Nourishing an Improvisational Visual Imagination w/ STUART SHILS


a three-day zoom painting class with STUART SHILS

to inspire muscular visual confidence

February 12, 13, 14, 2021

with a slide lecture on February 11

and a 30-minute individual consultation with Stuart

(a sequel to the zoom drawing class: Reframing the Ordinary and limited to 12 participants)

These three days will add useful furniture to the evolving chamber of your visual imagination and will offer tools for access to intuitive yet analytical PLAY within painted space. 

Special attention will be placed on the meanings and roles of structure, color, and color structure as the abstract, foundational rebar of painting.

Each day will explore a way of using paint to:

1)    understand and interpret your own work underway in the studio

2)   look at and learn from the work of past masters, not in terms of their technique or methods, but rather from examining their deeper sense of organization and structure

3)   use other art forms, such as literature, as a source for feeding and shaping your own emergent, visual imagination.


some notes:

This class will be run using acrylic paint on paper to help you build confidence while holding the loaded brush. We will address notions of fear and uncertainty by offering comfort with RISK as an alternative place where you can be quite comfortable and where you want to learn to live.

These three days will provide ways of locating yourself within an evolving visual imagination, and the takeaways will be totally and relevantly applicable to whatever kind of work you are pursuing in your studio life.

Remember the lines from Cezanne’s letters where the interlocutor asks, “are we talking about nature (meaning what is ‘out there’), or the nature of the artist?” So, for these 3 days we are looking at the nature of the artist or, how the artist looks.

 It is assumed that participants have taken the drawing class, Reframing the Ordinary, so as to already understand and have a working knowledge of the graphic strategies explored in that class.


opening slide lecture Thursday, February 11, 2021, 6:00PM EST: “The Saturation of the Visual Moment: the evolution of my eyes”, 90 minutes followed by Q&A. The talk will be open to the public as well serving as the first component of the class.

Friday, February 12, 2021, 4 hours 

Saturday, February 13, 2021, 3 1/2 hours

Sunday, February 14, 2021, 3 1/2 hours

All three class sessions will start at 11:00AM Eastern Standard Time

It will not be unusual if we run over each day, so please allow for some overrun. A break will be offered in the middle of our days, and the days will be intense, with lots of working and words.

Additionally, this class will offer a 30-minute individual consultation to be scheduled with Stuart following the class. 

Cost of the class is $720. Please email with questions and/or to register. Payment via paypal or venmo (you must add 3% if using a credit card, total $742). Personal checks also accepted. Please email for details. Due to the high demand for Stuart’s classes, your registration will not be fully confirmed until payment is received (although, once I have your registration request I will hold your spot for the time it takes for payment)


on zoom

section two – starts on February 2, 2021

section one – starts on January 5, 2021 – SOLD OUT

a weekly guided conversational and ongoing seminar exploring how we look at images analytically to understand the roots of design, intention, and feeling.

Ninety minute weekly zoom sessions with Stuart, in which he will walk the eyes and imagination through looking at paintings and drawings, digging in to how images offer themselves as form. Participants will also engage in exercises in response, using pencil and black and white collage paper.

this seminar is offered to artists and non-artists – anyone interested in looking and deepening his/her understanding of fine art and the visual world.

The group will be limited to 20 participants and subscription will be by the month – $150 for four sessions.

The group starting February 2, 2021 will meet on Tuesdays: 11:00AM EST, 10:00AM MST, 8:00AM PST

Please contact with questions and/or to register. Payment via paypal, venmo, or personal check will be accepted. Please email for further details.