the figure model. Purchase of clay from the instructor is required.

Thursday

  • Beginning Painting
    Thursday, 10am-1pm
    Instructor: Milena Spasic
    $455
    Students will learn the fundamentals of painting: materials and tools, paint handling, shape, value, basic color mixing, space and composition in this series of foundation classes. The sequence of courses runs the full academic year with a different emphasis each term, and provides a solid foundation for students interested in developing their perceptual and aesthetic skills. Fall term covers shape, value and planes in depth; winter emphasizes color; and spring is pictorial space and composition – although each are covered to different degrees in every term. It is recommended that students take all three terms for maximum benefit, however they can be taken independently as well. Subject matter includes still life, interior space and figure.
  • Individual Investigations in Painting
    Thursday, 2-5pm
    Instructor: Milena Spasic
    $455
    This class is for advanced level students who have a commitment to painting and seek to develop a personal vocabulary and direction that will begin to define their own identity as a painter. With guidance from the instructor, students will explore sources and subjects of their choice, working independently both inside and outside of class. A model can be made available some of the weeks for those who want to take advantage of the opportunity to sustain a long pose or do multiple versions of one.
  • Life Drawing for High School Teens
    Thursdays, January 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21, 28 4:15 – 6:15pm
    Instructor: Mary Freedman
    $215
    High school teens who are preparing portfolios for college admissions as well as those interested in the figure should not miss this opportunity for six weeks of instruction working from the live model in a fun, supportive, yet serious environment. All models will be clothed or in swim suits. Students will learn about proportion, contour, gesture, mass, light and shade, some basic anatomy, and placement of the figure in an environment. Paper, charcoal, drawing pencils and ink will be provided by WSS. Appropriate for both new and returning students.
  • Beginning/Intermediate Drawing – Section 1
    Instructor: Mary Freedman
    Thursday 7-10 PM
    $455
    This foundation class for beginning and intermediate students introduces and furthers the study of the visual language through observation. Working from still life, interior space and the figure, students develop an understanding of the basic principles of drawing three-dimensional form. Studies in line, shape, value, proportion, and positive/negative space are deepened, as are perceptual issues regarding the mark, gesture, movement, rhythm, weight, unity, structure and placement on the page. The foundation classes are run for the full academic year with a different focus each term.
  • Intermediate Painting: Space, Form and Content
    Instructor: Joren Lindholm
    Thursday 7-10pm
    $455
    For students with some basic painting experience, this class is a further exploration into figure/space relationships, issues of design and composition, color orchestration and planar structure, as well as the use of mark as a vehicle for expression and content. Students will work from still life, interior space and the figure, as well as individual sources as subject matter as they move into making the work more personal, expressive and inventive.

Friday

  • Relief Printmaking
    Instructor: Brian Kelley
    Friday, 2-5pm
    $455
    Looking at the exquisite linocut prints produced by Picasso and other artists, the class will discover the versatility of this popular relief printing technique in which images are made by carving into the surface of a soft linoleum block. The course will introduce the basic skills of linocut from designing your image to carving your block and to learning about printmaking inks and papers. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with mark making with the various carving tools, color usage, and the process of reductive printing. In a reductive print the artist develops all colors from the same block. With each color pass more linoleum is removed from the block. Each color is printed on top of the last, and the entire edition is printed at once. Students will produce a portfolio of single and multi-color prints. Towards the end of the term, other forms of relief printing, such as the collagraph, may be introduced. A collagraph is a unique and expressive type of print that is made from a dimensional collage created on a printing plate, then sealed, inked, and printed onto another surface. The results are wonderful and the experimental possibilities endless.

Saturday

  • Beginning/Intermediate Drawing – Section 2
    Instructor: Joren Lindholm
    Saturday: 10am – 1pm
    $455
    This foundation class for beginning and intermediate students introduces and furthers the study of the visual language through observation. Working from still life, interior space and the figure, students develop an understanding of the basic principles of drawing three-dimensional form. Studies in line, shape, value, proportion, and positive/negative space are deepened, as are perceptual issues regarding the mark, gesture, movement, rhythm, weight, unity, structure and placement on the page. The foundation classes are run for the full academic year with a different focus each term.
  • Beginning/Intermediate Painting
    Instructor: Joren Lindholm
    Saturday: 2-5M
    $455
    Instructor: Joren Lindholm
    For students new to painting as well as those with some basic painting experience, this class is an exploration into figure/space relationships, value and color issues of design and composition, color orchestration and planar structure, as well as the use of mark as a vehicle for expression and content. Students will work from still life and the figure, as well as individual sources as subject matter as they move into making the work more personal, expressive and inventive.

Visiting Artist Master Classes

  • Painting Master Class:
    Fabric as a Vehicle for Gesture    
    Visiting Instructor: Maggie Siner
    Friday January 11– Sunday January 13, 2019
    10am-5pm
    $650
    This three day painting workshop focuses on how the forms of drapery create shape, gesture, drama and unity within the rectangle.If you look over the past 600 years of Western Painting you’ll see drapery everywhere – on classical and religious figures, elegant portraits, genre paintings, still-lifes, interiors;  drapery covers acres of canvas.  Because it captures gravity, weight and movement, it does a great deal of the work in making a convincing dynamic composition.   Drapery can be manipulated and altered in ways that bodies can never be, and yet define the forms of the body underneath.  As it covers it also reveals.  Fabric retains the gesture of movement, giving life to static forms.  Changes of color on each turning plane are subtle, beautiful, and completely dependent on fabric texture. This gives tactile specificity for the sense of touch.   Fabric suggests content, drama.Working from visual perception and studying light relationships we will use both still life and figure to simplify and extract the essentials of form and gesture for a unified and dramatic whole.
  • Abstracting the Figure in Pastel
    Instructor: Martin Campos
    Saturday, February 16 – Sunday, February 17
    10am-5pm
    $270
    Students will be challenged to think of the figure in terms of simple interlocking forms and shapes to create powerful design compositions. The aim will be to create dozens of quickly finished sketches each session in order to build strong picture making habits with immediate results.Using charcoal and a limited range of pastels, this class will meet the challenge of creating bold figurative abstractions with the human form as a pretext.Students will:

    • Increase understanding of figure proportions and bodily landmarks
    • See combinations of simple shapes and distill them into abstract design
    • Loosen up the drawings through quick sketches
    • Explore what a little color can do
    • Build up a formal drawing from sketches
    • Have fun doing the above
  • Collage for Painters: Ken Kewley’s Alteration Shop
    Visiting Instructor: Ken Kewley
    Thursday March 14 Artist Talk: Stills & Animations 5:30 – 7pm
    Friday, March 15 – Saturday, March 16
    10am – 5pm
    $425
    With a little alteration, what we might have discarded can become our best work. We will paint the easiest way possible, by means of collage. We will begin with pure abstraction by making shapes and arranging them into multiple compositions. We will work on reproductions of your artwork brought from home by applying painted paper to the prints to adjust the shapes. We will rework our own work, masterworks, and works of our fellow artists. Be it an object, a place, or a person, it is the underlying abstraction that must excite us and needs to be strengthened. Everything can be adjusted and readjusted via a scanner/copier. All in the belief that with a little alteration, great new things can come from old.Ken Kewley graduated from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In New York his work has been exhibited at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, Lori Bookstein Fine Art and Pavel Zoubok. In Philadelphia he is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery.  His workshops have been held in art schools, universities and museums both in the United States and Europe. The artist and his workshops were featured in the December 2017 issue of Artist’s Magazine. www.kenkewley.com
    Website: www.kenkewley.com
    On Instagram both at @kenkewley and @ken_kewley_workshops

Winter Warm Up Workshops

  • Drawing The Body in Motion
    Wednesday, January 9 and 16
    7-10pm
    Instructor: Diane Wilson
    $110
    Drawing the human figure as it moves through a series of short poses is to understand changes in visual energies, tensions, sense of weight, direction of the mark, and the rhythms of the parts in relation to each other. This workshop will hone your ability to demonstrate a feeling of movement on the paper – of change and action, and the implication of what comes before and after the pose. Some figure drawing experience is recommended.
  • Monotype Party
    Friday, January 18
    Noon- 6pm
    Instructor: Brian Kelley
    $110
    A monotype is a single, unique print pulled from a plate that has been painted with printmaking ink. In the late 19th century, in Paris, Venice, Rome, and wherever young Americans were studying art, they would gather to make prints, and monotype parties popped up everywhere. In March 1899, in the Quartier Latin, a magazine distributed to Americans studying in Paris, wrote:”Monotypes have suddenly become the rage’ among the students in the Quarter. So much so that the Art Talk Club {arranged} a monotype party for Tuesday, February 1. It proved quite the success anticipated, and a surprisingly large number were initiated into the mysteries of this profitable (we do not say lucrative) pastime; and judging from the enthusiasm with which everyone takes to it and the fascination there always is in work or play of any kind where much depends on luck,’ we venture the opinion that the meetings have been devoted to little else ever since.”In NYC, the Salmagundi Club began hosting monotype parties as well, and the medium has been popular ever since.Join us for our own Monotype Party workshop – for both those new to monotype and those with experience. Learn to make both additive and subtractive monotypes, share lively conversation, the press, light food and drink, and leave with a portfolio of beautiful prints.
  • Rapid Notation
    Wednesday, January 16
    10am-5pm
    Instructor: Jill Phillips
    $110
    “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees” Paul ValeryThis intensive workshop will at times feel like boot camp, and at other times like a meditation class. The hope is for you to break through points of artistic resistance, loosen up your approach and attitude to art making, and possibly be inspired to work in new directions. Through a series of quick and boldly executed studies in either acrylic or oil paint, students will learn to see the most essential color, value and shape relationships, as well as the gestural energies in front of them. Editing, simplification, responsive brushwork, and very abbreviated time frames will help with the confident decision making necessary to see like an artist. We will work from still life in the morning and a model in the afternoon, but anything and everything in sight may be painted. It will be impossible to overthink anything, and poetry may be the result.
  • Drawing Into Collage
    Saturday, January 19
    10am-5pm
    Instructor: Melvin Nesbitt
    $110
    Working from photographs, memory, imagination, and observation, students will produce a small accordion book of collaged drawings that tell a personal and compelling story. Compositional elements of how one page leads to the next will be considered through the use of color, pattern, shape and gesture.
  • Graphite – The Pencil and Beyond
    Sunday, January 20
    10am – 5pm
    Instructor: Mary Freedman
    $110
    One of the most widely used drawing mediums, graphite comes in many forms, and can be pushed in many directions. Experiment with the various types of graphite available – dry, powdered, water soluble — while exploring the versatility and expressive qualities of the medium. A few different paper surfaces will be used as well. Students will work from a variety of subjects and produce several drawings.
  • Why You Must Keep a Sketchbook – and How to Do It!
    Sunday, January 27, February 3
    1-4pm
    Instructor: Jill Phillips
    $110
    “Je suis le cahier” Picasso This workshop is for every single student! Keeping a sketchbook is the single most valuable thing you can do to stretch your skills, store and foster ideas, make connections, and take the kinds of messy risks that will help you grow as an artist. Drawing, writing, collecting, sticking, and problem solving all take place in these portable studios. Week 1 will be full of practical and playful hands-on ways to fill a sketchbook. We will begin with a number of prompts and suggestions to allow new discoveries to happen. In the interim week students will work on their own to gather information (visual and more) in these repositories of sketches and ideas. The second week we will learn from each other’s books, and continue with a second set of prompts. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a lifelong habit of always having a sketchbook close at hand.

For more information or to register, visit www.washingtonstudioschool.org.