MONTHLY ART INSTRUCTION • ADULT CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
Even before graduating with a BFA in Studio Arts in 2003 at The University of Lethbridge, Ashley worked as an instructor at The Prairie Art Gallery in Grande Prairie, Alberta. For over 20 years she has established herself as a 2-dimensional art instructor, while simultaneously developing as a professional artist.
Exuding enthusiasm and passion for drawing, Ashley continually pushes the boundaries within her artwork. She creates in a myriad of mediums including but not limited to watercolour pencils, alcohol-based markers, acrylics and mixed media.
Although Ashley's artwork has transitioned immensely over the years, the common thread has been her dedication to aestheticism and balance. Utilizing watercolour techniques with acrylics on canvas she imbues each piece with her high-contrast, low-key aesthetic. The bulk of her work has spiritual undertones, often playing with the dualism of light and dark, and the dichotomy of good and evil.
Presently she works in tandem with The Yamnuska Sanctuary to create and sell artwork reflective of her goal to increase our understanding and spiritual connection to dogs and wolves.
Ashley characterizes herself as someone who wants to inspire others. Her mission statement: “Sharing my passion for creating and instructing art!”
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to have previous artistic experience?
No. Our classes are designed for beginners, through to intermediate and advanced students. While weekly classes have up to a maximum of 10 students per studio, the instructor circulates from student to student, catering their instruction to suit each student's individual needs. The student receives a private lesson within a group setting. Each student has their own drawing table and easel, and may work with any medium, subject matter and style of their choosing, at their own pace. Students discuss with their instructor what they would like to achieve, and the instructor will work with the student to reach those goals.
What if I can't make all the classes in a month?
Answer: Students register for the weekly classes by paying month to month. Due to the long wait lists for classes, and limited spots to keep the class sizes small, Swinton's cannot prorate classes, or hold spots without payment. In order to secure a spot in a class, students must pay for every class running in that particular month, whether they attend every class or not. Of course we understand that scheduling conflicts arise from time to time, and instructors who teach a number of classes per week will try to be accommodating by offering a student a make up class should they need to miss one occasionally. The student must arrange this with their instructor by giving as much notice as possible about an upcoming absence, and if the instructor has space in another class a make-up may be arranged. Make-ups are not a guarantee, and are up to the discretion of the student's instructor.
Can I change mediums and try another kind of paint?
Answer: Absolutely! Each of Swinton's instructors are trained in all mediums, (drawing, acrylics, watercolour and oil), and can assist the student in making the transition from one medium to another from suggesting what materials to start with, to introductory projects. While instructors are fluent in all mediums, some classes do tend to lean toward one medium or another, for example: all students in a particular class may be using oils. Even though students receive individual instruction, it is beneficial to be placed in a class with students using like mediums as the student can use information the instructor shares with other students if they should find this helpful. Swinton's will ask students at registration what style and medium they are wanting to work with, and place them in a class which is the best match for the student. However, many times students may not know what medium they are wanting to start with, or are hesitant to invest in new supplies when switching mediums before they have tried it. A great option for students wanting to 'test before they invest' are the Sampler Classes offered at Swinton's. There are Sampler Classes for each Drawing, Oil, Acrylic and Watercolour, which run for one 3 hour class - all materials included.
I work shift-work - Can I come to other time slots?
Answer: Due to each student registering and securing a spot on a specific day and time which they come weekly, Swinton's instructors are not able to accommodate drop-ins, and students are not able to change the time which they come for class throughout the month, as there simply not enough spots open to do so. Again, if a student needs to miss a class due to work on occasion, they may give their instructor notice of the upcoming absence and may be offered a make-up class.
Can I take more than one class?
Yes! There are a number of students at Swinton's registered in more than one class, whether to obtain more frequent instruction, or because they just can't get enough of painting! Not only may students register for more than one weekly class, but often students will have a spot in a weekly class, and then take a workshop that runs for a set period of time. Aside from frequent workshops that concentrate on a variety of themes, from specific mediums or subject matter, to the business side of making art, there are also Friday evening demos, plein air painting groups as well as special product demonstrations. Workshops may be from one day to a number of weeks in length, and students are welcome to sign up for as many as they like along side their regular class.
I'm leaving on holidays. How do I keep my spot?
As long as a student pays for their spot while they are absent, it will not be given away. Let the instructor know in advance that you will be gone and for how long, so that they may accommodate other students who may need make-ups. Another option, is to let your instructor know that you would like to lend your spot to a friend or other student interested in extra classes. Any financial arrangements made between the student and the person using their spot while away is not the responsibility of either the instructor, or Swinton's. It is the responsibility of the primary student to register and pay for their spot in order to keep it while absent.
What happens at the end of the month? Do I need to register again?
The weekly classes run month by month. On the last class of each month, students must register for the month following - DO NOT WAIT FOR THE FIRST CLASS OF THE MONTH TO REGISTER, PAYMENT MUST BE MADE THE LAST CLASS FOR THE NEXT MONTH. If there is not payment made at this time it will be assumed that the student is not returning the next month, and the spot will be filled with someone from the wait list. If the student is absent the last class of the month, registration and payment may be done over the phone using Visa or Mastercard. It is especially important that parents of children or teen students to ensure payment is made on time, as they may not always come into the store when picking up their child. Instructors will do their best to remind students that payment is due, but it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure it is made the last class of each month. Options that parents as well as adult students find convenient, are to pay for multiple months at one time, leave post dated cheques, or leave a credit number on file with Swinton's staff for automatic monthly payment. The staff at the front will do all they can to make registration and payment as convenient as possible for students and parents.