Reframing the Ordinary w/ STUART SHILS

a 5-part zoom seminar

2 sections:

February 25 – 28, 2021 – spaces available

April 15 – 18, 2021 – spaces available

Reframing the Ordinary via Zoom, is a seminar-format deep-dive into observation of the ordinary visual world. We’ll address the nature of graphic response to the visual moment using drawing and collage to clarify what it means to really pay attention using an improvisational imagination.

Drawing is the fundamental thought engine of all visual response, yet most of us do not draw in a daily way to solve problems, open doors and pursue visual curiosity. We’re devoted to an idea of painting as the path forward but in the most elemental way, painting is drawing and is guided by the choreography of drawing, which at the end of the day is feeling. I can’t teach feeling but by way of close looking and paying attention we learn to feel our way through both looking and formulating a response.


1) enhanced visual confidence as an observer of what is right in front of you,

2) more intimate access to drawing as the engine behind all visual thought,

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

We’ll explore large themes like:

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.

The class schedule is as follows:

·      Thursday, 1.5 hours orientation slide talk, required for all participants, 6:00PM EST

·      Friday, 3.5 hours beginning at 11:00AM EST

·      Saturday and Sunday, 2.5 hours beginning at 11:00AM EST(we may run over)

·      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. 

No matter what kind of art you are involved with, this class will bring you closer to drawing and perhaps more importantly, to your eyes.

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

Cost for this 5-part zoom presentation is $640. The class will be limited to 12 participants.

Please contact with questions and/or to register

Nourishing an Improvisational Visual Imagination w/ STUART SHILS


a 5-part zoom painting class with STUART SHILS

to inspire muscular visual confidence

2 Sections:

February 11, 12, 13, 14, 2021 – spaces available

March 17, 18, 19, 20, 2021 – spaces available

includes 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, 6:00PM EST:  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, 4 hours 

Saturday, 3 1/2 hours

Sunday, 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 one – Tuesdays at 6:30PM EST – spaces available

section two – Tuesdays at 11:00AM EST – spaces available

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.

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