- Art Adventures Southwest

Art Adventures Southwest Blog

New Holiday Schedule 2015


 To families, friends and returning students spending the holidays in Santa Fe - my class schedule has been updated. Since both Christmas and New Year's fall on a Friday, I will be offering my group classes on Thursday of those weeks.


Team Building Through Expressive Arts


"Jane was a pleasure to work with! Her recommendations for our group worked perfectly. We truly enjoyed our Team building session." Quote from Melanie L., group organizer

Melanie was from a major corporation in Albuquerque. She contacted me about a team building event for her group of eight staff members from human resources. We talked about the size of her group and came up with an idea - a group mandala. A mandala is a circle, often considered to represent the cosmos. The center of the circle is viewed as a power symbol. There are Tibetan Sand Mandalas, Native American Medicine Wheels, Rose Windows, the Celtic Cross, halos, and of course, from nature - the sun. Even the iris of our eye can be considered a mandala.


Art Holidays and Creative Surprises for Families and Friends

I am so pleased to offer classes to families, friends that travel together and all of you that choose to take an art class on your holiday. I have always liked working with groups because there are always surprises. It is the same in individual classes - I can never predict what will evolve, but when I am teaching in a group, the surprises are multiplied. The interaction when people open to their creativity is genuine and fun.


Pastels at Twilight Summer 2013

 Join us in the vivid and changing light of Santa Fe at Twilight! I hold this series of classes every summer. We will focus on color, imaginative simplification/abstraction and a vibrant and energetic use of pastel and mixed media techniques. The process of the class will include both structure and concepts, and loosening up and "letting go."

Abstracting a landscape suggests a simplification of form, while maintaining a clear sense of a landscape space...a horizon, a ground line. We will also look at expressing aspects of nature along with eliminating an obvious ground line and/or horizon. Taking this step places your artwork in abstract space, which has its differences from landscape space.


Painting Outdoors in New Mexico


Today is the first day of Spring. I am ready to paint outdoors again, now that it is getting warm. There are many painting spots that I love in Santa Fe. I often bring my students to these great plein air painting locations for pastel classes.


Plein Air Painting-Bananas in Costa Rica


This image is a detail from a pastel painting I made in Costa Rica. It took a few days to get someone to help me carry plastic table and chairs up to my painting spot on the wild banana mountain. I went up there every day (almost). I preselected my colors and carried them in my back back. I had a light weight folding easel to carry over my shoulder. I loved painting on banana mountain. It was the opposite of what I love about New Mexico - New Mexico with its ancient mesas and the intense stillness of the sky. Everything in Cuidad Colon is moving. The banana trees I especially loved. They are mostly diagonals, and they point and wave and curl and the shadow and light are constantly changing.


The Entrance to The Play With Scale is Through the Eyes...

watercolor pastel mixed media

In both my large scale studio work and my smaller work, the eyes are the beginning. When paintings are taller or wider than I am, my peripheral vision is filled and my body is enveloped within the piece. I traverse, not only the surface, but also the dips, glides, tilts and tunnels of the space. As my work proceeds towards abstraction, it no longer homes towards a vanishing point, rather it ventures deep, or down inside slices of landscape, without a horizon or ground line for reference. Sometimes there is an experience of dream space with no fixed place to land. Shifting references to representation stimulate the imagination, but I don't want recognizable imagery and traditional perspective to overtake goal-less roaming in space.


Road Trip - Rock, Forest, Ocean, Sky, Rock

mixed media watercolor and pastel

From Santa Fe, our route west was a diagonal to Idaho and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve - a 52 mile long volcanic fissure. We camped there amidst the black lava rock and then continued west and north, diving our car into the verticality of Oregon forest. Next, we laid back in mist, sea and sand of the Oregon Coast for eight days. At the end, we headed back towards rock again - auto-ing for over four days on two lane roads. We drove a route through Utah that passes Arches National Monument and got out of the four wheeled vehicle to use our legs. We scrambled and rambled through stunning red rock arches. Arches, like Craters of the Moon, is an area that needs citizen vigilance to maintain its protected and nearly unmarred status.


Art, Imagination and Repetition

Jane Shoenfeld Art Adventures

Jennifer is sketching. The photo above is from a plein air painting class at Ghost Ranch, NM. Jennifer was one of 11 participants. The assignment was to make three charcoal drawings of the same scene before beginning to work in color. Repetition is a very exciting and useful part of the creative process. Repetition helps in "seeing" and opens up the imagination.


Ghost Ranch-Strange Matter and the Nature of Transparency


I'll be teaching a one and a half day Ghost Ranch workshop on July 27th and July 28th. It is almost full. I will be teaching the same workshop at Ghost Ranch in early October. The October workshop will be stunning and sunny and gold in the aspens. Both workshops will include a studio warm up session in Santa Fe on Friday night and a full day painting out at Ghost Ranch on Saturday.

I ALSO have a residential workshop planned at Ghost Ranch in late September (Sept 20-23). There is something strange going on regarding the residential workshop. I only have two sign-ups and may have to cancel if I don't get six more people enrolled in the next week or so. I have been teaching this residential workshop for many years. It has many repeaters and has always filled at twelve participants.


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