New! LOOSEN UP Painting Tips: Series of 6 x One-hour Lessons

Saturdays 2-3pm. Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, 19

Loosen Up, Oil on mylar, 24 x 36 inches, 2021

Do you feel a bit stuck in your painting process? Do you yearn to find your own “style” and get out of your own way in the studio so you can have more fun? Part of the solution lies in mindset, and part of it is technical. By working through a series of painterly problems, you will come away with a number of strategies that you can apply to your refresh your studio time beyond the lessons.

Some experience recommended. Oil or acrylic. Supply list provided upon registration.

Tuition: $145 incl GST

New! DRAWING BASICS Series of 6 One-hour Lessons

Winter 2022 Saturdays at 12 -1 pm. Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, 19

If you think you can’t draw, this course is for you! We had some lovely breakthroughs in my recent Weekend Drawing Crash Course so I thought I would keep this course going, only in a more bite-sized format that makes scheduling easier. Each session covers two drawing modules that expands the student’s ability to perceive and render the world around them. Includes contour drawing, massing into gesture, mark-making, easy approaches to basic portraiture and figure drawing without measuring, and more. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what that means!

No experience necessary. Bring your HB pencil and 8.5 x 11″ sketchbook.

Tuition: $145 incl GST

Registration: By Email to val@valnelson.ca

20% OFF* WINTER ART CLASSES 2022

Just in time for the holiday season! Ask Santa, or be the Santa. 🙂 The gift of art lessons offers your loved-one the beautiful experience of unveiling the riches of self-expression through suddenly realising they can draw or paint, or going deeper into their (or your!) already blossoming studio time. Please note: Classes are Online via Zoom, but also available in-person for residents in the Comox Valley. Email me for the address!

New for 2022 are a couple shorter lessons that are easier to schedule into busy lives. AND be sure to consider private classes for one or up to three students. Check them out below!

THE COURSES

ACRYLIC PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS: Series of 6 x Three-hour Lessons I so love teaching this class because I get to watch my students light up and get cracking at the easel with a little technical know-how. I cover the block-in, basic color theory, and paint handling: you will walk away with the knowledge and ability to work on your own painting projects beyond the workshop.

No experience necessary.

Sunday mornings 10am-1pm Jan 16, 23, 30, Feb 6, 13, 20

Tuition: $420 incl GST

New! DRAWING BASICS Series of 6 One-hour Lessons If you think you can’t draw, this course is for you! We had some lovely breakthroughs in my recent Weekend Crash Course so I thought I would keep this course going, only in a more bite-sized format that makes scheduling easier. Each session covers two drawing modules that expands the student’s ability to perceive and render the world around them. Includes contour drawing, massing into gesture, mark-making, easy approaches to basic portraiture and figure drawing without measuring, and more. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what that means!

No experience necessary. Bring your pencil and sketchbook.

Saturdays at 12 pm. Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, 19

Tuition: $145 incl GST

New! LOOSEN UP Painting Tips: Series of 6 x One-hour Lessons. Do you feel a bit stuck in your painting process? Do you yearn to find your own “style” and get out of your own way in the studio so you can have more fun? Part of the solution lies in mindset, and part of it is technical. By working through a series of painterly problems, you will come away with a number of strategies that you can apply to your studio time beyond the lessons.

Some experience recommended. Oil or acrylic. Supply list provided upon registration.

Saturdays 2-3pm. Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, 19

Tuition: $145 incl GST

LANDSCAPE PAINTING WEEKEND Our recent session went so well I am running this again! In this informative workshop, participants will learn how to bring more depth, movement, and dynamic brushwork into their landscape paintings. Effective use of a limited palette, making dynamic compositions, and expanding the range of green mixtures will be covered. Students will execute several landscape studies that help them absorb and retain the lessons that they can apply to their own personal project on the latter half of Day Two.

Some painting experience recommended. Oil or acrylic.

Mar 5 & 6, 10am-4pm

Tuition: $285 incl GST

I’M PLEASED TO ALSO OFFER:

CUSTOM PRIVATE CLASSES for Individuals and up to 3 Students – Bring friends, family, or co-workers! I will designed lessons just for you, based on your needs and your schedule. You get plenty of personal attention in these intimate classes! Choose from some of the lesson ideas above, or let’s chat and come up with a plan.

Privates: $120/hr incl GST / Package of 4 hours $425 incl GST

Classes for two: $160/hr incl GST / Package of 4 hours $330 each incl GST

Classes for three: $180/hr incl GST / Package of 4 hours $275 each incl GST

*20% off sale ends December 23

SEE MORE CLASS OPTIONS UNDER THE CLASS MENU “ART CLASS PRICING”

THE PAINTED PORTRAIT

I will be demonstrating a copy of a 16th century anonymous master for the Chemainus Art Group next week. I did this open acrylic study on cardboard to prep for that. I used a very limited palette: Titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium red, and raw umber, similar to the Zorn Palette but replacing black with the warmer umber. It’s fascinating to see how much range you can achieve with only four colours.

THE FAMILY DOG or: PAINT WHAT YOU LOVE

When I was about eleven years old, my Dad asked me to paint a simple image in poster paint of our family dog, Tia, as a prototype for a printmaking class he was preparing (he was an elementary school teacher). I had pretty much learned how to draw by making copies of images from cartoons, especially Walt Disney, and the Saturday morning comics that came as a supplement to the newspaper.

Lady and the Tramp (Disney): how to paint highlights on a nose

Those comics were delivered by a local paperboy, who would race down the driveway on his bike, shout “Here’s yer paper!” and dash off again. Our two dogs Jinx and Cocoa waited all day with evil anticipation for this very moment. With Olympian speed, they would race around the corner of the house to the front door. Jinx would seize the paper in her jaws and shake the paper into smithereens, after which Cocoa would pee…er…urinate… on the shreds. It was a race against time for us to interrupt these two partners in crime before they executed the dreadful deed.

But I digress.

This summer I had the opportunity to paint a different dog image, while teaching private classes to a 12-year old student.

I had met her parents when I was looking for a new home on Vancouver Island. Although I ended up not renting their suite, synchronicity was at play because they had meanwhile checked out my website and were excited to learn I teach art classes! Their eldest daughter has always loved to paint, and has been getting great results through her lessons with 4Cats. But her parents felt she was at the stage of needing some more detailed guidance, and they were eager to have her train with me.

I encouraged them to sign her up for introductory oil painting lessons, as she already had a nice facility with paint-handling using acrylics. The family would be traveling on their summer holidays, so I recommended a quick-drying oil-painting medium: Gamblin Galkyd Lite.

VALUE SCALE

Over seven lessons, we covered the concept of value (the range of light to dark), how to pre-mix some of the main colours before diving into the painting part of a session, and how the best way to work with oil paint is to block in the dark values and mid-tones (on the value scale above, the mid-tone would be the “3”). It’s a good idea to hold back on painting the lightest passages to near the completion stage, to avoid muddy colours.

I remember, when I first learned to paint, that watching the instructor at work was probably the most exciting and important part of understanding how to use the materials. I still get a bit of a thrill watching other artists do their thing on Youtube! So with beginners I usually paint along with the student.

One of my heroes: Bob Ross

She chose several subjects, including a flower, a couple of landscapes, and her final project, a portrait of the family dog. Here is my version:

And here is the student’s version, which I think has a special sparkle.

Beautiful things happen when you paint what you love!

If you know of anyone who would really enjoy learning how to paint, or has some knowledge already and wants to go deeper, check out my Class Menu for several options I will be teaching this Fall. I also offer mentorships, critiques and demos.

You can tune in to a live demonstration, “Space and Light: Painting the Domestic Interior” I will be giving online with Opus Art Supplies on Saturday, October 9, 11am – 12:30. The announcement is not yet up on their website, but I will send a newsletter soon with the details. Meanwhile check out some of the other inspiring demos on offer with Opus in the next several weeks.

Talk soon!

LANDSCAPE PAINTING WEEKEND March 5 & 6, 2022 Online*

*Also available in-person for residents of the Comox Valley

In this lively weekend workshop, participants will learn how to bring more depth, movement, and dynamic brushwork into their landscape paintings. Tips on making dynamic compositions, and expanding the range of green mixtures will also be covered. Instructor demonstrations ignite understanding and inspire; students will execute several landscape studies that help them absorb and retain the lessons.

Some painting experience recommended. Oil or acrylic.

March 5 & 6, 10am-4pm

Tuition: $285 incl GST

Registration: val@valnelson.ca 778-865-2650

Cancellation policy: Please provide 7 days’ advance notice if you need to cancel at which point you can receive a credit toward a future class.

PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS Online * with Val Nelson Winter 2022 Jan 16, 23,30, Feb 6, 13, 20

*also available in-person for Comox Valley residents

Hey Painter Wannabes! Please join me for the upcoming Fall sessions of Painting for Beginners.

I so love teaching this class because I get to watch my students light up and get cracking at the easel with a little technical know-how.

Not sure if this class is for you? Below are some common questions I am asked that I hope will inspire you to jump right in and get the paint flowing.

Do I need to have painted before?” Some of my students are taking up their paint brush for the first time. We all knew how to make art when we were children. We were born creative! It’s just that some of us kind of forgot somewhere along the way! Be assured, it does come back with a little coaching. Some of you have enjoyed playing with paint and experimenting, but may have felt frustrated because of some technical questions you just couldn’t find a way around. That’s where I come in!

“I don’t really know how to draw.” Don’t worry! Learning to paint is largely allowing yourself to open up your perception. I take you step-by-step through a process that helps you train your brain to learn how to really see. It’s super cool. In fact, you might even notice that as you expand your abilities in painting, you see the world around you differently too.

What will I learn?” In six information-packed three-hour sessions, you will learn important steps to building an acrylic painting using a loose, impressionistic approach. As you paint a simple still life, I give demonstrations to help you understand the block-in, develop your work with more detail, and learn about how value, basic colour theory, edge control, and brushwork can be used to create a dynamic painting with strong structure.  By the end of the class, you will have begun and possibly completed your own personal project.

Yikes, that sounds complicated!” Nope. The class begins with limited colour and gradually expands to full-colour projects. And the class size is small, so you get plenty of one-on-one instruction.

“I have a crazy schedule. What if I have to miss a class?” If you must miss a class, you needn’t worry, the Zoom classes will be recorded, so you can catch up at your own speed.

Great! When does it start, and how much does it cost?” Classes are on Saturday mornings, beginning Sept 25, 2021. See below for more details!

beginner-colour

PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS

Six Sunday mornings 10am-1pm: Jan 16, 23,30, Feb 6, 13, 20

Class Fee: $420 (includes GST)

BONUS Discount Fee: Sign up two people at once, and you’ll receive a free 15-minute follow-up consultation/critique with moi.

How to pay: E-transfer to val@valnelson.ca

Cancellation policy: If you need to cancel, please give me one week’s notice. Within that time frame I can offer you a credit toward a future class. Six days’ notice or later, I am sorry I cannot offer a refund.

Supply List: Provided upon registration

To register: val@valnelson.ca 778-865-2650

Cancellation policy: Please provide 7 days’ advance notice if you need to cancel at which point you can receive a credit toward a future class.

Just Paint Already

I’ve been working on a 24 x 30″ canvas of Sans Souci Palace. Sans Souci means “without a care”.

I’m pretty stoked, because I got up at the crack of dawn yesterday and was at the easel by 8am, which was totally awesome.

What made yesterday’s session work? And how can I repeat that?

Hmmmmm, well maybe it’s helpful to look at what does not work? It seems that on days that I check my email before painting, it kind of scrambles the brain and gets me thinking about all the niggling things I feel obliged to do.

The golden rule: Paint first, admin later!

Maybe you painters out there have your “go-to” rituals that get the good stuff going in your studio, like lighting a candle, or a playing a certain song of music.

Here’s what works for me:

Up early after a solid sleep, a quiet breakfast of clean food with an excellent coffee avec oat milk, and while clear-headed, calm, relaxed, remaining playful and curious–

Bingo

That sweet-spot mode of non-attachment to outcome, focussed like a laser on colour-mixing nuances and paying attention to USING THE RIGHT BRUSH for the job at hand.

ergo: no teeny tiny brushes in the background!

it flattens the space!

and makes things too busy!

and no “trying”!

Kind of a zen thing–“try/not try”.

At the start of a painting session it takes a bit of time to switch into “painting mode”. First I take a few minutes to assess where this piece is at and get a glimmer of understanding of what I need to develop. You have to set some kind of intention, even if it ends up changing. No flailing desperately. Okay, sometimes flinging paint on randomly CAN jumpstart you, just make sure you are relaxed about it!

And through the doing, the brain becomes wordless and judgement-less and something magical starts to happen after I have put on enough wet paint with which to have a conversation. Now we’re in business.

There’s a method that is pretty effective called “Tomato” (it seems to have come out of someone using their kitchen cooking timer which was in the actual shape of a tomato).

I love when I remember to use this handy trick to get some sh*t done on my canvas. Set your timer for 30 minutes, and just go for it. Do not stop and check email. Do not go and eat chocolate. Do not sort your laundry or make phone calls or cut your toenails.

Just paint, already. Only for 30 minutes. You can do that, right?

Final Day: STUDIO MOVING SALE!

Hey folks,

Saturday May 22 is my last day at Parker.

Lots of things have been happily moving out to people’s homes, but there is some artwork left if you want to come in and grab some little treasures before I leave town. Discounts are to be had. 😉

This little painting I made onsite at Pere LaChaise cemetary in Paris. Was $1100, now $900.

I carried it in one of these nifty plein air carrying cases by Raymar. They are great for carrying slim 9 x 12″ wet painting panels. New these were $30 USD. Going for $15. I have 3 of them to sell.

$300

I also have this cute little paint box made by Opus. $10.

More stuff, you have to come and look!

Text me to let me know when you are coming: 778-865-2650

I look forward to seeing you there!

xVal

Three Days Remaining: STUDIO MOVING SALE!

Yesterday was such a treat! I loved visiting with fellow artists, collectors, and even friendly neighbours from my beloved co-op. We had a wonderful time. Thanks everyone for buying some art and taking it home where you can enjoy it everyday. It allows me to keep going on this fab adventure of being an artist. Lucky me! 

The sale continues through Saturday, so book now to make your appointment.  Text 778-865-2650 🙂

Studio hours: 11am-6pm

Location: 1000 Parker Street, east entrance on George Street (glass door at the top of loading bay ramp). Parking is free, but be prepared to walk a block or two because of construction of the new office strata building on George.

For people’s comfort I am booking 30-minute appointment slots. At your time I will come and open the door for you at the east entrance of 1000 Parker Street (glass door at top of loading bay ramp).

Remember to ask for your Optimistic Pursuits magic pencil!

SEE YOU THERE!

warmly,