Content through Color Strategies, Fracturing and Borders

with Susan Webb Tregay NWS
Content, putting yourself and your ideas into your paintings, is difficult for some to fathom–and harder to teach. This course approaches content in a manageable, concrete way that will open new doors of creativity for you. Through the study of the color plans that have created masterpieces through out the ages, you will learn to reinforce the mood of your painting. By fracturing and creating borders, you will make separate areas for additional thoughts and information about your topic. Content. Content is everything. Content is what makes a painting a work of art.

 Daily Lesson and Work

Day 1–morning
What is content?
What are color strategies, and what moods do they suggest?
Paint small, quick sketches using each color strategy. Find samples in magazines of different strategies.
 Demos, Slides, Discussions and Handouts
SLIDES: to introduce myself and to show content. (handout)
SLIDES (or DVD) on color strategies (handout)
DISCUSSION: One-on-one conferences:
signing up, you will need several paintings, slides or photos, or questions.
 Day 1–afternoon
Make a color strip to identify opaque paints.
Do a small painting emphasizing one of the color strategies. Discuss the basics of developing a painting.
 DEMO: start a painting using a color strategy
DISCUSS avoiding "mud"
One-on-ones (15 minutes each)
HOMEWORK: read Louise Cadillac's article
 Day 2–morning
Brainstorming ideas about your topic, and various ways of expressing them in paint.
Plan a fractured painting. Apply different idea/ colors/paintings styles to various parts of the painting.
 DISCUSS: Louise Cadillac's article on content
DEMO: fracturing a painting.
DISCUSSION: recording brainstorming, working in a series, keeping a series sketchbook. Show my series book.
 Day 2–afternoon
Finish fractured painting
Name you baby. Brainstorm painting titles.
 DISCUSS: Master Disaster's five steps to finishing a painting.
DISCUSSION: Writing an Artist Statement. (homework)
 Day 3–morning
Brainstorm ideas for your border.
Start a painting with a planned border.
DEMO: Starting with a planned border.
Scrubbing out a border (Arches paper)
READ: artist's statements
 Day 3–afternoon
finish paintings.
EVALUATING PAINTINGS. How I critique paintings, how others do it, critiquing your own painting. (Handouts)
 Day 4–morning
Brainstorm for ideas.
Creating a "box within a box" painting.
 SLIDES: examples of box within a box paintings.
DEMO: box within a box, working with crisp edges (Arches paper),
integrating the box into the composition.
 Day 4–afternoon
finish painting(s)
 DISCUSSION: combining fracturing, borders and/or box within a box possibilities.

 All of my courses are basic to the arts. They apply to any media, and any non-smelly media is welcome in the classes. Acrylic painters should bring alcohol (91%) and/or Windex to class. For those working in watercolor, I strongly recommend Arches paper for this particular course.
Since traveling light is always the best way to go these days, organizations are responsible for supplying the copies of handouts. Master copies can be mailed ahead of time, if necessary.
For more information, contact me at