While living as an expat in Guadalajara I discovered a handful of great, informal art classes. Unlike classes with a university or formal art institution, I never had to commit to a certain timeframe or pay a lot of money.
In this class, I really wanted to try painting oil over acrylic as I had heard numerous artists claim this method as their favorite. I was really inspired by artists such as Lauren Brevner who often combine flat, colorful shapes with more three-dimensional elements.
Galería Arte Fraustrado is an art supply store with a small gallery upstairs as well as a great outdoor space for art classes. They offer both drawing and painting and are pretty open to whatever type of materials you would like to use.
Most people come with a picture of a painting or drawing that they want to copy. I came with a reference photo for the face and body which I ripped out of a magazine and then some vague ideas for the background and the shirt, and they were okay with that too.
If you come on Saturday afternoon, the older man who owns the gallery teaches and I think he has the most experience. Monday through Thursday a younger woman teaches, she might not be quite as experienced but still pretty good. On Friday afternoons I believe they both teach.
It was surprising to see that many of the painting standards here, were different than what I was used to. Back in Michigan, both in high school and university, my teachers encouraged me to use a bigger paintbrush than what I was comfortable with. The teachers here in Guadalajara however, have encouraged me to use a smaller brush than what I am used to. Back home my teachers would stress how much better it is to mix colors with a palette knife, and in Guadalajara they say, just do it with the brush!
It was a challenge to keep an open mind and completely accept the teachers’ instructions without asking why or comparing things to what I had learned in the past.
Below is a look at the journey of this painting taken with the not so great camera on my phone.