Expressions in Paint with Claire Desjardins | March 24th-26th 2017

Product Description

Expressions in Paint Workshop
with Claire Desjardins
March 24-26th 2017

Artist Bio: 

Claire Desjardins comes from a long line of artists and grew up in Montreal, Canada. She worked for many years as a graphic designer and was ensconced in a life of technology and marketing. In 2011, she gave up a regular pay cheque to pursue her love of painting full time. She now has her studio in the Laurentians, (one hour north of Montreal) and is represented by galleries in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Oakville, Hamilton, and Charlotte (North Carolina). Claire also sells art on her web site.

Claire teaches painting workshops in both Canada and in the US, and has received grants to attend artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in 2011 and 2013, and the Da Wang Culture Highland artist residency in southeastern China, in 2013. She created her own self-directed artist residency in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (Dec. 2015-Jan. 2016), where she spent a month.

Claire was recently interviewed by Magazin’ Art (Spring 2015 edition), Art Inc. (a book by author Lisa Congdon, published in August 2014), and Parcours (September 2013), the French language arts magazine. She appears regularly on a number of blogs, including Design for Mankind, Moco Loco, Design Milk and Saatchi Art’s online magazine.

U.S. retail chain, Urban Outfitters, sells her original artwork under their Anthropologie banner, online as well as in their New York, Chicago, and Montreal stores. They reproduce her artwork on merchandise, such as bags, rugs, bedding, accessories and apparel, and sell it under the Claire Desjardins signature label. Claire’s work has also appeared in Warner Brothers feature film, "Winter's Tale" (released in February, 2014).

Her work can be found in both private and corporate collections around the world.

Transportation to and from the airport is provided as well as to the studio from the hotel each morning

Event Schedule
Friday March 24th - 9:30am-3:00pm
Saturday March 25th - 9:30am-3:00pm
Sunday March 26th - 9:30am-3:00pm


1.1      Self introduction

Slide show: I introduce myself, and talk about what has influenced me, and my inspiration. I briefly discuss my process. This is followed by any questions that people might have.

1.2      Introduction of students

Each student has a few minutes to introduce themselves, talk about what they do, what kind of painting they do now (abstract, landscape, still life, acrylics, oils, etc), and what they hope to get out of this workshop. For example, they may wish to explore the freedom of painting more loosely, or learn how to compose an abstract painting, or maybe they are simply there to enjoy the spirit of collaboration, if they choose to work with another person in the group… It’s really up to the students to decide what they want to take home with them. This information also provides me with guidelines, insofar as which direction to take my students.

1.3      Demonstration

I do a painting demonstration, talking aloud, explaining my thought process, as I go: what I’m thinking when I paint, how I fill out my painting surface, why I pick certain colours, etc.

1.4      Students set up

Students fill up their palettes with colours, get tubs of water, brushes, etc.

1.5      Painting

Students paint, at their work stations. I walk around the group, and provide feedback, as needed. I like to do so one-on-one, as I feel it is more helpful to the students to receive individual feedback. Often, students feel like they get “stuck” on something, and don’t know how to move forward, so I can perhaps challenge them to think outside of the box, and maybe do something (practice a technique) that is new to them. I encourage this, as I find that it helps to liberate the mind! I encourage gestural movement, and spontaneous thinking.

1.6      Lunch break 

Lunch is provided by the studio.

1.7      Resume painting



1.8      Show YouTube videos of various artists’ processes

To begin the day, and drive inspiration, I will show a series of Youtube videos: artists talking about their processes. In my experience, my students have had a great deal of interest in learning about artists’ processes.

1.9      Discussion period

Brief discussion of videos viewed.

1.10      Possible demonstration (if requested)

If students want, I can perform a second demonstration. Usually, this is no longer than a half hour, at most, as I don’t want to cut into their painting time.

1.11      Painting
1.12      Lunch break
1.13      Resume painting


1.1      Students finish their works

9:00 AM until 11:45 or 12 noon: Students will have time to finish their pieces, in the morning.

1.2      Break down painting stations

Clean up painting space, so that we can use it to present our work in.

1.3      Lunch break

Lunch provided by the studio.

1.4      Art presentation and critique

From about 1 PM until 3 PM: each student presents their various works for a few minutes (usually, I have someone timing this, so that it doesn’t drag on). Once they have presented, and if the student feels like it, they can invite the class to provide their feedback.

1.5      Final breakdown and clean up

Leave the place as we found it! I will go around, after the students have left, and give the place a once over, to ensure that the space is as clean as when we arrived!

Workshops Policies : Half-day, full-day, multi-day workshops, and special events are scheduled throughout the year. Once you purchase a workshop you will be enrolled.

Due to limited class size, purchased spots for all workshops are transferable but payment is non-refundable.

What this means: If you buy a class spot and are unable to attend, and if there is a waiting list of students that has formed, we will put you in contact with the first person on the list to whom you can offer your class spot. If the person on the list accepts, then that person will need to pay you for your spot and once that transaction is complete and both parties are satisfied, we will transfer your spot to the other person. If you are unable to attend and there is no waiting list, we will unfortunately be unable to provide refunds.

Emergency Cancelations : In the very rare event of an emergency or unavoidable natural disaster or act of God, the class may be cancelled. In this situation, all fees will be reimbursed to students in full.

If you would like to enroll in a workshop that has been sold out, please send an email to and you will be put on a waiting list.

Questions? Contact

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