November 9-12 | 2019
10 am-5 pm
Instructor: Alyssa Monks
We are super excited to bring Alyssa back to Chattanooga for her second workshop at Townsend Atelier. This 4-day workshop is designed to guide the students toward creating a painting from a photo reference, using both indirect and direct traditional painting techniques. It aims to instruct painters on how to use the photograph to create a painting that surpasses the look of the photograph, not simply imitates a photograph. The workshop will explain how to create a useful photo reference, covering topics such as ideal lighting, camera settings, lenses, Photoshop, and printing.
The process will begin with preparations such as choosing a composition through quick sketches from a variety of reference photos, progressive oil sketches with limited use of the photograph, and then laying in the composition with an imprimatura wash. When that is dry, the students will learn to create color relationships that portray the space and volume, creating the illusion. Emphasis is then placed on paint application and ways of activating the surface. By focusing on deliberate brush stroke and maintaining accurate color relationships rather than rendering, the application of paint to describes the form. We will accentuate the structural volumes of the form over the contour, concentrating on relating all parts of the picture to each other with an organized palette. From there, students will be guided towards deciding what information is useful to look for and what usual pitfalls to avoid when interpreting a photograph. Deciding when and how to invent and experiment is perhaps the most crucial part of the process. Students will be encouraged to look more at the painting itself than the photographic source, using it only for initial reference. We will explore ways of seeing the picture objectively, how to imply detail without overstating, and what level of finish works best for the particular painting or style. The painting will develop through indirect layers of opaque and transparent painting to achieve the delicate nuances of flesh and other surfaces. Methods of Glazing and Scumbling will be discussed.
The final result can be a painting that captures the essence of your subject (and your connection with that subject) and contains the intimacy of the human touch that transcends a smooth photo-realistic image. There are a variety of results varying from abstraction/improvisation to a more illusionistic representation. All will be discussed and the challenges and rewards of each will be explored.
Each student will receive a 30-page color handout at the workshop.
There will be a one-hour lunch break each day. Feel free to bring your lunch or enjoy plenty of dining options nearby.
For those traveling from out of town, if you need accommodation recommendations, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help. In the meantime, this will get you started TOWNSEND ATELIER TRAVEL INFO
Once you have registered, you will be asked to send us 5 (five) jpeg images of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each image labeled as so (LastName_TitleOfWork_medium_size). These images are not to exclude you from the course but allows the instructor to prepare for the level of skill and experience and consequently the level of help and critique you will need.
Materials List: A materials list, course description, syllabus, and notes will be emailed to you upon confirmation of registration.
About the artist:
Alyssa Monks is blurring the line between abstraction and realism by layering different spaces and moments in her paintings. She flipped background and foreground using semi-transparent filters of glass, vinyl, steam, and water over shallow spaces in her 10-year long water series. Today, she is imposing a transparent landscape of infinite space over evocative subjects.
The tension in her paintings is sustained by the composition and also by the surface quality itself. Each brushstroke is thickly applied oil paint, like a fossil recording every gesture and decision, expressing the energetic and empathic experience of the handmade object. “I strive to create a moment in a painting where the viewer can see or feel themselves, identify with the subject, even be the subject, connect with it as though it is about them, personally.”
Alyssa’s work is represented by Forum Gallery in New York City. She lives and paints in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Her latest solo exhibition “Resolution” was in March and April of 2016 at Forum Gallery. Monks’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including “Intimacy” at the Kunst Museum in Ahlen, Germany and “Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820–2009” at the National Academy Museum of Fine Arts, New York. Her work is represented in public and private collections, including the Savannah College of Arts, the Somerset Art Association, Fullerton College, the Seavest Collection and the collections of Eric Fischl, Howard Tullman, Gerrity Lansing, Danielle Steele, Alec Baldwin, and Luciano Benetton. In 2015, Alyssa gave a talk at the TEDx even at Indiana University discussing her recent work, which is featured on TED.com. Recently, she was named the 16th most influential women artist alive today by Graphic Design Degree Hub.
Born 1977 in New Jersey, Alyssa began oil painting as a child. She studied at The New School in New York and Montclair State University and earned her B.A. from Boston College in 1999. During this time she studied painting at Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. She went on to earn her M.F.A from the New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art in 2001. She completed an artist in residency at Fullerton College in 2006 and has lectured and taught at universities and institutions nationwide. She continues to offer workshops and lectures regularly.
Alyssa has been awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting three times and serves as a member of the New York Academy of Art’s Board of Trustees.
We are unable to give refunds or exchanges for visiting artist workshop unless the workshop is canceled by Townsend Atelier.