Class Schedule

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A Sense of Place - Abstract Painting

A Sense of Place - Abstract Painting

Saturday and Sunday, October 30 & 31; 10am - 4pm

Instructors: Diane Williams and Chuck Potter


We are following the California Dept. of Public Health and Marin County Health Dept. mask requirement until further notice.
Regardless of vaccination status, masks are required for visitors age 2 and up in our indoor public spaces or classroom.

Whether a world traveler or a homebody, a sense of place naturally finds its way into our painting. Social isolation has allowed us to consider our internal space more than ever.

In this workshop we examine the concept of “place” by painting the essence of landscape - both internal and external. You will practice abstract acrylic painting techniques that are connected to the spirit in nature. Abstract painting is often misconstrued as an unrecognizable style of painting where no standard rules of perspective, color theory, or composition exist. We will dispel that myth.

Venture with us into the realm of self-expression by learning to harness nature's energy and direct it onto the canvas. We begin by demonstrating techniques that get you in touch with your surroundings. And we’ll also identify how “place” is sensed, perceived, and then translated into abstract painting.

Instruction includes demonstrations in basic and advanced techniques including painting with rust to create the patina of age, sumi ink, and Stabillo pencils, along with expressive mark making, handmade stenciling, and collage to create patterns. The results are alive, authentic, and exhilarating. Unveil the mysteries of abstraction by practicing techniques in form, rhythm and motion. Each student receives individual instruction and group critique.

Diane Williams and Chuck Potter both hold Master of Fine Arts degrees in Studio Art and Consciousness studies from John F Kennedy University in Berkeley. They studied at the University of Hangzhou China, incorporating calligraphy, traditional Chinese landscape painting and Chinese medicine with their western art practices. Their studios are in Benicia, CA. (I AN I Studio) and Greenville, CA. (Diamond I AN I Studio).

Fee: Members $200; Non-members $225

Where: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, 781 Hamilton Parkway, Novato (behind Beso Cafe)

Materials list

Acrylic Paint

We suggest you invest in good quality acrylic paints such as Golden, Utrecht, Gamblin or Windsor Newton. A good online source for supplies is or Student grade paints have a lighter pigment load and produce a less intense color.

Choose a variety of colors including warm and cool tones as well as opaque and translucent colors. Quinacridone colors tend to be more translucent while cadmiums are opaque. Manufacturers generally provide a color guide to help determine the opacity of colors.

Be sure to include the primary colors of red, yellow and blue, plus black and white. Note that zinc white is more transparent and better for creating veils of color, while titanium whites are opaque for covering or blocking areas that have been previously painted.


Golden or Liquatex polymere mediums in gloss and/or satin (again may purchase online at Jerrys Artaramas or Dick Blick).


Bring a variety of sizes including round, flat and filbert (angled) brushes. In addition, bring several "chip" brushes which can be purchased in any hardware store. These are inexpensive house painting brushes. You will need 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 2 inch and 3 inches. Brushes do not need to be expensive and can be purchased at any art or craft store like Michaels.

Canvas or Multimedia boards

Please bring 2-4 canvas surfaces suggested size approximately 24"x 36" each.

You may bring stretched canvas or canvas board, the larger the better. If you bring stretched canvas please get the

1.5 inch side (not the thin student grade canvas). Obviously, if you are traveling by plane, or have a small car, canvas board is more convenient. If traveling makes bringing larger sizes difficult for you, put 3 or 4 smaller sizes together to create larger work (bring extra canvases to compensate for smaller sizes).

Although stretched canvases or canvas boards are already primed, please prepare your surface with 3-4 additional coats of gesso for a more professional surface.

Multimedia Boards

If you are traveling, multimedia boards are lightweight and store easily in your suitcase. They may be ordered online or purchased from us in class.

P.O. Box 836, Buford, GA (770) 271-4753

Water containers

Any type of container to hold water such as cottage cheese containers or plastic food storage containers from the dollar store. I like 2-3 water containers at all times when painting.

Bring spray bottles for wetting your surface.


You may use large paper plates, wax paper or commercial palette pads.

Other Supplies

Paper towels

Palette knives and rubber scrapper

Wiping cloth, sponges, etc.









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Cancellation Policy: Fees are due at time of registration. You may cancel up to one (1) week prior to start of class/workshop and the fee, less $25 for processing, will be refunded to you. Should MarinMOCA cancel a class/workshop, you will receive a full refund.

Should you cancel less than one (1) week prior to a class or workshop begins, you will not receive a refund of any portion of your registration fee. There are no refunds for individual classes that are missed within a monthly series.