Sunday, March 24, 2013

Instructor Spotlight - Bonnie Cutts

We always try to attract the very best instructors we can find for our workshops. So in 2009 when Minnesota artist and teacher Bonnie Cutts agreed to teach an acrylic workshop at Shake Rag Alley we were thrilled.

Since then, Bonnie has become a favorite instructor and a Shake Rag friend who we look forward to welcoming back year after year. Her next class, Acrylic Marathon is coming up on June 24-26, 2016.

Bonnie has been drawing and painting since her high school days. She received a BFA in drawing and painting from  the University of Minnesota and has been showing her work professionally since the early 1980’s in both solo and group exhibits. Her paintings are included in both private and corporate collections across the country and have been published as examples of acrylics painting techniques in both Acrylic Revolution by Nancy Reyner and Rethinking Acrylics by Patti Brady.

Class samples from one of Bonnie's
Acrylic workshops at Shake Rag Alley

Bonnie has been affiliated with Golden® Artist Colors since 1998 as a part of their Working Artist Program.

As explained on the Golden Acrylics website, "The GOLDEN Certified Working Artists are independent, professional artists who have undergone an extensive, GOLDEN-directed six month, three phase acrylic product education. The training consists of an in-depth study of the technical aspects of acrylic, recommended archival painting practices, and a vast exposure to teaching tools for artists ranging from beginner watercolorists, mixed media artists to accomplished professionals."

How did you get started as a Golden Acrylics Working Artist? 
"It was all coincidence. I met up with some people I knew at a holiday event and told them to take a look at my paintings which were hanging in the gallery near by. They looked and asked if I painted in acrylics or oils. I replied always acrylics and was asked if I ever heard of Golden. I said, yes, that is all I use. Conversation pursued and it came out that there may be a job with Golden. There were conversations back and forth and before I knew it I was on my way to CA for training. That was 1998. Since then I have gone to Golden in New York, South Carolina, Denver, Chicago and California for more trainings. Every so often Certified Golden Working Artists are brought together to share workshop ideas. I have also helped train incoming Working Artists over the years as well."

Do you have a favorite acrylic medium/product or technique? 
"I love building up a lot of texture with gels and incising into them. I like to make gel skins and do transfer techniques on all sorts of surfaces and work these into collages."

"Footprints in Time" by Bonnie Cutts

Your paintings are mostly abstract. Where do you draw inspiration for your paintings? 
"Over the years my influences have come from the natural world around me as well as environments I travel within. Trees, leaves and flowers as well as old crumbling walls and building and roads have all been of interest to me. My most recent work is influenced by neuroimaging and my response to the amazing images I find to look at."

What advice do you have for students just getting started with acrylic painting? 
"Have fun! Try different materials and techniques so you know what will suit you best. Don't try to do everything at once. Find some things that interest you visually, that move you, and work to communicate those in your own language. Starting with essentials, as what you can do with the materials would be helpful, and then move on to more adventurous endeavors."

"Buds Appear" by Bonnie Cutts

"Sunny Day" by Bonnie Cutts

“Bonnie Cutts is an exceptional teacher in that she is able to clearly express the merits of a painting structure as well as downfalls. Very animated and likeable. I like her.”

“This was the best art class I have ever taken. Bonnie was excellent and I will take more of her classes.”

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