Turning Stories into Portraits: A Multi-Disciplinary Workshop for Painters, Writers and Photographers

*$400, $365 mbrs. (discounted price will display for members upon login)

We disappear, in a way, into the process. When we disappear and get out of the way, that’s when the magic happens.” 
– Jack Richard Smith

A portrait can be created in any medium: a painting, a video, a photo essay or a written narrative. As artists and creatives, we must go beyond simply applying paint to a canvas; we must develop the tools of observation and inquiry necessary portray our subjects with honesty and clarity, ultimately allowing their true essence to shine through.  If an artist does their job well, the story and personal mythology of her subject will surface in the portrait. This class will get you started on your journey of truly learning to discover your subjects.

DAY ONE, Morning: Relax, settle in and get comfortable. 
This four day class is structured as a slow waltz, not a fast dance, so participants will take a little time this morning to get to know each other and get familiar with the space. Jack welcomes students with a one-hour presentation about presentation about portraiture, its meaning and his own relationship to it, and will discuss the processes and practices that will be explored in class.

DAY ONE afternoon and DAY TWO: Explore and discover.
Good portraiture requires some detective work. Students spend the rest of the afternoon and day two exploring the island and discovering and interviewing interesting subjects, learning about their lives, and hearing their stories.. Jack prefers, though won’t insist, that subjects be someone previously unknown to them. The focus of this workshop is to hear the personal narratives of the subjects, not to create a masterpiece. None of the finished works will end up in the Louvre….well, one never knows. 🙂 This is an exercise in observation and discover, and remember…ALL PORTRAITS ARE STUDIES!

DAY THREE: Pulling it all together, turning stories into portraits.
Use this day to pull the work and your subject’s story together into a final presentable piece using the medium of your choice by creating a painting, collage, photo essay or written narrative. Jack will be available to offer guidance to anyone who has questions, technical or otherwise.

DAY FOUR: A day for sharing.
Taking an inclusive, multi-disciplinary approach, students will share the work they have created with one another, and will discuss their observations and outcomes. This last session goes beyond the typical critique format, allowing students to share a fulfilling and much broader experience with one another.
sponsored by Assortment Key West

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The Studios of Key West
533 Eaton Street
Key West, FL 33040

Gallery and Box Office Hours
Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm


The Studios of Key West