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April 28 - 30, 2023

Emphasizing Abstraction w/Stuart Shils

Wayne Art Center • 413 Maplewood Ave WaynePA  19087 Organized by Wayne Art Center
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Emphasizing Abstraction w/Stuart Shils A Three- Day Workshop and Lecture April 28 - April 30, 2023 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Lecture: Thursday, April 27, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
An immersive, 3-day studio class offering a guided series of investigative and provocative thought games in paint, for interpretively imagining the ways you see and use the work of master artists to fertilize the possibilities of your own visual explorations. By examining the foundation of abstract structure (design) and color mood in the work of others, you will expand your own empathic feeling for the possibilities of how a painting is built choreographically, and lean closer toward integrating boldness and risk into your own graphic strategies.
Working on days 1&2 from reproductions of older and 20th c. masters, we’ll move through a series of curated exercises to understand that abstraction – the structure of color and shape – is THE foundation, THE great engine behind all painting and visual thought regardless of century and, a kind of fertilizer for influencing your own evolving sense of design.
Significant emphasis will also be placed each day on drawing interpretively as the most abstract and essential graphic language. And at times we’ll work collaboratively.
But this is NOT a copy class, so that rather than ‘copying’ the superficial appearance of the past, our work will be more akin to excavating and digging to get inside of the structure of paintings as living presences and learning to use subjective shorthand for describing not only what there is, but also for what and how we see what is there interpretively. A painting is an object but our response to it, the way we taste it and sense it, is what is most important for us and that’s where it’s ‘meaning’ really arises and as we move closer into making inquiry it comes alive.
Day 3 will bring all this into focus working from a live model (not nude and not with emphasis on anatomy as in muscles) but rather, emphasizing the anatomy of your own visual perception and how that relates to the graphic anatomy of the working surface in paint. Emphasis will be on the development of color mood and on your own perceptual choreography. The model will be seen not as an isolated object, but as part of a seamless context within the studio as a color stage.
The point of all these days is experiential process and the takeaway will not be ‘finished’ trophies ready for sale at a gallery but rather, an expanded musculature for understanding how you see the world, how you look at art and how you are able to consider navigating within the possibilities of form in your own work.
Finish will be explored not as a predetermined idea of other people’s expectations imposed on your own inclinations, but rather with emphasis on how you allow your visual response to develop from the inside out, improvisationally, guided by a marriage of the analytical and visually intuitive minds.
Objectives: • enhanced visual confidence/observational curiosity • the ability to rapidly summarize both what you see and how you respond - deeper access to rapid and muscular visual thinking • a more finally tuned graphic intuition in which risk becomes part of your tool kit for decision making • the ability to look at the work of others not in terms of ‘style’ but rather for understanding their sense of organization and structure • a greater intimacy with how you think about and use color • knowing more about how to feed your ‘inner eye’
(Experience level for this class is for medium range to advanced painters)


Stuart Shils


April 28 - 30, 2023

9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

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Wayne Art Center

413 Maplewood Ave WaynePA  19087

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