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.


October 28, 29, 30, 2022

with an opening lecture on October 27

Reframing the Ordinary via Zoom, is a seminar-format deep-dive into observation of the world before our eyes. 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, October 27, 1.5 hours orientation slide talk, required for all participants, 6:30PM EST
  • Friday, October 28, 3.5 hours beginning at 11:00AM EST
  • Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30, 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. Please contact artworkshopsboulder@gmail.com for registration and payment details.