Art School

We offer a variety of classes and workshops to local artists at each of our stores.

  • Erin Dusza Brings Art History to Life

    Q&A with Art History Professor Erin Dusza

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    Art History with Erin DuszaI am a proud Army Brat. I fell in love with the architecture and history of medieval Europe while living overseas. It took a few years for me to take that interest and meld it with academic history. I have a B.F.A. in Theater Design and an M.A. in Art History. I wrote my thesis on Alphonse Mucha's later career and a Czech patriotic movement called Pan-Slavism. I currently teach Art History part-time at the Art Institute of Atlanta in Decatur and have students tell me every quarter that they hate history . . . until they take it with me!

    I love getting to share my love of history in a casual, funny story telling kind of way to show how interesting history can be. I also love studying about Ancient Egypt, Medieval and Renaissance Europe and the Early 20th Century. OK, and just about anything in between!

    Outside of academics, I also like to study the development of the Walt Disney Company and its theme parks, European and Mexican cooking, old movies and Broadway Musicals. I have two Cairn Terrier children and a wonderful husband who supports me at home and puts up with all my quirks.

    “I love getting to share my love of history in a casual, funny story telling kind of way to show how interesting history can be.”

    What is it about Art History that excites you?

    So many people remember their history classes from grade school; in year “x”, “blah blah” invaded here and after the battle of “blech” they gathered at “boring point” and signed the treaty of “snore”.

    I found I could study history the way I liked it - by looking at an artifact made by someone in that time - and ignore the battles and treaties that I found boring. I could connect what was happening in a time period by looking at what they made, how they made it and how they chose to make it look. Each work of art tells a story, so I enjoy telling the stories and connecting the history - not the other way around!

    Art History with Erin Dusza Image Courtesy of the Instructor

    Can you give an example of a story you find particularly interesting, behind a piece of artwork?

    A perfect answer to your question would be the story of how the Mona Lisa got so famous. Before 1911, the Mona Lisa was a lesser known work by Leonardo Da Vinci. On August 21st, 1911, Vincenzo Perugia stole the Mona Lisa, believing that he would be hailed a hero in Italy for returning the work to its homeland.

    The result was a grand print media campaign as the world looked for the small renaissance painting. That print campaign literally established the Mona Lisa as the most famous painting in the world. I think that makes for a pretty amazing story.

    What do you hope students take away from these classes?

    I want to open their eyes to the impact that historical styles and works still have on us today. In My Monuments Men lecture I want them to learn the lesser told story of the role of artwork in WWII and also the dangers of extremism. In the Women Artists class I want them to learn about what women went through to become artists, gain acceptance, and the influences they had on not just one another but also the artistic world at large. I am also happy to take suggestions on any other desired subject matter!

    Art History_Dusza_MonumentsMenThe Art of Monuments Men with Erin Dusza

    Description

    Did you know that art played a large role in WWII? That Hitler actually made of list of artwork he wanted from different cities in Europe BEFORE he made his invasion plans? Did you see the movie Monuments Men and still have questions? Want to sit down with an art historian for an evening and have your questions answered? The evening will include a look at Hitler's relationship to art, the works he and his men stole, and the efforts made to protect and recover art from his troops.

    Art History with Dusza Image Courtesy of the Instructor

    Women Artists through History with Erin Dusza

     

    Description

    Why did women struggle to become artists? What obstacles did they face? How did women artists contribute to Art History? This course will cover from the Renaissance through early 20th century art. It will include an examination of artistic training, techniques, salons and receptions to women artists. There will also be discussions of female patrons, and innovators. Come see history from a feminine perspective!

    Written by Jacob Gunter

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

     

  • The Art of Sculpting Custom Toys

    Elizabeth Sanquiche is not Afraid to Follow her Passions

    Sculpting Custom Toys Image Courtesy of the Artist

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    I was born in New York City and raised in Queens and Long Island. I studied at Queens College and City University of New York where I focused on business. I had the desire to study English as well. I was always passionate about writing. I worked the corporate retail world for 18+ years running million dollar businesses, but I left that in 2009 to pursue my true passion, art.

    I was artistic as a young child, always drawing and painting. At four I learned to read and play classical music on the piano. In second grade I learned to play the flute and continued with both of those up until college. For a few years in middle school my family moved us to Puerto Rico. Music is what I intended to pursue with plans to study at the music conservatory in San Juan. I was always playing in bands and orchestras and had the wonderful opportunity of being chosen to play in the band for the Pan American Games opening/closing ceremonies in 1979. But life happens and plans changed and shifted.

    “While going through a tough personal transition I submersed myself in writing and sculpting like a new obsession, it consumed me and I ate, slept and breathed sculpting. I've never looked back and I have no regrets because I believe I found my true calling as a sculptor.”

     

    My younger brother by 8 years, who I babysat on many an occasion is also an artist, illustrator. We sat for endless hours as kids drawing together and nurturing our only desire, to make art. In 2009, he turned me on to the world of blank DIY (do-it-yourself) Munnys. Coercing me to go online and view what artists were doing with this platform, he said it would be good for me to break back into art, any art as long as I was creating. He wanted me to get inspired. I was amazed at the talent and creations of so many artists. That was the first time I touched clay, a new medium for me. I fell in love with 3D art. While going through a tough personal transition I submersed myself in writing and sculpting like a new obsession, it consumed me and I ate, slept and breathed sculpting. I've never looked back and I have no regrets because I believe I found my true calling as a sculptor.

    Sculpting Custom Toys Image Courtesy of the Artist

    What inspires you the most to create?

    That's a tough question. I'm inspired by so many things. Let's start with Disney, a big part of my childhood. Once I had children, I started collecting movies which I would say was for them, but in honesty it was as much for me too. I never get tired of watching animation. My kids are grown now, and I still go out and buy new releases, but not just Disney. I enjoy Pixar, Anime, Manga and any high end animation that tells an amazing story with unique characters. I'm a huge fan of claymation and the work of Tim Burton. There are so many aspects to that art that intrigue me, but sculpting and animating characters I find fascinating. That would be a dream job for me, to work on a set for a production like that or even be mentored by the elite talent in the industry.

    “Once I had children, I started collecting movies which I would say was for them, but in honesty it was as much for me too. I never get tired of watching animation.”

     

    I collect art books: watercolor, photography, drawing, airbrushing, graffiti, fantasy, fine art, graphic art, beasts and creatures, sculpture, and how-to books. You name it I love it all because it opens my eyes to different angles, concepts, perceptions, styles. One book can give me a good 1/2 dozen ideas for sculptures I want to create. It just triggers new ideas and so now I keep a notebook with a list of those ideas. A place, an object, a scent, a person, a dream, almost anything can cause inspiration. Sometimes while I'm in the midst of sculpting a project I get visions for other ones and I jot down key points that will trigger the vision for when I'm ready to create. As for other artists, there are too many artists to name but a few that I enjoy are, Caia Koopman, Tara Mcpherson, Camilla D'errico, Kathy Olivas, Brandt Peters, Travis Louie, and Greg Simkins.

    Sculpting Custom Toys Image Courtesy of the Artist

    The main thing is saturating myself in the creative world. I’m constantly trying to connect and meet new artists. I'm fortunate to know a lot of artists in the customizing world which I can now call friends and by just being themselves, makes this process enjoyable. I use social media as a huge tool to see what other creators are doing, being in the loop. It inspires me. It motivates me to keep moving forward. It helps me to analyze and critique my strengths and opportunities. Now that this artistic passion in unleashed in me, I'm driven to keep the fire lit.

    What advice would you give to anyone who is interested in creating custom toys?

    To start, just have fun. Obviously it draws many people, it's relatable because they're toys; we all had them and played with them as kids. The direction in which you take your creativity is entirely up to you. Creators from all walks of life and all levels of skills have taken to customizing. Some do it for fun to break the monotony of what they normally do and some have turned it into a way of life. It's important to be patient because anything worth doing well takes time and comes with practice. Learn something from each process so you can improve on the next one. Almost every time I create something I've made a mistake, or dislike something from it, and I retain that so when I make the next one I push myself to a new level. I don't concern myself with what everyone is doing. I concern myself with what I'm doing or not doing but never to a point where I don't enjoy myself, and that's hard to accomplish when you've chosen to do art for a living. Forget the fear of not being creative enough, it resides within us. You just have to seek your niche. For example, you will decide you like sculpting over them, some will like painting over them; some will like just using markers and that process is the fun part! What you'll find in yourself is a new perspective... sort of a visual voice of expression. Who you will see is that creative child you thought you left behind! It's not rocket science. It's art, your art, for you to enjoy and share with others.

    “What you'll find in yourself is a new perspective... sort of a visual voice of expression.”

     

    Sculpting Custom Toys Image Courtesy of the Artist

    What can students expect to learn in your workshop?

    We're going to start with the basics. I'll create lists of online shops, sites, blogs and resources that people can access at home at their leisure to get into the world of customizing, to see what artists are doing and their creative processes. We'll learn about the basic tools needed to sculpt including different types of clay. How to bake clay in an oven at home and I will train them on the use of a heat gun as well. We'll each sculpt a simple unique character of our choosing, one that you'll be able to take home and paint after the two day workshop. This class was kept to the sculpting only because this process should not be rushed; it's a beginner’s class although anyone can take it. Sculpting can be labor intensive because it requires sanding and sculpting in layers which is a technique that ends with better/cleaner results. This will also allow me to work one on one and support each student's needs. I'll also bring samples of my work so students can see what pieces look like completed

    What are you planning in 2014, any major projects on the horizon?  

    Good question. Well, I just moved to Atlanta in August of 2013. So, the transition has taken a hit on my artistic workload, meaning I'm not getting as much artwork completed as I would like. However, the most important transition for me is the artistic one in the sense that I need to familiarize myself with Atlanta and what the art life has to offer. So, I've been attending art shows, creating art for shows and getting familiar with galleries, art centers, and museums. I’ve also been meeting and networking with other creatives and finding mentors. I love that Atlanta has so many art fairs but there is a process to getting into them. As a sculptor I'm looking to create a new body of work that isn't considered customs. So you will see more original sculptures from me this year and in between I will still be creating customs, either for shows and/or commissions. I've also made a commitment to myself to do more painting because it is important I grow my talent and diversify, since sculpting has been my constant medium for 5 years now. I'm working on concepts to create one or two original characters sculpts to become a vinyl toy for production. I may do a test run of a resin beast design off an original sculpt and curate an art show exclusively with that beast only. This will allow me to test the waters in the customizing world before I move on to a serious concept. Hopefully, these workshops with Binders do well so that I may continue to share and grow in the art of customizing by doing more workshops year round. This was something I never had, someone to teach or guide me. Everything I've done was self- taught and it made the process more challenging. So I'm expecting that sharing myself and my skills will develop some great creativity in my students as well as myself.

     

    Sculpting Custom Toys Image Courtesy of the Artist

    The Art of Sculpting Custom Toys with Liz Sanquiche

    Description

    Dive into the world of Designer Toys and Urban Vinyl! Learn to use and sculpt polymer clay, basic use of sculpting tools, instruction on baking clay with ovens and heat guns, and creating your own custom designer toy.

    We'll start with discussions about this ever changing, and re-inventing art scene and the various platforms in the industry that are available to customize such as vinyl, resin and wood. This at form is influenced by styles such as graffiti art, Manga comics, goth / punk rock, skateboard art, movies, television shows and an endless list from urban culture and pop culture.

    We will take our own artistic inspiration and apply it to vinyl platforms creating quirky characters and / or artistic sculpts that are limited only by your imagination!

    Written by Jacob Gunter

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

  • Cold Wax Techniques with Cindy Walton

    Q&A with Visiting Instructor Cindy Walton

    Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techniques Image Courtesy of the Artist

    1. This is your first class with BINDERS Art School. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

    I have been a practicing artist for over 15yrs.I have always made art and grew up in a family that encouraged the arts. My home state is Florida but I went to North Carolina to college and have resided in the Carolina's ever since. My husband Scott and I raised our two daughters in Asheville, NC. We have lived in Western Carolina over 25 yrs. 

    2. Tell us about your studio space at the Wedge Studios in Asheville. 

    My studio space is a shared space with three other artists. I am located in the historic River Arts District in Asheville. The studio is open to the public most of the time. If I need a little undisturbed time I’ll work early or late in the day. I keep business hours at the studio Thurs-Sat. 11-3.

    Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techniques Image Courtesy of the Artist

    3. How would you describe your practice?

    I try to work consistently each week. I have always felt making art is a growing process. To grow as an artist you must work on a consistent basis each week. I have always told my students allot a certain amount of time for art each week. That time could be 2 hours or 40 hours but be consistent.

    4. What are you working on currently?

    My latest series has developed over the last few months. The prominent color palette is red, blue green and gold. I tend to work intuitively while thinking how to develop space in each painting. I have found that I really enjoy writing in the paintings. I tend to write letters, prayers or just random marks. Our group of artists recently lost a dear friend and during that time I was writing a lot of prayers on her behalf. So what began as a compositional challenge evolved to a more emotion driven theme which I have titled the series "Prayers for Annie".

    Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techniques Image Courtesy of the Artist

    5. Can you explain the difference between cold wax and encaustics?

    Cold wax medium is a medium added to oil paint to extend the paint. Cold wax medium is a mixture of beeswax, varnish and solvent (turp.) This medium being wax will build up on the surface more quickly than oil paint and linseed oil or let's say Liquin etc used as mediums. The drying time is more like using oils than acrylics, watercolor or encaustic. I have met painters who paint representational subjects with brush and/or palette knife, mixed media artists and other artists across the board using this medium.

    Encaustic painting on the other hand is heat fused beeswax mixture. Most of the pigments are heated and applied to a surface. There is a good bit of toxic fumes emitted so good ventilation is necessary. The wax dries quickly which will allow the artist to build layers very quickly and work back into the surface.

    6. What do you hope students will learn in your Abstraction and Cold Wax Techniques workshop?

    One of my goals in workshops is to encourage exploration. With a new medium there is a lot of experimentation and having fun. I encourage each student to not come to the class with expectations of finished work but to allow themselves to explore and play.

    Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techn Image Courtesy of the Artist

    Abstraction and Cold Wax Techniques with Cindy Walton

    Description

    Please join us in exploring the diversity of cold-wax medium used with oil paint, pigment sticks and powdered pigments. Cold-wax medium is wonderful for oil painters to experiment with, using non-traditional tools to achieve texture and finishes similar to encaustic but without the caustic fumes and heat. This exciting medium is gaining widespread popularity, and opens doors for oil painters to explore new techniques and surface effects. Cindy says, “Cold-wax medium has totally changed the way I approach painting. It offers opportunities to develop layers of introspective and emotional interpretations.”

    Follow Cindy at her blog here.

    Written by Jacob Gunter

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

  • Jes Gordon - An Abstract Expressionist at Heart

    Q&A with Artist/Instructor Jes Gordon

    1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

    I’m Jes Belkov Gordon and I’m a painter; an intuitive painter. I graduated from the Atlanta College of Art with a BFA in Painting in 1997. After school I went on the study with the IACC, (International Association of Color Consultants/Designers) where we focused on the human response to color. This study was mostly focused on the built environment and I’ve spent about 15 years consulting on color choices for all sorts of applications.

    In recent years my devotion to liquid color (painting) as visual art instead of design has taken back over my professional life. I had continued to paint and teach art after college but I’d say that I have decided that my life needs to be about Art or bust! So, my family and I have made some choices to lower our expenses so neither my husband (a musician) or I have to make money doing things that don’t fall directly in line with our PASSIONS. Design is not my PASSION. I love painting. I love color. I love teaching. Now that this is what my life is all about, it makes for a really happy me!

    2. Tell us about your studio space at…

    I recently moved my studio. I was happy at Sycamore Place in Decatur for about a year and a half. The winter began to really get to me, and the cold was not helping my materials or my state of mind. I really wanted a temperature controlled environment, so my search began.

    I am blessed to live at East Lake Commons (a co-housing community). I approached a neighbor and asked if they would be willing to rent me a portion of their basement. He already has a woodshop down there, so it seemed like a possible fit. I’m thrilled to say that they said yes! And now, my studio is literally 25 steps away from my front door!

    “I’m probably an abstract expressionist at heart. But I’m just a happier person… I don’t know if I’d be allowed in the club since I’m not in a tortured state of existence.”
    Jes Gordon Image Courtesy of the Artist

    I love looking out over the woods and the pond and painting to my heart’s content. It is also a ton easier to be there for my 8 year old son. Since he spends most of his time playing outside with his friends, I can get studio time and hubby can get rehearsal time and son can get play time all at the same time. It’s a magical existence!

    3. How would you describe your creative process?

    Intuitive painting is a practice where you allow yourself to connect to your inner creative source. So that means that I walk up to a blank sheet and communicate with the materials to be guided. Sometimes I will ask the paper what it wants, or the brush what color it needs, or the palette what color needs to be mixed. It’s about finding the joy in the process of creation. Once color has been communicated I use a myriad of techniques to connect with inspiration to make quick decisions about shape and form and line and texture. I look at it like a playground.

    Jes Gordon An Abstract Expressionist at Heart Image Courtesy of the Artist

    In school we focused on a lot of prep before we paint. I have to say that took out all of the fun for me. I know a lot of artists really enjoy the process of studies and prep before each painting. For me that was like painting with my hands tied behind my back. I NEED to be free! I’m probably an abstract expressionist at heart. But I’m just a happier person… I don’t know if I’d be allowed in the club since I’m not in a tortured state of existence.

    4. What are you working on currently?

    I have a few series that I keep coming back to… one is about my thyroid. I had my thyroid removed when I was 17. About a year ago I discovered that the images that I kept painting looked like thyroids. I did a little research and saw that I really was intuitively painting a gland that I no longer possess… So I find myself painting thyroids and now I’m drawn to making them as well. Some sculpture may be in my near future.

    Jes Gordon An Abstract Expressionist at Heart Image Courtesy of the Artist

    I have these floaties that have recently appeared in my work and I’ve become addicted to them as well. I kinda look at them like my creative source spirits. And they just keep appearing. I’m wondering if the thyroids and the floaties will combine… We will just have to wait and see…

    Jes Gordon An Abstract Expressionist at Heart Image Courtesy of the Artist

    5. What do you hope students will learn in your Intuitive Painting courses?

    For me, I hope that the Intuitive Painting students begin to believe strongly in their own creativity. I want them to feel confident about their desire to create art, and that it is a valid practice that deserves their time and attention. I have a lot of students who come to me kinda crushed. I want to build them back up and help them feel like they are worthy.

    I think the best thing that I offer is a separation of skill and talent. We can take classes in skill and learn anything if we practice at it. Talent is untouchable. Talent is something we all have access to and no one can take away from us. When a teacher from a class is criticizing your work harshly, they are speaking to your skill. So we should never take that personally. I mean we wouldn’t get mad at or feel attacked by someone for explaining how to use a new computer program that we’ve never used before, would we? For some reason the line between talent and skill has gotten blurred and it is my desire to clarify the difference so my students can go on with their art education without feeling bullied, embarrassed or belittled. And whenever they need a pick-me-up, I hope to offer a safe place for expression.

    Jes Gordon An Abstract Expressionist at Heart Image Courtesy of the Artist

    6. And your Color Mixology?

    My color mixology students are introduced to color in a very practical way. We approach color from the perspective of scientists looking for new color discoveries. The mixology is just that… MIXING! We make a TON of colors and experiment with colors that we buy regularly to colors that seem brand new to us. The idea is that we use the color wheel as a theoretical tool to place over the materials that we are using in order to understand the complexity of how colors respond to one another.

    Jes Gordon Color Mixology Image Courtesy of the Artist

    Follow Jes at her blog Buckets of Color

    Written by Jacob Gunter

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

  • Loose and Coloful Plein Air with Mike Rooney

    Painting Outdoors / Plein Air

    Last year’s plein air workshop was quiet an experience for everyone involved, and proved that outdoor painting is more than just another day at the easel – but an adventure! Mike and his class spent the bulk of their time painting at The Goat Farm. The weather was beautifully unforgiving bringing creative energies out of folks that didn’t know existed. It comes with the territory, and at times works to an artist’s advantage. We’re excited to see what this year holds and where Mike takes us!

    Tell us a little about yourself and how you started painting.

    I was raised in Alexandria Virginia. My dad was a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and my mother was a watercolor painter so I’ve drawn or painted most of my life. It came pretty naturally.

    Plein Air with Mike Rooney Image Courtesy of the Artist

    You travel quite a bit; does this fuel your creative drive?

    I'm a bit of a gypsy and love to stay on the move. I get bored painting the same things for too long. Capturing the vibe of a place, its light, its rhythms and colors is my goal; then trying to put that into a two dimensional statement of how the place makes me react, that’s what I'm after. The travel is just as important as the painting!

    It sounds like traveling is your inspiration. What’s your favorite location to paint?

    I love Key West Florida. The tropical colors and vibe of the island re-charge my creative batteries. There is no shortage of light bouncing off water, sand, and boats – my favorite subject matter!

    Plein Air with Mike Rooney Image Courtesy of the Artist

    What are some of the challenges to painting outdoors that may not be obvious?

    The energy of being outside painting cannot be duplicated in any other way. But that brings its own set of challenges. Things that could stifle creativity (if allowed) before you even set up the easel are: finding a location near easy parking, such things as rest room choices once you’re set up, will people run you off (ie. call the cops on you for trespassing) cars and trucks blocking your view during the painting, pedestrians talking to you during the painting, feeling like you’re 'in the way'. All these things can be distracting to the outdoor painter but also add to the drama of getting something good out there.

    "The energy of being outside painting cannot be duplicated in any other way.”

     

    When Mike isn’t painting…

    Plein Air with Mike Rooney Image Courtesy of the Artist

    What can students expect from your plein air workshop?

    In my workshops I stress the foundational aspects of painting. In other words what any representational painter would need to know to make a good painting. Then I throw in practical time tested tips for painting in the plein air environment, like simplifying, narrowing scope to attain a good focal point, values mastery, and tips for getting good clean color. All things any painter of any style, or genre would need to make a great painting.

    “I bring common sense simplicity to the process and convey the idea that plein air can be enjoyable and not frustrating like most have encountered in the past.”
    Plein Air with Mike Rooney Image Courtesy of the Artist

    How is your plein air workshop experience different from the others out there?

    I bring common sense simplicity to the process and convey the idea that plein air can be enjoyable and not frustrating like most have encountered in the past.

    Loose and Colorful Plein Air with Mike Rooney


    Description: Learn the how-to's of painting loose and colorfully outside Mike will include the importance of using the correct values, of temperature as it relates to color, lost and found edges, how to edit down a complicated scene, and more. Take your painting outside, to the next level, and just have fun with Mike's easy going instruction. This will be an adventure!

    Plein Air with Mike Rooney Image Courtesy of the Artist

    Check out Mike’s blog here.

    Written by Jacob Gunter

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

  • Daniel Flores: Artist, Curator, Mentor, Instructor & More

    Q&A with the many hats of…

    Daniel Flores Image Courtesy of Artist

    Daniel Flores is a busy man. He can’t help it – he loves art! Daniel is a curator with Mano-A-Mano Art Shows, artist mentor with Art Is King, tattoo artist, arts instructor, and working artist who happens to get paid doing what he loves. Daniel mentors artists, offering professional development with a six month art entrepreneurship program.

    The Mano-A-Mano Art Show provides young artists with an opportunity to exhibit their work, gaining new experiences as they pursue their talents. Mano-A-Mano Art Show will celebrate its 6th year in 2014, going strong since 2008!

    In addition, Daniel orchestrates Art is King, an annual 3 day conference designed to educate and empower artist’s as they pursue their careers and build community by providing access to industry professionals and gallery representatives.

    How did you come to the realization that you wanted to be a full time artist?

    I’ve been drawing since I was 3 years old. Back then I didn't know you could get paid to draw! Art has been in my blood since I can remember and I made it my full time job over ten years ago. I’m still excited about art projects that challenge my artistic skills.

    How do you encourage those who wish to pursue their creative calling?

    I encourage projects that help other artists in their careers. It’s taken me a long time to build my name as an artist and I know very well the obstacles that artists must overcome to succeed. I want to minimize the pain in an artist’s career by increasing the art business knowledge available.

    Daniel Flores Image Courtesy of Artist

    What is the biggest obstacle you’ve seen over the years as you’ve pursued a career in the arts?

    The biggest challenge is pulling the art community together. Most artists are used to working alone, focused on their craft. We are all busy on our own particular projects and it’s difficult to switch our focus to others. However, we have built great connections between the forward thinkers in the arts.

    The mentoring we’re involved in, we’ve have been doing for the love of the arts. We don’t charge artists to share our knowledge. We don’t earn a salary and all costs come out of our pockets. Every now and then we are able to raise some money to help defray costs. Binders has been our biggest asset and we wish we could unify the art community with the same enthusiasm that Binders has shown Art Is King.

    Art is King

    Mano A Mano

    Black Book Conversations

    Daniel Flores is highly involved with BINDERS Art school, offering multiple classes and hosting two monthly professional development groups for artists. Take a look!

    Daniel Flores Photoshop Course at Binders

    Daniel Fores Illustrator and Logo design class

    Daniel Flores Social Media for Artists

    Kickstarter Campaigns for Artists

    Adobe Users Meet up in AtlantaThe Adobe User Group of Atlanta meets the 1st Monday of every month at Binders Art Supplies and is FREE! to attend. Visit http://www.meetup.com/Adobe-User-Group-of-Atlanta/ for more info.

    Black book Meet up at BindersThe Black Book Conversations meets the 3rd Monday of every month at Binders Art Supplies and is FREE! to attend. Visit www.tbbcatl.com for more info and registration. Email DTM – curator at dtm@tbbcatl.com for questions or more information.

    Written by Jacob Gunter

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

  • “Oil Painting without Drawing” Tonal Impressionism Explained:

    Q&A with Artist/Instructor Dominic Vignola

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    I was born in Chicago and have lived in the suburb of Oak Park for the last 20 years with my partner in crime (and former student), Charlene Engler, (a very accomplished artist in her own right). I spent a year in New York in the early 1980's taking art classes and doing much independent study, haunting the galleries and in museums copying works by Velazquez. I later spent seven months in Italy and Spain, painting landscapes and doing more copies of Velazquez in the Prado Museum which contains his greatest works. This gave me an education like none I could have received in a formal class.

    I am mostly self taught, but was lucky enough to have found two mentors from whom I learned about the tonal painting method. The first was Joseph Allworthy (1892-1991), a noted Chicago portrait painter. On a trip to Paris in 1928 he met Australian artist and teacher Max Meldrum. Meldrum spent years studying and copying the great masters such as Velazquez, Rembrandt, Constable and Chardin. He found that they all had certain things in common and eventually was able to recreate their results in his own work. He taught these lost methods of the masters for 35 years, both to Allworthy and Percy Leason, an Australian artist and teacher who moved to the U.S. in 1938. His youngest son, Max Leason has been my great mentor since 2005. I have been teaching the method, as I know it since 1982, both in Chicago and in workshops across the country.

    Tonal painting “does not rely on previous experience with drawing or painting nor presuppose any knowledge of things like anatomy, perspective, composition or color theory.”

     

    Oil Painting without Drawing Image Courtesy of the Artist

    The tonal method is intriguing. Tell us about it.

    The tonal method differs form what I call the linear approach (draw first, paint over later) and the colorist approach (emphasis on intense colors and de-emphasis on dark tonality) which are the two most common ways painting is taught today. It does not rely on previous experience with drawing or painting nor presuppose any knowledge of things like anatomy, perspective, composition or color theory. None of these are needed in order to paint tonally. New painters do as well as experienced ones.

    A mental shift occurs where students are then able to see the visual world not as “things” surrounded by imaginary lines, but as a reality made up of patches of light and dark tones in certain colors which, when painted, the subject will automatically and convincingly resemble the subject. I have seen this shift occur where students make astounding progress even within the span of three days.

    No other way of painting to my knowledge achieves through leaps of metal awareness, leading to an almost instant improvement in student’s work. This is especially important because 90% of painters cannot paint or study full time. Most have only 3-6 hours a week to paint or take instruction. That is why I have found that this method works especially well for this vast majority of painters who may have less than favorable results with other approaches, but who want to maximize their results versus time spent painting.

    Do you work out of a home studio? What does your practice look like?

    I paint mostly in a studio on the second floor of our garage. It is about 21 feet long which makes it possible to paint up to a 7 foot canvas, allowing for room to step back and view the work from a distance. When I have the chance, I will get together with some the best artists in Chicago and paint from the model. I also have painted cityscapes, with the plein air painters of Chicago, and on my own.

    Oil Painting without Drawing Image Courtesy of the Artist

    What do you hope students will take away your workshop?

    What I hope students take away from the workshop is that there is another way to paint, other than those they have tried and possibly not had success with. The tonal way of thinking and painting will yield quicker and better results for the part-time painter.  All they have to do is keep an open mind and let go of previous notions about painting that did not work for them in the past. For those who find tonal painting suites them, continued learning is available with the home study course I devised about 5 years ago. Our motto: “Change the way of thinking and you will change your way of painting forever.”

    “There is another way to paint, other than those they have tried and possibly not had success with. The tonal way of thinking and painting will yield quicker and better results for the part-time painter.”

     

    Oil Painting without Drawing Image Courtesy of the Artist

    Oil Painting without Drawing with Dominic Vignola

    This tonal painting method teaches students how to see, analyze, and place shapes in the correct value and color onto their canvas without the use of any preliminary drawing. You will stop seeing things and learn instead to concentrate on the tonal shapes that make up the subject. By not being tied down to initial lines, you have the freedom to work in a quicker, looser style or take it to a more finished level. Learn to master the three things that make up your subject: tone, shape, and color, allowing you to paint any subject: portrait, still life, or landscape equally well. Also, learn to mix any color accurately including flesh tones by using the revolutionary new Vignola tonal color chart and mixing guide. (Class Information)

    Written by Jacob Gunter

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

  • Professional Eyebrow Threading

    Professional Eyebrow Threading Bootcamp with Nicole Gates

    threading bootcampAbout The Bootcamp

    Learn from Master Threader, Nicole Gates during this intensive 8 hour eyebrow threading bootcamp!

    Through this class you will learn ABC’s of how to shape brows using the threading method.  Including:

    • Grooming techniques for both men and women
    • How to clean up hairs from the facial areas (sideburns, mustaches, other unwanted facial hair)
    • How to complete your brow look with scissor shaping, tweezers, and waxing
    • The proper after care for your clients

    Your supplies are INCLUDED in this course.

    You will earn a certificate of completion for attending this bootcamp!

    For more information please call the Performance Makeup Department at Binders (404)-237-6331.

    Meet Nicole Gates, "The Guru of Eyebrows"

    Nicole has been called "...one of the best eyebrow designers in the professional beauty industry" and "...the Guru of eyebrows".

    Her clients refer to her Brow Couture Design service as "Magnificent” and "Genius".  Now she is ready to help YOU sculpt amazing eyebrows on every client, every time.

    Having once being a student herself, she knows how difficult and expensive it can be for students to travel to an out of town class.  She has developed Threading Bootcamp, a program that is easy to understand and can be completed around your busy schedule.

    When did you begin your practice as an eyebrow threading specialist?

    NG:  My obsession began in 2005, while earning my Esthetician's License at a local Atlanta beauty academy.  I was disheartened that very little time was spent on eyebrow shaping, so I went off on my own to learn about the different theories of eyebrow design.

    How has your practice grown, making you the artist you are today?

    NG:  Over the past 8 years I have crafted my skills, developed a signature style of eyebrow shaping and built a successful clientele dedicated solely to eyebrow design.   With a consistent retention rate near 100%, I have developed a service at her Studio that is in demand, and I can teach you how to as well!

    What other specialties and certifications do you have?

    NG: I am a Licensed Esthetician in Atlanta, Ga.  In addition to my extensive study/training in Eyebrow Design, I have earned professional certificates in:

    Satin Smooth - Waxing Specialist in Professional Epilation Techniques, and I am a Certified Eyelash Extensionist.

    eyebrow threading

  • Creating Children’s Books was a Lifelong Dream

    Creating Children’s Books was a Lifelong Dream for Elizabeth O. Dulemba

    Tell us a bit about how you got started creating children’s books.

    Creating children's books was a lifelong dream of mine. I remember staring at Garth Williams' THE GOLDEN BOOK OF ELVES AND FAIRIES as a child and wanting to create that kind of magic for others.

    CreatingChildrensbooks with Elizabeth O. Dulemba Image Courtesy of the Artist

    Life got in the way for a while—I worked as an Art Director and in-house illustrator in the corporate world for twelve years (mostly in child-related industries). When I got married, I went freelance full-time, and finally began to pursue my dream.

    It took three years of honing my craft and sending out advertisements for my skills before I signed my first contract. (That's considered fast in the children's book world.) After that, things took off. Twelve years later, I have two dozen titles to my credit and I can't imagine doing anything else!

     What are you working on currently?

    My first mid-grade novel will come out this spring, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, so I've been busy wrapping up final details in preparation for its release. That's been a ten-year-long project, so I'm so excited for it to finally reach the world!

    I just finished a series of picture books for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, which will be given out by doctors, free to patients with young children. The books are about proper nutrition, exercise, hydration, etc. It's a feel-good project I'm very proud of, which will help raise healthier children.

    I recently did an illustration for Highlights Magazine, started a picture book for a book packaging client, and am writing another novel. I also just received an offer on a fun good-night story, which I both wrote and illustrated. But I can't share further details about that right yet. Needless to say, I stay busy!

    A BIrd on Water Street Image Courtesy of the Artist

     What advice would you offer anyone wanting to create a children’s book?

    Taking my class is a great first step. I also highly recommend joining the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. (I'm the Illustrator Coordinator for the Southern region of Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle.)

    The SCBWI is the largest writing organization in the world and ties all us children's book creators together. They offer fantastic online resources along with regional and national conferences, which can teach pre-published writers about the business. And they're some mighty fine folks to hang out with.

     

    Lulas Brew
    Image Courtesy of the Artist

     “I also hope they'll take away a new love and appreciation for children's books and the unique art form they are.” 

     

    What do you hope students will take away from your Creating Picture Books workshop?

    First, I hope they gain some serious skills. My class is intense and students do tend to learn a lot in a short amount of time. Usually the difference between student manuscripts at the beginning of my class and at the end is remarkable. And I share industry information that gives them resources to pursue after class.

    I also hope they'll take away a new love and appreciation for children's books and the unique art form they are.

    Lastly, I hope they'll leave with a love for writing. Not everybody gets published, or wants to get published. But that shouldn't stop anybody from enjoying the therapeutic and creative joy of writing.

     

    For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

    Written by Jacob Gunter

  • The Atlanta Printmakers Studio - Print Big!

    The Atlanta Printmakers Studio, Print Big!

    at BINDERS Limelight Gallery

    Print BigPrint Big

    The Atlanta Printmakers Studio began in 2005 as a group of people passionate about printmaking, community, and collaboration who wanted to pool together to create an organization.

    APS is a non-profit community art center that offers print shop access, critical exchange, and collaborative opportunities between artists, as well as a number of educational events, workshops, and exhibitions. APS has made it their mission to nurture the practice of printmaking as an original art form among professional artists and anyone who wants to learn.

    Print Big! Their annual steamroller printmaking event started in 2010 as a way to collaborate on a common goal at a large scale. The event brings together a lot of different groups in the art community, including those unfamiliar with printmaking.

    Print Big! is held outdoors at APS and a steamroller is used as a printing press to roll over the woodcuts. The resulting prints are gigantic in size and amazing to look at. The event also serves as a lively exchange – bringing together volunteers, artists, and community members from across Georgia, as well as arts organizations like Hammonds House Museum, WonderRoot, Abernathy Arts Center, and Southwest Arts Center.

    The unusualness of the event, making 8” x 4” foot prints with a steamroller gets a lot of folk’s attention. Each organization spends two to three months planning and carving the blocks before arriving for the massive, day-long event. Each group will print three times during the event and APS supplies the fabric and ink with over fifty volunteers helping for the day.

    After the event each group keeps one of the prints and APS keeps two, one for their archives and the other for their annual art auction.

    Big Print Event April 2013 Image Courtesy of APS

    Last year APS had 10 groups participating in Print Big! including our own Atlanta Printmakers Studio members, Kennesaw State University, Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, University of West Georgia, Sunday Southern Arts Revival, North Atlanta High School, and Shiloh High School.

    The event revolves around a theme. For the past few years APS has focused on literacy and southern stories. APS tries to keep the themes somewhat broad so that each group has a lot of room for interpretation. Some of the results have been a portrait of the writer W.E.B. DuBois and Gutenberg and the revolutionary invention of movable type.

    It’s a printmaking extravaganza! APS has tours of the studio, demonstrations, guest artists, and they offer smaller portable presses for kids to use. They also print t-shirts on their etching press and have a food truck on site. In the past live music, poetry readings, and a photo booth have been incorporated.

    The Atlanta Printmakers Studio is a pillar in the Atlanta arts community and the success of Print Big! represents the interest and relevancy of the medium. Bringing different groups from high schools and Georgia colleges has exposed students to opportunities for internships, exhibitions, our artist-in-residence program, and classes and workshops. APS is committed to nurturing the next generation of printmakers.

    Big Print Event April 2013 Image Courtesy of APS

    Print Big! 2014 will be the 5th anniversary of APS’s most exciting community event and they’re doing something extra special to celebrate. To help make 2014 the biggest and best Print Big! yet, APS is inviting 20 different groups to take part in making a 4’ x 4’ block.

    APS will team up two schools/groups to work together to create a print. Each team will carve one 4’ x 4’ foot block. The theme is OPPOSITES ATTRACT so think contradiction, paradox, duality, opposition or collaboration.

    Date: Saturday April 12, 2014

    Here is the list on the Print Big! participating groups for 2014:

    1. Atlanta Printmakers Studio
    2. SCAD-Atlanta
    3. SCAD-Savannah
    4. Kennesaw State University
    5. University of West Georgia
    6. Paideia School
    7. Clark Atlanta University
    8. Grady High School
    9. Three Amigos/Art of Such & Such
    10. University of North Georgia
    11. Pinecrest Academy
    12. Southwest Art Center
    13. Georgia State University
    14. Wonderroot Arts Center
    15. Savannah State
    16. Duluth High School
    17. Valdosta State University

    Learn more at: atlantaprintmakersstudio.org

    Print Big April 2013 Image Courtesy of APS

    Throughout the month of February, BINDERS Limelight Gallery will exhibit banners from the 2013 Print Big! event.

    The Atlanta Printmakers Studio, 2013 Print Big Banners

    Show Dates: Monday, February 3rd – Friday, February 28th
    Reception: Friday, February 7th (6 – 8pm)

    For questions or more information please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email jacob@bindersart.com.

    Written by Jacob Gunter

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