DRIVING IN THE KEY OF PLAY wthout knowing your destination, with STUART SHILS

November 11 – 13, 2022, with an opening lecture on November 10

A few questions:

Are you comfortable with making an incredible mess and seeing that as a blessing?

Can you drive visually without a map?

Are you afraid of making ‘mistakes’ and instead play it safe by reinforcing your branded identity?

Do all your paintings look the same?

Can you step outside of who you are supposed to be?

At a difficult intersection, can you easily mobilize visceral instinct and improvise the path forward?

Do you solve problems in the studio by returning to recipes you learned from someone else?

These three days are oriented toward nurturing illumination by recognizing that working outside your comfort zone is THE doorway to all possibility. Our guided time together will continue the work of the previous Facing Your Fears in the Studio, 3 days of curated, imaginative visual play, encouraging you to swim more confidently in the tide of uncertainty. (previous attendance not required)

In a small group we’ll explore with painting (and some drawing), the mystical marriage between the analytical and feeling minds, and not worry about what we are doing next but more importantly, tasting how to be IN THE MOMENT physically and imaginatively and how to FEEL that moment as a palpable choreography, as a story being written but whose end we cannot yet know and don’t’ need to know.

The point of my classes is not a ‘product’ orientation. I’m not here to help you make paintings for galleries, but rather to assist in developing a state of mind that is your tool kit for the visual life, and to suggest a path for confidence rooted in curiosity, risk and visual playfulness.

Thursday night, opening slide talk, 6:30pm EST, 90 minutes with q&a at the end:

this talk will be a foundational beginning for the following three days:

Friday, November 11, 11am – 3pm

Saturday, November 12, 11am – 2:30pm

Sunday, November 13, 11am – 2:30pm

all 3 days are keyed to Eastern Standard Time

it will not be unusual if we run a little over on some of the days so please allow for that if necessary.

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

Cost for this 5-part workshop is $720

Please contact artworkshopsboulder@gmail.com with questions and/or to register.

REFRAMING THE ORDINARY w/ STUART SHILS

January 27 – 29, 2023

with an opening lecture on January 26

REFRAMING THE ORDINARY:

paying closer attention to how you carry yourself within the particularity of the visual moment, and how it carries you

An observational 3 day (partial day) working seminar oriented toward fueling your visual imagination and sending you back out onto the world before your eyes with more wonder. 

Drawing, for our purposes will not be about the imitation of superficial appearances, but rather on honing the skill set needed to SEE and to organize form on the paper without the conditioning of rules and regulations nor the strangle hold of ‘technique’.

Most of us are distracted by ideas, anxieties and things other people told us were important, and when observing what’s before us we see what we either think is there or what we want to be there, but often, not the very specific configuration of what is actually there.

These three days examine the possibilities of graphic response within the parenthetical saturation of the visual moment using drawing, collage and conversation, to clarify what it means to really pay attention, to court risk, to swim in the unknown and to access an evolving, improvisational imagination.

Drawing is the fundamental thought engine, the underlying foundation of painting and sculpture, yet most of us don’t use drawing in a daily way to aid our ability to understand our own work, to solve problems, to open doors and to pursue visual curiosity because, we don’t feel confident with the choreography of a personal drawing language.

Objectives for the class:

1) enhanced visual confidence with an immediate summation of what is right in front of you, and how you see it, both with observing nature and your work.

2) more intimate access to drawing as a primary visual thought engine

3) a more finely tuned graphic intuition in which risk and an improvisational imagination    are part of your tool kit for decision making.

4) a more intimate and empathic connection to the working surface

We’ll explore large themes like:

– the dynamics of the visual playing field on your paper

-the nature of line and mass

-the meaning of simplification

-how time impacts decision making

-the reshaping of expectations

-the impact of conditioning

-where to begin and why

-and the overall palpability and malleability of the working surface as a choreography of form.

No matter what kind of art you are involved with, this class will bring you closer to drawing and perhaps more importantly, closer to an evolving self and to your eyes and how they root you in the moment.

This is not a class in academic drawing and considerations like perspective and anatomy will not be discussed as they are the irrelevant overlays of science that undermine the uniqueness and sensuousness of visual experience and prevent us from seeing honestly.

Materials are simple – pencils, eraser, black construction paper, white copy paper, scissors, a marker or two or two crayons, etc. (Materials list to be provided.)

The class begins on a Thursday night before the first day with a 90-minute slide talk and required for all participants.

Followed by Friday @3.5 hours and then Saturday and Sunday @2.5 hours each day. On each of the working days we tend to run a little bit over, so please leave time on the other end of the class each day.

Also included with the class is a 30-minute individual conference with Stuart after the class is over, at a time of your choosing, to explore any aspect of your work or your work life that you’d like to discuss. Could be by phone, skype, zoom or whatever you are comfortable with. 

some comments on zoom teaching:

I began teaching on zoom in 2020 early summer, with enormous hesitation and reluctance about what might be possible, considering the obvious downsides and deficiencies of this mediated platform. Before that, for 20 years I’d been doing classes in live time, and I knew from the beginning of quarantine that there is no way to replicate in zoom what happens when live. However, after the first zoom class in June 2020, I was converted to the possibility of using it for something other than what it is not. And I came to recognize that with 12 people on zoom in guided working/conversational format, we can explore huge possibility and shape a very rich experience if we can proceed without the expectations from the past to hamper the promise of possibility now. A very wise person said, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘it’s what’s in your way that causes you to find another way’ and that is really where we want to be.

Full cost of this 5-part seminar is $640. Please contact artworkshopsboulder@gmail.com with questions or to register