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INSTRUCTION is geared toward giving every aspiring painter the skills they need to create the paintings they find most fulfilling.

Participants will develop mastery in the foundational skills of drawing—measuring, geometry, and proportion, as well as a thorough understanding of color, value, and tonality. Oil paint as a physical material becomes familiar and accessible and exciting.

In addition to fundamental skill development, the curriculum strengthens individual artistic exploration and direction. For those interested, oil painting becomes a vehicle for deep and personal experimentation and self-discovery. Participants will learn of the great painters of the past and present, finding their own affinities and “family”, helping to strengthen their own directions and interests.

THE BIG PICTURE. The course offerings and educational trajectory are informed by an understanding of Painting as a Human Depth Activity, a vehicle for experiencing our inherent Interbeing, and an ongoing expression of Consciousness.

Human Depth Activity. A strong painting finds its power not through its ability to depict the world in an objective manner, but rather in the painter’s ability to dig in deep during the process of the making.

Interbeing. Painting, by its very nature, gives evidence and strengthens our inherent interconnectedness and shared being.

An Expression of Consciousness. In its most fundamental truth, Painting is a manifestation and expression of Consciousness, the primary and ongoing creative source of existence.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is designed to meet students wherever they are – beginning, intermediate, advanced or professional. The goal of the curriculum is to give them the context and tools that are most appropriate for their particular direction of exploration in paint.

Grounded in the Western tradition, rooted in the Renaissance, versed in the inventions of Modernity, and engaging with Contemporary concerns and theory, the courses are constructed for a range of possible paths and pursuits.

  • Foundations Beginner, In-Studio & Online

    The Foundations Course is designed to function both as an introduction into the world of painting as well as a vehicle for a more in-depth observational painting practice. Each student travels at their own pace, mastering the various skills of geometry, value, tonality, edge quality and paint handling. These skills serve as the basic platform from which to build and pursue one’s own practice, whether in a more experimental vein or in a more traditional attitude.

    Mastering these foundational skills also allows the developing painter to begin to experience the two-dimensional surface, whether paper or canvas, as a spatial arena in which to start to train one’s mind to “dream into” the flat surface as it opens into creative possibilities.

    While the Foundations Course provides for a sustained practice in and of itself, it can also serve to prepare students for study in Figure/Figuration and/or Abstraction as Discovery.

    See all Foundations Level Courses

  • Figure/Figuration Intermediate, In-Studio

    The skills needed for Figure/Figuration are the same ones as for the Foundations course – geometry, value, tonality, etc., — but the skills need a much higher degree of proficiency in order to create a convincing rendition of the figure. It is easier to begin to develop these skills from still life and then to continue to hone them with the figure, than to begin straight away with the figure. Depending on the student’s ambition, the Figure/Figuration course can serve for sustained study or as a form of advanced foundation course for narrative paintings or paintings done from memory.

    See all Intermediate Level Courses

  • Abstraction as Discovery Intermediate, In-Studio & Online

    The Abstraction as Discovery course is in many ways also an advanced foundations course. Students are exposed to working directly with the formal elements of a painting, for example, line, shape, form, color, edge, texture, paint handling, and composition. Because the painting necessarily goes through many transformations during the course, the student becomes directly familiar with painting as an extremely flexible and ceaselessly changeable medium.

    As well, the student is given the opportunity to experience the act of painting as a vital form of experimentation and discovery. Painting, as an open-ended form of discovery, becomes a vehicle for inner exploration and a metaphor for living. In this way, Abstraction as Discovery becomes a foundation course for an understanding of painting as a life practice and a long-term journey.

    Further, a familiarity with the process of painting in its more physically dense and muscular aspects gives the student a context and experience to draw upon no matter what their future direction, abstract or representational, from observation or imagination or memory.

    See all Intermediate Level Courses

  • Painting Through Modern Masters Intermediate, In-Studio & Online

    The series Painting Through Modern Masters is designed for intermediate painting students. Using exercises based on the inventions and concerns of a variety of Modern painters the course provides a structure for formal experimentation in relation to representational form, and an opportunity to question basic assumptions about what a painting is and how it functions. Among these questions is whether the goal of the painting is an attempt at an objective rendition of our world as seen “through a window”, or something else altogether. Beginning with Cezanne, particular exercises are provided to engage with painting as an arena for subjective exploration of an objective situation. Following these exercises based on Cezanne’s practice are two sets of exercises based on the divergent paths of Picasso and Matisse. In addition to examining the possibilities of the visual, aspects of our embodied experience that relate to mass, touch, the kinesthetic and proprioception are engaged through painters such as Soutine, Giacometti, and Auerbach. Through a working familiarity with Modern experimentation and invention students are exposed to painting as a kind of formal play in which one can discover one’s own questions and concerns and develop them into a personal structure and engagement.

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  • Strategies for a Creative Painting Practice Advanced, In-Studio

    Strategies for a Creative Painting Practice is designed for advanced and professional painters that have an outside studio practice. Engaging in weekly group critiques and discussions, the course provides a sense of ongoing community. In addition, practical questions are raised concerning the ins and outs of a studio practice and strategies for developing one’s path as a painter. The course provides support for the advanced painter to bridge the space between being a painting student enrolled in a teacher’s course to being a painter who has embarked on their painting journey in their own studio.

    See all Advanced Level Courses

  • GROUP CRIT Advanced, Online

    An online ongoing group critique for painters who are interested in exploring together deeper aspects of painting, what it means for each of us to paint, and how to strengthen our work, both formally and internally.  What makes a painting strong and imbues it with presence?  How does one clarify one’s own direction and path as a painter?  How can we share our work together and create a vital sense of community?

    For many of us, we paint because we need to.  There is something in the act of painting that deeply enlivens, brings us close to truth of our lives – that in-the-moment sense of being present, engaged, alive.  There is the possibility of this deepening of engagement becoming our ongoing way of working, and bringing to our studio practice a fullness of being that empowers our work, formally and energetically.  How does this happen?  This question will be an ongoing part of our conversation during our sessions.

    See all Advanced Level Courses

  • Painting and Presence: Low-Res Course Advanced, In-Studio & Online

    A Low-Residency Six-Month Painting Course

    Course Content:

    • Three 4-Day Intensive Workshops (Boulder, CO)
    • Interim Painting and Drawing Exercises (weekly)
      • Reading Assignments
      • Interim Monthly Online Video Conferences  (group discussion)


    “Paintings have the power to cut through or dissolve this apparent duality, this apparent distinction, between the subject that sees and the object that is seen…The collapse of the distance between the self and the object is what we call beauty.”
    from The Dissolving Power of Art, Rupert Spira

    What is the nature of painting and presence? How do we cultivate presence and how does it make our painting stronger? In this low residency course, we will explore three basic topics: the nature of presence, the relationship of presence to the world, and the non-duality of painting. These topics will be the sequential focus for three intensive workshops spread over a six-month period. In these workshops we will draw and paint, both representationally from observation, as well as non-representationally, investigating the nature of our experience, and going more deeply into what may have been previously familiar ways of working. Each workshop intensive will serve as a catalyst for deepening our understanding of our work, materials, awareness and selves. A course outline is available upon request.

    The course will provide an experiential, hands-on, understanding of presence, inquiring into how it informs and strengthens our painting practice, and how we may choose to bring our work to the world.

    • The first intensive will focus on the nature of presence and how it may impact and imbue our work. We will explore painting through different exercises, modalities and attitudes.
    • The second intensive will be concerned with the relationship between presence and the world. We will look at various attitudes and strategies of different artists as they endeavor to bring creative presence to the world. We will explore possibilities for creating our own particular ways of interfacing our art with the world.
    • The third intensive will investigate the nature of non-duality, and how that understanding may realign the dynamics of our painting practice, as the subject/object relationship in painting re-identifies itself and becomes more transparent. (I am not a teacher of non-duality: this will be a shared journey of inquiry.)

    In between the intensives will be interim exercises and ongoing reading assignments, designed to help us explore the nature of presence, our painting, and our own unique sensibilities and creative directions. These exercises will be both a continuation of the work done during the intensives as well as new exercises that will help serve as a bridge for the next intensive and section of material.

    Supporting this investigation will be a series of selected readings followed by group discussions. The reading assignments will be from five books: Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, edited by Mary Jane Jacob and Jacqueline Baas, Encountering the Spiritual in Contemporary Art, edited by Leesa Fanning, True and False by David Mamet, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein, and Presence, Volume One by Rupert Spira (supplemented by recorded talks).  These readings will also serve as a catalyst to help us explore the work we will be doing in the intensives.

    “…the artist’s mind-in-making is not just the result of studied knowledge (getting the facts straight) or skills acquired; it is always determined by the actual process of making and the depth of awareness one brings to bear during that process…The work of art derives its ‘presence’ from this heightened awareness — from the artist’s presence of mind.”
    — Mary Jane Jacob, Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art

    Each month the group will gather for an online teleconference to share experiences and understandings gained from the workshop intensives, the exercises and the readings.

    The course is designed for non-beginner painters to delve more deeply into the nature of painting and to discover for themselves their own specific quality of depth in their painting practice.

    See all Advanced Level Courses

  • Reading Group All Levels, Online

    The Reading Group is an online ongoing course that gives students a larger context and vocabulary with which to think about painting and issues related to culture and art. This in turn feeds back into the student’s reflections on their own work as they pursue their interests as developing painters. The readings that are discussed range from selections focusing on one particular painter to larger chapters providing overviews in art history including our contemporary situation.

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  • Painting as a Path of Awareness: 5-Week Intensive All Levels, Online

    The act and practice of painting is a transformative experience.

    A painting is not simply a picture. A painting is a weaving of energy.

    If you’ve been feeling the urge to paint — or perhaps you’ve been painting for some years but haven’t yet found your own personal, authentic way — this course is structured to bring you into a deeper and more empowered engagement.

    By providing an integrated process that includes your inner life together with specific formal ways of working, your painting process becomes inherently authentic and personally meaningful.

    This course is an Introduction to the 8-month Training, PAINTING, POWER & PRESENCE.

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  • PAINTING, POWER & PRESENCE: The Training All Levels, Online

    Through the act of painting we access our life-force and power.  Through the recognition and wielding of our inherent power we bring Presence more vividly into Form.  This is the Power of Painting.

    This offering is a unique training that radically recontextualizes our painting practice and provides an opportunity not only to strengthen our engagement with painting but to deeply strengthen the paintings themselves.

    The 8-month training emphasizes the relationship and interaction between the painter’s inner life and the development of the painting. In addition to the process-oriented and expressive aspects of the training, an essential part of the course focuses on how to formally arrive at an aesthetically strong painting – what that means, how to attain it, and how that is connected to our felt life.

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Course Offerings

Weekly painting courses give students the opportunity to develop their skills over a longer period of time. Intensive painting courses provide a more immersive experience.

Course Cancellation & Refund Policy:
No refunds will be issued for a course unless the course must be cancelled due to low enrollment, for which a 100% refund will be issued. If a student cancels at least 14 days prior to the start of the course the tuition may be transferred to the following course session.

Writings On Teaching


This book is a mix of various thoughts and musings — part inquiry into the relationship of painting and Consciousness, and part, in light of that inquiry, practical and pedagogical […]


Video – “PAINTING, POWER & PRESENCE: A Look at the Painting Journey”


Video – “Establishing a Reliable Painting Practice”


Video – “A Virtual Salon with Jordan Wolfson, ‘Three Paintings, Three Gates'”




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