Gaye Adams—July 15-18, 2024

~Create Compelling Light

Gaye Adams

Gaye Adams

Gaye Adams

Gaye Adams

Gaye Adams

Gaye Adams

Gaye Adams

Instructor: Gaye Adams

Title: Create Compelling Light

Medium: Oils preferred; if acrylics, know your medium

Level: Intermediate/advanced (some painting experience is helpful)

Dates: July 15-18, 2024 (4 days: Monday-Thursday, 9am to 4pm)

Fees:  Early Bird—$550; $600 after February 29

March 27: 1 spot now open from a cancellation!

About the workshop

Creating the illusion of atmosphere and light is my greatest joy as a painter. It allows me to transport my viewer into a strong sense of place, season and atmosphere.

Over my decades of teaching, I have observed that this is an area of immense challenge to students. It is difficult  to successfully be able to communicate the illusion of light on a canvas with paint. After all, we don’t have “light” to work with, we have paints and canvas. We have to learn to interpret and arrive at the correct colour, temperature and tonal relationships in order to create the illusion of light.

We will start with learning how to see value and colour relationships and to translate them into paint through a series of exercises that will include accurate colour mixing.

We will work from photo references I will provide and paint several small paintings with absolutely accurate mixtures to convey a sense of light and atmosphere. 

I will be working in oils and encourage students to do the same as the opacity of medium is an important consideration. The learning will certainly not be lost if you choose to work in acrylic — however, exercises will be simpler in oils.

Supplies list

Download the supplies list for the workshop.

About the instructor

I have been privileged to work as a painter for most of my adult life. I started drawing and painting as a child, and never really stopped. My journey as a painter started in the medium of soft pastel, having fallen in love with the work of Degas and Mary Cassatt. From there I did a foray into acrylics for a number of years and these days my primary medium is oil paint.

Although I work with a number of commercial galleries, my greatest joy is going out in the landscape and painting field studies — I love being in nature and working from life hones my skills and informs my larger studio paintings. It also furnishes me with some wonderful painting adventures, taking me to places I may otherwise would have never have experienced.

What engages me most as a painter is rendering the effects of light and atmosphere as it is always challenging and deeply satisfying. I am ever the learner and push myself to paint in situations that put me into the deep end of the swimming pool. My favorite saying is “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment”, an eastern saying that best describes me as I stand before my easel with a question around what will work, what won’t work, and what might be possible. My goal at the easel is to recreate the glorious light in whatever subject matter I currently find most inspiring with the hope I can transport the viewer in the process.

I enjoy a vital practice of plein air painting, believing that direct observation is so important in developing as a landscape painter. I started doing it just for the adventure and the practice, and now I am hooked. I travel extensively to paint and have in recent years been enjoying teaching plein air in Spain, Mexico, Italy, Croatia and Santa Barbara, USA. I love sharing my passion. In addition, it get me out in nature, and provides a balance to the solitude of the school — as an added bonus, I get to meet and work with some lovely people.

In 2003, I became a senior signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists serving many years as Standards Chair. I then earned my Master Pastellist designation with the Pastel Artists of Canada. I am currently represented by Canada House in Banff, AB and Adele Campbell Gallery in Whistler, BC. I am also a member of the Oil Painters of America and Artists for Conservation. For a full curriculum vitae, please refer to my website:

Artist Statement

I have a strong bond and reverence for the landscape that surrounds me and feel compelled to reveal the living energy and poetry within it. I use expressive colour and rhythmic design combined with a stylized narrative of familiar scenes to translate the joy and wonder that I feel.

On the web

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