"Gloria," Gary Faigin

“Gloria,” Gary Faigin


Organized using the atelier model developed by the Art Students League in New York, your instructor attends the Faigin Atelier for two half-day sessions a week, while you work independently the rest of the time on your own schedule. You commit to a minimum of 15 hours a week to your practice beyond the time when your instructor is present. Your instructor may also choose to work alongside his students.

In September, Faigin meets with you individually to set goals for the year, based on a review of your previous work and analysis of your desired trajectory. Your instructor also sets goals for the entire class, with particular months devoted to instructional focus on a specific aspect of the still life.

Instructional Format

Your instructor is present in the studio two sessions a week. One of those sessions, devoted to a group presentation, consists of a lecture, demonstration, field trip or analysis of masterworks. The other session includes individual critiques or group critiques, reviewing the work in progress. You receive an average of 30 minutes of personal critique time each week.

You are encouraged to devote your still life studies to particular themes, as a way of ordering your work. Possible themes include:

  • Still life w/self-portrait
  • Closely grouped colors
  • Autobiographical
  • Dutch still-life categories: Breakfast, “feast,” vanitas, floral
  • Still life with architectural or landscape background
  • “Monumental” still life

Stylistic Issues

Tanya Nguyen Lambert

Tanya Nguyen Lambert

You are encouraged to explore various approaches to discovering your personal style. Some suggested variations include:

  • Thick paint/visible brushstroke vs. thin paint/polished strokes
  • Limited palette vs. exaggerated color
  • Closed-outline vs. painterly
  • Simplified planes/values
  • Amplified spatial recession using blurring, grayed-out colors and values
  • Chiaroscuro vs. full-light
  • Panel vs. rough canvas
  • Large vs. small scale
  • Different formats of compositions; diptychs; triptychs
  • Development of thematic and conceptual ideas


Susan Torrance

Susan Torrance

Eight students may enroll in the Faigin Atelier. In its first year, application for the Faigin Atelier is self-selecting, although a portfolio review may be required in future years. Students of all levels are welcome to enroll in the Faigin Atelier.
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You must register for the Faigin Atelier for a minimum of one year. At the end of the first year, the instructor meets with you to assess the efficacy of your continuing in the Atelier for an additional year; this review occurs at the end of each school year. Late spring or mid-summer, all Atelier students participate in an exhibition of their student work, accompanied by an artist’s statement for each student’s body of works.

Faigin Atelier Student Gallery