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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Workshop
Joy of Alla Prima:
Painting Landscapes in Nature
Instructors: Brigitte Curt & Jim Smyth

Introduction meeting
August 28, 2009
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.


Saturday - Sunday
August 29 - 30, 2009
9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Joy of Alla Prima: Painting Landscapes in Nature
Register by:   August 19, 2009
Tuition:   Friday plus 2 classes:
$250 members, $275 non-members
Materials list:   Contact instructors
Prerequisites:   You should have some practice in oil painting or whatever medium you choose.

Join us for a fast moving, exciting review of the basics in this plein air class. Then experience several more advanced methods and experimental techniques. Demonstrations, discussions and lots of help at your easel will take you to your next level. Explore methods and materials used by both traditional artists and noted contemporary artists. Start where you are and quickly find new creative directions for your work.

Additional Information

This workshop is based on a structural organization of concepts:

  1. Reading nature through the eyes of the artist. Reading nature is mostly making choices, not a catalog of reality.

  2. Compose and organize masses in their relative relevance in relationship with each other and the space they create.

  3. Create a hierarchy of simple values.

  4. Edge quality as it determines the meaning of objects and the flow of light.

  5. Transparencies and opacities and other paint applications as they contrast creating visual stimuli.

  6. Color mixing and color composition. How to create paintings that sing in harmony.

Joy of Alla Prima: Painting Landscapes in Nature

Two instructors!

Brigitte Curt, born in Paris, France. A true "French Impressionist," Brigitte is a well-known teacher in the Bay Area and has developed a national following of collectors. She is represented by Kneeland Gallery in Sun Valley, Idaho; Smith-Klein Gallery in Boulder, Colorado; Huff Huntington in Atlanta, Georgia; Galleries West in Jackson, Wyoming: and Stone Griffin Gallery in Campbell, California. Prints of her work are distributed by Winn Devon in 85 countries.

Jim Smyth has taught drawing and painting in the Bay Area for over 30 years. He currently teaches at the College of San Mateo and the Palo Alto Art Center, and has been an instructor in many colleges (Foothill, FIDM, Cogswell) and for private groups (Electronic Arts, Pacific Art League). He was trained in several European and American Academies. Jim has trained many budding artists who are now professionals in their own right.

Joy of Alla Prima: Painting Landscapes in Nature
Instructors' Statement

Philosophy of Teaching

We believe that the cement of a great organization is an intense focus on the values that guide its members and actions.

  1. We are committed to education for the greater benefit of the students, without flattery, shortcuts or complacency.
  2. We are committed to the values of honesty, integrity and responsibility.
  3. We recognize, in every artist, the non-negotiable need to develop unique skills in order to pursue his/her artistic vision.
  4. We believe in the fundamental right to personal expression and recognize that art is most importantly an emotional and intuitive form of expression.
  5. We believe in positive learning. We use abundant doses of patience, humor and enthusiasm.
  6. We treat every student with respect and courtesy and with the same intent to achieve, with them, their very best regardless of their level of entry, their previous experience or the style in which they learn.
  7. Friendliness and courtesy are the language spoken in our teaching environment.
  8. We do not acknowledge the concept of "mistake" in art. We are compassionate with our students' efforts and we rejoice in their successes.
  9. Art is a very important part of life. We go out of our way to make it possible for our students to achieve their goals.
  10. We believe in concepts in art, solid knowledge as a fundamental base for creativity and in the objective criteria that are part of education.
  11. We believe we paint who we are and we try hard to become better people as well as better-trained artists.
  12. We are all artists at heart. We become painters by training. We commit ourselves to guide our students to be the best they can be in both these endeavors.
  13. We depend on our students, their enthusiasm, and their commitment to achieve and maintain an environment that supports and nurtures their creative development.

See also: Gualala Arts Workshop Registration, Payment & Cancellation Policy.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.