Online Workshop – Re-Framing the Ordinary

Stuart Shils
Stuart Shils
Stuart Shils
Stuart Shils
Stuart Shils
Stuart Shils


Re-Framing the Ordinary:
Locating yourself graphically in the saturation of the moment

An online workshop with Stuart Shils
November 13 – 15, 2020 | 9:00 – 11:30 am daily (Arizona time) Maximum enrollment 12.
First day 3.5 hours then 2 days at 2.5 hours a day with a follow-up meeting of 30 minutes arranged with each student individually after the workshop. Maximum enrollment 12.

The first meeting is an evening orientation talk with Stuart Shils: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I NOTICE JACK NICHOLSON? Thursday, November 12, 2020, 4:30 – 6:00 pm (Arizona time)

These three lively mornings will explore the relationship between drawing and observation, examining how close and clarified observation can hone our visually analytical minds, regardless of what it is we are looking at. Each day will begin with either a slide talk or a guided conversation exploring issues like:

-visual confidence
-the meaning of simplification
-the shaping and reshaping expectations
-where to begin and how to begin
-what matters on paper

Followed by a sequence of guided exercises intended as tools for carrying back to your workaday studio lives. This is not about recipes nor techniques but rather, addressing the evolution and structure of your own visual literacy. Materials will be pencils and paper and a few other materials for collage.


Payment Options: Students may pay in full or choose the payment-plan option during registration. The payment plan requires a non-refundable $125 deposit with the non-refundable balance due 30 days before the first day of the workshop.


20 1113 SS

Stuart Shils

Stuart Shils

Stuart Shils is a sensitive painter of the abstract, as seen through the composition in his urban work, and the dramatic weather depicted in his Irish coastal work. His Italian series seems to be bathed in warm-to-hot sunlight. An ever-evolving artist, his recent explorations have taken an even more abstract turn involving collage and assemblage.

Inspired by work done on his monotype press, his paintings have become abstract fields of beautiful hues, and textures with small accents of surprise that punctuate and shape the broad environments of color. Even more recently, his photography of collages in the making and ever changing street scenes reveal an alert eye that constantly sees the shifting compositions of daily life, revealing just how they can be plucked out of context by the camera, leaving the scene undisturbed.

Shils has shown his work at Rothschild Gallery, Tel Aviv, Tibor de Nagy, NY and Hackett-Freedman in San Francisco among others. He has been awarded numerous grants for his work including awards from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation, the Ballington Arts Foundation and the NEA Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. He has been a visiting artist at numerous colleges and arts organizations including University of Washington, Hamline University, Lyme Academy School of Arts, University of Utah, Johns Hopkins University, and the Sedona Arts Center.

There is a rich abundance of material available on Stuart Shils online.

Explore his Website –

An Article on Painting Powers of Observation –

A “Savy Painter” Podcast

Numerous Articles and Interviews on “Painting Perceptions”

a simple scissors

a pink eraser or something like that

an approx 8 1/2 x 11 inch sketch book

some pencils like 4B – 7B

a pencil sharpener

a small straight edge

a roll of artist tape, 3/4 inch or whatever they have.

some sheets of copy paper

A package of black construction paper or any black paper like that. The kind that children use in nursery school. The thing is that we are not going to use the entire package, but it’s not at all expensive and it is something you can use in your  studios after the class. Something like the below link…

Also a black crayon and a lighter one, like a yellow or pink, not dark but still with some presence. It could instead be two markers, one black or close to black and one lighter in tone and color.

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn, toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn

In-Person and Online Workshops Cancellations

  • A student may pay in full or place a $125 non-refundable deposit to save a space in the workshop
  • Any unpaid balance is due at least 30 days prior to first day of class
  • If a student cancels before the 30-day cut-off, the balance is refunded (or cancelled if not already paid) – the deposit is non-refundable
  • If a student cancels within the 30-days prior to class, no refund is given and both deposit and balance are forfeited
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full

Important Message

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.

I had not previously taken a class from SAC, although I have wished to for several years. Travel and course expenses had been the challenge for me. This (online format) was much more affordable and convenient, especially during the time when staying at home has been a necessity.

Mr. Shils class was an excellent mix of thought process and practical exercises in how we can view our everyday lives. Open and honest discussion during our time together in the small group setting allowed for a more personal experience than you would ordinarily find in a larger classroom setting.

Just want to extend a huge thank you for having Stuart out to do the 3-day "Emphasizing Abstraction" workshop. The art center is such a great facility. Sedona is an important venue for Stuart's workshops, as he does comparatively few on the West Coast. The workshop itself was totally mind-blowing. Not only is Stuart an exceptional teacher and thinker (as you well know), but he also offers unique insights into how artists can extend exploratory inquiry into their own creative process while giving a strong foundation for doing so. The evening discussions examining Stuart's own work - a retrospective of sorts - deftly illustrated the importance of risk-taking and revisiting one's own personal and developmental history as an artist. Thanks again for a great learning experience. Best wishes for another 60 years of success in promoting a diverse and progressive art tradition in Sedona. -Sandy Honda

It’s taken me some time to process all you shared with us in Sedona. As I’ve told my all artist friends & family, “Experiencing your workshop has been a game changer for both my work and life!” A complete lifestyle shift. You’ve taken me from ‘going through the motions’ of the ‘busy-ness’ of art making to fully embracing my creative/experimental self. Guiding me back to my complete identity as an artist. Having worn many hats during my life, I’d lost touch with my true nature & my life purpose. Your workshop has reintroduced me to my most natural, intuitive self. You’ve revealed & reawakened within me what it truly means to BE a painter. You’ve armed me with the sharpened visual & conversational habits which I’m integrating into my daily painting practice. I am completely confident that both my new self & my new work will exponentially evolve. Because of your workshop, I’ve shifted from being a ‘surviving artist’ to a becoming a THRIVING ARTIST! I’m certain that every participant found it to be transformative. Stuart, you are a renaissance man and your ‘Emphasizing Abstraction’ is the most valuable workshop I’ve been blessed to experience. Far more than a specific art technique or process geared toward hobbyist artists gathering techniques, your workshop is a primer on what it means to Be an artist/painter. A way of being, thinking and experiencing life fully and creatively engaged. Thank you, Stuart, for developing and sharing such an awesome workshop! -Sher

I am writing to let you know how much I loved the recent workshop “Emphasizing Abstraction” with Stuart Shils. It was the missing link in my painting. Stuart is an excellent teacher with the rare combination of being a brilliant working artist who is able to meet each student at their level with encouragement and honesty and inspire and motivate the group as a whole. I was amazed by his energy and generosity, from sharing his process, materials, wisdom, and time (we met as a group beyond the hours of the class). I left feeling not only inspired and motivated but with actual tools/exercises to keep working. I’ve drawn and painted every day since I got back home! The biggest shift is that I’m now able to see why a painting is working and why it isn’t. This is huge for me. In the past it was “I like it” or I don’t, but not really understanding why. I’ve been looking at my own paintings since the workshop and I can see why they are or aren’t working -a lack of rhythm of shapes. It is so powerful to now be able to know what to look for when I am stuck in a painting. It has made both making and looking at painting so much more alive for me. If Stuart comes back to Sedona Arts Center again I will do everything I can to come back!