Teaching statement

I am an accomplished painter and instructor, leading students at every level through a series of carefully conceived steps that allow them to grow and experience success. Focusing on how, as well as what, my students learn, my teaching method includes numerous demonstrations and personal attention for each student.

Courses listed below are designed to help students achieve both an understanding of, and proficiency in, the fundamental concepts and techniques of drawing and painting.

Through my extensive art library, students have access to examples from a broad variety of successful artists for inspiration. Critiques are designed to help students strengthen their interests, focus their learning, and develop a personal and unique body of work.

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Course 1: The Language of Color

Students learn the vocabulary of color— value, hue, and saturation— and become fluent in paint mixing, paint application, and glazing, to arrive at a nuanced and balanced interaction of color and tone. They learn how to apply the language of color to the depiction of phenomena: shadows, halation (backlight), and transparency.

The course combines painting and collage, and is taught in gouache (“gwash”). Gouache is an ideal learning medium. It is unusually supple— it allows a gestural, more “loose” approach to painting. It comprises watercolor and oil-painting techniques. The forgiving qualities of gouache allow students to undertake the kind of problem solving that develops focused, critical thinking and experimentation— skills that are the foundation of originality in art.

Course 2: Drawing as the Foundation of Painting

This course focuses on helping students integrate the process of drawing with that of painting. Students learn how to depict meaningful form through value and shape, rather than by line alone. They learn proportion, perspective, and spatial logic. They learn sighting, and how to deploy negative and positive space through inductive exercises.

The course begins with geometric forms and still life, then shifts to the figure. At this point students are taught a projection method which enables them to “think” rather than “observe” the figure, helping them achieve a far more sensitive approach to line and volume. This course is taught in charcoal, gesso, and brush.

Course 3: Analytical Painting

This course addresses composition, the establishment of meaningful form, positive and negative space, inductive approaches, close observation, and the intelligent use of color. Emphasis is in retinal painting, as well as the importance of gesture in paint application, and the cultivation of spontaneity, decisiveness, and tempo. Subject matter includes abstraction, still lifes (which are set up to capture the variable light phenomena that inform the landscape), or other subject matter of personal interest to the student. The course is taught in any water-based media, but gouache is preferred.