A lakeside idyll for painters and drawers 

Whistler Arts Council's summer art programs welcome Emily Carr instructors

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Paint by a lovely lake Registration has opened for WAC's summer art classes.
  • Photo Submitted
  • Paint by a lovely lake Registration has opened for WAC's summer art classes.

The work of American artist Calef Brown has been in Time, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He is perhaps best known for his illustrations for children's books — a dozen of his own and seven by other authors to be exact.

Currently, Brown is lecturing at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver — and will be teaching a course in Whistler this summer as part of the Art Workshops on the Lake run by the Whistler Arts Council.

The classes are taught at the Alta Lake Station House and encourage intensive hands-on interaction.

Brown is one of three Emily Carr instructors teaching here through the summer; his course Developing a Visual Style takes place from June 27 to 29.

"It's an aspect of some of the courses I teach. It's there to help students find a voice, one of the things I enjoy most," Brown says.

The course will be open to all skill levels. Brown says finding his voice meant that he as a person was connecting with his skills.

"One of the things that clicked for me in art was when I realized it was as much about process as it was about my influences and my visual interests. It was a convergence of my own temperament, my own personality with a process that I wasn't fighting," he says.

"I try to facilitate that convergence of interests with process, with materials you like to work with, with the way you like to draw."

The other Emily Carr instructors taking part in Art Workshops on the Lake are Lisa Cinar and Claire Schagerl. Cinar is teaching Illustration for Picture Books from July 9 to 11, and Schagerl is teaching The Adventurous Sketchbook from Aug. 22 to 24.

The courses are open to any level.

Painting the Acrylic Landscape with Janice Robertson is an intermediate-level course, as is Intermediate Expressive Acrylics with Suzanne Northcott.

Local artist Lisa Geddes is teaching Playing with Paint and Beyond from Aug. 29 to 31, geared mostly to beginners. This is her second year teaching the summer program.

"I think it's the ideal location, first and foremost. It's so unique. It's walk or bike in only, right on the lake. It's a charming cottage and very quiet and peaceful. It's a mini-day retreat," Geddes says.

"I think my course is unique in that it is really geared to there being no pressure. It's a time to just let it rip with paint, to be completely free. We're not painting a still life or landscape or portrait. It's abstract, it's expressive and therefore should be more fun!

"I find it's a way to tap into and find one's own unique creative voice."

Magda Kwaterska of the Whistler Arts Council says this is the first time they have partnered with Emily Carr.

"We've been working with them because we're an arts umbrella for Whistler, to partner up on various workshops and introduce their renowned instructors. We hope to build on this relationship and bring in new instructors in the years to come," Kwaterska says. "It's so exciting. It goes hand-in-hand with (Emily Carr's summer art) Satellite Workshops that they are doing for youth as well in July."

Kwaterska says it is new focus on providing high-calibre instructors in a variety of mediums.

"The focus this year has been on quality instructors, and streamlining some of the workshops we do and seeing how to build up on it for the future.

Eight classes will be offered over the summer, with eight to 10 students in each, including an open painting drop-in class that starts June 30 and will last all summer. There is no instructor and costs $15.

Course prices range from $159 to 299. WAC members receive a discount.

For more information and to register, visit www.whistlerartscouncil.com.

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