Our Courses Support You

Need Some Me Time

Aperture 1: with James Tughan (Adults)
Thursdays 6:30-9:30 pm. Oakville Studio
This class is all about recovering a sense of play, experimentation with old or new media, just trying new things. It means trying new styles and just getting back to a friendly art space with other adults. It’s quite unstructured but with lots of one on one support from the instructor in drawing, design, painting and sculpture. Oh, and we listen to jazz and classical music and always have snacks.
Fee is $250. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall, winter and spring terms)
For Info: Call James 289 952 3669

Summer Circle: with James Tughan and visiting artists (All Ages)
Every summer, we create a special two-day-a-week, afternoon and evening open studio for all age groups working together on independent projects. We take advantage of our beautiful outdoor studio, with an in-ground pool as well as the indoor studio when the weather doesn’t cooperate. It creates a window of time that is twice as expansive as regular course time that allows for persons’ need of travel and summer vacations. It is very flexible and generous. Its a pretty relaxed time, but we get a lot done until the sun goes down, WE always end the summer with a barbecue and celebration.
Fee is $250. for 10 to 12 weeks, (summer term)
For Info: Call James 289 952 3669


Artfully Whole: with Heidi Brannan (Adults)
Heidi has created a 12 week online program especially for you, a survivor, so you can get unstuck and transform your suffering into joy through creative self-expression. How will this work, you ask? Over the course of those 12 weeks we’ll work through a series of visual and tactile projects designed sequentially to aid in the process of recovery. You can join a safe community while you: make art, process your story, and create healing. As we walk together, She is looking forward to being with you on your journey to becoming Artfully Whole.
This is an online program beginning in February.
For more information contact Heidi at 519 651 9817

Emote: with Amanda Leblanc (Adults)
Coming Soon Thursdays 6:30-9:30 pm Oakville Studio
Art can be a powerful tool for helping us process our inner worlds. In this workshop, we will learn to use colour, line, shape and texture as building blocks for emotional expression. We work with ink, watercolour and stencilling techniques to explore our emotional experiences, and create meaningful visuals that express our frustrations, griefs, longings, and hopes This class is a studio workshop in which Amanda leads artistic exercises in a variety of media that specifically target ways at expressing emotions such as anger, fear, joy, hopefulness, or peace.

Need A Skills Upgrade?

Firefleyes 1: with Alaina Agnew (Juniors, ages 8-13)
Oakville studio, Saturdays 1:00-3:00 pm
Children produce amazing art, but not entirely by accident. Artfulness requires skill development in understanding the basic elements of art and design, exposure to basic media and at the core of all media and applied colour, is learning to draw. We work with children’s amazing natural sense of imagination and creativity, to give them growing confidence in what makes all art real art, “design” in self-expression. And we make sure everyone is having fun doing it.
Fee is $195. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall, winter and spring terms)
For more contact Alaina at 905 630 9098

Headwaters: with James Tughan (Teens, ages 14-18)
Oakville Studio, Mondays, 6:30-930 pm
Headwaters is a place for adolescents who love their art but need enhanced support to build their skills at what we sometimes call a “rep” level. We are there to create awareness of well-paid careers in art, many of which people are not fully aware of, and college options to get there. We help teens build superb portfolios, according to their chosen direction. College-level art programs require enhanced drawing and design skills, an established work ethic, and a clear sense of the student understanding their own artistic and emotional DNA. This is intensive one on one support with wise counsel, independent projects, contact with other professionals and mutual camaraderie with fellow artists.
Fee is $325. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall, winter and spring terms)
For more contact James at 289 952 3669

Aperture 2: with Alaina Agnew (Adults)
Coming soon (April) to Oakville Studios, Wednesdays 6:30-9:30 pm
Life is full of detours. (other jobs, child-rearing etc. Adult artists with previous experience in various media who need to reawaken or enhance prior artistic experience with design, drawing and painting skills, will really enjoy this one-on-one tutoring in a group setting with Alaina. Alaina understands craftsmanship taking dedicated time, but that it is richly rewarding
Fee is $350. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall, winter and spring terms)
For more contact Alaina at 905 630 9098

Need to Build a Folio?

Firefleyes 2: withy James Tughan (Juniors, ages 8-13)
An increasing number of junior high artists are looking to get into high schools that are dedicated to the arts. These specialized schools require the jurying of folios to deal with the growing competition to get into them. We can help. (see Headwaters below: all the same concerns apply)
Fee is $250. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall, winter or spring, summer terms)
For Info: Call James 289 952 3669

Headwaters: with James Tughan (Teens, ages 14-18)
Oakville Studio, Mondays, 6:30-930 pm
(See above) Portfolio requirements vary from school to school, and from program to program, and schools require careful attention to their specific details and deadlines. Competition to get into these schools is substantial and real, and good folio design is essential to make sure you are noticed for your best abilities, so your book really stands out. We have extensive experience in this area, both as submitters and also as jurors within the colleges themselves (on faculty). They regard this as your first working job assignment, so following instructions is so important. We are experts at this. Finally, it is usually important to start this process early as in grades 10 and 11, rather than leaving it until grade 12. Start now!
Fee is $325. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall, winter and spring terms)
For more contact James at 289 952 3669

Got Something To Say?

Aperture 3: with James Tughan (Adults)
Oakville Studio, Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 pm or online
Artmaking is about a lot more than good technique. It is about more than just the materials and my personal experience as an artist. That’s because artists are participants in the community, and in every work, we create we reflect how it is embedded in our work and how we are speaking into it. We are not alone. The idea of the great artistic individualist is an illusion. In our work, we are using language that shapes how everyone sees reality. Artists sooner or later start asking, “What is my work saying?” Sometimes it feels like we are all over the map, and want help with our messaging. Sometimes we know what we want to say, but are struggling with how to do it. Sometimes we don’t understand our own work at all or take it seriously. This consultation with James is all about helping with these phenomena. And that’s because James’ understanding of aesthetic implicit and explicit metaphor is at the core of his own work. For him, this kind of artist-to-artist support is the most meaningful calling of all.
Fee is $325. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall, winter and spring terms)
For more contact James at 289 952 3669

Want To Go Deeper?

Facin’ it with James Tughan (Adults)
coming this fall Oakville Studio, Wednesdays, 6:30- 9:30 pm, or online
This new course is an exploration of self-portraiture by unconventional means. That is, it’s everything but traditional portraiture. We explore collage, trompe-l’oeil and abstract techniques that are a play on work by Chuck Close, Louise Nevelson, and others, all in aid of the artist gaining insight (by more playful means) into their own artistic identity, ie: their way of seeing and their own visual language. Again, our tendencies in terms of the creative process, design and use of metaphor are what come to the surface in our one on one discussions.
Fee is $325. for 10 to 12 weeks, (fall term)
For more contact James at 289 952 3669

The Dreaming of Lions Project: with James Tughan (Adults)
This ground-breaking interactive course was designed for people of faith in small groups. It was created to help groups of believers discover how visual language works on journeys through adversity, how God uses metaphor to talk to us, as he does in the whole of bible history and revelation. We look at the Dreaming of Lions narrative installation, at the story of patriarchal Joseph, and we re-examine our own stories in our pilgrimages of faith (in making our own simple artworks. We look at how God has designed us to see on multiple levels, and how He communicates. We learn to journal and track that communication above all else. This learning experience is one that is brought to your church location, and it’s done with the support of your artists and church leadership.
This course has been conducted in China, Colombia, the USA, Egypt, and about 20 locations in Canada.
At Church locations: min. 24 people $150./person/10 weeks, or $3000/group
For more info call James Tughan at 289 952 3669

The Eyes of the Body with James Tughan (Adults)
Artists and Church leaders don’t often understand one another, speaking in very different languages, even though scripture is rich with evidence to the contrary. This course which has been run eight times in Ontario already is basically a primer in project management and leadership for artists. It helps artists and leaders engage the planning process together and in a respectful manner, so in effect, it is a hands-on re-learning of what Paul is discussing of the collaboration of gifts in the Body in 1 Corinthians 12. This course places the gifts of artists at the center of spiritual community life, much in the way the Hebrews first envisioned it, and the way David built a whole liturgical school to enable it. James speaks from 20 years of experience in missional liturgical projects both here and abroad.
At Church locations: min. 12 people $150./person/10 weeks, or $1500/group
For more info call James Tughan at 289 952 3669

The Nine Faces of Christ: with James Tughan (Adults)
At the very core of what artists of faith struggle with, is a shortfall in understanding the creativity and artistry of Jesus. The Nine Faces exhibition display and course of study re-examine the revealing in scripture of Jesus’ core identity as “artist”, first, before anything else. This includes looking again at how he deals with people, thinking like an artist who is deeply attached to His own handiwork. The Nine Faces images are in fact a series of Christ’s self-portraits imagined in a surrealist style. This story is told against the backdrop of Christ’s experience of trauma, resurrection recovery and re-creation in a new kingdom. Artists find in Jesus, a resilient, energizing model of spirituality defined in part in terms of imagination, creativity and artistry that can and should challenge how we live in this world. coming soon at Church locations (Fall 2022) min. 24 people $250./person/10 weeks or $3000./group,
For more info call James Tughan at 289 952 3669

A Space for Worship with Elizabeth Brooks (Adults)
Elizabeth as a gifted ceramic artist and art educator has discovered a way to help individuals in the privacy of their own homes to create small intimate places of worship. Working with simple ceramic materials, photography and a liturgical sensibility informed by the early church fathers, and the tradition of iconography, Elizabeth can help artists embrace reflection and meditation in the midst of our increasingly busy lives.
coming soon / more info later

Need Some Company? .

Portage Gatherings (Adults)
Out of the closing of Flagship, our beautiful gallery in Hamilton’s James North art community (2013- 2019) came a group of artist-survivors who stayed together. We renamed ourselves Portage, because of the fact that we seemed to be in a state of transition and repair as both individuals and as a group. We also had in common a love the outdoors, and Jesus, the one who created all that beauty, especially the Ontario north. We had a huge amount of experience in education as well. We have been meeting for the past three years basically every other week, surviving COVID together. We have supported one another, and our different approaches to creativity, and our incredibly diverse visual languages. We meet twice a month on Friday nights by zoom or potluck, doing art together or talking about it on one level or another. We are looking forward to future art expeditions together and our annual expedition to a camp in northern Quebec.
For more information call Amanda at 289 441 4513