Class and Workshop Archives

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Travel Sketching Workshop: Cleveland Morris

Next time you are on vacation and are struck by a sight you’d like to record, don’t snap a photo, reach for your sketchbook instead! This one-day workshop will get you started. You’ll learn how a minimum of time and equipment can actually work to your advantage. Using a technique devised by the instructor and featured in recent issue of Drawing, you will see how you can start capturing such varied possibilities as scenery and architecture, activity and commotion, fellow travelers and interesting faces and figures. Most of all, you’ll see how travel sketching – far from simply recording your trip – can become a treasured component instead.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Art and Culture of Japan: Introduction to the Edo Period: Misa Kobayashi Stuart

What were the historical and cultural developments that resulted in the late 18th and 19th century Ukiyo-e woodblock prints we admire so much? Misa, a native of Nara, Japan, will take us on a journey and reveal the sources of images that fascinated and inspired painters during the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods of Western art history. It was during the Edo Period (1603-1868) that a distinctive Japanese art and culture took shape as evidenced by those Ukiyo-e prints as well as screen paintings and Kabuki theater. In this workshop, you will examine the rich cultural history and society of the Edo period. Simple Japanese food sampling included.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Alla Prima Painting: Focus on Flowers: Al Gury

The alla prima or direct painting method seeks to capture an image in one painting session – perfect for recording the fleeting beauty of fresh flowers. Painters are encouraged (but not required) to bring fresh garden flowers to create still life arrangements in the studio. Lectures, critiques, demonstrations and plenty of painting time will help participants weigh aesthetic choices and compositional ideas. There will be opportunities to ask and answer questions regarding painting in general, and alla prima painting in particular. Oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel artists welcome. Al is author of Alla Prima: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Direct Painting.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Understanding and Enjoying Art: Al Gury

How do methods, materials, and styles of art influence what artists do and the choices they make? This evening survey will provide a useful approach to art history – the how and why of art, both past and present. Al has many years of experience as an artist and professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Bring your art questions, no matter how simple or complex, and join us for a lively conversation about art and culture with an emphasis on color mixing. Al’s palette set will accompany the slide lecture to help illustrate color mixing and resolve issues you may be experiencing in your own practice. Enjoy an evening in the studio, no art experience required.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Bigger and Better Landscape Painting: LYNN MEHTA

Lynn won the top awards in the 2016 BSSS plein air festival with her expressive, gestured oil paintings that were singled out by judge Nan Covert for their exceptional qualities. Now you have an opportunity to study with Lynn and gain insight into ways you can develop better composition, more expressive paintings, and bigger statements in your landscape paintings. “I will help people key in on their inspiration and be expressive while following the elements of good design and composition,” says Lynn of her course.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Enameling for Painters: Janly Jaggard

This workshop will allow you to discover what happens when you fuse powdered glass to copper at 1500F. You will resource your knowledge about aesthetics to create images as you add layers of color, both transparent and opaque, using various methods. Janly uses vitreous enamel to make wall work as painting. She is excited, intrigued, and informed by materiality and by the enameling methods she uses that feed back to her work on canvas. Most materials such as enamels and tools are provided and included in tuition. Copper provided and sold at cost price directly to artists by Janly: limited to five students.

Winter 2018 : Class : Italian for Travelers: Marsha Fuller

In preparation for BSSS’ travel study trip to Naples this spring, language instructor Marsha Fuller will be teaching Italian for Travelers, a class designed to provide a foundation for your next Italian adventure. For travelers and armchair travelers alike, no language experience is necessary. Class size will be limited to 10 participants. Marsha has lived and studied in Italy at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia and at the Università degli Studi di Siena. She has completed Ph.D. level graduate course work in Italian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught language classes at both UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.  

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Botanical Watercolor Painting in Sepia: Lara Call Gastinger

This one-day painting workshop will introduce you to the process of drawing and composing a botanical painting using winter nuts, berries, seed pods, and other exquisite natural specimens to pick from. You will be using one color (sepia) which is a perfect color choice for beginners or for those who want to refine their painting skills. You will learn detailed dry brush watercolor techniques including brush control and layering. Paint will be provided – additional materials list provided.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Painting Traditional Subjects With Modern Material: JAMES DEAN ERICKSON

We are excited to have this gifted young artist (who studied both at University of Virginia and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) offer his first workshop at BSSS. James will help you explore traditional motifs with modern tools and mediums as he does in his own figure, still life, and landscape paintings. He will emphasize the use of acrylics, the water-soluble paints that dry quickly and permanently. Many artists prefer acrylics rather than solvent-based oil colors. James will demonstrate ways to develop a rich surface and to emphasize the abstract quality in representational paintings, and he will work with you one-on-one as you explore the creative options he presents.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Simplicity and Synthesis: JAMES DEAN ERICKSON

The most interesting expressions in art often come from combinations of seemingly opposite ideas and influences. When we juxtapose the real with the impossible, the observed with the imaginary, and the natural with the artificial we challenge ourselves as well as those who view our work. During this lecture, James will show some of his recent oil and watercolor paintings and talk about finding harmony in diversity.

Winter 2018 : Class : Better Still Life Paintings: Elizabeth Geiger

“This class examines the various aspects of making a good still life painting: studying examples from art history, setting up a still life, drawing, classical vs. baroque ideas of composition and painting,” says Elizabeth Geiger, one of the most popular teachers at BSSS. “Students will learn how to do preliminary drawings and tonal studies from my demonstrations, and they will paint set ups from my personal collection of still life objects.” Elizabeth will also share her most recent work and talk about her new emphasis on the relationship of shapes.

Winter 2018 : Class : Better Still Life Paintings – Studio/Online Version: Elizabeth Geiger

Here is a new lowresidency option for those who live further away, have allergies to solvents, or don’t want to drive in winter weather! Attend the first and last class at the School and then check in with the instructor for e-mailed assignments (with photo of the still life set up in the studio) and weekly critiques of your progress. After meeting with Elizabeth in the first session, you can study with her through email correspondence and pictures instead of attending the weekly Friday sessions. You can then return to the School for the final Friday session.

Course Guide:

  • You will attend first (January 26) and last (March 16) classes in person at the BSSS.
  • For the remainder of courses, Elizabeth will email you three documents weekly:
  1. “Lesson of the Week” which will focus on a specific topic of still life painting (ex: composition)
  2. A painting assignment which will parallel the in-person classes occurring the same week
  3. A critique of your previous work assignment
  • Assignments (est. 3-4 hours): Take the best photo you can of your painting assignment (you may use your phone to do so) and email it to Elizabeth ( by 5 pm every Wednesday. Elizabeth will respond with an email critique, the next “Lesson of the Week”, and the next assignment. The advantage to an online class is the schedule is flexible! Multiple assignments can occur in one week; if you cannot complete that week’s assignment, you can do two the following week and email both photos to Liz. It is up to you; however, Elizabeth will not take assignments submitted after the final class date of March 16.
  • You should bring all of your work to the final studio class on March 16 to receive an in-person critique. This is an opportunity to get feedback on the assignments and help you continue to develop the work after the class has completed.
  • The cost of this course includes two in-person classes and one weekly email from the instructor with the documents listed above.

Winter 2018 : Class : Indirect Painting: Jeffery Stockberger

Explore the concept of indirect painting: developing an image and resolving problems through multiple layers of paint. Working from still life, you will concentrate on developing a painting’s composition and color palette by responding to and building on marks made on the canvas. Through group and individual critiques, you will work on establishing good oil painting habits and techniques. You may work in other painting materials with the permission of instructor.

Winter 2018 : Class : Beginner and Intermediate Drawing and Painting: Janly Jaggard

Do you want to learn to draw or paint and never had the time or courage? This beginner and intermediate class will guide you through the process of learning to see through an artist’s eye. You will be shown how to work from direct observation as you experience drawing processes that lead you forward towards painting in the medium of your choice. If you have experience but know there is more to learn, Janly will help you continue to improve your technical skills as you begin to develop your personal style.

Winter 2018 : Workshop : Fresh Ideas About Observation and Abstraction: BILL SCOTT

We are fortunate to have one of the most celebrated contemporary artists offering this workshop. Bill will work with experienced painters on ways they can structure pictorial space by relying primarily on color. “In my own painting practice, I am an abstract painter but my pictures are based on observation,” Bill explains. “If you are patient and trust me to not steer you wrong, I will likely succeed in proposing new ways you can approach painting and fresh ideas you can consider.” Bill has had a remarkable career as a writer, gallery director, art historian, and painter. He worked in the studio of Joan Mitchell and has contributed essays to catalogs for exhibitions of Berthe Morisot’s paintings.

Winter 2018 : Class : Theory and Practice of Drawing and Painting: Ron Boehmer

Course emphasis is on personal development of skills; understanding of both specific and universal concepts related to painting and to art; further development of technical command of paint. Instruction includes focus on representational, abstract, and expressionistic modalities of painting. The special focus for this semester will be “Understanding Composition.” Class will meet outdoors when possible to focus on plein air painting processes. Students may work in any painting or drawing medium. Ideal for intermediate and advanced level students. Course is open to “beginners” upon prior approval of the instructor. Beginners must contact Ron at 434-528-4795 before enrolling to discuss the class and obtain a personal supply list.

Winter 2018 : Class : Art as Exploration: Critique Class: Robert Stuart

Bring your work in any media for constructive review. The goal is growth as an artist through a deepening discernment of strengths and challenges in one’s work. Artistic development will also be supported with the study of current art exhibitions and topics in contemporary art. Exhibition catalogs, articles on art, and pertinent visual material will be presented and discussed at the beginning of class. The remaining time will be equally divided among participants to present and discuss their work.

Winter 2018 : Class : Monday Mornings on Beverley Street: Mary T. Echols

Join a great group of fellow BSSS members in looking at and discussing art and how it works. Enjoy sharing ideas and information while learning about the many forms of art, both past and present. You will cultivate an enhanced appreciation for art and an improved ability to express artistic opinions. For all levels of education and experience.

Fall 2017 : Workshop : Prints with Freezer Paper and Collage: Karen Rosasco

Join Karen Rosasco for a one-day workshop creating unique “prints” using acrylic paint transferred from freezer paper. This is a simple, easy, and creative way of exploring materials. No previous experience required. The subject matter, style, and final presentation of the monotypes will be open to your preferences. You will first draw a design on the dull side of the freezer paper, then “ink” with acrylics on the glossy side of the freezer paper, and finally transfer the painted acrylics onto blank sheets of paper or sheets already covered with collage or paint. The magic happens when the freezer paper is pulled back! Demonstrations and one-on-one guidance will be provided.

“Karen is able to help individuals solve problems wherever they are on their art journey.”

– Class Participant, 2017

Fall 2017 : Workshop : Understand & Use Modern Concepts: Karen Blair

This workshop will explore the work of Henri Matisse and his influence on contemporary painters, including Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, and David Park. You will learn why the work of these artists continues to resonate with many artists working today because of its reliance on color, the illusion of space and decisive mark making. Open to intermediate and advanced painters, the workshop will include demonstrations and ample one-on-one consultations to help you explore ways to take your work in new and exciting directions. Acrylic and oil painters are welcome!

“Karen is very good at seeing each person’s potential and encouraging it, as well as offering ways to progress into new ways of seeing and painting. The atmosphere of the workshop is friendly, fun, and encouraging.”

– Class Participant, 2016

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