DRAWING CRASH COURSE ONE-DAY WORKSHOP Wednesday Apr 3, 2024 9:30am-3:30pm

If you think you can’t draw, this course is for you! This jumpstart into drawing expands the student’s ability to perceive and render the world around them. You will be introduced to contour drawing, gesture, mark-making, approaches to basic portraiture and figure drawing without measuring, and more. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what all of this means!

No experience necessary. 😉

SUPPLY LIST: Bring your 2B pencil, an eraser and pencil sharpener, and a stack of inexpensive paper or a sketchbook

TUITION: $95 incl GST

TO REGISTER: Please email val@valnelson expressing your interest.  Then, an E-transfer secures your spot! Please send to val@valnelson.ca

LOCATION: 2270 Cliffe Ave #228b, Courtenay, BC

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

INTERMEDIATE PAINTING CLASS: Tues Apr 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14

LET’S PAINT!

Are you finding working alone a bit challenging? Would you like the camaraderie of a painting group, and also wish you had some technical assistance to carry out your artistic goals? This could be the class for you!

Each three-hour session begins with a lesson or focus of study designed to expand your painting knowledge. The remaining two hours you will be given time to develop your own painting project, with tips and guidance from your instructor. Acrylic or oil.

Pre-requisite: Painting for Beginners or equivalent experience

Registering now:

INTERMEDIATE PAINTING

Six sessions: Tues 4-7pm

Apr 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14

Location: Val Nelson Studio, 228b-2270 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay, BC

Fee: $425

TO REGISTER: Please email val@valnelson expressing your interest.  Payments made via E-transfer to : val@valnelson.ca 778-865-2650

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

SUPPLY LIST

Bring your usual materials such as paints, brushes, preferred palette, mediums (if any). No turpentine please for oil painterss (odorless mineral spirits good). Easels, tables are provided.

Please also bring to each class a practise canvas or primed (gessoed) canvas pad sheet 16×12 or 8×10″ for our one hour painting study.

Please bring your own project to work on for the remaining two hours.

Paint Colors: Bring what you have. I like bare minimum to have these: Titanium white, medium yellow or light yellow, yellow ochre, quinacrodone red, ultramarine blue, burnt umber, pthalo green

CLASSES OVERVIEW

I offer in-person classes at my professional art studio in Courtenay, Vancouver Island. Check the Classes menu above for current offerings. These often include Painting for Beginners, Intermediate Painting, my One-Day Drawing Crash Course, Landscape Painting, and sometimes my Loosen Up! painting course. If you have a class idea you would like me to offer you or your art group, let me know.

I also offer private lessons, lessons for two, drawing and painting demos, mentorship for serious students wanting to build a professional art practise, and art talks. I am also offering Zoom classes depending on space in my schedule. See below for details. 🙂

Feel free to reach out if you would like to learn with me! val@valnelson.ca 778-865-2650

Landscape Painting Weekend
One-Day Drawing Crash Course
Painting for Beginners

GIFT OF ART Coupon: Do you have a loved one you would like to inspire through gifting them with a class coupon? Email me and we can set that up! val@valnelson.ca

CUSTOM PRIVATE CLASSES for Individuals and couples – Bring a friend, family member, or co-worker! I design 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 in the Class Menu, or let’s chat and come up with a plan.

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

Classes for two: $160 / Package of 4 hours $640

Group Classes: $400 half-day / $750 full day (half-day is 3 hrs/full day 6 hrs)

I offer customized in-person group art sessions for art groups, to nurture corporate and small business staff team-building.

Mentorship/Critique: $120/hr

Artist talk: $350

Painting Demo: $350

*Cancellation policy: Please provide 7 days’ notice if you need to cancel, at which time I will be happy to credit you toward a future class within a year of your class purchase.

About the Instructor: For Val, painting is an act of devotion, offering a profound pathway to self-realisation and transformation. “Pigments have a consciousness. When I paint, I imbue these materials with the focussed energies of my heart, mind, and gestures of my body. The pigments absorb these energetic frequencies, and project them back out to the viewer. Painting is its own language, beyond words and the limitations of the logical mind.”

A former professional ballet dancer, Val went on to study at Emily Carr University, where she graduated in 1988 with honours and received the Helen Pitt Award. A finalist in the Royal Bank Painting Competition, Val has been painting full-time since 2003, exhibiting for a number of years at Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto, and Galerie de Bellefeuille in Montreal. She has attended residencies at Vermont Studio Centre and St Georges’ Senior School in Vancouver, and has taught painting at the Shadbolt Arts Centre, Emily Carr University, Vancouver Island School of Art, and since 2009, out of her private painting studio. Her work is in public collections including Canada Council Art Bank, Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver General Hospital, and many private collections. Val has 1800+ students and five-star reviews for her online painting course with Craftsy.

I’m so looking forward to making art with you!

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.

Manet and In the Studio

This is something I’m working on right now. It’s the interior of a bistro I fell in love with on Rue Oberkampf in Paris. I really enjoyed the zing of colour of the fruit, and the play of morning light bouncing around on various surfaces. And of course the fuschia pink bar stool are très française. At right are gleaming bottles and glassware which will be really fun to paint when I dive back in to finish this.

Initially I made a smaller version of this painting, but realized the subject warranted a bigger scale for a more immersive experience.

The new canvas is 24 x 32 inches. This is not a custom size you can find off the rack at the art supply store, so my darling man cut down a 24 x 36 canvas for me.

I like to use a grey palette at this stage, so I can see how highlights stand out against that midtone. The final hits on the painting are usually the lightest lights, and the darkest darks. I am nuts about the in-between colour mixtures that you can’t quite name, the “greyed down” colours which help the brighter colours sing out.

As usual this is a process through which the painting will eventually tell me what it wants to be, and the meaning comes through the making.

When I see this kind of setting, I can’t help but think of Manet’s brilliant painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère which he painted in 1882. I dare not compare my work to his, but I am certainly inspired by his lush use of thick paint, and his ability to strategically choose what to emphasize in the composition. This is exceptionally sophisticated art-making.

https://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/collection/impressionism-post-impressionism/edouard-manet-a-bar-at-the-folies-bergere

I was fortunate to be able to view this painting first-hand at the Courtauld Institute in London. This is from the institution’s website:

This painting was Manet’s last major work. It represents the bustling interior of one of the most prominent music halls and cabarets of Paris, the Folies-Bergère. The venue opened in 1869 and its atmosphere was described as “unmixed joy”. In contrast, the barmaid in Manet’s representation is detached and marooned behind the bar.

The Folies-Bergère was also notorious as a place to pick up prostitutes. The writer Guy de Maupassant described the barmaids as “vendors of drink and of love”.

Manet knew the place well. He made a number of preparatory sketches there but the final work was painted in his studio. He set up a bar and asked one of the barmaids, Suzon, to serve as his model.

The painting was first exhibited in 1882, at the annual fine arts exhibition in Paris, the Salon. Visitors and critics found the composition unsettling. The inaccuracy of the barmaid’s reflection, shifted too far to the right, has continued to spark much debate.

To my mind, good painting that stands the test of time needs to be aesthetically captivating to keep the viewer’s attention (it is visual art after all), but also open to a number of interpretations that cannot be locked down.

However as humans we are captivated by story; we are compelled to know more.

It is possible that he was directly pointing to the barmaid being just another seductive object for consuming with one’s gaze–notice the two round white electric globes flanking her, echoing the lens of binoculars held by a woman in the crowd.

Manet was also known to be an admirer of the work of Spanish court painter, Diego Velàsquez. A similar contradictory space and perplexing riddle are present in Velàsquez’ Las Meninas.

https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/las-meninas/9fdc7800-9ade-48b0-ab8b-edee94ea877f

The painter is looking out at the scene he is creating. Like in Manet’s Bar scene, in the spotlight here is also a beautiful female wearing a corsage on her breast. She looks out at us, while her courtiers attend her. At back is a also a mirror, this time reflecting the images of the king and queen who in this space would seem to be in the studio but only apparent through their reflection. Their physical presence is only implied, and is outside the frame. In the 17th century, when this was painted, the young princess was being groomed to be the wife and queen in a politically arranged marriage to further the power of the Spanish monarchy. So she too is merely an object for trade. Everyone here has their role to play, and know their place.

But although it would appear that all is luxury and ease, the Spanish monarchy was in fact crumbling and its King, Philip II who was Velasquez’ patron, was a weak ruler. One could say that Velàsquez was a skilled propaganda artist. The fact that he painted himself into this image may suggest he is saying directly to future viewers of his masterpiece, “I painted this, and I knew what was actually going on.”

Velàsquez, an avid reader of philosophy, knew that creation is alchemy. We artists conjure our own realities through the power of our imaginations, with the skills of our hearts, minds, and hands.

C’est cool, non?

A bientôt, Val

Haptic Splendour

For the past 15 years, I’ve painted opulent European 18th and 19th century interiors. Designed as theatrical displays of status and power by wealthy aristocrats and bourgeoisie, these formerly private sites are now museums, providing entertainment and pleasure for touristic consumption, while also opening up a space for philosophical contemplation.

Although I use photography as a structural device through which I enter the painting process, with each piece I always seem to arrive at a point of crisis where I need to break free from the tyranny of the image. Through partly destroying the image I discover fresh solutions to painterly problems I set for myself.

Throughout my childhood and into my mid-twenties, I was a ballet dancer. That intense training of spatial awareness and interpretive questioning is still deeply stamped in my DNA. A painting to me is a kind of choreography; there’s a haptic dance that takes place from my optical experience of an image, through to the way my nervous system signals to my body how to translate and record it. As painter/dancer I tease out meaning through working and reworking, coming up to speed as I gain understanding, and making the last strikes with absolute commitment.

Tuscany Painting Retreat Sneak Peek 2017

I’m in the final stages of planning a painting holiday for early June 2017. Here’s a sneak peak of the location––a very old stone farmhouse and a charming converted tobacco drying tower in the Italian countryside, located just outside the little town of Mercatale, halfway between Umbertide and Cortona.

IMG_5685

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Students will spend five days of painting and soaking up the beautiful surroundings and bucolic Italian atmosphere.

Monday to Friday, there will be six hours of painting instruction each day–– three hours in the morning, then a break in the middle of the day for free time to explore the surrounding area and adopt the Italian spirit of “dolce far niente” (it’s sweet to do nothing). From 4 to 7pm we will reconvene and paint plein air when the light becomes more and more spectacular. Perfetto, non?

If you’d like to find out more, please send me an email: val@valnelson.ca

ciao, Val

 

 

 

 

January at Bau-Xi Gallery

GALLERY ARTISTS: Washed by Water

January 9-23, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY JANUARY 9, 2-4PM
ARTISTS IN ATTENDANCE 

3045 Granville St, Vancouver, BC
604.733.7011info@bau-xi.com

Atom-Dance-2015-30x40-inches-homepage
Atom Dance, 30 x 40 inches, oil on canvas, 2015

Bau-Xi Gallery is pleased to present WASHED by Water, a group exhibition centered on the theme of water.

“The water understands Civilization well” famously states Ralph Waldo Emerson in his seminal poem, Water about the independence, transcendence, and spiritual union of water and society in the nineteenth century. An essential life giving element that is as precious a commodity as it is a dangerous and volatile source of destruction, water has an ever more complicated relationship with civilization today. If once, society valued the element for hydration, ablution, regeneration and transportation, water has become an inexplicable source of power rife with political, financial and environmental contention. Never has society better understood the importance of water and simultaneously taken it for granted.

WASHED by Water will explore the metaphorical, environmental, material significance of water and bodies of water as they inform visual culture in the twenty-first century.  Artists will look at the different formations water takes and offer work that comments on their own unique relationship with the element. Special attention will be paid to depicting the aesthetic quality of the element – how to capture its various color, its fluidity and its ability to reflect light.