Ben Hamburger – Distilling the Landscape: Composition without Rules (Online); Tuesdays, January 16-30, 2024

Date: Tuesdays, January 16-30, 2024
Time: 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM Central, 12:30-2:30 PM Eastern, 5:30-7:30 PM London Time
Level: All
Medium: Oil or acrylic

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Composition, or how shapes fit onto your picture plane, is a fundamental aspect of painting. A poor composition can result in a lot of struggles. But what is a good composition? What is a bad composition? While there are lots of tips and tricks to make your work more impactful, I think the answers are more personal than a set of rules. During this class, we will go over some general compositional philosophies before getting into some exercises that ask students to experiment and play with the shapes in their images. Throughout the course, will create a variety of compositional studies from which students can continue to work after class. In the end, I hope students discover new compositional possibilities and further develop their own compositional voice. This class is open to acrylic and/or oil painters. Some painting experience is necessary.

Class 1: Intentional Structure

Class 2: Loose and Intuitive Composition

Class 3: Subverting Your Instincts and Critiques

Ben Hamburger is a painter, socially engaged artist, and educator based in New Orleans, LA. His work is driven by art’s potential to connect and enrich our understanding of the world. Hamburger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from Eckerd College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Hamburger has led workshops and taught courses in schools, universities, art centers, museums, correctional facilities, and nonprofit organizations around the United States, as well as Bolivia, Thailand, and India. Hamburger has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards, and fellowships including the Orange County Arts Council Artist Grant, The Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Eckerd College, and First Place Prize in Orange County’s annual Plein Air Painting Event. Hamburger has attended artist residencies at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA, Sustainable Bolivia in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Joshua Tree Highlands Residency in Joshua Tree, CA. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at locations including the Maryhill Museum of Art, Montpelier Arts Center, Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, and the Western Carolina University Art Museum. Hamburger’s work has been covered by Indy Week, The News and Observer, Voice of America, Tampa Bay Times, The Baltimore Sun,WYPR, and Baltimore Style Magazine. Hamburger is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the School of Art and Design at Western Carolina University and teaches painting at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art.

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About Our Online Classes:

  • This class is taught live via Zoom. To take this class, you need a microphone and camera enabled computer OR an iPad /smart tablet OR a smart phone (android or IOS) and a strong internet connection.
  • You will have access to an online class group message board on our website where you can share work, comment and ask questions. (Exact use of the message board, critique of student work and general class format is at the discretion of the instructor, please check course description for details.)
  • Class will be recorded and recordings expire 60 days after the final day of the course.
  • Participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and class details 5-7 days before the class starts (don’t forget to check your junk folder). Zoom link will also be posted in the class message board. Check your confirmation email for a message board link. Find out how to access the class group message board here.