Unleash your inner artist

Over the last year, a number of people have asked about whether I give lessons on how to paint portraits in my particular style.  Until recently, I've had to respond with "sadly, no."  Shortly after last year's Mindcamp, Canada's creativity retreat, I came up with this idea of having a group of people paint the same person, at the same time.  However, it would not be a paint-by-numbers step-by-step approach.

"Now everybody, we're going to take our orange and follow the contour of the nose," or some other specific instruction was not what I had in mind.

I immediately had this vision of giving broad instructions about the process and letting the inner artist come out.  Success would be a collection of vastly different portraits.

I tried it first with a couple of Grade 6 classes at Dr. Clark School.  It was a little different than I imagined as they were painting portraits of their mothers - each subject (of course) was different.  I tried it in the way I originally envisioned at Mindcamp.  the results were pretty cool.

Each person starts with an empty canvas and a subject.  In the case of the Unleash Your Inner Artist experiences coming up, the subject will be a surprise, revealed only when everyone has sat down and is ready to get started.  The artists will get to pick the composition of the subject that speaks to them the most.  It might be an image of the full face positioned off centre or maybe a close-up of the eyes and mouth.

When we did it at Mindcamp, the drawing took approximately one hour, which left two hours for painting.  With 30 minutes left, I put on the sountrack to "Rocky" and everyone raced to the finish.

I painted along with the students, primarily to prevent me from hanging over their shoulders the whole time.  Once in awhile, I would get up  and do quick check-ins, offer a few words of encouragement and advice, if asked.

It was a lovely way to spend three hours and the participants seemed to really enjoy the process and the results.

With that in mind, I am offering three options for doing this three-hour workshop.  We provide all the supplies: canvases, brushes and paint.  All you bring is yourself.

Sunday, September 13, 2 - 5 pm

Friday, September 25, 6:30 - 9:30 pm

Sunday, October 4, 2 - 5 pm

For more information or to sign up, please click here.


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