Winter & Spring Online Painting Workshops

Pete Hocking, Memory of a Perfect Day, 36 x 36 inches, oil on panel.

This winter & spring I’m offering a series of online painting workshops. The workshop consists of two group sessions conducted via Zoom on consecutive Saturdays (11 AM – 5 PM ET), and a one-to-one meeting with each workshop participant during the week between group sessions. Fuller description of each workshop is listed below, but the title and dates are:

  • The Autobiographical Figure — January 21-28
  • Back to Basics: First Time, Tuning-Up, or Returning to Painting — February 11-18 2023 
  • Working With Landscape — March 4 – 11 2023 
  • Queer Men Making Figure Paintings — March 25 – April 1 2023 
  • Visual Research & Painting From Source Material — April 15 – 22 2023
  • Painting Between Place & Memory — May 13 – 20 2023

FORMAT: The first Saturday of each workshop is focused on learning from several artists who are working in dialogue with the workshop’s theme. Using prompts drawn from these artists’ work (or alternatively pursuing our own projects), we’ll engage their thinking in our picture making. During the week, participants will be encouraged to continue working on their own (as time allows) and everyone will schedule an individual consultation with the instructor. The following Saturday is focused on additional consideration of artists relevant to the workshop theme, continued studio work, and a final group review of the week’s work.

Participants don’t need to have a studio, but should have a workspace that has internet or data access for a Zoom video conference. The workshops are open to artists of all skill levels, who are interested in oil painting, acrylic painting, drawing, watercolor, collage, or multimedia approaches. Ideally you should have some familiarity with the materials with which you choose to work as material demonstrations are somewhat awkward over Zoom. But we’ll do our best to accommodate everyone.

REGISTRATION: Each workshop is $250. You can register by either sending me a Venmo payment to @Peter-Hocking-artist or a check to Peter Hocking, PO Box 672, Truro MA 02666. Please note the workshop title with your payment. Please email me — phocking@gmail.com — when you send your payment so I can put you on the registration list. Once you’ve registered, I’ll send a confirmation email. A few days prior to the workshop, I’ll send a Zoom link and some workshop resources. Email me with questions — phocking@gmail.com.

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PAINTING NOW: The Autobiographical FigureJanuary 21-28 2023

The self-portrait is one thing, but figurative painters also build a complex personal story by drawing directly from figures they encounter or by creating figurative persona that stand in for themselves. This workshop will look at artists exploring the experience of race, queerness and gender — as well as the quotidian poetics of everyday life. We’ll work with the figure — beginning with one’s own body and considering that body in relation to other bodies. By using mirrors, reference photographs, family photo albums, and other visual media, this workshop is focused on creating a series of images that explore, interrogate and mythologize personal history. Artists we will consider in the workshop— among others — are Jennifer Packer, Jennie Saville, Elizabeth Peyton, Hernan Bas, Celia Paul, Henry Taylor, Maggie Hambling, Noah Davis, Fairfield Porter, Chitra Ganesh, David Wojnarowicz, Attila Richard Lukacs, Jochen Klein, Kehinde Wiley, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Zachari Logan, John Kirby, Anthony Cudahy, Doron Langberg, and Salman Toor. We will not be using a live model in this workshop. Our two group sessions will be conducted via Zoom on consecutive Saturdays, with a one-to-one meeting between each student and the instructor during the week between group sessions.

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Back to Basics: First Time, Tuning-Up, or Returning to Painting — February 11-18 2023

This workshop is designed for people who want to paint, but feel like they’ve never been invited to the party. It’s also for people who’ve had experience painting, but feel like they could use a refresher in the basics. Focusing on fundamentals of composition and content, materials and technique, and on color theory and color mixing, the workshop will present at a range of contemporary painter’s work, offer in some demonstrations, provide resources, and support participants in making a a series of small paintings. It will focus on using oil and acrylic paint. 

Materials: This workshop requires only basic materials: a kit of twelve basic oil or acrylic colors, 5-10 small canvases or panels (8 x 10 inch or 12 x 12 inch are good), or instead of panels/canvas a pad of 11 x 14 Arches Oil Painting Paper will work. These are suggestions, and you’re welcome to work larger, with more of a range of paint colors, etc.

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Working With Landscape — March 4 – 11 2023

Toward the end of her life, reflecting on the beginning of her work in New Mexico, Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I thought someone could tell me how to paint a landscape. But I never found that person. I had to just settle down and try…They could tell me how to paint their landscape, but they couldn’t tell me how to paint mine.” 

Finding and painting one’s landscape (joyfully) can be the work of a lifetime. Drawing on O’Keeffe’s wisdom, this workshop will invite participants to consider their landscape while supporting participants as they develop confidence in their skills and visual language. One develops skill as a painter by painting, so the goal of this workshop will be the development of a series of studies and finished paintings of small to medium scale. 

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Queer Men Making Figure Paintings — March 25 – April 1 2023

The male figure, the autobiographic figure, the desired figure are all part of the history of Queer men working as painters. Often pursued surreptitiously in the past, contemporary queer artists are explicitly developing work that explores the rich texture of their lived and imagined experience while transgressing boundaries imposed by heterocentrism. This workshop will look closely at the work of contemporary Queer male artists — including Hernan Bas, Attila Richard Lukacs, Jochen Klein, Kehinde Wiley, Joey Terrill, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Zachari Logan, John Kirby, Troy Michie, Anthony Cudahy, Doron Langberg, and Salman Toor — while engaging participants in the process of making figurative paintings that emerge from their vision and experience. We will not be using a live model in the workshop, and participants will be encouraged to work from both their own body using a mirror or photography and / or source material.

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Visual Research & Painting From Source Material — April 15 – 22 2023

Painters draw inspiration from sources, be it observation, experience, dreams, imagination, objects, writing, photographs, illustration, film/video mirrors, drawings, or other manifestations of visual culture. Approaching painting as a subjective art form, this workshop will consider ways artists navigate visual culture, undertake visual research, and transform source material (as opposed to simply reproducing it) into original artworks. Participants will be encourages to use photographic references, drawings, still-life set ups, mirror, etc. in the creation of artworks. 

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Painting Between Place & Memory — May 13 – 20 2023

Richard Diebenkorn once said that every painting starts with a feeling. In my view feeling comes from the totality of our experience of a place or thing — fieldwork research, memory and a full range of sensory experience. Direct, spontaneous picture making (painting, drawing, photography) allows a painter to capture something ephemeral and unexpected, and slower work in the studio provides space for considered composition. This workshop will ask participants to define a the feeling/feelings that fuel the creation of a painting or series of paintings


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Pete Hocking is a painter & writer on Cape Cod. He teaches at Rhode Island School of Design and Gratz College. For nearly twenty years he taught in Goddard College’s MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. He was director of RISD’s Office of Public Engagement (2007-11), and Associate Dean of the College & Director of the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University (1988-2005). He’s a founding board member of Provincetown Commons, an economic development center for the creative economy. He’s represented by Four Eleven Gallery in Provincetown, MA.

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