Abstract Painting And the Spirit in Nature – Virtual Workshop


Instructors: Diane Williams and Chuck Potter

Dates: May 1 & 2

Time: 11:00 AM-3:00 PM each day.

Cost: $225 per student

Ages: 16 and up, all levels welcome

Class size: minimum 8/maximum 15

Register here:

A link will be sent to you a few days before the class begins

CLASS DESCRIPTION:  In this 2-day workshop we will practice abstract acrylic painting techniques that are connected to the spirit in nature. We will identify how each of four elements – earth, air, fire and water – are sensed and then translated into abstract painting. Instruction will include demonstrations in basic and more advanced acrylic painting techniques including painting with rust to create the patina of age, sumi ink and Stabillo pencils to create expressive mark making, handmade stenciling and printing to create patterns.  The results are alive, authentic and exhilarating. Each student will receive individual instruction and group critique.


Acrylic Paint
We suggest you invest in good quality acrylic paints such as Golden, Utrecht, Gamblin or Windsor Newton. A good online source for supplies is www.jerrysartarama.com  or www.dickblick.com.

Student grade paints have a lighter pigment load and produce a less intense color.
Choose a variety of colors including warm and cool tones as well as opaque and translucent colors. 
Quinacridone colors tend to be more translucent while cadmiums are opaque.
*Be sure to include the primary colors of red, yellow and blue, plus black and white. 
Note that zinc white is more transparent and better for creating veils of color, while titanium whites are opaque for covering or blocking areas that have been previously painted.

Golden or Liquatex polymere mediums in gloss and/or satin (again may purchase online.  See above links)

Bring a variety of sizes including round, flat and filbert (angled) brushes. Also bring several “chip” brushes which can be purchased in any hardware store. These are inexpensive house painting brushes. You will need 1/2”, 1”, 2” and 3”. Brushes do not need to be expensive and can be purchased at any art or craft store like Michaels.

Canvas or panels
Please bring 3 canvas/panel surfaces approx 18″ x 18″each.
If you bring stretched canvas please get the 1.5 inch sides (not the thin student grade canvas). 

Prepare your surfaces with 3 coats of gesso before class. Give each coat time to dry before applying the next coat. Make sure your substrates are dry and ready to paint before class. 

Water containers
Any type of container to hold water such as cottage cheese containers or plastic food storage containers from the dollar store. I like 2-3 water containers at all times when painting.
Bring spray bottles for wetting your surface.

You may use large paper plates, wax paper and tape or commercial palette pads.

Paper towels

Optional supplies:

A VARIETY OF PAPERS FOR COLLAGE. You may or may not like to add collage to your surface. I particularly like thin papers that become translucent when glued down (we will use the polymer mediums to adhere the papers)

Suggestions: rice paper/mulberry paper

Deli sheets

News print

Tracing paper

Pages from books

Sheet music

Old posters or signs from phone poles

Paper bags

Palette knives and rubber scrappers.

Pencils, charcoal

Water soluble mediums like Stabillo pencils or Art Graff

Instructor Bios:

Diane Williams and Chuck Potter both hold Master of Fine Arts degrees in Studio Art and Consciousness studies from John F Kennedy University in Berkeley, California. Additionally, both have studied at the University of Hangzhou China, incorporating calligraphy, traditional Chinese landscape painting and Chinese medicine with their western art practices.

They have studios in Benicia, CA. (I AN I Studio) and Greenville, CA. (Diamond I AN I Studio). They teach workshops in their Benicia studio and Arts Benicia, Concord Parks & Recreation, and have run several workshops at their mountain retreat in Greenville. 

Their works can be found in corporate, public, and personal collections nationally and worldwide.

Picture Your Future

A contest to promote children and teen’s creativity through photography. The goal of the contest is to encourage artistic skills and cultural awareness while raising much needed funds for Healdsburg Center for the Arts.

Announcing the Winners, click here for Press Release and details:

Honorable Mention:

Mariella Passalacqua

Ellie Stearn

Gallery of Entries – click on the image to see details

Each photo received raised $5 through generous support of our sponsors.  The photos will be printed and displayed in a local storefront (to be announced later) in downtown Healdsburg.  We will also create an online photo gallery on HCA’s website with all the photos submitted.

Thanks to our generous sponsors Janis and Warren Watkins ($500 contribution) and Shaun McCaffery ($500 contribution).