Painting + Drawing
Drawing Fundamentals: From the Still Life to the Skeleton
#DR1006 | Materials List
Drawing Fundamentals: From the Still-Life to the Skeleton is a survey of foundational techniques, materials, theory, vocabulary, and the overall practice of observational drawing. In this class, students will complete several drawings from life, including still lifes, self-portraits, and the skeleton. Drawings will be executed using a variety of materials such as charcoal, pastel, Conté, pencil, and ink. Through practice, students will develop an understanding of technical variety in mark-making using perspective, proportion, scale, volume, texture, contrast, value, line, and shade. Towards the end of the semester, students will be introduced to color and mixed media to create more experimental works on paper. Throughout the course, students will discover their individual artistic voice and preferred methods of drawing. Each session will be devoted to studio work with some art historical discussion.
Hailing from North Central Pennsylvania by way of Portland, Michelle Ramin received her BA from Penn State University and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Ramin has exhibited locally and internationally, including at SOMArts, Southern Exposure, and Incline Gallery in San Francisco; as well as at Vanderbilt University, Nashville; Froelick Gallery, Portland; the Contemporary Arts Center, Las Vegas; and PR1 Gallery in the UK. Ramin’s work has also been featured in such publications as the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, Beautiful/Decay, Fecal Face, and New American Paintings, and is included in the Jimenez-Colon permanent collection in Puerto Rico. She currently lives and works in San Francisco.
“First of all, Michelle is an excellent instructor. I felt intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to do the assignments—and often times, wanted to do more. I loved the range of media we used and at the same time, I’m curious about using more color and color-based media, like copic pens. I would love to take another class from Michelle when time and schedule allows—she has inspired me to continue developing as an artist.” –Introduction to Drawing student, 2013
Figure Drawing: Illusions on the 2D Surface
#DR1011 | Materials List
Drawing from life has been a revered practice since the ancients first used marks to create the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. This course is designed for beginners who want to learn the basics of life drawing and to practice interpreting the subject in unique ways. Exercises from the live model will give students an opportunity to practice the concepts discussed and to build proficiency with charcoal and ink. Demonstrations will feature a variety of observational drawing techniques that combine realistic and abstract sensibilities. We will discuss value, light, form, gesture, proportion, movement, line, edge, and composition, as well as how these elements affect the mood of each drawing. In-class drawing exercises and assignments will focus on subjects exposed to single-source lighting, and will vary in length from quick studies to more developed compositions.
Michael Azgour is an actively exhibiting artist, currently living between San Francisco and Kraków, Poland. His award-winning paintings have been exhibited in galleries across the United States and Europe and are part of dozens of public and private collections. Specializing in abstract figurative painting, Azgour’s work focuses on expressive and geometric abstractions of the figure. His oil-on-canvas paintings use visual relationships between figure and environment as a way to examine the social behaviors that form experience. Distortions in form and depth—as well as an emphasis on expressive paint application—create visual ambiguity and a sense of mystery.
“Michael offered guidance/technique for representational art, but quickly challenged us to move beyond this with various forms of abstraction. This opened the door to a general freedom of expression as well as more specifically to explore the quality and confidence of the line. I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment with each class demonstration that he offered. I wish that there were a way to continue study with him.” –Figure Drawing student, 2013
Mixed Media and Acrylic Painting Techniques
#PA1002 | Materials List
Develop technical fluency with acrylic paint by exploring its mediums through a variety of hands-on approaches. This course will focus on color and composition, surface preparation, and paint handling. We will experiment with a combination of acrylic paint, photo collage, stenciling, and acrylic inks to achieve varied effects in each individual’s artwork. Each student’s work will be discussed in both individual and group critiques. Slide lectures will focus on contemporary painting.
Possible Class Projects:
- Create gel medium transfers from magazine clippings to make a collage; then recreate a painting based on the continuation or disruption of these transparent photographic transfer skins.
- Choose a household item (such as a comb, toothbrush, or scissors), then make a painting of this object using it as a paintbrush.
Robert Minervini is a San Francisco–based painter whose work examines spatial environments and notions of utopia in large-scale, multilayered acrylic works. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his BFA from Tyler School of Art. His work has been exhibited nationally, including with Electric Works, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, all in San Francisco; Johansson Projects, Oakland; and Marine Contemporary (his representing gallery), Los Angeles. Minervini has been a resident artist at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha; the Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, Calif.; and the Root Division Studio Program, San Francisco.
"Rob was a terrific instructor and really did a great job in making painting enjoyable for everyone in the class regardless of their level. I would absolutely recommend this class to anyone and everyone looking to continue with, or rediscover, their creative spirit." –Introduction to Acrylic Painting student, 2011
Introduction to Oil Painting
Robert Xavier Burden
#PA1001 | Materials List
Through a variety of exercises and in-class projects, students will be introduced to drawing, brushwork, color theory, and the technical manipulation of paint. The class will pair this training with in-depth discussions aimed at building each student’s confidence in discussing his or her work in a professional context. In-class demonstrations and painting exercises, combined with class critiques and minimal reading assignments, will foster and encourage new ideas and conceptual practices in a positive atmosphere. Each student will complete three major painting assignments in the course to build a portfolio.
Robert Xavier Burden is a San Francisco–based artist who works primarily with oil paint and charcoal. He completed his BFA in Painting and Art History at Queen's University and received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he was the recipient of the 2007 Irène Pijoan Memorial Painting Award. He has exhibited in Seattle, Toronto, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area.
“The course—and Robert—has re-ignited the creative spirit in me that had lay dormant for a long time, mainly because of fear of the unknown (materials, techniques, etc.). This class has equipped me with all the tools and techniques to get started on this exciting journey. And Robert has provided me with the confidence—and the motivation—to keep building on these new skills.” –Introduction to Oil Painting student, 2013
Intermediate and Advanced Painting
#PA1010 | Materials List
Through visual and verbal analysis, students will increase the power of their work and overcome blocks that hinder the completion of paintings. The course will explore the content of each student’s art through irony, humor, narrative, mood, and the use of unusual materials. Individual instruction and technical assignments will help students explore a particular style and become more independent by painting in series.
Prerequisite: Recent college- or extension-level courses in drawing and painting required.
Glenn Hirsch completed his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. He teaches as adjunct faculty at the UC Berkeley Extension, and formerly served as adjunct faculty in JFK University's MFA program and as an adviser for The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston's MFA program. He has exhibited widely in the United States for 20 years.
“Glenn intensifies our strengths, encourages exploration, and offers examples in his slide presentations of methods and components of successful creative efforts. His upbeat presence is contagious—and he plays great music.” –Intermediate and Advanced Painting student, 2013
Between Thought and Thing: Expressive Works on Paper
#PA1011 | Materials List
Playing with the unique formal and technical possibilities of drawing and painting on paper with water-based materials, students will combine appropriated and invented images to create pieces that navigate the relationship between exterior and interior realities. Techniques demonstrated will include: wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry painting, layering, tracing, transfer, collage and décollage, masking, and more.
Kara Maria attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a BA in Art Practice in 1993, followed by an MFA in 1998. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at San Francisco State University, in addition to teaching at other Bay Area universities and colleges. Maria’s work can be found in permanent collections, including the San Jose Museum of Art; the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University; di Rosa, Napa, Calif.; the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, Calif., among others. She has been the recipient of awards such as a Masterminds Grant from SF Weekly, an Artadia Award, and an Eisner Award from UC Berkeley. Maria is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco.
Graphic Novels: Visual Narratives
#DR1015 | Materials List
Did you grow up with a love for Calvin and Hobbes? Superman? The Watchmen? Fun Home? In the age of the emoji, we can see what comic artists have known for decades: Pictures and text can exist richly alongside each other. This course will unpack the devices and styles underlying a broad range of visual narratives—from Sunday funnies to high-art graphic novels—as students work to create a culminating graphic novella of their own. We will address the principles of storytelling, the role of text versus image in art history broadly, and the production and distribution of printed and online visual narratives, in addition to cementing the basics of drawing.
Meredith Leich is a San Francisco–based visual artist, who with works with narratives in animation, watercolor, and sound. Born and raised in Boston, she has made her home in Berlin, Brooklyn, Jaffa, and now San Francisco. She has degrees from Swarthmore College in art history and music, and from the San Francisco Art Institute in painting. She currently teaches art to youth and adults at Southern Exposure, Sharon Art Studio, and in the San Francisco public schools, and she is a resident artist at Root Division.
FABULOUS Painting: Glitz, Glam, and Celebrity
Ingrid V. Wells
#PA1021 | Materials List
Leaping into the world of over-the-top fabulousity, this painting course encourages students to let their wildest visual fantasies dance across the canvas. Traversing the realms of glitz, glam and celebrity, students will develop a body of work that provokes viewers to engage painting as a vivid form of entertainment. Students will hone their skills in making dramatic and outlandish works that possess lasting visual impact, while radically improving their painting technique. The use of mixed media is encouraged in this hilariously fun course.
Prerequisite: No previous painting experience required, although it is recommended.
Ingrid V. Wells received her MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and works primarily in oil. Wells has recently exhibited her work in New York, Phoenix, Stanford, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv. Her latest series Honey Boo Boo's Amurrican Starquest and Beautimous investigate the world of child beauty pageants, reality television, and the ethics of fascination. Both series have been featured in The Huffington Post, Daily Mail, BUST Magazine, Flavorwire, Fecal Face: Good Stuff, KQED Pop, Squarecyclinder, and Hyperallergic. Wells currently lives and works in San Francisco.
Contemporary Drawing Strategies
#DR1007 | Materials List
This course will inspire and guide students into experimental modes of mark-making by introducing them to contemporary artists who push the boundaries of drawing traditions. We will explore alternative materials such as powder and liquid graphite, Sumi-e ink, natural pigments, smoke, transfer paper, waxed paper, paper medium, and more, to investigate new conceptual approaches to drawing that relate to mapping, meditation, appropriation, memory, and ritual. This course challenges students to respond creatively within new parameters, encouraging innovation within their established practice. Students are encouraged to bring their preferred source materials, visual inspiration, or digital devices with which to research imagery. Participants should also be prepared to choose their own subject matter in many projects, and to make many of their own creative decisions within project parameters.
Elizabeth Sims is an artist, writer, and educator in Oakland. She has also worked as a collective member of many radical projects and venues in the Bay Area. Her work has been exhibited throughout California, in galleries such as Royal NoneSuch Gallery and MacArthur B Arthur, both in Oakland. Her social practice projects, visual art, and published articles can be found on the artist’s website.
The Structured Accident: Five-Day Painting Intensive
#PA1038 | Materials List
This five-day painting intensive provides students the opportunity to open up their practice, experiment, and approach making paintings in new ways. Risk-taking and chance drive this course, as students work quickly and intuitively within a rigorous conceptual structure. Paintings are begun with formal or structural parameters and from there the direction is up to each student. Multiple paintings will be made each day with work continuing each night after class. Daily group critiques and individual discussions will address the paintings that emerge from this spontaneous way of working. Students should expect a high level of production, critique, and engagement aimed at re-energizing their practices.
Allison Miller received her BFA from RISD and her MFA from UCLA. She is represented by Susan Inglett Gallery, New York, and has had solo shows at ACME., Los Angeles. She was recently included in Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum. Group exhibition venues also include: Orange County Museum of Art; Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregenz, Austria; Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles; Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, New York; D’Amelio Terras, New York; and Las Vegas Art Museum. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, frieze, Flash Art, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2009, her work was included in the book Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting by Bob Nickas. Miller has taught painting and/or drawing at UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and Claremont Graduate University, and has lectured around the country about her work.