"An artist must always be in search of an absolute truth which can reveal a universal way of seeing."- Miano
The curriculum of Southern Atelier advocates an in-depth study of nature leading the student to identify with fundamental artistic principles or truths. It is a well rounded and balanced course of study which incorporates the best aspects of traditional studio practice with progressive innovation. The primary advantage of the course is the emphasis on learning to "see". This is achieved by means of repetitive exercises designed to develop and enhance hand-eye coordination. Students immediately begin to study the personification of the natural world working directly from the live model using comparative measurement. In addition to accuracy and refinement, guidance toward imparting life, energy and feeling is also stressed. Naturally lit studio conditions highlight instruction based on the sun's exposure of color through prismatic light allowing for refined color study and a comprehension of a vast array of light keys.
"A painter is only great when he is a master workman"- Alfred Stevens
It takes many years to develop ones eye as an artist. With that in mind the core program does not advocate a set number of years to study. Students are encouraged to become a part of the atelier family and grow foundational skills slowly and thoroughly. Artists are encouraged to stay as long as they possibly can and through consistent hard work acquire competence. A student who is unable to take advantage of the core program consistently with the added benefits of open studio sessions for instance, cannot expect to progress as fast as one who devotes more of their time in the studio. 5 to 10 years of full time study was not uncommon in the great academies and ateliers of the past, yielding some of history's greatest artists. Leonardo da Vinci for example, apprenticed over 10 years in Verroccio's atelier . However, Southern Atelier's Core Program allows for those with varying circumstances and backgrounds to acquire the skills that they desire.
"It is austere and profound studies that make great painters...one lives all one's life on this foundation and if it is lacking one will only be mediocre." -J. L. Gerome
Southern Atelier is fully committed to giving students the training they need for life as a painter. By studying the fundamental principles of painting independently, progressing students are given the opportunity to build their confidence as they master each progressing stage. The program seeks to impart the knowledge at the right time when a student is capable of fully grasping it. The culmination of this approach is skilled application of all the artistic truths inherent in our craft resulting in outer and inner harmony, naturalness and spontaneity.