The Trowbridge Atelier is a multi-year program that focuses on developing an understanding of color and the method of color-blocking, wherein color is the primary building block for constructing images.

This method originates from Modernist Theory — Color Theory from the Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists and Form and Design from Cezanne and Cubism.

Students learn to analyze color relationships from observation based on value, temperature, hue, and intensity, both from the still-life and from the life-model.

Students meet three days per week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 9:30am – 4:30pm. Participation in the Atelier is a strict commitment to these 18-hours per week, and a willingness to spend additional, individual studio time outside of class for completing assignments.

Term-by-Term Curriculum:

Your instructor is present in the studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesdays are Color Lab days and consist of lecture, palette-mixing demonstrations, color-chart building, and specific master-study and still-life exercises. Thursdays are Life-Model days and consist of instructor demonstrations, and the application of Tuesday’s palette to the figure model. Individual and group critiques compliment these sessions. Fridays are required independent study: Morning sessions are with the life model; afternoons are spent in individual studios.

FALL: Value / Form & Design / Classical & Modern

Winter Term will focus on the Modernist lineage of color, including the Venetians, Rubens, Delacroix, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Lectures will highlight the works of Manet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Cezanne, Bonnard, and Vuillard. Students will engage with temperature as a concept to help articulate observed color relationships on the life-model and in still-life set-ups that include potted plants. Students will explore a series of limited-temperature palettes and create a “dictionary” of color charts that document the mixed palettes from each day’s lesson. Through the development of individual studio paintings, students will gain a practical and personal relationship with color.

WINTER: Temperature / Dyads & Triads / Impressionism & Post-Impressionism

The Trowbridge Atelier accepts up to twelve students each year. Students must register for a minimum of one year of study. At the end of the first year, the instructor meets with you to assess the efficacy of your continuing in the Atelier for an additional year. Most students are encouraged to continue for a second or third year of study.

SPRING: Process & Narrative / Modern & Contemporary

Spring term will focus heavily on individual studio practice under the guidance of your mentor and Visiting Artists. Students will develop a series of paintings that explore personal, narrative concepts through the use of learned color concepts. Both observation and invention will be used to create compositions that are layered, complex, formal, and poetic. Lectures will highlight the works of Fauvism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Contemporary painting methods and compositional strategies will be introduced through demos and painting exercises. A full-spectrum palette will be used to respond to the life model and still-life constructions. Towards the end of the term, students will learn to approach the landscape through plein-air painting.

July is unavailable.

Students of all levels are welcome, although some experience in life-drawing and/or painting is encouraged.  Students are expected to be responsible, self-motivated, collaborative learners.

As the academic year comes to an end, all Atelier students will have an opportunity to exhibit their work at Gage Capitol Hill. The first exhibit will feature work from the Magrath, Trowbridge, and Sims ateliers, as well as Studio Arts Intensive student-artists. The second exhibition, Best of Gage, marks the end of the academic year and graduation for those who have completed their atelier studies. All Trowbridge Atelier students are expected to participate in Best of Gage.

Submit Your Application

Pay the $50 Registration Fee 

Trowbridge Atelier Student Gallery