You want to go beyond the "this is what a tree is supposed to look like" kind of painting, but you can't find any guidance about how to do it
You want to paint in a looser way that stirs emotion, but you're afraid you don't "have what it takes"
You were never taught the basics/foundations of making a painting, never mind an expressive painting, so you feel as if you're stabbing in the dark and can't figure out where to start or whether your piece works
You long to paint with colors that make your paintings sing, but color theory is so overwhelming, and you keep trying to "wing it" and mix different colors, but you get dull, muddy tones that make your heart sink, or you just have no idea where to start
You enjoy starting paintings but then aren't sure what to do once you get to a certain point, so you either get too much into your head and "kill it," or start painting blindly and create a mess
You feel as if you have something inside to say, but somewhere along the line, someone told you you weren't an artist, and so you gave up
Now that you're at home, you need, really need, something to help keep you in your "happy place" and express the emotions you're going through—it's a good time to paint, but you're afraid to dive in without guidance, and you don't want to spend tons of money on supplies you aren't even sure you'll use
“I hadn't held a paintbrush for 30 years, so it was with more than a little trepidation that I attended my first Dawn Boyer art class. I needn’t have worried. Dawn is a natural teacher. She broke each of the elements into manageable chunks, which were easy to understand and, more importantly, great fun! While teaching us the techniques, Dawn gave us enough room for our creativity to come through—this was no ‘painting by numbers,’ and at the end of the class, each participant took home a unique piece of art. I can’t wait to take another class!”LORNA S.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I’d painted before, but not for a long time. I tried to make everything perfect, but was unhappy when it wasn’t. And it never was. Dawn did not tell us what to paint, but guided us in finding our own voices. She led us to see possibilities and not be afraid of making mistakes. The mistakes became the magic. Above all, it was so revelatory, and so, so much fun! I continue to paint most every day, and I think it’s great therapy.”JERI C.
“Dawn Boyer is passionate about bringing to light the artist in everyone. Her affection for art runs deep and is evident, not only in her own work, but also in her love for spreading "Art Joy." I have had the pleasure of both watching Dawn create her own pieces and guiding others to find their artist within. Dawn's compassionate and constructive instructional practices will leave you inspired to forge ahead on your own artistic journey. Dawn has a remarkable ability to connect through art with children and adults alike.”LINDSEY T.
“I had always wanted to be able to paint what I 'see' when working with someone's energy ... I am aware of the energy in other people, and I really wanted to share that vision, because it's wild and full of beauty. I’m not really sure of the magic Dawn used, but within 2 hours, I was more confident and capable of meeting my goal. The techniques she taught us were fun, expressive, and so easy! Freedom, Accomplishment, and Ease ... very cool. Thanks Dawn; I look forward to more!”RONDI B.
Dawn Boyer was born in Maine and grew up mostly in North Carolina and New Hampshire. She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has drawn or painted in one form or another for her entire life. In addition to being influenced by Joan Mitchell, Joan Eardley, Emily Mason, Brian Rutenberg, and Wolf Kahn, Boyer has studied with Carolyn Caldwell, Gail Sauter, Christopher Volpe, Nella DeLuca Lush, Bess Cutler, and Bernd Haussmann, who have had an immense influence on her work. She continues to seek other artists and colorists whose work she responds to as well.
She is known for her love of vivid color in a style that she refers to as abstract lyricism, the “space between” the realistic and the abstract, the personal and universal, the intellectual and intuitive. “Water, landscapes, and gardens will always pull at me,” she says. “I’m not interested in them as subjects per se. I’m more interested in their energy and the emotional response that energy evokes, the way nature expresses abundance without reservation the way so many people are afraid to in their own. We are connected deeply to nature, and yet in our fast-paced, technologically addicted society, we too easily lose touch with that connection. I will never tire of exploring the mystery of how integral those natural forces are to our well being.”
She works mostly in acrylics and oils, although she will also turn to pastels and graphite when a painting or circumstance dictates. Her style can be bold, with energetic marks and thick paint, applied mostly with palette knife or a combination of palette knife, shaper, and brush. Or it can be more introspective, softer, with glazed layers and muted colors. Most paintings are done alla prima; some are revisited and layered with more paint until they convey the emotional resonance Boyer wants to express. She tries not to plan too steadfastly, as she is not as interested in subject depiction as in how a painting communicates with a viewer and creates a response. She concentrates on the interplay between color, harmony, shape, light, and value, and she allows a piece to say what it needs to as she moves knife or brush or shaper or even damp paper towel across canvas or panel or board. Then, she steps back to listen and observe, and approaches again. Music plays a big part in her process (Boyer is a professional singer as well as an artist); listening to it as she paints creates an essential rhythm and flow to each composition. Chopin’s nocturnes, contemporary female jazz composers, French gypsy jazz, New Orleans jazz, blues, roots-based gospel, and Memphis soul are particular favorites.
Dawn is a teacher as well as an artist, and she is known for her innovative, signature methods in helping students discover and uncover ways of expressing themselves through their art. She shows, through fun and engaging lessons, how learning and re-visiting basic techniques and foundational elements of art can be woven with finding, then deepening, one's own voice and having something to say. From there comes the leap into the "flow" of creativity, where trust meets intuition, and an artist's unique style is born.
Dawn has a love for renovated mills. Her studio is in one in Rollinsford, NH, and she lives in one in Somersworth, NH.
Who is this course good for?
This course is for aspiring or intermediate artists who long to paint in a looser way that allows them to have trust in their unique voice and style, even though they may not yet realize what that is. It's also for those who've always wanted to paint but either never had the time, or somewhere along the way received the message they couldn't do it well, and they don't know where to start. Finally, it's for those who know art is good for health and well being, and they want to explore different techniques to help them gain a sense of grounding and uplifting during the pandemic crisis. Expressive art is good for us--it allows us to go deep and astonish ourselves with the beauty we create.
What is expressive painting?
Great question! It's not a term widely used--in fact, I may have made it up. Expressive painting is not realistic painting, and it's not purely abstract painting, though it can definitely go there. It's more of an in-between--a way to paint intuitively yet rely on a solid foundation of basic art elements, and it can be contemplative as well as in-your-face passionate. I refer to it as the "space between" the realistic and abstract, the intellectual and intuitive, the personal and universal. It's more about feeling than thinking, yet it can definitely make you think. You can, for instance, rely on a photo of a subject you want to paint, but you quickly depart from it to express how that subject made you feel. Viewers may be able to tell it's based on a landscape or a flower, but they don't know what kind. All they know is they feel a certain way about it, and that's what matters. Most of my work is expressive, if that helps.
How long do I have access to the course?
Forever. Or, as long as it's up on the internet, which will be a very long time. :-) Once you enroll, the lessons are yours to use as long as you like. There is no time limit on them, though the Facebook Live and Zoom sessions do stop after the 8 weeks are up. Students who enroll in the options that have more support may participate in the Facebook group as long as they like. I participate for the 8 weeks, though I will pop in here and there every so often after that.
What if I have support issues?
You may contact me any time through email at email@example.com, and I or one of my support team members will respond as quickly as possible. Office hours are 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, EST.
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
We have a 7-day refund policy. You may request a refund by email at any time during the first 7 days after the course goes live.