Perceptions and Senses – A three day workshop


Perceptions and Senses

A three day workshop for beginners and experienced artists exploring how perception is used to inform and energise painting.

Summer Term 2024

Sunday 1st, Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd September
10.00am- 4.00pm (on-site)
Cost £290

  • Enhance Your Perceptual Painting: Develop deeper observational skills and fresh visual perspectives.
  • Acquire New Creative Techniques: Learn innovative exercises to challenge and expand your artistic approach.
  • Collaborative Learning: Gain inspiration and insights through group discussions and feedback.
  • Lifelong Skills: Acquire valuable tools for continued artistic growth and unique personal expression.

Tutor: Suzon Lagarde

Painting life? Painting reality? Sounds like a beautiful yet impossible quest – how could one ever grasp on a flat surface, through fixed colours and shapes, an experience that is of multiple dimensions, woven through the senses, referencing outer worlds as much as inner consciousness? And yet, astounding paintings have been created – some that feel just right. What is it then? What informs those paintings that manage to go beyond representation, visual poems which move away from what we see and believe to know, connecting us instead with the mystery of our felt experience.

Throughout history, artists have tried to depict reality and made it more and more convincing thanks to break-through in techniques and modality of observation. Advances in technology regularly threaten to make art redundant and yet push artists to go beyond. We’re now finding ourselves in a time where our phone camera can take incredibly sharp pictures and AI has too started to emulate images. If these tools are now feeding us with an abundance of images, “capturing” what we see; maybe it’s time to move away from studious realism and to look into How we see and What we feel? It’s our chance to get curious about those fleeting and singular experiences, always with us yet most of the time over-looked and replaced by projections.

Suzon teaching in Provence during our last painting holiday, May 2024

If you too feel curious, let’s get together on this 3-day workshop, dive into the here and now…and see if we can paint it! Through a range of playful and ambitious exercises, we’ll put our habits to the side for a moment (or forever!), observing anew, getting intrigued by how our vision works, how our inner mental world works, and explore ways to challenge our senses.

Expect to paint a lot, and above all to feel a lot. Working in a group will offer us the chance to discuss our varied experiences and get inspired by one another. The exercises we will have explored together will be in our artist tool box for life, whether with a brush in hand or just sitting on a bench, observing the world anew.

What we observe, what we retain
Exercises on memory, painting with delay and repetition
Getting aware of what we remember gives us direct feedback into what we observe. Memory is a room beautifully filled with who we are, what moved us – tuning into that and learning how to strengthen this muscle.

Where do we observe from?
Thinking about viewpoint, movement and field of view.
If our experience goes beyond the visual movie going on in front of our eyes, how can we paint the source of this observation? What is this vision like anyway? What is blurry, what is sharp, what moves and gets distorted, what happens when we blink our eyes or relax our vision?

Tuesday – with a model
Sparking up perceptions, seeing anew
Repetition and unusual prompts to throw us off in the way we usually observe to emulate seeing for the first time again. Working with a model, we’ll explore various limited palettes and quick binary decisions as to sharpen our senses, before finishing with a totally free final painting, harvesting the “effortless” magic that happens after having worked this hard.

Suzon tutoring in our studio


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