Abstraction, Surface & Meaning – D0815-19

Date: Jul 22 - 26, 2019

Skill Level(s): II to III i

Instructor(s): Leslie Shows

Tuition: $1,090
Studio Fee: $75
Registration Fee: $45


In this rigorous painting workshop, explore the ways materiality carries, creates and complicates meaning in the fertile area between abstraction and representation. Work from a wider definition of painting that might include aspects of sculpture, collage or installation. Students also discover the interaction between imagery and the inherent expressivity of chosen materials, whether paint, mixed media or something further afield. There are exercises, experimentation with ambiguous imagery and “collaboration” with materials. Readings provide the foundation for methods and techniques in synthesizing imagery and materials to increase the potency and meaning of the visual experience.

Media & Techniques:

Students may use any two-dimensional medium or substrate including acrylic, collage, oil, drawing, pastels or ink on canvas, paper, wood, plexi, metal or glass. Mixing media is encouraged.


Students engage in discussions and slide lectures about historical and contemporary painting, readings, explorations and techniques for generating imagery. There are instructor-led and self-directed painting projects, ample studio time and critiques.


Leslie Shows has exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Orange County Museum of Art and the 8th Mercosul Biennial in Brazil. Solo exhibitions include the Scottsdale MoCA and the Walter and McBean Galleries at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she has taught graduate and undergraduate courses since 2009.


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