I began painting about 12 years ago, primarily in acrylic and occasionally in some form of mixed media. In 2012 I took a class that changed my painting life. The class was Abstract Oil Painting with Oil and Cold with Allen Cox and the class was held at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. It wasn’t my first class there, but it was when I learned to paint using cold wax medium, Galkyd, and oil paint, all mixed together into a glorious luminous concoction that was spread using palette and putty knives. It was also the first time I really figured out how to use oil paint sticks. I was hooked.
Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. It is a magical place located in the woods at Cascade Head on the Oregon Coast. This explains what Sitka is about:
Founded in 1970, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology fosters creativity, intellectual inquiry and education. By helping others discover more about their core creative selves and their connections to nature, the Sitka Center works to fulfill its mission of expanding the relationships between art, nature and humanity.
The Sitka Center offers workshops, residencies and community events, while maintaining a facility appropriate to its needs in harmony with its inspirational coastal environment near Cascade Head and the Salmon River estuary. Literally a center at the edge – where land meets sky, saltwater meets freshwater – the Sitka Center is a place where a diverse group of people and ideas converge, co-mingle and depart transformed.
Our Workshop Program (May through September) provides people of all levels the transformative and joyful experience of making art and exploring their connections to nature. We offer over 100 one- to five-day intensives on drawing, painting, music, nature, woodworking, encaustics, food, sculpture, fiber arts, kayaking, jewelry, metal work, photography, printmaking, and writing. Professional artists and ecology experts guide the instruction in one of the Center’s five studios or outdoors in the natural environment of Cascade Head and Salmon River estuary. The annual workshop catalog is available in print and online in February each year.
Which leads me to the heart of my news: I’m teaching an oil and cold wax class at Sitka next summer! Pinch me. It has been a dream for a long time. I’ve taken some amazing classes at Sitka, had fabulous teachers, hiked to the top of Cascade Head, roamed in the woods surrounding the Center, and made art that is hanging in several homes.
My class is called Abstracted Waterlines in Oil and Cold Wax. In determining the theme for my class, I wanted to incorporate the landscape as inspiration, so using the ocean, river, and estuary as a jumping off point, we will take where water meets land and abstract it into a series of compositions.
The class is TENTATIVELY scheduled for June 5-8 (four full days) and will be held in Boyden. Pinch me again. I’ve taken all of my classes in that large wood lined studio and to have the privilege to teach in that sacred place, well, I’m a bit verklempt. The cost for the four-day class is $400, with a materials fee of $25 (I bring and share a lot of supplies).
Registration doesn’t open until February, 2017, (February for members, but you can join for as little as $50 and have the opportunity to register in February), and registration for everyone opens in March (the Sitka website has all of the dates listed). Again, please realize that until Sitka has finalized the summer class schedule, my June dates are subject to change; I’ll confirm the dates once the final schedule is off to the printers.
In the class we’ll be working on several boards at the same time, along with working on Arches Oil Paper (or if you prefer, you can work exclusively on the miracle known as Arches Oil Paper). We will experiment with working in layers, building texture, scraping away, and then doing it all over again.
We will work intuitively and abstractly, exploring texture, layers, composition and design, and use of color through oil paint and pigment sticks. We’ll also work with various forms of mark-making, adding energy and interest through the use of lines and marks. The layers dry quickly and clean up is done with baby or mineral oil. You will complete several pieces during the four days and go home with several starts. The class is designed for all levels of expertise and no prior experience is needed.
I’m sharing all of this now so you have time to mark your calendars, maybe ask for the class as a holiday gift, or perhaps get a couple of friends rounded up to rent a house in Lincoln City, Pacific City, or one of the vacation homes right at Cascade Head.
Please contact me if you have any questions about the class, mediums, or the process. My e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org