Sherrie’s Workshop Schedule

Sherrie McGraw Workshops
Teaching Philosophy
Learning how to paint and draw is possible. While a cloak of mystery surrounds the mythical artist that is often intimidating to the novice, if someone is visually wired, he or she can learn to paint and draw. So why aren’t these disciplines easy? Why do they seem at times so difficult and why are great artists not more prevalent? Painting and drawing themselves are simple, but there is a reason that in practice, they are not easy. There is the small matter of our own minds. This is the real hurdle that is not broached often enough. Every brushstroke and line we make is filtered through our own perceptions, prejudices and emotional resistance to change. We are each the product of our entire lives and learning to be an artist is really learning about ourselves. And to me the most valuable part of this process is not the product of our labors, it is the richness of deepening self-awareness.

Sherrie McGraw Workshops

“With Sherrie’s workshop, I experienced for the first time, painting a portrait without drawing it first. This was a total revelation to me, even liberating. Each new portrait has now become an adventure instead of an uncertain road. I am looking forward to seeing her again.” —Johanne Mangi

SANTA FE WORKSHOPs 2016
Bright Light Fine Art

We are very excited about our workshop venue in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a world-renowned art mecca. The drawing and painting classes will be held in the grand ballroom of The Lodge hotel where all forty students will enjoy attention from three instructors daily. In the drawing class, we will focus on understanding the form beneath the costumed model; the painting class will also focus on the costumed model, as well as setting up a beautiful idea in a still life. Santa Fe is a magical place; come join us for a rich week of learning!


Drawing: October 21-23, 2016

In this three-day drawing workshop, there will be both male and female quick gesture poses in order to warm up. For this special class, we will focus on learning how to draw the draped model and give a sense of form underneath clothing. The model will take a long nude pose while students draw. Then the model will take the same pose, but this time he or she will be in costume. This exercise will help students understand how to draw draped models in a convincing manner. This is a wonderful way to begin to develop the ability to have ‘x-ray’ vision when capturing the clothed model.

Painting: October 24-28, 2016

In this five-day workshop, students will have the option of painting still life and/or the costumed model. Choosing from the professional models in this art town, students wanting to paint the figure will enjoy a variety of subjects dressed in period clothing that will surely stimulate some intriguing compositions. In the still life section of the class students will create their own compositions with assistance from the instructors from a large variety of antique objects and flowers provided. Instructors will help students understand what their ideas are, and then what—if anything—is extrinsic to that idea. The guiding concept is the key to learning to paint.

To reach the reservations department of The Lodge, call (505) 992-5858 or (888) 563-4373. To receive the group rate, reference the group code ‘B05F15’ or ‘Bright Light Fine Art’.
Click on the following to book your reservation online at The Lodge.

Listen to this September 20th interview on Drawing and Abstract Realism on AMO (Artists Mentors Online).
Click here to listen

Sherrie McGraw Workshops
Sherrie McGraw Workshops

Sherrie McGraw Workshops

“Thank you for last week at Wethersfield. It was an enjoyable and productive week. … now I am off to buy a tube of that “non-color”. You have had a great effect on me, as an artist, as a teacher and as a beautiful human being. I feel lucky to have met you.” —Jack Broderick

Students are often nervous about what they don’t know. However, not knowing is, ironically, where the real learning occurs. Not knowing is the allure where something new can happen. Artists educate their powers of seeing beyond what is normally required and a teacher has the privilege of helping students clarify and streamline this discovery. Yes, there are technical aspects to these disciplines—mixing color, applying paint, understanding anatomy and achieving line quality to name a few—but there is so much more to developing as an artist than the craft. The most important aspect is the developed ability to see as an artist, tempered with a compassion for one’s own humanness.Becoming an artist opens up a very special relationship to the world—one of structure, symmetry, color harmony, edges, shapes and the sensuality of paint and line. The struggles encountered with changing how one sees mirror those of life—the tussle with it, the messiness of it, with all the good, the bad and the ugly. Most meaningful relationships do not come without a price, and so it is with art. Out of the struggle of learning to see comes a universal language. It is this very distinction—not knowing as opposed to knowing—that separates art from illustration. Art, the magic, the mystery come amidst the hesitance and the groping for a new understanding, a new way of seeing and the thrill of discovery within the relationship with your subject.

Sherrie McGraw Workshops
It is no accident that some students are drawn to certain teachers. When we resonate with another artist’s work, it is because we recognize it. The philosophy behind it lies deeply within us already. As a teacher I try to awaken these dormant sensibilities through an appreciation of the student as an entire human being. The more sensitivity I can bring to this relationship, the more possible it is to convey the language of painting in a way that the student can comprehend. Sometimes learning requires words, and sometimes it requires a visual demonstration. But if I am successful and I see the light of recognition in their eyes, this connection is, I know, why I continue to teach.

Comments are closed.