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Discovering Composition through Experimentation


Class Material Fee


About the Course

Abandon pre-conceived ideas of what you want to paint. Immerse yourself in process. Subject matter (be it representational or abstract) will reveal itself as you let go and let what happens on the substrate be your guide. Be welcoming to this dialogue with the unconscious! On various substrates, we will explore traditional and experimental, additive and subtractive techniques, as we build up layers to develop sumptuous, emotive, evocative surface effects. Light source, highlights and drop shadows will be added to reveal innate compositions, and to define surface depth relationships. Each day yields several studies and one more-developed piece.  The 2024 workshop will be appropriate for both new and returning participants, as I will expand on exercises taught in 2023 and cover many new techniques as well. As always, I offer structured, scaffolded exercises that build upon one another, and, core to my teaching style,  I always strive to recognize and build each artist’s unique voice — my criteria are always technical and conceptual, always leaving the subject matter and content up to the artist. Our end-of-workshop exhibition will reveal no two artists going the same direction.

Your Instructor

Christopher Shotola-Hardt

Christopher Shotola-Hardt

Christopher Shotola-Hardt is excited to return for his third year of teaching at Menucha. He received his MFA from Portland State University and his BA from Lewis & Clark College, with a year of study at Ludwig-Maximillians Universität in Munich, Germany. He has exhibited throughout the Pacific Northwest and in New York. Christopher has been one of the artist-owners at Blackfish Gallery in Portland's Pearl District since 2004. His work is included in local, national, and international private collections and regional public collections, including the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Evergreen Air & Space Museum, Center for Research in Environmental Sciences & Technologies (CREST), South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART), and City of Wilsonville. He has been one of the artist-owners of Blackfish Gallery in Portland’s Pearl District since 2004. Christopher taught in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District for 32 years, and was named Oregon Secondary Art Educator of the Year (2005); Oregon Art Educator of the Year (2009); Pacific Region Secondary Art Educator of the Year (2018).

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