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New Format- Studying Art & Design – Guest Blogger- Christina Fairley Erickson

October 28, 2022

I remember going to my first exhibition at Gail Harker’s Center for Creative Arts… I was blown away with the quality and diversity of the artwork! I longed to get started right away… but I had other obligations with both work and kids at home. I wanted so badly to experience the process of seeing my artistic dreams realized, but couldn’t imagine how I was going to get away to an in-person 2+ year course. So I had to wait and fit in a few 1 session courses, as I was able, until the time when I could make a greater commitment.

Goldfinch I made in Gail’s Level 3 Art & Design using hand-painted papers in torn-paper collage.

Thanks to the pandemic (well, some good had to come out of it, right?), Gail has now reformatted her Art and Design class series to make it accessible to all! What used to be a several year experience called Level 3 Art & Design, is now broken into 4 distinct modules. This allows students to build up their art & design skills at a more comfortable pace. The course modules are also now offered online… but unlike most courses, the students still have a live instructor, guiding their progress, meeting with them for individual tutorials, as well as providing them with invaluable instruction, both in online meetings and through videos, presentations, and PDF documents. Here is the breakdown of the modules:

Module 1 (also known as Level 1 Art and Design)Click Here to Find out about the Next Class Starting Jan 9, 2023

·   Shapes and Spaces, Where to Start, The Frame, Simplify, Edit and Stylize – Refer to Level 1 P. 4 to read More

·  The Elements of Art and Design in a Sketchbook The development of Dots, Lines, Patterns, Textures and Shapes

· Focus: Color, Value and Proportion in hand painted paper. A short visual Historical Study of Stripes and Checks. Using a small paintbrush.

· A Study showing Systematic Color Schemes.

One of my historical studies of stripes and checks… module 1
Experimentation with proportions of color in Module 1

Module 2 (also known as Level 2 Art and Design)Click Here to Find out about the Next Class Starting Jan 30, 2023

· Development of  a small Themed Sketchbook based on a Circle

· Small scale Collage and dimensional collage . Using new tools.

· Sampling a variety of Medium in a sketchbook – colored pencils, acrylic, gesso, oil pastels, resists and other to include glues

· Working with Themes: trees, flowers, landscape, geological

· Printing with rubber stamps, designing stamps, stencils

· Study an Artist

· Design inspiration.

Design from my circles book – Module 2
Studies of Rocks – Module 2
Studying trees in children’s book by Leo and Diane Dillon
Study an Artist- Module 2 (I was studying Gustaf Klimt)

Module 3

· Printing – Designing with rubber stamps,

· Printing – Designing appropriate images for rubber stamps

· Printing with rubber stamps

· Printing with hand made textural rubber stamps

· Working with jelly prints

· Making stencils

· Making a library of unique small Textural Collages from tissue, paper and/or fabric

Print from a carved rubber block I made- module 3.
One of a number of texture blocks made in my class – Module 3

Module 4

· Research a visual inspirational subject or theme

· Research and design with a chosen theme

·  Designing and creating covers for your sketchbooks

· Create a theme booklet

Students will work through the design process as learnt in past levels using chosen methods and techniques, simplifications and organizations.

A series of individual tutorials assists the student to create in an individual style. Presentation styles will vary.

A detail from one of my final pieces made in my Art & Design Level 3 course (now would be Module 4) for my theme of Seaweeds. Made with hand-painted and magazine papers in torn paper collage.

Each of the Modules or Levels of design helps you build your skills and takes you on a personal exploration of your own interests and inspirations. Ready to get started or to continue your studies? Go to Gail’s website to get more information on the upcoming classes!

I hope you’ll join us at the Online Exhibition and “Meet the Artists” FREE online event we have on November 9, which we’ll be showing artwork from the final stage of the Art & Design program. To sign up for this Free event, go to:

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