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I deny that art can be taught, or in other words, maintain that art is completely individual, and that the talent of each artist is but the result of his own inspiration and his own study of past tradition. Gustave Courbet - 1819 - 1877

The Creative Art Workshop is the innovative idea of Singaporean artist Manjeet Shergill. Conceived and developed eleven years ago, the workshop has been conducted for a wide range of participants over the years. During that time Manjeet has consistently updated and honed the programme so that it has become increasingly relevant to the general needs of a lay public desiring to gain an educated and intelligent insight into art.

Participants in previous workshops have consisted of a wide age range, and from all kinds of backgrounds. Some have had previous art training, many not. The majority attend because they say they want an insight into art enabling them to enjoy galleries and museums more fully, while others regard the workshop as a preliminary introduction before going on to take a more intensive drawing and painting course.

Another important dimension has been the therapeutic advantage of the workshop. Many participants joined as a form of relaxation, to relieve stress from their everyday jobs. They have found that turning their attention to art has helped relieve their stress levels considerably.

The Creative Art Workshop focuses on teaching participants to see a painting through the eyes of the artist using light and shade to put across an idea or message, to evoke a feeling or mood. In essence, it is about how to look at paintings. Participants will also be shown and discuss various works by master and contemporary artists, and where possible will be taken on visits to local galleries and the Singapore Art Museum to be made familiar with works from different part of the world.

The workshop is run over 4 days of 2-hour sessions, although it can be shortened where requested, or run as a one day workshop.
Session 1: Composition

This constitutes the most important layer of a painting, for it is in composition that the visual story is created. Students will look at portraits, landscape and still life paintings, and learn how the character, the use of space and light, and the colour, harmony and shape of the elements are used to create the ‘story’.

Session 2: Colour

This part of the workshop focuses on the use of colour in a painting. Students will learn to dissect colour scientifically, and understand what elements different colours are made from. They will be given the opportunity to make their own study of colour to help them learn how an artist uses colour, and for those who wish to continue painting studies, it will provide them with a greater sense of confidence to use colours by understanding how colours work.

Session 3: Drawing

Drawing is essentially about working with lines. Using a pencil and eraser, and other simple artist’s equipment such as oil pastels, the students will begin drawing in order to learn how to place lines on a page, as well as how to handle the drawing media.

Session 4: Painting

Using all the students have learned in the previous three sessions, the students will apply their knowledge and produce a still life.

Session 5: Gallery or Museum Visit

Students will be accompanied on a visit to a gallery as an exercise in critical thinking. They will study different paintings, and analyse them based on what they have learned in the course. The group will then discuss what does or doesn’t work for them in the paintings.

Session 6: Discussion of Favorite Artist

Again, using what has been learned in the course, participants will discuss the idea of originality in a painting by using examples of their favourite artists, and then begin to discover their own originality.

©2021 Manjeet Shergill