Bollenbach Art Labs' Seattle Spring 2017 classes

"You are an inspiring instructor, a combination of philosopher, social critic, humble practitioner and all around exciting presence. I find your classes provide me with support, encouragement, exposure to working artists, in short, a thriving environment.  Although I studied with (artists) with big names, it takes something more, and you have that something." - Student note to Jamie, 2014

Intermediate Painting/Figure Painting  MARCH 19th

A powerful, ancient media, to paint in oils is to turn mud and fat into some of the most fascinating images possible.  But while they demand attentive patience, oils are approachable by anyone; oils are a medium with unlimited adaptability.

We will cover the essential working principles in oils and skill development of painting with a program tailored to your individual needs, starting from reductive black painting, we'll move to black and white, to warm and cool, to limited palettes and full palettes of color.  We'll learn many painting practicalities from traditional and low-solvent approaches, pigments and paints, color theory, glazing and mediums, stretchers and supports, brushes and brush techniques, under-drawing and under-painting, all to achieve form and space, color and light, and all in good control.

This first section of still life painting will be followed by a six-session long-pose figure painting class in October.

These principles also translate well to acrylics, and those who wish to paint in acrylics may also join the class. Please be sure to write with any questions about the class.

 Ongoing, Walk-in Figure Drawing Classes  

 $17, or $75 for a 5 Session Card. 5 Sessions Still only $50 college/limited income.

Wednesdays 5-7:30 PM at A and C Supply, Thursdays, 5-7 PM at Daniel Smith in Seattle

  "Drawing directly from a real human being fills the artwork with the living body in real space, and real time, changing and changed by the fully conscious visual mind."  - Jamie Bollenbach

There is nothing like figure drawing to get artists into the crucial habit of seeing human beings in the real world through your own eyes. Seeing and drawing living models inspired artists throughout our history; even the explosion of digital media only created new demand for this fundamental artistic skill.

These live model sessions offer light, open instruction to help you develop the timeless techniques for drawing the  human form. There are no requirements or prerequisites, but we offer professional feedback at the level you want.  

The Instructor's fifteen years of teaching experience presents careful observation and realism, but always as a grammar for the expressive poetry and visual experiment of Art - a college-level class without the cost or stress.

From architects to designers, from new students to experienced professional artists, you're always welcome to drop-in and use your own techniques with this friendly, grow-at-your-own-pace group. All skill levels are welcome. 

  • Share your love of Art- help your friends see human beings with fresh eyes-  our open, walk-in, gently instructed live model classes are held every Wednesday at 5PM at The Classroom at A&C Art Supply in the U District, and every Thursday at 5 at The Daniel Smith Art Supply Gallery in Seattle's SODO area. No reservations required. $15.

NEW: Figure Drawing Intensive at The Frye Art Museum

Sunday, March 19 – Sunday, April 2, 2017
10 am - 4 pm

Sundays, March 19, 26, April 2

Introduction to Figure Drawing

Class with Jamie Bollenbach

Sunday, March 19 – Sunday, April 2, 2017
10 am - 4 pm

Sundays, March 19, 26, April 2

Art Studio

A 3-day intensive course in drawing directly from live models. We will develop and deepen core drawing skills with a living model as our subject, participate in group reviews, and create original artworks based on direct observation. While the core of instruction will cover a classical understanding of proportion, accurate value, and the many elements which we can control to create a traditional illusion of reality in a drawing, we will also investigate how this “visual grammar” allows us to be deeply expressive, to investigate what is unknown, and to begin to develop our own artistic voice.

About the Instructor

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska in 1964, Jamie Bollenbach began painting professionally in San Francisco and Oakland. He attended Reed College, and achieved an MFA in Studio Arts in Painting from the University of Washington in 2002, where he began intricate, highly spatial abstracts based on the human figure. He founded a studio-gallery in Portland, Oregon, and has taught painting, drawing, and design at the University of Washington School of Art, the Northwest College of Art, Highline Community College and other colleges over the last ten years. Bollenbach's paintings have hung in galleries and private collections nationally, and he has exhibited throughout the West Coast including the solo show “The Amplitude of Time” at NOMA gallery in San Francisco, the Seattle Art Museum Gallery, and SF MOMA’s artist gallery. He paints at his studio in the Ballard Neighborhood of Seattle.

NEW: Individual Tutoring Sessions    Ballard Studio     $60/ hr or  $50/ hour with 5 Session Minimum

A personal visual art tutoring program with Seattle artist & instructor Jamie Bollenbach, M.F.A. is now available! These tutoring sessions cultivate professional, constructive and serious critiques for your work as you develop for portfolio reviews of your original 2-D art; this is an secondary-to-adult-level individual program helps you build a full professional practice in art.

As the American painter Chuck Close once said: "Inspiration is for amateurs- the rest of us get up and go to work in the morning." More than talent, it is persistence and curiosity that makes the difference, and stimulating, supportive, and challenging critiques nurture the uniqueness of your work, wrestle with the cultural issues it explores, and cultivate your skills and artistic stamina. But this all comes with a firm grip on the practical issues as well.

For the high school student preparing a portfolio for college admission, I will work with you to review your skills supportively and honestly, and to develop a work plan for building skills and creating a portfolio that puts you into a higher tier of applicants.

For the art school student or graduate: it is unfortunate but true that so many capable artists stop producing work a while after they leave college. When you are thrown from a supportive academic world into the market, it takes self-discipline, renewing fascinations, constant aesthetic challenge, deepening skills, persistent work, and an eye towards building your business as a professional artist that allows you to develop and deepen your artwork. I will help you not only to improve your work but create a more successful practice- an ability that will last for your career.

For the adult artist: I specialize in demystifying art language and working with artists to rekindle their curiosity and artistic passion. I will work with you in detail to recognize your best abilities and to address any technical problems or skill needs, all into order to center your work practice on your most passionate artistic curiosity.

A tutoring program with Jamie will cover:

1. Ongoing reviews of your artworks at all stages, from studies in any media to complete artworks.
2. An Exchange of ideas: visual, practical, technical and philosophical.
3. Developing your art as a business: publicity, contacts, galleries, and grants.
4. Develop work plans for creative research, skill development, and experimentation.
5. Cultivating fascination: Turning curiosity into artistic research, toward greater specificity, knowledge, and skill.
6. Identifying core drawing, painting and other skills needs and creating a personal program for building those skills.

One hour sessions are held at my studio near the Ballard bridge, and are $50/ session with a four session minimum, and held T-W-T before 3:30PM, or Mondays and Fridays. Interested? Questions? Email me and I will pleased to work with you to set up a session.


On Creative Practice

With neuroscience now shedding light on the creative process, I teach workshops and speak on social and economic function of creativity. I cover practical techniques from professional arts practice to invigorate and harness people's curiosity into productive, creative work.

The experience of decade of art teaching with a very wide range of students, from ambitious art majors to junior high kids to WWII veterans, convinces me that what we call "talent" is the will to learn born of fascination - coupled to a progressive work discipline. This means that rather than a magical genetic gift, the practice of art or any creative work has much more to do with open curiosity, an ability to refine this to a distinct and fascinating part of a subject, and a self-disciplined creative work process.

Curiosity is essential, and liberating a person's natural interest is the first step. A positive feedback loop of a fascination with a subject drives productive work, which mines greater depths of curiosity, which drives more productive work. This motivates people to broaden and deepen their thinking and apply it to practical, investigative art-making.

Identifying and shaping the investigation of their own curiosity has been a tremendous motivator for many of my students. The key is to work with someone to build a path to the subject - usually only glimpsed- that fascinates them. Yet the very limitlessness of possible subjects for art is a terrifying freedom. It can stop people before they start. But it is also manageable: you can describe the problem as first opening one's mind to unlimited possibilities to locate a direction of interest, and then funneling this down, using art processes, to things you can actually do which enlighten and focus your curiosity into workable problems. The beauty of this is that it naturally results in unique work; the first flash of insight, the touch of the muse, is just the beginning.

For more on this, I highly recommend a recent Newsweek article on creativi

Email me:

Jamie Bollenbach

to Sign Up For Classes