Brush strokes

a newsletter from nicholas pearce


As my 64th birthday approaches, I have recognized a few things:

  1. 1.Too many cashews will go straight to my middle, especially if I’m sitting on my posterior ruminating rather than running or biking or otherwise getting at least some exercise.

  2. 2.Rumination (the thinking kind, not the cud-chewing kind) is an essential part of my growth as an artist.

  3. 3.The results of a long run of rumination can be profound depression, new ideas - or, more likely, depression followed by new ideas.

That said, I’d like to tell you about a new class starting this October, and a new development with a couple of old classes, starting right now.

Taste of the Figure

Some of you have already taken Taste of the Figure, painting from photo references I supplied of local flamenco dancers. You’ve already experienced the big brush, the limited palette, and the processes I teach.

So with that under your belt, I’d like to open up possibilities of different subject matter for any subsequent Taste workshops you enrol in. If you want to paint your spouse, your child, your grandchild, your friend - or even yourself - I’d be happy to help you select and crop your photo reference so you can move on beyond painting my favourite dancers.

The next Taste of the Figure class is scheduled for the weekend of July 26-27, 2014. There are still a few spots available, so please let me know if you’re interested - 778 426-0150, or email me.

More about Taste of the Figure.

A free class for women who’ve had breast cancer

For the past six years, my Through Artists’ Eyes classes have offered women a chance to discover their beauty by modelling in the nude, and then creating paintings of their own bodies. Several of my students have had breast cancer, and one of them, Marnie, encouraged me to tailor some Artists’ Eyes classes to women who have had to face this disease.

Marnie took Through Artists’ Eyes twice: once just after she received her diagnosis, and the second time after surgery. She told me the class helped her accept the changes she’d undergone. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to put on a free Artists’ Eyes class for women with breast cancer. (You don’t need previous painting experience.)

Originally I scheduled this class for the weekend of October 3-5. It’s now been postponed to later in the year.

If you’ve had breast cancer and are interested in doing the class this fall (whether or not you’ve taken Artists’ Eyes before), or know someone who might want to enrol, please get in touch. The modelling sessions will be scheduled in the week or so before the class.

Students are welcome to stay Friday and/or Saturday night at our North Saanich home. My wife will provide the meals, catered to everyone’s dietary needs.

More information about Through Artists’ Eyes.

Passion for the Figure

Some of you will remember Passion for the Figure, a weekly class I offered in the distant past at Island Blue in Victoria during the school year, and as a weeklong summer intensive workshop there and at various other venues. I’ve never taught it from my studio, however.

But I’ve had some requests for something similar, from students who want to be able to paint at home between classes, and then come back the next week for more direction. So I’ve re-tooled Passion and have come up with a six-week version, which will run Monday nights from 7 to 9:30, between Oct. 20 and Nov. 24, 2014.

Here’s the class outline, week by week:

  1. 1.A primer on composition

  2. 2.Photo shoot with model

  3. 3.Slide selection and practical demo of what we talked about regarding composition on the first night

  4. 4.Drawing, using the time-honoured grid technique

  5. 5.Painting - use of the big brush, mixing every colour under the sun from a limited palette of four colours (plus white)

  6. 6.More painting, plus washes - and completion of your work

The cost is $285, and I’ll provide you with a list of supplies when you register. As always, if you run into a snag while working at home, you’ll be welcome to call me so we can work it through. More details and the class description.

Best regards

Nicholas Pearce