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 9:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. 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 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.

Fall Term: Value | Form & Design | Classical & Modern 

During the Fall term, students will focus on building form through observed value relationships as they relate to the planar structure of the life-model and to still-life objects including: rocks, wooden blocks, folded paper, and fabric. Lectures will focus on historical painters who revolutionized the use of value to model form and to create dynamic compositions, including: Caravaggio, Velázquez, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. These artists will be studied alongside and in relation to Cubism through guided painting exercises. Form and Design will be explored through a series of observational still-life paintings that respond to the compositional lessons of these masterworks. 

Winter Term: Temperature | Dyads &Triads | Impressionism & Post-Impressionism 

Winter Term will focus on the Modernist lineage of color, including the study of the Venetians, Rubens, Delacroix, and into the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements. 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, interior environments, and in still-life set-ups. Students will explore a series of dyad and triad palettes and gain a practical and personal relationship with color. Students will create a dictionary of color charts that document the mixed palettes from each day’s lesson and will begin a series of individual studio paintings. 

Spring Term: Process & Narrative: Modern & Contemporary 

Spring term will focus heavily on individual studio practice, painting from the life-model, and an introduction to plein-air painting. 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 Cezanne, Matisse, Diebenkorn, DeKooning, Amy SIllman, and Cecily Brown. Contemporary painting methods and compositional strategies will be introduced through demos and painting exercises.

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.

Schedule a tour with Kimberly Trowbridge

Trowbridge Atelier Student Gallery