Constructing A Painting Surface

Students will build a surface from found objects binding them together with nails, screws, wire and glue. Many materials can be used for this surface, including wood, metal, plastic, toys, or any manner of bits and bobs. Using acrylic, students will paint on the constructed surface, playing with the 3D materials and composition. Besides the art and creativity of the process, students will also learn hand-tool usage and safety.

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NATURAL DYE: A Complete Colour Wheel

In this hands-on workshop, students will create a variety of coloured fabric samples from ancient natural dyes and some local dyes, using the immersion dyeing method. They’ll explore over-dyeing and modifying colour samples using Iron and Indigo. Indigo dye has been used for thousands of years to dye fabric blue.

Students will explore a variety of Shibori patterns to tie, sew, fold and clamp fabric to make striking prints on cloth. Learn which dye plants grow in this region, how and when to harvest them for dyeing and how to prepare protein/cellulose fibres and fabrics to best accept natural dye.

The fabrics used in this workshop are cotton, silk, and linen. The participants will go home with colour samples from the colour wheel, and the ability to dye clothing, fabric, and yarn on their own using natural dyes.

PLEASE NOTE: This class will be taking place in the floating studio (the Marine Sciences building) and is only accessible by stairs and a ramp and does not have a washroom on site. The closest washroom access is in the dining hall.

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Detailed Pencil Studies

Pencil is often used for quick sketches, or in laying down preliminary lines for work in other media. This workshop explores the use of pencil as a stand-alone tool for creating detailed, realistic finished works. Focus is on drawing objects (natural or man-made), and topics covered include material basics (pencil grades, paper), capturing outlines, the importance of light, strokes, and the use of shading to build dimension.

Day 1 covers theoretical basics, and participants will experiment with pencil grades and strokes to draw objects of varying textures and complexities. On day 2, they will apply the experience gained to develop one or more detailed studies of an object (or objects) of their choice.

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Animal Portrait Sculpture & Mold Making

Learn to efficiently create and reproduce expressive ceramic animal portrait sculptures with Wesley Wright. Day one will begin with an informative overview of the class and Wright’s techniques. The first 3 days will focus on building an animal bust with special focus on the head, rendering subtleties of eyes, flesh, musculature, and of course, fur! Day 4 will cover multiple-part plaster mold-making. On day 5 students will experiment with their molds creating a final piece to take home along with their mold.

PLEASE NOTE: Work made in this class will not be fired at MISSA.

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Life In Death: Painting On Skulls

In this fun mixed-media workshop, students will be welcome to kick off their shoes and connect with the earth as we honour animals and their gifts through painting. Pre-cleaned, ethically sourced, locally farmed duck and sheep skulls will be provided for interpretation and decoration. There are no limits to the combination of patterns, colours and styles of skull painting. Students will learn Heidi’s signature technique, but are encouraged to express their animal’s story in their unique way. Topics covered include bone prep, painting methods, suitable materials, sealing and safe mounting. American students will be provided with letters of declaration for crossing the border.

PLEASE NOTE: Material fee includes two cleaned an prepped skulls.

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Gestural Drawing From Life

Students will learn to develop their drawings with a live model using a gestural, expressive approach. With charcoal as the medium, Peter will lead students through layout, composition, and the use of gestural lines to create simple building blocks. Then they will use a system of relationships to develop the finished piece. Participants will explore line-weight, shading, and when to omit details. Let loose and have fun, but with a controlled approach!

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Sculpting The Head In Clay

Understanding the underpinnings of the face is very helpful in creating a believable sculpture bust. Louise will draw upon her experience in portraiture and in forensic reconstruction to teach this workshop.

Students will first sculpt a skull using the replicas provided for reference. The replicas will include different ages and ethnicities. From there, they will begin to block in and refine the muscles, features, neck, and hair using reference materials of their choice or of that provided by the instructor. As the work progresses, emphasis will be placed on understanding how bones and muscles influence features, on bringing out the character of the emerging head, and on the sculptural nuances that bring this work to life. The emphasis will not be on creating a likeness to a particular person, but on creating a “lifelike” sculpture.

Advanced students wanting to create a portrait of a particular person should contact the instructor prior to class to receive advice on how to photograph their subjects.

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Painting Space

This intermediate level acrylic painting course will focus perceptions of pictorial space in the painted world. Historically artists have presented space in painting using the screen of Renaissance perspective, as well as the flattened box of Modernism. Painting is a paradox, and students will be encouraged to explore this idea as they navigate its two-dimensional surface while situating the painting as an object in the world.

Exercises will be used to develop an understanding of how colour and compositional elements come together to create a sense of real physical space. Students will paint from life as well as from materials gathered from digital and analogue sources. Students should have an intermediate level of painting with a knowledge of colour theory and a general confidence with the medium and its application.

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Rigid Heddle Weaving

Rigid heddle looms are small, portable and easy to use. They are a great option for people who are looking for a new and creative way to use up their yarn and fibre stash, but who do not have space for a large complicated floor loom. This workshop is suitable for students with all levels of weaving experience. Beginners will learn to set up the loom and explore weaving techniques that create a variety of “weft faced” patterns and textures. The instructor will discuss suitable fibres (wool, cotton, linen, silk, synthetics, etc) for different types of weaving. Students with some rigid heddle weaving experience may wish to discuss possible project ideas with the instructor in advance.

PLEASE NOTE: A limited number of looms (including shuttles and pickup sticks) are available to borrow, but not enough for the entire class. If you don’t have one, please confirm with MISSA office that one is available before registering.


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Transformations in Form & Surface

Join Cj Jilek in creating unusual and exuberant works in clay inspired by life forms, patterns, and textures from the natural world. Explore a layered approach to the ceramic surface that evolves from wet clay through bone dry to bisque. Techniques include hand-building with wooden drape molds, soft slab/coil building, and texturing to create expressive and surface rich forms. Surface practices include the use of colour, pattern making, texturing, and carving. Cj will explore creating depth of surface for both sculptural and utilitarian practices. She will also reveal a behind the scenes look at the engineering necessary to produce her elaborate sculptural forms.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be an early sample bisque firing, but pieces made in this class will not be fired at MISSA.

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