Class: Exploring Collage and Traditional Media @ Courtney Barton, Houston TX
From Pablo Picasso to Robert Rauschenberg, collage has presented as a defining moment in the art world since the start of the twentieth century. Since then, collage has moved beyond paper-on-paper assemblage to encompass a vast exploration of mixed media. Join artists Michael Dowling and Annie decamp for a two-day exploration of collage and the evolution of collage mixing with traditional art. We will begin with a deep dive into found image collage to build inspiration and personal narratives for further work, then build into individual approaches using collage as a base. The collage work we create can result in several outcomes, from simple finished collage images to collage used as a base of painting or other approaches, or even inspiration for entirely new pieces.
Overview and Schedule:
In this two-day course, instruction will include a variety collage approaches as well as charcoal, oil painting, digital collage and encaustic painting. No prior art experience is necessary and supplies are included. Should you have work or found images you would like to bring with you, we encourage that. Both individual time with instructors and group time will be used to review and critique work in order to steer each student toward their personal goals.
In many respects, this course naturally takes an organic form. Much like the way collage is an experimental effort, the course often time meanders in order to give space for free form exploration. However, by the end of the course, each student will walk away with a finished piece of art, and should be prepared to build on the processes and concepts of this work.
2pm-3 pm - Meet and greet over wine and cheese
3pm-5pm – Deep dive into imagery as subject matter
5pm-6pm – Collage idea review, oil demo
2:00pm - 3:30 pm – Collage continued – finding new imagery
3:30-4:30 - Encaustic demo & Digital manipulation
4:30-5:30 – assemblage/apply tools
5:30-6:00 - wine and charcuterie
Annie Decamp is a Denver-based artist and began mixed media painting and digital art after a 15-year career as a jewelry designer. She has taught courses in mixed media and has drawn particular attention from artists looking to learn the art of encaustic painting. She currently teaches art at the high-school level through Valor Christian’s conservatory program in Denver. Decamp is also a certified Bikram style yoga instructor having practiced the Bikram style for over 13 years. She curates and directs Yard Art Contemporary in Denver and TrueWest Contemporary in Aspen, Colorado.
Annie’s work is considered an odd and successful combination of digitally manipulated found imagery, traditional oil painting and encaustic. The mix of the approaches allows her to be very adventurous in exploring images as stories and allows for abstracted moments to become part of the conversation within the work. Her encaustic work is uniquely figurative – a rare use of this medium. With all of her works she explores Western History and humanity at many levels.
Michael Dowling is also a Denver-based artist and has taught traditional painting and drawing for over a decade, including at the Art Student’s League Denver where he regularly teaches a Contemporary Drawing as Art Practice course. Michael also teaches figure drawing for the Curtis Arts Center and offers a college and professional level seminar on creating a business around the art practice, as well as being the founder and co-director of BRDG Project and of TrueWest.
Michael’s work has been characterized as a combination of traditional practices in realism and his explorations of mark, pattern, and color to disrupt that reality. In many compositions, figures presented as portrait, morph into their surreal self, and lone objects tell stories through their subtle positioning. These objects and characters sit in bizarre spaces with intentionally disrupted atmospheres in order to find further meaning within the imagery.
Decamp and Dowling cofounded Yard Art Contemporary, a contemporary art event that has gained success in neighborhoods throughout Denver. Now it its third year, the show is expanding and building a partnership with Clayton Hotel and its private member club – to build on its efforts to bring community, diversity, inclusion and the arts to its program. This includes initiatives to take in and guide young artists, providing them with an introduction to understanding strategies for showing and introducing their work through public events.
Both artists also launched a program they call their 360 project in January of 2022, whereby they are making a certain number of works in this year that they sell for $360. Dowling is offering 360 pieces while Decamp will make 180. Collectors pick an available date on the calendar and what each artist paints that day is theirs for $360. Subject matter can be requested. Both artists are able to explore their work in a way that is collaborative with their collectors and at the same time allows freedom for their more significant works to be more challenging and exploratory.