Abstract Self-Portrait

Painting with Acrylics Workshop

Saturday July 7, 2012

10:30am to 3:30pm

This painting class is for folks who want to learn to have fun (and let go) in creating and are ready to learn some technique in the process.

If you’re feeling stuck or need a no-pressure environment to learn the basics of painting, this is the class for you.

Do you want to do more creating, but find it hard to get out of your own way? Is your perfectionism sucking the fun out, or making you afraid to do anything at all? Do you miss your child self who knew how to have fun creating, no matter how it turned out? Are you just looking for some new approaches to making that will expand your art skills?

Sounds like you’re ready to do some ecstatic painting!

I will also show you some different techniques that you can take into your own painting practice, and will happily expound upon any formal painting principles within the natural flow of the class, shaping instruction to fit each individual’s skill level and readiness.

Class overview

You’ll get your brush dirty with the flexible, fun colors of acrylics. The focus of this class is not so much on technique (though there is no way you will avoid picking up some along the way), but more on how to achieve a state of mind in making – painting in particular – that allows you to open up and let go enough to actually have fun in creating, and opens the door to creating a practice that will last a lifetime. When you have fun, or at the very least tap into your authentic feeling and expression, there is no way that you won’t feel a sense of greatness in your final masterpiece. And since creating is really about process more than product, then the more you enjoy the process, the more you will want to do it, and the better you will become.

What you will get from this class: at least one finished painting and a hankering to paint more after the fact!

Class attendees can be: beginning or experienced artists and painters. Even if you are just curious, this class is for you. Experienced painters can go at their own pace or follow along as they like. Beginners will get as much input as they like on how to keep in the flow with their work, whether that’s learning how to use the tools or ideas on how to get to that comfortable feeling with making that inspires you to want to make over and over again. I’ll work with each artist at their comfort level and offer suggestions and techniques as appropriate.

Classes are small and there are a very limited number of slots, so be sure to get your registration in early to make sure you get a spot!

What we will make

In this class you will have the following focused exercise:

Self-Portrait – The Many Colors of You

You will paint a self-portrait, but with a fun twist. You’ll randomly choose your starting colors out of a jar and you must utilize the colors listed at least once in your piece. This will stretch your ideas of how to use color creatively, and help you get over the feeling that colors should be literal in order to make a great portrait. I will also provide some inspiration from other artists who have created unique portraits to give you more ideas. Try stretching your style as well as your color use! (If you feel shy about painting yourself, don’t be! The way I look at it is that if I paint myself, then I never have to feel bad about it not “looking right”. Plus, I learn a lot about hidden aspects of myself I didn’t even know were there.)

This project is both about finding new ways to paint, as well as a process of self-acceptance and -discovery.

I love doing self-portraits as I am the most available live subject I’ll ever have access to. Take a look at a gallery of my own self portrait explorations… You can see that the options are endless.

If you finish the assignment ahead of schedule, you can try a second one or use the class time to paint according to your own inspiration.


$75  – Workshop Registration Only

For those who will provide their own palette, paints and canvases.

+ $90 – Full Supply Kit

If you don’t have everything you need to start painting, get this fun painting package with two canvases, an awesome 36 color liquitex acrylic set, a bottle of matte medium, four brushes, and a plastic palette for mixing colors and making you feel like Van Gogh (crazy antics optional).

Acrylic Painting Full Supply Kit

+ $45 – Your Choice of One of Two Supply Kits

Only need some supplies for the class? With this add-on, you have your choice of either of the following, depending on your particular need:

  • a 36 color liquitex acrylic set and bottle of matte medium (you provide your own canvases, brushes, and palette) or
  • two canvases, a palette, and a set of four brushes (you provide your own paint and medium)
Acrylic Painting Partial Supply Kits

Have some supplies and need something different than the available options? Let me know and we can work something out.

Note about supply kits: Getting kits are a great way to save hassle and save money in the process (because I can buy things in bulk for class groups). I charge just enough to cover expenses, and offer these because I really don’t want anything to stand in the way of you having a great experience!

Discounts on Packages

Bring a Friend: You both get $10 off the class. If you buy packages for several friends at once, you can get $10 off for each friend at the time of purchase.

Sweet 16 (and Under): Anyone 16 years or under gets $10 off any package. Bring your kids, or special kid you know. (Children/teens don’t double-count as friends. You can use this offer in combo with the Bring a Friend offer, only if you actually have other adult friends going, too.)

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What else comes with the class?

Coffee, tea, and an assortment of snacks provided to wet your whistle and keep you energized throughout the day.

Cathedral Park View

Studio information

I have a 500 sq. ft. studio with high windows (gets lots of light on sunny days, which is great for painting), a view of the Willamette River (with a bit of industrial flavor), a big utility sink, and lots of work space. There is access to a public kitchen with fridge and microwave, and a public bathroom down the hall.

Lunch and snacks

We’ll have an hour break for lunch each day. I recommend bringing a bag lunch to make the most of the lunch hour, but you can also walk up the hill to enjoy any of the fine restaurants in downtown St. Johns (Thai, vegetarian, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, coffee, etc.). Snacks and drinks will be provided and can also keep you going through lunch, if you want to keep working.

Cuttlefish Painting Cropped

How to sign up

Register and pay on-line.  You can also email Theresa at theresa@ecstaticmaking.com with your registration information (name, phone number, registration details, and any supplementary kits you would like to purchase), or call her at 503-998-6421.

Pay On-Line by PayPal/Credit Card

When you go through the on-line registration process, you will be prompted to pay at the end.

Pay by Check:

Mail check to:

Theresa Pridemore
8316 N Lombard St, PMB #365
Portland, OR  97203

Make any checks payable to Theresa Pridemore. Please do not send checks until you have confirmed your spot in the class via email or phone.

The registration deadline is 11:45pm on July 1st. You must pay in advance to hold your slot. (This is necessary to make sure I have funds to cover all class supplies.) If you are sending a check and want supplies, please make sure it is postmarked no later than June 28th, as I will need the funds to clear for a supply purchase.

Cancellation policy

The registration deadline has passed, so no full refunds will be given. If you cancel I will take a $30 cancellation fee, plus the cost of any supplies that came with the memberships that included supply purchases (you may of course come by and pick up the supplies if you can’t make it to class… they are yours!)

If I have to cancel the class for any reason, you will receive a full refund.
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Class location:

Cathedral Park Place – Cogflower Studios, #226
6635 N Baltimore
Portland, OR 97203

CPP on Google Maps

Cathedral Park Place is conveniently located near the St. Johns Bridge and Downtown St. Johns.

When you see the orange building down at the bottom of the hill, park in or near the lot by Cathedral Park Kitchen and Occidental Brewing (it might be full… there is also parking available on the street and by Cathedral Park itself). In the enclosed, U-shaped lot there is a covered area to the left with two glass doors. Enter there and go up the stairs. You’ll follow the hallway on the left all the way to #226. We have huge windows and tons of light coming into the space. There will be signs pointing you in the right direction, too. Call Theresa’s cell (503-998-6421) if you get lost.

Class supply list:

Get the full list on the supply list page for this class.

Theresa’s background and style of making

When I studied art in college, I learned a lot about technique, layout, color, and composition, but all the rules that were imposed on my creating took too much of the fun and exploration out of painting for me, which led to such a struggle with my work that I couldn’t enjoy painting consistently. It was impossible for my fledgling work to stand up to the monolith of “shoulds” made up in my head.

Once I learned to let curiosity be my guide, I was less interested in what was “right” and more interested in where my spirit was guiding me. As a bonus, everything I learned in my drawing and painting classes became additional creative fodder, instead of a list of limitations. For me, painting is no longer a quest to take an image in my head and commit it perfectly to canvas, but more about a process of delightful discovery.

Teens and kids encouraged to attend

I have worked with teenagers in a number of capacities (included one-on-one painting sessions), and remember how inspiring art workshops were for me in my formative years. I am eager to provide a safe and creatively nurturing environment to younger people. I am happy for any age of child or adolescent to come as long as they can be focused participants and not take away from the enjoyment of the class for others. (This goes for grown-ups, too!)

Get ready to have some fun!

It’s going to be a great class. My goal is for you to leave feeling empowered to make even more on your own.

I hope to see you in class!
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