Building Blocks for Exciting Design 
May 13-15 2017

Building Blocks for Exciting Design is for experienced beginner to intermediate artists and we will work in the medium of our choice, water media, acrylic or oils. The focus of this workshop will be to work on building good compositions both with representational subjects and non-representational (abstract). We will talk about why a composition does and not does work, and participate in many exercises to learn more, while having fun and exploring new ways of thinking and looking at design. The workshop will include discussions of divisions of space, balance, dominance, movement and opposition as they relate to painting. We will discuss traditional and non-traditional type of composition and how to superimpose another composition over an existing one. Demos, individual instruction and class discussion

Please bring your own reference material of photos and/or sketches.


Jean is the author of “Expressive Portraits: Creative Methods for Painting People”. She has been painting for over twenty years, balancing her strong teaching abilities, and writing with her continuing aspiration to convey her ideas in visual form.

Jean’s traditional practice includes referential imagery of people, still life, landscape and abstraction. The layering of a variety of media offers Jean an assortment of possibilities within her work; quality of edge, line and texture all play a role within her imagery. Although Pederson is well known for her mastery of watercolours, mixed media has become an important venue for her creative expression.

The portraits in her paintings are based on people who she has met or impacted her. These subjects in her paintings often reflect different walks of life as well as diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. We are hard pressed to find a period in time when the human figure wasn’t represented. Finding a way to express the human figure in a language that reflects the twenty-first century is perhaps the greatest challenge in figurative work today.

Jean has work placed in the Royal Collection in Winsor England, and has been honored with numerous National and International awards over the years. In 2005 Jean was the first recipient of the Federation of Canadian Artists Early Achievement Award, granted for her many honors, awards, international writing to promote art education, and consistent, exceptional painting.

Jean Pederson has exhibited her work Internationally in China, London England, Stockholm Sweden, New York -United Nations, San Francisco, Mexico and across Canada.

She has completed a body of work for Public Exhibitions dealing with the changes that have occurred within the social fabric of Rural Canada. This body of work is explored outside Jean’s traditional practices, encompassing fragments from the past and present. Parts of the family farm, old receipts, fragments of the homestead (pieces of linoleum, doors, moldings, shingles), and photographs were used in an attempt to tell the story of the ever-changing landscape and social fabric of the prairies.

This work is as eclectic as the people who made up the rural society. Jean has included paintings, collage (using the old documents to symbolize all that is left of the family farm), Polaroid transfers of old and new photographs, and installations using the pieces of the old house to tell this story. The fragment represents all that is left from 100 years of farming in my family. Farm Fragments is currently traveling to a variety of Public Galleries.

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Jean Pederson