NYSS requires all persons entering the building (Gallery visitors are exempt) to complete the daily sign-in form: CLICK HERE
NYSS requires all persons entering the building (Gallery visitors are exempt) to complete the daily sign-in form: CLICK HERE
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Virtual/In-Person Painting Marathon with Graham Nickson & Sam Levy in Telluride, CO

Who is Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue? Live Painting: Alive Color

Course Description

“A colorist is essentially an epic poet” – Baudelaire

This Painting Marathon takes on Baudelaire’s challenge that a colorist is essentially an epic poet. Barnett Newman painted his giant minimal piece “Red, Yellow, Blue” at a time when painting was challenged and thought to be exiting. Painting didn’t die, however, and color has become even more important. The invention of color and its support of form is essentially a modern supposition. We accept the adage that six square feet of red is more striking than 6cm square, and we encourage students to work large, as well as tiny. We will look at how color has transformed the human figure and the ways in which it is perceived. We will take a journey through the history of the parts of the figure to the whole, starting with the head and working towards the entire figure in its environment.

Each day during this 5-day course, we will focus on exploring a specific artist whose work is associated with a particular color. Through transcriptions of their work we will learn from them while discovering the difference between transcriptions and copies. In the afternoons we will work together from the model via Zoom (or in-person if you enroll in the Ah Haa School for the Arts section), and create our own images. We will look at artists who had extreme passion for certain colors. Pierre Bonnard for example, said “One cannot have too much yellow;” and for Van Gogh, yellow was the symbol of life itself, he even painted his house in Arles yellow.

This special section of Graham Nickson’s 5-day Virtual Intersession Marathon will be led in-person by NYSS Instructor Sam Levy. Limited to ten participants, students will benefit from the rigor and intensity of Graham Nickson’s Virtual Intersession Marathon, including all of the advantages of online art historical resources, while exploring a wide range of immersive, perceptual strategies through live model sessions and in-person critiques. This in-person group of students will work together in Ah Haa’s new state-of-the-art facilities, the Transformation Studio, surrounded by stunning mountain vistas. The class meets every day in Telluride, CO from 9am –  6pm ET / 7am – 4pm MST. Evening critiques will be held throughout the 5 days. Times of the critiques will be announced during the session. The class will meet with the virtual section through Zoom as our virtual “studio” and Padlet as our virtual “studio walls”. All sessions are led in real time with ample interaction with the Instructors and Students.

The Ah Haa School for the Arts requires proof of vaccination and masks worn indoors to participate in a course. Please see their entire COVID-19 safety policy on their website.

Not able to join us in Telluride? Artists are welcome to join this Intersession Marathon virtually from anywhere in the world.

Course Syllabus


Sam Levy


Snapshots From NYSS

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