Classes for Adults

All classes are held in the Hamilton Center for the Arts unless otherwise notified.  

Located next to the Broad Street Gallery at 20 Broad Street, Hamilton, New York 13346

To register, please contact Kathy Herold at *Hamilton Center for the Arts* 

(315)368-4453 OR

Life drawing is an opportunity for artists to have access to a live model to practice drawing.  Sessions are weekly with no formal instruction.  Students should bring their own supplies to class.  No materials are provided.

Dates: Sundays, November 10, 17 and December 1, 8

Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Price: $60 for 4 sessions, $20 drop in fee

Life Drawing Sessions

No experience is necessary!

Saori is the Japanese art of hand-weaving founded by Misao Jo over 40 years ago. Saori weaving places more emphasis on creativity and free expression than technical skills. There are no rules or samples to follow, and no mistakes - only possibilities!

Saori weaving is like painting with yarn; skipped warp threads, irregular selvages, playing with color and texture, all add to the spontaneity of Saori handwoven cloth. We admire these irregularities as the unintentional beauty resulting from our natural creativity.

The looms will be set up and ready for students to begin weaving after a brief introduction and demonstration. Students will take home the cloth they weave!

Students should bring an open mind and willingness to explore!

Dates: Saturday, November 16

Time: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Price: $75 plus $25 materials fee

Instructor:  Karen Pardee, Serendipity SAORI Studio

Class Size: Maximum of 5 participants

Saori Weaving Workshop


Dates: Thursday, November 21

Time: 9:30am - 2:30pm

Price: $50 plus $25 materials fee

Instructor: Eva Hunter

Students will create their own fabric design. Shibori is the Japanese art of creating stunning designs and patterns by folding, stitching, tying, and manipulating fabric during the dyeing process. 

Business and Artmaking

Dates: Thursday, November 21

Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Price: $50 

Instructor:  Linda Bigness

Lay the foundation for your art business. This one evening presentation will inform the artist with details on how to bring your practice into a productive self-supporting business.

Linda Bigness has been a professional practicing artist for over 40 years and whats to share with you some of the successful art business habits she has developed over the years.

Topics will include: 

Web sites, do you need an online presence? Design, promotion, attracting traffic.

On-line sales, how to develop a following and cultivate patrons of your work.

Applications, Photoshop, Web design, free and easy?, or should you pay?
Mailing lists and email services, are they really worth it? Review pf top email promoters.

Galleries, Commerical, Vanity, Non-profits: soliciting, approaching, staying in contact after the rejection. Let's discuss your options. 

What do the Gallerists, dealers, and other agents for artists have to say about today's art market? 

Pastel Painting Workshop

Dates: Saturday, December 7

Time: 10:00am - 5:00pm (with a midday lunch break)

Price: $90 plus $10 supply fee 

Instructor:  Mary Padgett


This workshop is an opportunity for you to receive individualized instruction in the pastel medium from an expert. For individuals new to pastel, Padgett's goal is to educate you about the broad range of pastel products and techniques, to assist you in developing your personal style, and to encourage creative exploration. For experienced pastellists, Padgett's goal is to provide feedback in a supportive working environment. Padgett will set up colorful and varied still life arrangements that you will work from.

Pastel Supplies:
You will want to have a minimum of twenty pastel sticks, enough to give you some variety of
color, saturation, and value. More pastel sticks will give you more options so I encourage a larger selection. You will want to choose supports (i.e., papers or boards) to work on that
are appropriate to the type of pastel you will be using. Pastel is versatile; it can be a drawing medium or a painting medium, a colorful line or a painterly mark. There are many pastel products available so it is important to consider your preferences and intentions as you acquire supplies. If you prefer to work in a more linear style, use hard pastels. If you like heavier applications with broader marks choose soft pastels. You may decide that you want to use a varied selection. For a good overview of pastel supplies visit Rochester Art’s web site


The pastel brands mentioned here are sold by Rochester. Syracuse’s Commercial
Art Supply offers a limited selection of pastels: NuPastel, Pan Pastels, Rembrandt and Jack
Richeson’s Minis. If you shop at Commercial be sure to bring in this supply list, with it they will offer you a student discount. Pastels are also available through internet/catalogues like Blick (, Jerry’s Artarama, etc., and Amazon. Most pastel manufacturers offer pastels both open stock and in sets.

A set is a good way to begin to build your palette. (1/2-stick sets are a good value). Some
companies put together still life, landscape, or portrait sets. If pastel painting is new to you Padgett recommends purchasing one of the following sets of pastels: Prismacolor NuPastel (a hard pastel product) set of 24 or larger; Art Spectrum (moderate density) 20 or 40 1⁄2-stick set; Rembrandt (moderate) 30 1⁄2-stick set; Schmincke (soft) 18 1⁄2-stick set; Sennelier (soft) 20 or 40 1⁄2-stick set; Unison (soft) 30 1⁄2-stick set; Great American (very soft) 60 1⁄2-stick set. You can see all of these at T
o experience the range of pastels available I recommend purchasing one of Rochester Art Supply’s “Tasty Pastel Samplers”. They retail for about $25.

Padgett owns a variety of different pastels, each purchased for its hue and value. Her favorite manufacturer is Terry Ludwig,

Pastel Papers:
If you select NuPastels, Art Spectrum, or Rembrandt your paper doesn’t need to have a “tooth”
to hold the particles of pigment. You can use any manufacturer recommended paper for charcoal or pastel, for example, Canson Mi Tientes or Strathmore. Padgett recommends buying a couple of large sheets of hot press (smooth) watercolor paper or Arches or Rives printmaking paper and cutting it to the size you’d like to work with. Additionally, purchase a couple of sheets of Colourfix or Mi Tientes Touch in any colors you like to try. Both of these papers have more of a tooth and will hold more pigment, the resulting painting will have a richer quality. It is fun to work on colored papers because the paper’s color will affect the appearance of your pastel hues and values. If you purchase any of the “soft” pastels (Schmincke, Sennelier, Unison, Great American, etc.) you’ll want a “toothier” surface to grab the particles of pastel. Use Pastel Premier Sanded Paper (available in fine or medium grit and in 5 colors), LaCarte Pastel Paper

(14 colors, cannot take water-based media), Unison Pastel Paper, Pastelmat Pastel Card, Richeson’s Unison Pastel Surface, UArt (a toothy sandpaper-like surface available in 5 grits from coarse to fine, takes water-based paint), Colourfix, and/or Mi Tientes Touch. You can see these papers on Rochester Art’s website:

Miscellaneous Supplies:
Padgett encourages you to do preliminary value studies of your compositions. To do so bring some inexpensive drawing paper (white, gray, or tan) and few sticks of vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, and/or conté. Padgett also encourages you to explore the pastel technique and will make available acrylic paint and pumice ground to customize your painting surfaces. If you would like to take advantage of this
opportunity bring several sheets of 100% rag paper, either a smooth (hot press) watercolor paper (min. 140#) or a printmaking paper (Arches or Rives).


Bring along any brushes and water-based paints you already own to use in preparing your surfaces and to experiment w/mixed media. An assortment of brushes can be useful for blending and for removing soft pastel from drawing surfaces. Blending tips are useful also, especially when a finger is too large for a small area. Rochester Art Supply is now carrying Colour Shapers, silicone tipped tools for blending. They come in 5 sizes/5 shapes. Padgett finds Pan Pastel Sofft Tools, particularly Sofft Sponges, very useful. Fixatives are not always necessary. If you are working with soft pastel on a textured surface, the tooth of the paper will hold the pigment. In Padgett's experience even hard pastel on smooth surfaces stays in place — that is, when the painting is handled carefully. However, fixatives can be used to isolate a layer of pastel from subsequent applications. Recommended brands are Sennelier’s Latour or Lascaux. Glassine paper is a smooth, archival, inter-leafing paper that will protect pastel pictures in transport and storage. In a pinch, you can use wax paper or any very smooth paper. Skin protectants and barrier creams (Gloves in a Bottle or Dermashield) or disposable powder-free gloves will protect your hands and make clean up easier.

For more information about Mary Padgett, click here

Sign up by October 20th!

1st class - November 2:

Discussion of history and culture of Chinese brush painting.

Discussion of the materials in the kit.

Demonstration and practice of holding and loading the brush.

Demonstration and practice of line/stroke by painting wild orchid leaves and blossoms.


2nd class - November 9:

Discussion and demonstration pertaining to Chinese brush painting composition.

Discussion regarding the four gentlemen of brush painting.

Instruction - how to paint bamboo - stems, branches, and leaves.


3rd class - November 16:

Instruction and practice plum trees - branches, and blossoms.


4th class - November 23:

Instruction and practice of the Chrysanthemum - flowers and leaves.

Dates: TBA

Price: $150 for 4 weeks, $25 material fee

Instructor: Donna Lamour

Beginner Chinese Brush Painting

The Watercolor Workshop will consist of four one day sessions designed to introduce and develop a successful watercolor technique and painting strategies. The first workshop is scheduled to start July 10th and meet for the following three Saturdays at the Hamilton Center for the Arts from 9am to 12pm.  A list of basic materials is provided.

The first workshop, “Watercolor Basics,” is designed to introduce you to watercolor materials and techniques for the beginning watercolorist.  In this workshop we will cover all the fundamentals necessary to start creating successful paintings. Each day a new skill or skills will be introduced at the beginning of the class followed by a practice session for those skills. The remainder of the class will be devoted to starting a simple watercolor using the skills discussed at the beginning of the class. You will learn to develop a successful grayscale, learn to paint with a limited pallet, and start thinking about how to organize a successful painting.

To learn more about Eric Shute, click here.

Dates: Wednesdays, Dates TBA

Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Price: $150 for 4 weeks, $45 drop in fee

Instructor: Eric Shute (learn more here)

Class Size: 8 students

Watercolor Workshop

Use this as a time to explore your creativity! Come use the materials we have available at the Hamilton Center for the Arts to create your own projects. Most of the materials in the HCA studio are available to use: paints, canvas, paper, oil pastels, sewing machine, fibers, fabrics, paper mache, sculptural materials, and so much more. If you need it, project storage is available. Open Studio Time does not have an instructor but, Kathy will be in the gallery to assist with questions.

Dates: Thursdays

Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm (additional time available)

Price: $20 drop in rate

Open Studio Time

Hamilton Center for the Arts 

16 Broad Street, Hamilton, NY
phone: (315) 368-4453