Visual Dreaming in the Life Studio

Stuart Shils
for vince 5
house near corciano
Stuart Shils
Stuart Shils


Visual Dreaming in the Life Studio
Master Class Intensive with Stuart Shils
Intermediate to Advanced
April 9 – 11, 2019
Class will start with an orientation/digital presentation April 8 at 7:00 p.m.

This 3 day workshop approaches working from ‘life’ with a model through the graphic priorities of ‘painting’ as opposed to anatomy or any ideas about ‘how to’ paint the figure as in neoclassical ateliers. For us, the presence of the ‘model’ will serve as a shifting and relative point of reference within the studio and our focus will be on response to the visual possibilities presented there in the room. Large themes of inquiry will embrace the fluid nature of composition, the subjectivity of perception, clarity of observation and, the role of the loaded brush improvisationally informed by color.

Much emphasis will also be placed on drawing with graphite and crayons. And we’ll use acrylic paint on paper as our primary medium.

The first meeting for this workshop will be April 8 at 7:00 p.m. Stuart will present an orientation talk and digital presentation at the Arts Center. Class will start promptly at 9:00 a.m. each day thereafter and will continue through 5:00 p.m. each day. As Stuart will begin a demo at around 12:30 p.m. each day students should plan on bringing a lunch.

Additional evening events will include a presentation by Stuart of his own work to the students – opportunities for dinner gatherings and ongoing discussion and critique are arranged on an ongoing basis giving this workshop a broad scope and richness.

See the additional and separate workshop with Stuart Shils offered just before this one on April 5 – 7, 2017.
“Emphasizing Abstraction”


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 balance due 30 days before the first day of the workshop.

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”

    This class is going to use a variety of media: acrylic paints (rather than oil because they dry quickly and more importantly, are useful for circumventing many of the clichés so easily acquired over time with oil paints.) crayons, a nice big box of Crayola and, different drawing tools like litho crayon, pencil and marker.
  • Paints
    Acrylic paints: for these days the 2 oz tubes will be good, except get a larger for white. I usually recommend GOLDEN acrylic paints, but as economy is usually a consideration, you will be fine with Dick Blick brand acrylic. Your choice is up to you. Blick is the most economical but still decent quality : Try to get Artists Grade. Cheaper paints are not appropriate. White - a large 4.5 oz or 5 oz tube. Yellow Medium Azo Yellow Ochre Pyrol Red Quinocridone Red Ivory Black Light Green Blue Shade Pthalo Green, Yellow Shade Cad Orange Cobalt Blue Cerulean Blue Ultramarine BlueNot required, but these can always be supplemented, if you like, with cad red light, cad yellow deep and Cad Yellow light.
  • Palette knife
    Palette knife: you will need a knife for periodically cleaning your palette. I recommend this style pal knife, NOT a painting knife:
  • Paper
    Paper to paint on:Please bring 1of these Canson 9x12 inch Mixed Media Pads: Blick itemBlick Bristol pad, 14x17 inches, smooth surface. (please DO NOT bring the 9x12 inch size.) you click on this, the 9x12 might come up but scroll down below and you will see the 14x17.
  • Sketch Book
    A sketch book, approx. the size of a piece of copy paper.
  • Brushes
    Brushes: for acrylic only the soft artificial hairs, inexpensive and they last a long time. link above is for a #14. I would bring a #16, #14, #12. And a #8 if you are feeling ambitious. These are Blick long handled white synthetic hair brushes with a blue handle. You don?t have to use that specific brush but you can find the equivalent. And it can be in short handle as well. But PLEASE, DO NOT bring the standard oil painting stiff bristle, hog hair brush for use with acrylic paint, it is not the same and doesn't work well at all. NO FLATS.
  • Glue Stick
    GLUE STICK: UHU clear, .75 oz:
  • Scissors
    SMALL SCISSORS OF ANY KIND, nothing fancy
  • White Artists Tape
    Roll of white artist tape, ¾ inch or 1 inch:
  • Eraser
    Pink Perl eraser
  • Black Crayon
    Like a caran d'arche crayon or a litho crayon
  • Metal Triangle
    Small Metal Triangle for Drawing:
  • Small Ruler
  • Woodless Pencil
    Koh I Noor Woodless Pencil: 6B, 8B, And you can bring a few regular drawing pencils also, something like 6B and 8B.
  • Sharpener
    Pencil Sharpener - whatever you use, a small metal one or a mat/exacto knife for doing it by hand.
  • Palette
    Disposable palette, this is 16 x 20 inch and I really recommend that, you want lots of room to mix:
  • Gloves
    I suggest protecting your hands, even with acrylic, you don't want it all over your skin. But it's up to you. Link above is a good glove, choose the size best for your hands. I use a medium for a snug fit. You can call Grainger and order them. Or perhaps you can find something similar at the hardware store.
  • Canvas Bag
    When drawing outside, I tend to put all the supplies in a canvas bag, the kind one gets from LL BEAN or Lands End, like what many people take to the beach. A good-sized one will carry just about everything we need. The beauty of those bags is that they hold everything together in one place. And, they last for 20 years. Just so that you can see what I mean if in doubt, Click the link above.
  • Paper Towels
    Bounty Microwave is very heavy duty. interview with Stuart Shils about his own work. interview with Stuart Shils on his most recent assemblage/collage work. interview with Stuart Shils on Recent Teaching.