One Week Left: VAL NELSON at VISUALSPACE GALLERY

There’s just one week left to view my solo exhibition at Visualspace Gallery in Vancouver. If you haven’t yet been able to view the show, I hope you can make it! The show closes Saturday, May 7.

I’m so grateful that there was a great turnout at my opening and also my artist talk. So many friendly and enthusiastic friends, art lovers, and former students. Thank you so much for coming!

A sneakpeek virtual tour of the show can be viewed on the gallery’s Instagram page, and the entire collection can be viewed here. A video of my talk is being edited and we will be able to share it with you soon.

Never say never, but these may be the last historic interiors I paint, as new things are percolating in my studio now. 

Visualspace Gallery

3352 Dunbar Street at 17th Ave

Vancouver, BC

604-559-0576

Gallery hours: Tues to Sat, noon to 5 pm

Gallery director: Yukiko Onley

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 7-TheLightofTruth24x30in-email-750x606.jpg

CLASSES ON HIATUS :)

Hi folks, I’ve had a few requests for class offerings for the Spring, but have been focussing on my Vancouver show and will be taking a little time away from teaching. Thanks for your interest! I may teach a few in-person workshops this summer, so stay tuned.

PHANTOM DNA at VISUALSPACE GALLERY

I’m excited to announce my solo gallery exhibition April 7-May 7 at Visualspace Gallery in Vancouver. Now that things are opening up again in BC, it’s time to celebrate! I look forward to seeing my wonderful friends and supporters there, with their smiles. 🙂

Please join me for the OPENING RECEPTION on Saturday April 9, 2-4pm. There will also be an ARTIST GALLERY TOUR ON April 23 at 2 pm.

Photography credit: Diane Burroughes

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

SALE EXTENDED: 20% OFF* WINTER ART CLASSES 2022

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 Jan 10, 2022

To register: val@valnelson.ca

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.