Seduced by the Decorative: a painting experiment – D1122-18

Date: Aug 13 - 17, 2018

Skill Level(s): III i

Instructor(s): Holly Hughes

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


Leap into the world of painting inspiration in this fast-paced and exploratory workshop. Students challenge their studio practice by mining their interests in historic and contemporary decorative arts to source new paintings. Using chosen palettes, motifs, rhythms and iconography, we invent ways to make paintings that range between elegant and lyrical. Sharing resources from books to online links, students bring visual materials to class from which to draw inspiration. Examining textiles, wrought iron, majolica, beadwork, wallpaper and plaster relief, we translate these inspirational forms into fresh and provocative paintings full of rich content. We aim for seductive works loaded with “wall power” with an emphasis on surface investigation and color choice.

Media & Techniques:

Students work with the painting materials of their choice, including acrylic, oil and gouache, keeping in mind an emphasis on color and surface texture. Varying substrates might include paper in pads and rolls, gessoed foam core, canvas, panel or sealed corrugated cardboard. Other commercial printed fabrics can also be explored.


We engage in one-on-one teaching and group critiques. Most of class time is devoted to making work, a very hands-on experience where you should be ready to step outside of your comfort zone.


Working in painting, printmaking and ceramics, Holly Hughes’ work is inspired by decorative arts and nature. Recent exhibitions include a salon style museum installation, Blazon, at the Dorsky Museum. A frequent Anderson Ranch faculty member, Holly is a full professor in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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