Matthew Lopas

Painting the Global Panorama – Painting Everything That Can Be Seen From a Single Point in Space

June 1st – 15th, 2015

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This course is open to all who have had some experience painting from perception.

For centuries artists have painted “perceptually” yet discarded most of what they see. We have used viewfinders to compose beautiful yet limited images.

Looking at the world through a viewfinder is like using horse blinders. Just try and walk any distance while holding a camera in front of your eyes. You will instantly discover its limitations.

Why make paintings that are based on such a constraint? Why not paint everything?

The Romans pioneered an alternate tradition to the viewfinder at the Villa Livia in 180 AD. There they painted a stunning three hundred and sixty degree panorama of a garden – something that no conventional viewfinder could ever capture. The panorama was expanded upon by the Irish painter Robert Barker, who invented the cyclorama in 1792. Cyclorama are very large paintings made on the interior walls of circular rooms. They created an unprecedented sensation of being “in” a space. This idea was further developed in the 1970s by Albert Flocon and Dick Termes who simultaneously invented the panoshpere – paintings of everything that can be seen from a single point, painted on the outside of a sphere. Such ideas overlap considerably with star charts and map-making, and today are in common use in virtual reality.

We will build on these notions and discover the surprising compositions that happen when we paint what we see looking up, down, and all around. We will paint what I call “global panoramas”. We will capture everything that can be seen from a single point.

There are various surprisingly simple methods that can be used to learn to see beyond the limitations of the viewfinder. Once introduced to such techniques your vision, and conception of what a painting can be, will be forever altered.

What better subject to represent in such ambitious paintings than Civita? Below your feet are cobblestones. In front of you are spectacular vistas. Next to you are ancient buildings. And above you is the glorious Italian sky.

I will work on my own global panorama alongside students.

For more information about artists who work with these ideas, click here

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Click here to download materials list

Click here to apply

Tuition & Fees for 2 week Affiliate Workshops