Bemis School of Art

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Enchanted Textures of Taos, New Mexico

Taos’ light, color, and culture have inspired modern artists for over 125 years to create inspirational and memorable paintings. Taos is especially stunning in the autumn with glorious textures and colors. Professional artist and instructor Martha Mans will concentrate on watercolor and gouache painting with a special small presentation about how she creates her casein paintings. We will visit a different location each day with a demonstration by Martha to encourage you to try water media techniques designed to help you hone your painting skills. Martha will take great care in making sure your experience as a painter in Taos is rewarding. She will work with each of you in the group and as an individual painter. You can expect her to help you work out your individual painting challenges and develop better ways of seeing subject matter to create more dynamically designed paintings. Adults

ArtTrax: Painting III

Bemis ArtTrax is a new curriculum created to provide equitable and accessible pathways to the arts. ArtTrax courses introduce the fundamental concepts of painting, drawing, and sculpting through a series of engaging exercises. Emphasis is not on producing finished works of art, but rather on developing a basic skillset through practice and repetition. No prior knowledge or experience in the medium is needed/expected for level I classes. The courses then proceed sequentially, each level building upon what was previously presented. Ages 16-Adult

Acrylic Painting Sampler

This one-day workshop is a quick and fun way to introduce yourself to acrylic painting. We will explore traditional painting techniques like dry brushing, layering, impasto, introduction to color theory, a glance at classical master painter techniques, and more! Bring your work to life in this fun, supportive class! Ages 9-12

Expressive Florals

Learn to use bold, vivid color to create an expressive floral painting. A bit of layering with collage and gel medium for enhanced texture, underpainting techniques, strong brush strokes, mark-making, and acrylic paint will work together to define floral shapes. Oil pastels will be used for finishing touches and definition. This class is about discovering your unique style by integrating hand, eye, and heart. Individual attention emphasized. Ages 16-Adult

Painting Abstracted Realism

Are you ready to go to the exciting next level with your painting skills? Are you ready to stop copying a reference photo and paint the spirit and heart of the subject? Have you always wanted to know how to plan, begin, and paint an abstract painting? Do you want to learn how to know when it’s finished? In this workshop, you will learn how to do those things in water media including drawing ink, acrylic, powders, and more. Adult

ArtTrax: Painting II

Bemis ArtTrax is a new curriculum created to provide equitable and accessible pathways to the arts. ArtTrax courses introduce the fundamental concepts of painting, drawing, and sculpting through a series of engaging exercises. Emphasis is not on producing finished works of art, but rather on developing a basic skillset through practice and repetition. No prior knowledge or experience in the medium is needed/expected for level I classes. The courses then proceed sequentially, each level building upon what was previously presented. Ages 16-Adult

City Lines in Watercolor

Come along for this guided, plein air watercolor class focused on city lines. Through demonstrations and various assignments, you will learn techniques for painting architecture quickly and beautifully! This low-key, relaxing class is a wonderful way to unwind and hone your existing skills. Ages 16-Adult

Exploring Watercolor

Discover the unrivaled and endless possibilities of watercolor. Build a repertoire of skills from choosing proper materials, brilliant colors, radiant blends, shadow and light all while incorporating traditional and experimental techniques. No need for natural talent. Just the desire to learn the limitless possibilities of this magnificent, versatile medium. Ages 16-Adult

Animals & their Environment

This course will be a study about some animals who are impacting their environment and others that are being impacted BY their environment. After we learn a bit about animals we will create plaster sculptures of them using newspaper, tape, and plaster strips before bringing them to life with paint. Get ready for a wild time! Ages 6-9

Art Around the World

Would you like to be inspired by art from regions other than our own? This class explores several techniques from different cultures and countries across the globe —painting/sculpting animals, tangled drawings, dot designs, and stamped hieroglyphics. Make art while you learn about other art processes from around the world. Ages 6-9

Introduction to Murals Workshop

This fun, two-day workshop is all about how to create murals! We will walk through the entire process of executing a mural including working on a team, finding a location, talking with the building owner, formulating a proposal, concept drawings, and the final production of the collaborative mural. The final ideas for our collaborative mural will be executed on an interior wall or board. Ages 12-16

Friday Night Adult Painting

Love painting and do it all the time? Haven’t picked up a paintbrush since elementary school? Perfect! This is the class for you. This painting class will teach you the fundamentals of painting with acrylic paint and give you the confidence to finish a masterpiece! Adults

Painting in Nature

This is an exploratory class of nature through painting. Students will learn the basics of watercolor in week one, basics of acrylic in week two, and by week three students will have their choice on which medium (acrylic or watercolor) they would like to continue exploring. Create some art in the beautiful outdoors! Ages 16-Adult

Watercolor in Nature

Learn the basics of watercolor through the exploration of the outdoors. The first part of the class will be time to learn new techniques and the second half will be time to take your sketchbook outside, observe, and paint what you see. Students should dress according to the weather, wear sunscreen, and bring a water bottle. Ages 9-12

Art & Acting in the Forest

Enjoy outstanding arts education with instructors from the Fine Art Center’s Bemis School of Art set in the lush forest at the 400-acre La Foret Conference and Retreat Center. Experience a variety of artistic styles and techniques, including painting, printmaking, and mixed-media art while exploring elements of composition and design. Cultivate your acting skills, voice, movement, and characterization with theater games, mime, and improvisation. Art and acting will come together on Fridays with a special showcase performance and art exhibit for friends and family.  Ages 6-11

Watercolor Mountain Landscape

Discover watercolor techniques and try something new! In this class, we will examine the art style of contemporary artist Jen Aranyi, practice drawing a simple, abstract mountain range, then outline it with black Sharpies, and finish the sky with watercolors to create a galaxy-like effect. We will discuss diverse ways to finish the foreground (in front of the mountains, such as trees, a river, a camping scene, etc.). Ages 16-Adult

Introduction To Studio Practice

This course is for students who have expressed a love for art and wish to create their own art free from typical in-school restrictions. Students will be guided through a simplified creation experience aimed at helping them generate their own ideas. Learn practical idea-generation tools while also reviewing the elements of art and the principles of design. Ages 9-12

3D Sculpture Design

In this course, we are all free to let our imaginations soar! 3D sculpture design is a unique and exciting way to explore your creative side using traditional and non-traditional art methods and materials. Take your ideas to the next level from concept drawing designs to 3D sculptures. With polymer-based clay, the possibilities are close to limitless! Ages 9-12

ArtTrax: Painting I

Bemis ArtTrax is a new curriculum created to provide equitable and accessible pathways to the arts. ArtTrax courses introduce the fundamental concepts of painting, drawing, and sculpting through a series of engaging exercises. Emphasis is not on producing finished works of art, but rather on developing a basic skillset through practice and repetition. No prior knowledge or experience in the medium is needed/expected for level I classes. The courses then proceed sequentially, each level building upon what was previously presented. Ages 16-Adult

Introduction to Acrylic Painting

In this fun introduction to acrylic painting, you will learn the fundamentals of drawing followed by traditional painting techniques that will allow for a smooth transition into acrylic painting. We will explore color theory, as well as paintbrush techniques like blending, dry brush, layering, and so much more. Give your paintings a breath of life! Ages 12-16

Virtual: Military Artistic Healing

Discover the techniques to inspire creative skills and gain greater self-awareness. Learn to utilize artistic and creative exercise, through therapeutic processes, to develop self-expression and healing. Explore possibilities, develop your creativity, and gain personal insight through working with a variety of controllable mediums. Increase personal management of life stressors by utilizing artistic exercises outside of class to help with trauma. There are many benefits to using art to express emotions — art can furnish a healthy outlet and an alternate way to communicate something that one cannot always put into words, provide safe containment for emotions that are expressed, and reflecting on art can give new understanding and insight about feelings. Visual thinking strategies will be used to increase group cohesion. This course includes live Zoom class sessions. Adults

Introduction To Acrylic Painting

This is a fun introduction to acrylic painting! Learn traditional painting techniques, fundamental techniques of drawing, introduction to color theory, as well as paintbrush techniques like blending, dry brush, layering, and so much more. Give your paintings a breath of life! Ages 9-12

In-Person: Military Artistic Healing

Discover the techniques to inspire creative skills and gain greater self-awareness. Explore possibilities, develop your creativity, and gain personal insight through working with a variety of controllable mediums. Visits to the Fine Arts Center’s museum galleries using visual thinking strategies will increase group cohesion. There are many benefits to using art to express emotions — art can furnish a healthy outlet and an alternate way to communicate something that one cannot always put into words, provide safe containment for emotions that are expressed, and reflecting on art can give new understanding and insight about feelings. Adults

Tell Your Story With Graphic Novels

Learn to write and draw your own graphic novel! Students will format a story complete with setting, plot and characters and learn how to illustrate the narrative with their own drawings. Students will learn how to draw from a bird’s eye view, worm's eye view, and will learn basic design elements to add excitement or drama to their story. Students should come ready with an idea of their characters and a conflict that will help drive the story. Ages 12-16

The Secret Garden

Inspired by the classic book, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Burnett, learn to draw the main character Mary Lennox, build the graffiti garden with collage and paint, blend colorful art tissue with acrylic paint to make the blossoming garden, and design a keyhole peeking into the garden. Create a floral headpiece with dangling ribbons for a tea party hosted by the instructor on the grounds of the Fine Arts Center. Ages 7-11