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Melissa Mohmmadi: Contemplative Drawing


Join us June 15 and 16, 2019 in the historic Benicia Arsenal for Melissa Mohammadi’s Contemplative Drawing: Finding Compositional Elements through Still Life Drawing

This 2-day workshop revolves around the discipline and surrender of observational drawing. Students with no drawing experience will enjoy a solid foundation in rigorous drawing from life, and students who are already working on their own will find an encouraging space to take risks with their work, deepen their language and explore new tempo.

We will cover fundamentals: measuring, scale, balance, rhythm and repetition, theme and variation, negative space, value, contour drawings and line quality (line weight, speed, energy, edge). I will discuss the body mechanics that give us full control of our drawing tools.

We will glean elements of design from still life material to fuel and propel our compositions. Reacting to drawings as they form, we will read their visual language and allow their marks, energy and scale to inform the next stages of the composition.

Drawing from life will give us the permission to slow waaaay down — to take a reprieve from the multiple streams at our fingertips, all our responsibilities and daily concerns and enjoy the effects of mindfulness. I will provide still life material from nature (shells, pinecones, botanical elements, driftwood) as well as simple white and wooden geometric shapes. Students are welcome to bring still life material as well.

I am not concerned in this class (or in my practice) in a distinction between drawing and painting, all media is welcome. I will conduct demonstrations on paper in graphite, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, and pen and ink.

Students may choose to complete a series of observational studies, work through one or two compositions, and/or begin several works to continue on their own.

At the end of each day, we will look at all the work together and discuss how individual drawings are moving our eyes through compositions, share struggles/successes

Melissa is represented by Jen Tough Gallery. She was included in the group show, “Women in the Abstract” in 2017, and the San Francisco Popup “Wild Things” in February 2019, and will be part of a 2-person show, “Oscillate” with Jenny Phillips April 27 - May 20, 2019.

Learn more about Melissa Mohmmadi on the Jen Tough Gallery website or on her website.

Doors open at 9:30 / Class begins at 10:00 / Class ends at 4:00

We offer a delivered lunch from a limited menu each day for $20, or participants are welcome to leave the Arsenal and go to downtown Benicia (a 2 minute drive) or bring their own lunch.