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Discovering Composition through Experimentation

Week 2: August 11-17, 2024 
​Instructor: Christopher Shotola-Hardt

Class Material Fee: $25


About the Workshop

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.

CASH at work 2.5.24.jpg

About 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).

Learn more about Christopher on his website:

Instructor will provide:

  • ​wallpaper paste

  • joint compound

  • plastic wrap

  • tempera paints

  • Elmers glue

  • scraping tools for sgraffito

  • gouache

  • tissue paper

  • panel substrates

  • India ink

  • Illustration board

  • salt

  • CelluClay

  • tracing paper

  • picnic plates for palettes

  • acrylic gel media

  • National Geographics

  • Citra-Solv

  • assorted laser-print B&W photocopies for phototransfers

  • stencils / wedges / masonry tools

  • extra gelli printing plates and brayers

  • extra Sta-Wet palettes

What students should bring:

  • acrylic paints (cool and warm colors that engage you, plus white, black, Payne’s Gray) If you need suggestions: titanium white; un-bleached titanium or parchment; mars black; Paynes Grey; cad yellow light; yellow ochre; cad red medium; alizarin crimson; ultramarine or pthalo blue; cerulean blue; Hookers green

  • water sprayer bottle to maintain moisture of acrylics

  • water container for rinsing brushes during work time 

  • small bottle of dish soap or brush cleaner

  • work apron

  • assorted brushes (for acrylic & water-based)

  • 2” utility - rounds (a good range #s 0 through 10)

  • flats: (a good range #s 0 through 10, plus angular #10)

  • shaders: (#2) - fan - scriptliners (#s 1, 2, 3)

  • round stubby and flat stubby (usually thought of as kid brushes)

  • palette knives (assorted)

  • paper for acrylic paints (I can see using 25 sheets) Here are some recommended brands: - Strathmore Acrylic Pad - U.S. Art Supply Acrylic Painting Pad (11” x 14”, 12 sheets) - Royal & Langnickel Acrylic Artist Paper Pad (9 x 12”, 22 sheets) 

  • artist tape (1/2”)

  • scissors and X-acto knife

  • self healing cutting mat for use with X-actos

  • straight edge

  • white gel pen

  • black gel pen

  • a roll of paper towels or throw away rags

  • a plastic bag for trash at individual tables

  • B&W laser-print photocopied images for photo transfers (assorted content, patterns) NOTE: no inkjet copies, LASER-print copies



  • Sta-Wet Palette with sponge and extra papers {instructor will have palettes students can borrow}

  • Gelli printing plate (5x7" or thereabouts) and a brayer

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