What to Expect:
The class begins with setting up a typical painter's easel and supplies. Painting at an easel is important for several reasons. It gives the student a physical feeling of working the way a professional painter works. When paintings are done on a flat table, there is a large difference in perspective, angles, and the ability of the painter to see the work correctly - imagining the way it will look when exhibited on a wall.
We use the simplest of materials in order to not be blocked by the fear of expensive paint, paper, canvas, and brushes. When working in traditional art classes with these expensive materials the student can feel pressure to produce a masterpiece befitting the cost. We use tempera paint - also known as poster paint - something often associated with children's art classes. Actually tempera paint is a gorgeous medium and was used by famous professional artists in Rennaisance Italy and also by modern giants such as Andrew Wyeth.
The instruction by Annie Moore, as class leader , is simple. Rule # 1 is to not interrupt other students with comments about their work or by statements such as, "wow, you are good" because this stops both of you right there and you are done for the day. Rather, we use background music to supply a meditative atmosphere. Students find they are able to forget the rest of the room very quickly and enter into the space of their own work without fear of others' comments or criticisms, no matter how well intentionned. The other rule in the class is to just allow the brush to go where it wants to go. We try to not intend a result but to discover one.