Jim Wilson


July 8 through July 22 , 2013

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What does it take to conquer on canvas the simplicity of a complex landscape?  How does study of form and color with the landscape aid in personal expression and contemporary ideas?   How does one put the figure in a landscape or other environment?

Turning what we see into visual ideas is done with the simplicity of shape making and an exploration of what is readily around us.

We will work with oil paint using earth colors at first then move into a high key chromatic scale painting where the intense colors hold their identity yet coordinate with each other to make a visual whole landscape.

We will work with drawing in charcoal or pencil to develop simple strokes and shapes that make an enviable composition.

Our first efforts will involve breaking down the landscape or still life into seven or so simple coordinated color shapes.  So, on our first days we want to make as many starts as possible.  In this manner, we grow fast with new inclinations and rid ourselves of inhibitions over the need to change or correct the painting.  At this early stage we will also work to understand value (darks and lights) in the discovery of pictorial space.

One of our first ideas is to note that the first thing we saw in the landscape is probably the best one.  A building is a great help for focus.  A specific cliff or rock is also a great focus.  The whole vista view for beginning our work is distracting and time consuming—and not always the most successful.

We will work from clothed models whenever possible.  One possibility is drawing our friends and or going into the town and grabbing whatever idea you can get of an everyday person.

We will try to work in the same areas with each other for shared learning.  However, with your drawings and compositional plein aire studies there will appear diverse results and your own personal voice.  Conversations or critiques in the appreciation of each other’s efforts and approaches will really help in the progress of your work.


Workshop meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

4- hour morning sessions each day.

Thursdays are free for bus excursions that will include (depending on the week)—Piero della Francesco Tour of Arezzo, San Sepolcro & Urbino, Rome, Florence, or Bologna.  Also included are side talks by Faculty.

Click here to download materials list.