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Art Classes

The Santa Cruz Art League has a wide variety of classes at a variety of times. Is your week too hectic for our series classes? Consider taking one of our Weekend Workshops. Already have some skills and looking for a place to draw after work? Consider popping by our weekly, drop-in life drawing session (see description below).



2017 Art Classes

Drop-in Classes

Monday Night Figure Drawing
Drawing the human figure is acknowledged to be the best foundation for learning the process of really seeing small details and acquiring perspective and measurement skills to benefit all future artistic endeavours. Pop by our classroom every Monday night and sharpen your skills. Live model. Facilitated by Open Studio Artist Richard Bennett.

  • Levels: Previous drawing experience required. No instruction provided.
  • Date and Time: Drop-In, Monday Nights, 7:00 - 10:00pm
  • Location: in the SCAL classroom
  • Fee: $16 non-members, $14 members, $10 students
  • Facilitator: Richard Bennett

2nd Thursday Figure Drawing and Painting
Similar to our Monday Night Drawing class (above) except with longer poses and attendees may choose to either draw or paint. Live nude or draped model. Facilitated by Open Studio Artist Richard Bennett.

  • Levels: Previous drawing or painting experience required. No instruction provided.
  • Date and Time: 2nd Thursday of each month, 7:00 - 10:00pm
  • Location: in the SCAL classroom
  • Fee: $16 non-members, $14 members, $10 students
  • Facilitator: Richard Bennett



Series Art Classes

Introduction to Figure Drawing
This is a small group to begin a study of the human form from a live model. Immerse yourself in an intimate and comprehensive introduction to the art of REALLY seeing. This class is limited to 10 students per class so sign up today!

Instructor Susie Wilson has a BA in Fine Art Printmaking from the Norfolk Institute of Art and Design (UK), a degree in Illustration and an HNDBTEC degree in Education, also in the UK. . She taught Life Drawing at the Norfolk Institute and was a college lecturer in the subject at the Norwich School of Art. Since arriving in America she has taught private and group classes for approximately 20 years, and has participated in Open Studios.

  • Levels: Beginner
  • Offered: 6 Wednesdays beginning January 4
  • Time: 10am - 12:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Model Fee: $45 at 1st class
  • Instructor: Susie Wilson
  • Additional Instructions: Class is limited to 10 students.
  • We're sorry. This class is full. Please check back for more series of this class in the future.

Traditional Figure Drawing
Drawing can be described as an inquiring investigation into visible appearance, and the learned discipline should never exclude the potential for free and spontaneous input. Intuition, feelings and impulse are essential elements to the personal development of drawing skills. This class offers an opportunity to really look at the form, structure, spaces and surfaces of the nude figure and seek a unique and individual expression of making what we see visible. Increasing our knowledge and extending our ability is an ongoing and continuous process to which everyone is invited! Please join our quest for improvement and ways to make different or better drawings. This class is limited to 12 students per class so sign up today!

Instructor Susie Wilson has a BA in Fine Art Printmaking from the Norfolk Institute of Art and Design (UK), a degree in Illustration and an HNDBTEC degree in Education, also in the UK. . She taught Life Drawing at the Norfolk Institute and was a college lecturer in the subject at the Norwich School of Art. Since arriving in America she has taught private and group classes for approximately 20 years, and has participated in Open Studios.

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 6 Wednesdays beginning January 4
  • Time: 1pm - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Model Fee: $45 at 1st class
  • Instructor: Susie Wilson
  • Additional Instructions: Class is limited to 12 students.
Register online »

Watercolor
This class is geared to facilitate those who have never painted and those who have advanced their skills. Most class sessions will include a demo and then time to work on the elements of the demo. Information on materials, including colors and "gimmicks",and tools is given throughout the six-week period. The goal of this class is to encourage the joy of painting, while improving skills and knowledge. This is a "fun" class, so bring a sense of humor and whatever materials you have and enjoy.

Instructor Linda Lord is a self-trained artist and illustrator with over 16 years teaching experience in her studio and via the SC Watercolor Society; an Open Studio artist whose exhibits include Cozumel, Mexico. Linda also publishes with a decorative art publisher.

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 6 Thursdays beginning January 5
  • Time: 1pm - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Linda Lord
  • We're sorry. This class is full. Please check back for more series of this class in the future.

Pastel Studio
Loosen up and have fun with pastels! Using expressive marks and color we will paint vibrant landscapes and still life. The essentials of pastel painting will be covered including approaches and methods of application, pastels from hard to soft, surface possibilities, color theory and underpainting. Demos, problem solving, and lots of individual instruction are included. This class is appropriate for both beginners in pastel and those who are experienced with the medium. Just bring whatever pastels you may have and explore the possibilities of this versatile medium!

Instructor Joan Hellenthal, BA Fine Art Brown University, MA Fine Art SJSU; CA credentialed art instructor, painter and mixed media artist who exhibits in many private and corporate collections inc. MAH, UCSC and Open Studios. joanhellenthal.com

  • Levels: All but some drawing experience is recommended
  • Offered: 6 Fridays beginning January 6
  • Time: 9:30am - 12noon
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Joan Hellenthal
  • Additional Instructions: Reference materials provided but bringing your own is encouraged. (see details above)
Register online »

Botanical Art in Graphite, Watercolor and Colored Pencil
Botanical art involves accuracy as well as artistic technique and creativity, but you don't need to be a botanist, and artists at all levels are welcome. In this class we'll follow a traditional approach to drawing and painting a botanical subject – from study to finished work. Some drawing experience is a plus. We'll practice particular methods of applying graphite pencil, watercolor and colored pencil. Each of these media has its own beauty and appeal for artists. The plan will be to render plant subjects in each of the three media first, then to use whatever one or more media you choose in a unified composition. You'll get plenty of individual attention as you work, to challenge and encourage you at your own level of skill. Plant material will be provided for each lesson, but you may bring botanical subjects of your choice (live plant material, not photographs) if you wish.

Instructor Maria Cecilia Freeman is a professional artist with over 25 years of experience bridging scientific illustration and botanical fine art. Her award-winning drawings and paintings have appeared in solo and juried exhibitions across the U.S. and in Europe. You can see her work at her website: mcf-art.com

  • Level: All but some drawing experience is recommended
  • Offered: 6 Mondays beginning January 9
  • Time: 9am - 12noon
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Maria Cecilia Freeman
  • Additional Instructions: Reference materials provided but you may also bring your own (see details above)
  • We're sorry. This class is full. Please check back for more series of this class in the future.

Loosen Up and Have Fun with Acrylics
Painting from the heart and loosening up are fundamentals of this class. Art can be intimidating and many people are too afraid to even try it thinking they aren't “artistic”. We will smash that notion right away, everyone is artistic and it can be taught. I want to introduce you to the fun of paint, we will use spray bottles and drip, splat, brush, even use our hands to create magic. The object of this course is to have you fall in love with painting and give you the confidence to see yourself as a good artist. We work on several canvases at a time, producing much work. The more you make, the better the results. Themes change every session. Many students repeat the class as it gives them a valuable critique of their work, and time and space to commit to a regular art practice. Take it from Marilyn Bosworth who has taken my class three times, “Carrie Clayden is an inspiring and enthusiastic teacher with a passion for what she does.”

Instructor Carrie Clayden is a professional artist and teacher. She has taught at Art is You retreats, The Spotted Cow and Hip Chick Designs. Carrie graduated from UCSC in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies and Fine Art. She recently moved to Santa Cruz and has been accepted into Open Studios for 2015. Her studio is at 17th Avenue and her work can be found on her website www.carrieclayden.com

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 6 Mondays beginning January 9
  • Time: 1pm - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Carrie Clayden
  • Additional Instructions: Reference photos are encouraged
Register online »

Loose and Painterly Landscapes
Barbara will demonstrate the process of landscape painting from photographs (mostly local scenes). Students can paint along with the demo or do their own thing with their own photographs. Topics covered: preparing canvas to paint, two difference approaches to painting, abstracting the landscape, color, perspective, brush control, value, edge quality, and much more. Bring your own photos, and lots of questions to ask.

Instructor Barbara Bailey-Porter holds a Masters of Fine Art, has been an Open Studio artist and has maintained a professional painting studio for well over 20 years. She has taught at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, through Cabrillo and DeAnza Colleges, and in the elementary schools in the past. She works in her studio as well as en plein air. Barbara's work is in various private and corporate collections in the US and abroad.

  • Levels: All
  • Offered: 4 Fridays beginning February 3rd
  • Time: 1:30pm - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $175 / $160 Members
  • Instructor: Barbara Bailey-Porter
  • Additional Instructions: Bring your own reference photos.
Register online »

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Weekend Workshops

Realistic Painting in Watercolor
Our goal will be to continue developing your watercolor painting skills and personal expression within a realistic painting context. We will be layering color to arrive at the luminous qualities of the medium. There will be some short lectures, demonstrations and practice, but you will mostly be painting and you will each have the instructor’s individual attention. This will be a safe, supportive, noncompetitive class where we will improve our artistic skills and have fun doing it!

Instructor Hanya Fojaco is a watercolor artist with a BFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She paints her favorite subjects, flowers and succulents with rich transparent color. She has been teaching watercolor and exhibiting for several years. Images of her work are on her web page, www.hanyafojaco.com, Contact Hanya if you have any questions. hanya@hanyafojaco.com

  • Level: Intermediate and up
  • Offered: January 14th and 15th
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Materials Fee: $10 (to teacher)
  • Instructor: Hanya Fojaco
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch.
Register online »

Papier Mache’ Days
In this workshop you will create a paper sculpture. The subject matter is up to you. Is it a person, an animal, a fish, a bird, an imaginary critter, a boat? Using paper, tape and wire to construct the form and cover with the papier mache' enhanced paper will take one day. It will need time to dry between sessions. Then in next meeting you will paint and decorate your piece. Class includes all supplies.

Instructor Donna Thompson, BFA MA  has been working in the medium for the past twenty five years. She had the amazing opportunity to take a workshop with two members of the legendary Linares family and learned several tips on creating paper sculptures from experts in this very special field.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: January 21st and 28th
  • Time: 10am - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Materials Fee: $10 (to teacher)
  • Instructor: Donna Thompson
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch, a photo reference of your creation and a box to bring your drying work home.
Register online »

Watercolor – Free and Easy
Come prepared to be inspired as Bonni open-handedly shares simple, easy to learn principles which appeal to beginners as well as seasoned artists looking for renewed inspiration. Beginning each class with a demonstration and instruction, Bonni leads painters into thinking “out of the box” and approaching their subject in terms of creating rather than copying. Learn how to achieve colorful darks, consider your values, simplify the subject, and edit out distractions. Bonniʼs workshops are upbeat and fun!

After receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Buffalo, Instructor Bonni Carver moved from her hometown of Buffalo, New York to San Francisco where she attended classes at the Academy of Art and the Art Institute. Since making the Central Coast her home, her interest in art has been nurtured by local artists and instructors. Studying watercolor in Provence, France during 1996 with Barbara Nechis proved to be the catalyst for a yearlong painting odyssey throughout Western Europe the following year. Bonni is an Open Studio artist. Visit her at www.carverart.com

  • Level: All
  • Offered: February 4th and 5th
  • Time: 9:30am - 3:00pm
  • Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Bonni Carver
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch
Register online »

The Art of Selling Art
Selling art, your own or other artist’s is easy when you know how! This workshop will cover: prospecting for clients, developing rapport, planning sales meetings and phone calls, telephone techniques, emotions--how to use them, what not to say or do, closing secrets, what questions to ask, what words to use, portfolios, slides, artist’s statements, presentations, goal setting, pricing the art, art gallery selling, referrals. This is a comprehensive sales program oriented to the individual artist and art representative. Be prepared for a fun-filled day of lively lecture and in-class games. You will learn how to sell art to individual clients, collectors, and corporations. Instructor Robert Dvořák, a successful California artist, will demonstrate what works and what doesn't work so that by the end of the workshop, you can begin selling--and prospering--immediately with confidence and self-assurance.

Instructor Robert Regis Dvořák is the author of the new book, Selling Art 101. He has been teaching The Art of Selling Art to artists, art representatives, and art gallery sales people for 25 years. His paintings and prints and films are part of many individual, corporate, and institutional collections.

A comprehensive handout is included. The book, Selling Art 101 will be available.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: February 11th (One Day)
  • Time: 10am - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $89
  • Instructor: Robert Regis Dvořák
  • Additional Instructions: Bring one artwork, which is framed or mounted and available for sale. Frequently sales take place in this class.
Register online »

Courageous Color! Learn to be Brave in the Studio! - Oil or Acrylic
Learn how to see more color and find your courage! Improve your odds of creating a beautiful painting. Learn about Color mixing, Color temperature and Color theories. Also, learn about focal points, composition, value, perspective, shapes, volumes, edges. Maggie will guide you through the painting process step by step with demos, handouts and critiques.

Instructor Maggie Renner Hellmann appeared in international publications such as 'The Artist's Magazine’. She's won numerous International awards recently for her Seascapes and Landscapes. BA in Illustration SJSU, Advanced fine art studies at 'Lorenzo de Medici' Art Institute, Florence, Italy and studies with Ovanes Berberian, Calvin Liang and Ray Roberts. Tuscany, Italy Workshop Instructor. Open Studios Artist. Maggie’s work is collected internationally.

Here's what some of Maggies Students had to say:
"After working with Maggie, my work has taken a huge leap forward"
"delightful teaching: enthusiastic, clear and patient."

  • Level: All
  • Offered: February 18th and 19th
  • Time: 9am - 1pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Maggie Renner Hellmann
  • Additional Instructions: Bring your own seascape or landscape photos.
Register online »

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