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REGISTER TODAY: Abstract Painting Workshop with Ellen McKay | Wednesdays evenings in September




4 Wednesdays — September 5, 12, 19 and 26


6 pm-8:30pm


$185 with all supplies included


Emerge Gallery

228 Main St, Saugerties, NY


In these classes we explore ways to start a painting and develop it through various techniques which establish a dialogue with the Unconscious—ground of spontaneity, realm of authentic expression. In the intuitive practice of gesture and improvised mark-making, we invite happy “accidents”, the unexpected “error.” We leave intellect and preconceived ideas aside, we break old habits, gain new ground; the work deepens, takes on a life of its own. The emphasis is on transition and transformation, not finished product. It is a play between worlds, visible and invisible—physical, emotive and spiritual, whereby abstract images gain substance and depth.

We work on large paper with tempera paint with brushes great big to small. Group discussion follows each class. The classes are sequential, as each builds upon the previous one within a cycle of four 3 hour sessions. This workshop is perfect for beginners as well as for seasoned artists who wish to break new ground in their work.

Burning Bush © Ellen McKay


Born in New York City, Ellen McKay is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She continued her studies at Pratt Graphics Center and the School of Visual Arts, N. Y., Her paintings have been shown in group shows in regional galleries including Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY, Mark Gruber, New Paltz, NY, Carrie Haddad, Hudson and many others. Teaching experience includes watercolor classes at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, painting and drawing workshops in her studio and various other venues in upstate New York. After fourteen years of living in Argentina, she has now returned to make her home in the Hudson River Valley. Ellen McKay’s art work is represented in private collections in the United States, Argentina and in Europe.

Elder Leaf © Ellen McKay, tempera on paper 24" x 36"


Untitled (detail) © Judee Irwin, tempera on paper, 24" x 36"

A finely tuned aesthetic

“Ellen inspires her students to produce truly authentic work by simply jumping off the cliff into un self conscious spontaneity. She has a finely tuned aesthetic sense that knows where to put the blue dot; I find I learn a great deal by just watching her work”

— Judee Irwin, Visual artist & Educator, Woodstock, NY

Orchard Path © Judith Lechner, tempera on paper, 24" x 36"

An inspirational dialogue

"Ellen is a very good teacher. As a teacher myself, I know. I had never painted before this class. I learned not only the basics through Ellen’s ingenious approach but also methods to deepen the work via pure improvisation. We were guided by Ellen’s inspirational dialogue as we painted. This class changed the way I look at nature and at paintings. I now think about how I could express the beauty and drama of the natural world in painting and this has enriched my life enormously." — Judy Lechner, poet & writer, Saugerties, NY

Winter Still © Elizabeth K. Gordon, tempera on paper, 24" x 36"

A Wonderful Experience

"I'm amazed how much I learned in each session, and how much more confidence I have as a painter. It was so encouraging to leave every class with large paintings that I felt good about, and could review all week for the techniques presented and practiced. Ellen is patient, knowledgeable, and inspiring. She's both intuitive and prepared. A wonderful experience that should shake or even shatter the biggest creative blocks."

— Elizabeth K Gordon, poet, Cohoes, NY

There is a before and after

"I was able to express the best of my creative essence in these classes with Ellen. I discovered a new richness of form, composition and color that I had never encountered before. There is now real freedom in my work.”

— Cristina Alonso, Head of Fine Art Auctions, Banco Ciudad, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A "way in" to the work

“This unique, imaginative approach gave me the confidence and freedom of expression I needed as a beginner. The exercises are fun, innovative and give one a "way in" to the work. I am amazed by the progress I made and the paintings I did in her classes.”

— Javier Heredia - Real Estate, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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