ART WORKSHOPS WITH JACKIE MILLER

 

These are the workshops I’m currently offering. I schedule them periodically in North Vancouver British Columbia, and Port Townsend Washington.

Please contact me with any questions or if you’d like to be on the list for any of these classes.

 

PASTE PAINTING      7 hours

Using methylcellulose paste as the medium for acrylics gives the paint unique working properties that promote spontaneity and produce unique results. This class offers a modern version of a very old method for creating the decorative end papers used in making books.

You will be provided with a variety of mark-making tools to use on #80 paper. There will be 10 different colors of paste paint to use – all made with professional quality acrylics mixed into the pourable gel-like paste. Jackie demonstrates an initial range of possibilities, and then continues to paint whenever she is not helping a student. Your finished paintings may be framed as finished art, or put to use as cover wraps and pages for handmade books, greeting cards, gift-wrap, etc.

People often say that it’s the most fun they’ve ever had with paint. It’s like no other painting experience, and typically the results are intriguing, exciting, and liberating.

 

INTRO TO PAINTING      8 hours

Experience the pleasure of acrylic painting on a 12” x 12” silk-bonded hardboard support in this brief but thorough introduction. This class includes information about the nature and handling of acrylics, setting up your palette, color mixing, different brush types, how to care for your brushes, how to bond Habotai silk to gessoed hardboard, and how to care for your finished painting.

Using the silk support prepared in class, you paint as Jackie demonstrates a number of useful and appealing techniques for applying acrylics. This mini-sampler on your wall will remind you of the spectrum of possibilities with acrylics.

 

PAINTING PROCESS      14 hours

This workshop focuses on exploring painting as a process. Enter directly into the act of painting by using the easily accessed methods that Jackie has developed in her own work.

You will learn a number of strategies to jump-start the action and keep the process going. These include linking gesture to music, painting on paper, working at a fairly rapid pace, using a predetermined limited palette (that feels surprisingly complete), and alternating between four pieces at a time – while suspending judgment and enjoying the focus on active process rather than on finished products.

During the initial 2-hour session, on the heavy printmaking paper used throughout the class, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of especially useful acrylic painting techniques as Jackie demonstrates.

To begin the process on the next day, she demonstrates her approach to generating form with a build-up of layers of color, and paints with the class except when working with individual students.

As your paintings evolve, you may prefer to stay focused at the abstract level created initially, or you may see suggestions in the forms that you want to develop into representational and / or symbolic content.

Jackie will work with you individually to help identify and nurture the directions emerging in your paintings. In the context of your own work, she will discuss ways of manipulating the painting materials and visual elements – such as line, value, shape, color, and texture – to give your artwork its fullest expression. These discussions about structural organization, color interactions, etc., can be very helpful in making your artwork visually compelling and personally meaningful.

At the end of class, after a few cycles of four paintings in each cycle, some pieces will feel finished, while you may complete your unfinished paintings at home. Continuing to use this structure of Jackie’s core painting exercise will help keep you free you to enjoy painting and evolve your own painting process.

 

PAINTING TECHNIQUES           18 hours

In this workshop, you will gain a solid basis from which to develop your own ways of handling acrylics.

With Jackie demonstrating every step, you begin by wrapping and adhering canvas to 20” x 20” hardboard.  Next, you create a grid using masking tape to divide the area into 16 exercise squares. You then prepare the canvas with gesso and your palette for painting.

Next, as Jackie demonstrates more than 16 different ways to use acrylics, you will learn them by painting on your own canvas. The techniques include: dry brush, scumbling, sgrafitto, glazing, wet-into-wet, masking, impasto, discrete brushstroke, cross-hatch brush stroke, stamping and stenciling, hard-edge, sfumato, staining, bas-relief with gels, and acrylic dry-film collage.

You will also learn other collage methods such as canvas collage, and how to use media such as graphite pencils, acrylic inks, and water-soluble pencils and crayons with acrylics.

The workshop includes a glossary of painting terms, a descriptive key to the exercises, and other relevant information. Your finished piece will look great on the wall, where it will remind you of the extensive range of possibilities that acrylics offer.

Note that this workshop is also available as a 120-minute VHS or DVD from  Amazon.com. Click here.

 

COLOR THEORY      36 hours

Knowledge of color dynamics gives you cognitive tools for assessing and refining your intuitive choices. It also gives you ways to choose colors when intuition is quiet. Enter the fascinating world of color and learn how to use a wide range of color interactions, as you explore both contrast and harmony in relation to the classic color wheel.

You will learn to see the color relationships that create harmonies, and then shift focus to the seven different kinds of color contrast as formulated by Johannes Itten. This body of information comprises a fundamental and exciting resource for color work. Each of these unique forms of color contrast is the subject of an illustrated lecture and discussion.

After each lecture, you will apply the concepts by making a small, simple, abstract painting. Even if you’ve never painted before, you will find doing so to be a valuable way to anchor the information. Upon completion of this workshop, you will have painted a small sampler of acrylic techniques, a 24-step-color-wheel, and seven paintings that demonstrate the seven kinds of color contrast.

 

VISUAL LITERACY         15 hours – 5 sessions of 3 hours each

Even if you have no interest in making art, this class will help you see artworks with an increased depth of understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment.

This richly illustrated lecture and discussion workshop will give you an approach to seeing the multi-layered nature of visual images. Viewing an extensive variety of artwork, special attention will be given to helping you identify connections between visual elements, visual techniques used, and meanings communicated.

By seeing and discussing art in these terms, your awareness of the dynamics of form and content will sharpen, and confidence in verbalizing your visual experience will expand.

The class begins by viewing examples of relevant factors in human perception such as figure/ground, leveling and sharpening, etc. Next, you will learn the essential components of form – the visual elements such as line, shape, color, etc. – and a variety of principles and techniques used by artists in manipulating them. You will also learn about the three primary levels of visual content – abstract, representational, and symbolic – and how they each convey meaning in visual art.

 

USING ACRYLIC MOLDING PASTE           7 hours

Using an 18” x 18” piece of hardboard that will be the support for a sampler you make, learn 12 distinct ways of using acrylic molding paste to create texture and bas-relief.

Jackie will also show you how to use this unique material to make dry-film collage units that extend the range of dimensional effects. After learning in the 12 smaller exercise squares, you will be able to combine your favorite techniques in an 8” x 8” area of the sampler. Jackie demonstrates all steps fully and works along with the class.

At home, you may want to paint your sampler with oils or acrylics. With or without color, it will remind you of exciting textural possibilities.

 

MASKMAKING          14 hours

With a variety of techniques you will make a durable and wearable mask on a life-size form. The papier mache we use handles like clay and is easy to work and re-work at any point in fabrication.

You will learn how to use this material both as a modeling compound and in the form of rolled out sheets. It’s easy to embed personal inclusions, such as shells, jewelry, etc.

By the second session, your mask is ready for dry-finishing techniques, such as drilling and sanding, and then painting with acrylics that decorate as well as seal it.

Note that this workshop is also available as a 120-minute VHS or DVD from Amazon.com. Click here.