Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SmArtSchool Class with Manchess

Night Crossing, oil on gessoed board, 2000

There are a couple of spaces left for my next class with Rebecca Guay’s SmArtSchool! We’ll keep the enrollment open for about another week.

My classes are designed specifically to work with students of any level of experience, from beginner to more advanced. The principles of excellent picture-making are accessible to everyone looking to improve their art skills. There’s no need for a student to be highly advanced or so-called “talented” to benefit from the process we experience together in my class. The information works across the board

The basics of composition, value, color, line, shape, depth, and dramatic impact, don’t ever change. The way we encounter and use them as we gain experience does. In fact, all levels of experienced artists need to listen, focus, and work on these principles throughout their careers.

That’s why the beginner learns and experiences as much as someone with more drawing ability. Like a musician working on scales or a dancer working on form, the artist must never lose their desire for a complete understanding of process. I, too, work to get better at this everyday.

Learning is process. Learning is struggle. Anything worth owning, like the skills of painting and drawing, is worth the effort it takes to attain it.

We’ll work on that together in my class.

Assignments are kept to a narrow focus. A book cover is the classic format for working within restricted space, but much can be created within that limitation. Working within a vertical or horizontal frame forces us to find unique ways to express narrative images, whether for books, posters, film, or magazines, even conceptual work.

This particular semester, I’ll work closely with each student to help them develop two or more personal assignments for their portfolio, with specific attention toward achieving a marketable direction. These will become templates for multiple paintings to follow, establishing a working method for the student.

In the near future, I plan to have a class available through SmArtSchool for strictly beginning students, where we’ll experience all of these basic principles together, revealing the beauty of their endless simplicity and critical necessity.

If you are looking to improve your work, no matter what level, consider joining us.


  1. This one is my first meeting with your Art.
    Or maybe that it was this angel reading a book in a parc...
    Alex T

  2. I'm currently trying to save up to take one of the smArter school classes, and you've definitely been one of my top choices when it comes to tutor, Greg. It's not something I'll be able to do til next year, but I had a quick question over media if you happened to be teaching when I can eventually afford a class. Does the media we work in matter? I'm currently fluent in digital and in watercolour/acrylic but I'd love to do more work in oils (i've done a little, but not in a very long time). Do you think sticking with a comfortable media and trying to soak in all the actual painting info would be smarter or would you consider giving out tips on media usage too if someone was trying to learn that also.


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