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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).



June to August 2016 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

Pastel Studio
Loosen up and have fun with pastels!  We will cover the essentials of pastel painting: Approaches and methods of application, surface choices, pastels from hard to soft, color harmony, temperature, value, and underpainting. Still life and landscape are the main subjects. Still life objects will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own props and reference materials to class as well. The emphasis is on improving skills and developing a personal style with this vibrant and versatile medium. Demos, critiques, and lots of individual instruction are included.

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 July 1 (skip 7/29)
  • 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 (some drawing experience is a plus)
  • Offered: 6 Mondays beginning August 15
  • 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)
Register online »

New Class! Introduction to Relief Printmaking
This six-week course will introduce you to the rich history and exciting process of relief printmaking. You will learn about basic printmaking tools, vocabulary, traditional and contemporary techniques, and explore the entire linocut process: experimenting with mark-making, planning and drawing out images, carving, and hand printing an edition. You will create two relief prints during this course. One will be based on an observational drawing in order to practice depicting value through carving techniques. For the second project the imagery will be determined by you. You will leave this course with two editions of relief prints, and the knowledge needed to continue making prints in the convenience of your own home!

Instructor Danielle Peters received her BFA in Printmaking at the University of Kansas, School of Art and Design and studied Printmaking and Papermaking at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea. She received her MFA in Printmaking and Book Arts from the University of Georgia. She has taught Introduction to Relief Printmaking, Introduction to Intaglio Printmaking, Sculpture, Basic Design, New Genre Art, Contemporary Art Theory, and New Media Theory classes at The University of Georgia, Emporia State University, and California State University, Stanislaus. She is also the Creative Arts Director at the Downtown Clubhouse of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County where she teaches art classes to youth from 6 to 18 years of age.

  • Level: All (some drawing experience is a plus)
  • Offered: 6 Tuesdays beginning June 14
  • Time: 9am - 12noon
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Materials Fee: $25 due first day of class
  • Instructor: Danielle Peters
Register online »

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 June 22
  • 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.
Register online »

Traditional 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. In this traditional drawing class, you will be encouraged to explore gesture, shape, tone, balance, perspective, and measurement as the means of producing accurate and confident drawings from a life model. By learning to draw realistically you will be empowered to draw creatively, with energy and CONFIDENCE. This class is suited to all levels. For the emerging artist, it will encourage guided exploration, using charcoal, pencil or conte, but it will also offer an opportunity for artists of all abilities to hone existing skills with instruction at any level they might require. This class is limited to 14 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 June 22
  • Time: 1pm - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Model Fee: $45 at 1st class
  • Instructor: Susie Wilson
  • Additional Instructions: Class is limited to 14 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 June 23
  • Time: 1pm - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Linda Lord
Register online »

Loosen Up and Have Fun with Acrylics
Do you want to have fun with painting? Then this class is for you. Art can be intimidating and many people are too afraid to even try it thinking they aren't “artistic”. We will smash that notion. We will just start painting, you learn best by doing. We will work fast and loose, layering our canvas with color, blocking in shapes, and adding definition to create a beautiful masterpiece. First timers are my favorite! 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. Content includes how to begin, paints to use, supplies, how to set up your space, what to paint, painting at least 3 finished paintings themed on floral, abstract and interior. I guarantee a good time and skills to take you on your way to continued painting.

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 August 15
  • Time: 1pm - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $155 / $135 Members
  • Instructor: Carrie Clayden
  • Additional Instructions: Reference photos are encouraged
Register online »

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Weekend Workshops

A Day of Landscape Painting in Oil
Learn all aspects of oil painting: paint application, brush control, palette organization, color, value, perspective, and much more. In this class students will work on their own projects from their own reference material (photograph or still life set up). If you have a new painting you want to start or if you are stuck and don't know how to finish a painting bring it to class and Barbara will guide you through the painting process step by step. Short painting demonstrations and critiques will be available when needed and time permits.

Instructor Barbara Bailey Porter has been a painting instructor at S.F. Academy of Art (where she received a Masters in Fine Arts), Cabrillo and DeAnza. She taught through the Santa Cruz City School District and has been a Spectra Artist in the gifted and talented program in the past. An Open Studio artist, her work is found in many collections.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: Saturday, June 4th (one day only)
  • Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $85
  • Instructor: Barbara Bailey Porter
  • Additional Instructions: Bring reference material (photograph or still life set up).
Register online »

Beginning the Adventure in Acrylic Paint (The mechanical systems of the art process)
Ready to begin the adventure of painting? How do you to get started in the journey of painting? By knowing the tools of your trade and how to use them.This workshop will introduce you to the nuts and bolts of acrylic painting. Learn how to choose: your brushes, painting surfaces, mix paint (color in a nut shell) types of paint from opaque to translucent, painting techniques, (glazing, scumbling, stippling, rubbing and more.) You will walk away with self-made Basics on Acrylic Painting Notebook complete with your own samples and the confidence to begin to paint. The what and how is up to you (and another great Art League class!)

Instructor Donna Thompson BFA M.A. is a professional art educator and practicing artist, part of the art community in Santa Cruz to the past forty years. Her teaching experience spans many years including twenty four years at San José State University, in the School of Art and Art History, Department of Art Education. She loves to work with aspiring artists. www.donnathompson.net

  • Level: All
  • Offered: Saturday June 18 (one day only)
  • Time: 12noon - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $75
  • Instructor: Donna Thompson
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch.
Register online »

Jewelry Making Workshop
The workshop is divided into 3 components: Basic Stringing Techniques, Basic Wire Techniques, and Basic Wire "Caging" Basic Stringing: We will explore how to choose appropriate stringing materials and how to hone your finishing techniques.Basic Wire: We will cover basic loops and wire wrapped loops, how to wire wrap a briolette (or top-drilled) bead. We will cover the basics of earring construction. I will discuss various wire tools, the different wire gauges and some of their uses. Basic Wire "Caging": You will learn how to enclose a stone or other object into a metal "cage", so that it can be used as a pendant or earring component. You will design and construct several pieces that you can take with you. I provide all materials and all tools. If you want to bring your own tools and some of your own materials, please feel free. Bring a lunch.

Marilyn Gwynn has been designing and constructing jewelry for 13 years. She has been selling her work locally for at least 11 years. Her work is on display in the lobby at the Art League. She also sells her work at the Art of Santa Cruz store (in the Capitola Mall), Monterey Bay Artisans (in Pacific Grove) and at the Homeless Garden Project Gift Store (on Pacific Avenue, in Santa Cruz).Marilyn has been teaching jewelry making classes for 4 years.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: June 25 and 26
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Materials Fee: $25
  • Instructor: Marilyn Gwynn
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch. Materials provided but you're welcome to bring your own as well.
Register online »

Painting Made Easy - Acrylic
Improve your painting skills. Basic techniques for all levels. Through demonstrations and a multiple step methodology students learn good foundation to carry into their next level of learning . Students learn about composition, form and light. The primary goal and focus is for each student to develop their own personal imagery and confidence in self expression. Small art classes ensure one-on-one instruction and a rewarding art experience.

Instructor Claudia Stevens is a practicing artist. She is a classically trained fine artist and has painted for over twenty-five years. Claudia holds a Master's degree from CA State University San Jose, a BFA in Printmaking and a graduate of the Scientific Illustration Program from the University of CA Santa Cruz. Well known for her Botanical Art. She illustrates for Sunset Magazine, Bantam Books, Harcourt and Brace, Rodale Press and other publishers. Claudia is the full-time art teacher for the Popper-Keizer Advanced Elementary School and has taught SPECTRA residencies and workshops since 1991. She has also been an Artist in Residence throughout the Monterey Bay area.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: July 23 and 24
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Claudia Stevens
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch.
Register online »

Painting Large With House Paint
Do you love watercolor but would like to take a different approach? Then this class is for you! We'll work with a variety of mediums in addition to water soluble house paint and water soluble drawing mediums. We will be working on large (pieces of paper (or canvas) and will use graphite, Tombow ink pens, conte (compressed charcoal), water soluble oil pastels (like Neocolor Caran d'Ache) and other water soluble mediums to create the initial art concept. THEN THE FUN BEGINS! We’ll paint over the initial drawing with mostly white, fast drying house paint and a big old (bristle) brush and voila!...an unusual and powerful art statement will start to emerge! At an time this process can be repeated and a multi layered image can be created this way. By using inexpensive house paint the student will be freeing up the inhibition to be frugal with expensive paint like watercolors, oils or acrylics and create spontaneous, expressive and exciting artwork. Anouk encourages her students not to be afraid to make a mistake (what mistake? some people will love your mistake...) because that's how we learn, progress and produce original art.

Instructor Anouk Johanna is a Dutch artist who has been teaching watercolor, mixed media, drawing and monotype printmaking for more than 15 years.

  • Level: All
  • Offered: July 30 and 31
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Anouk Johanna
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a lunch.
Register online »

Art of Paper Mâché
Papier Mâché (means chewed paper) is a versatile  and widely used medium. Historically it has been used in construction of buildings,(sections of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts built for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition) boats, furniture, helmets, masks, containers, the list goes on. Originally developed in China, where papermaking was invented, examples have been documented dating to the Han Dynasty (BC202-AD220) It has also been a element of folk traditions in many  countries.  Closer to home the use of papier Mâché in celebrations and art from Mexico is internationally known. The Linares family of Mexico City are world renowned artists in the field. In this workshop you will create a paper sculpture. The subject matter is up to you. It can be 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 Mâché enhanced paper will take one day. In next meeting you will paint and decorate your piece.

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: August 6 and 13 (two Saturdays)
  • Time: 12noon - 4pm
  • Class Fee: $150
  • Materials Fee: $20 (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 »

Loosening Up Watercolor Painting
Loosen up your watercolor paintings using a "direct" painting approach.  We will focus upon improving drawing techniques, planning the composition, mixing colors on the paper and applying the elements of design for dynamic results.  There will be daily teacher demonstrations as well as a description of materials - paints, brushes, paper, palette, etc. Using photographs as source material, each student will develop a painting using their own creative abilities and with individual attention from the teacher.  At the conclusion of the workshop, we will have a critique (voluntary participation) which is intended to help reinforce the concepts and techniques.

Instructor Leslie Wilson, has focused on watercolor painting for more than 25 years, capturing the moment in vibrant light and color, both en plein air and in the studio.  “I love transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary and reminding people of the places they have been, the people they have met, and the truly remarkable light and color in our world.”  University of Maryland, B.A. Secondary Art Education, 1973. She teaches in the East Bay area. She is a Signature member of CWA and is published in North Light Books, Splash 11, Spring 2010 – "The Other Side of the Mountain"

  • Level: All
  • Offered: August 20 and 21
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Leslie Wilson
  • Additional Instructions: Bring a bag lunch.
Register online »

Painting the Landscape with Soft Pastels
In this two-day workshop you'll discover how to use your soft pastels in interesting ways to depict the landscape. Day 1 will focus on adding zing to your pastels by underpainting on pastel paper with a variety of techniques including alcohol wash, watercolor and dry underpainting. We'll play with mark making and layering and learn to make color sing. Prepare to be messy and have fun. Day 2 we'll discuss strategies for successful compositions and practice finding compositions in the landscape. You'll do multiple compositional studies and then work on developing one more fully. We'll work both indoors and out. The class includes demonstrations and lots of hands-on practice.

Instructor Erika Perloff has been painting the local landscape in pastel for over 20 years and is also an experienced educator. Her work is widely exhibited and collected.

  • Level: Beginning to Intermediate
  • Offered: August 27 and 28
  • Time: 9am - 3:30pm
  • Class Fee: $160 / $140 Members
  • Instructor: Erika Perloff
  • Additional Instructions: Bring landscape reference material that inspires you and a lunch.
Register online »

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