Drawing: A Working Philosophy of Seeing the World with Pencil & Paper

Class with Jamie Bollenbach

Tuesday, July 23 – Friday, July 26, 2019
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This 4-day intensive course in drawing directly from life is perfect for complete beginners and more experienced artists alike. With your own eyes—no photos, no crutches—learn to draw from the real world by looking and sketching. Jamie Bollenbach will show you the basics of looking and seeing, with tips and tricks for people who have never drawn or those who would like to get right with the fundamentals of direct observational drawing again. A friendly and inspiring approach to drawing that teaches:

  • Retraining your eyes and using drawing to see like an artist
  • Proportion - using simple geometry in art
  • Doodling, imagining, daily casual sketching
  • Measuring and intuition

The class focuses on regular, easygoing sketching to explore the amazing richness of the world. A simple cloth, an old tree, a wine bottle— they can all be fascinating, as you learn to pay careful attention to how they really look, and show you wonders that you may never have fully realized was there.

We will develop and deepen core drawing skills with still life objects as our subject, participate in group reviews, and create original sketches based on direct observation. While the core of instruction will cover a classical understanding of proportion, accurate value, and the many elements which we can control to create a traditional illusion of reality in a drawing, we will also investigate how this “visual grammar” allows us to be deeply expressive, to investigate what is unknown, and to begin to develop our own artistic voice.

An Alaska native, Jamie Bollenbach began painting professionally in San Francisco and Oakland. He graduated from Reed College, and received an MFA in Studio Arts in Painting from the University of Washington in 2002, where he began intricate, highly spatial abstracts based on the human figure. He ran the Alaska ACLU, founded a studio-gallery in Portland, Oregon, and has taught painting, drawing, and design at the University of Washington School Of Art, the Northwest College of Art, Highline Community College, and other colleges over the last 15 years. He has lectured at North Seattle College, Facebook, Microsoft, EMC Corporations, University of Alaska, Evergreen State College, and UW Seattle, and offers a full program of private drawing and painting classes in Seattle.   Bollenbach’s paintings hang in private collections internationally, and he has exhibited throughout the West Coast including the solo shows The Amplitude of Time at NOMA gallery in San Francisco, We Will Never Not Have Been (2015) at Stanford University Art Spaces, and with the Seattle Art Museum Gallery and SF MOMA’s artist gallery.

Jamie Bollenbach, Study of Tuesday, Water soluble Graphite on gessoed board, n.d. Image courtesy of the artist.

Jamie Bollenbach, Study of Tuesday, Water soluble Graphite on gessoed board, n.d. Image courtesy of the artist.


Advance registration required. Due two weeks before the first day of course or class. To ensure registration, submit completed form and full payment. Space is limited. Registration confirmed by email or mailed receipt.

The Frye Art Museum reserves the right to cancel any course or class. If the Museum cancels a course or class, a full refund will be issued. If participant cancels enrollment more than two weeks prior to start date, a full refund will be issued, less a $25 processing fee. No refunds issued with less than two weeks’ notice. To cancel registration, call 206 432 8200 between 9 am–5 pm Monday–Friday.


Classes have additional fees for art supplies. Download the supply list for this class.


Continuing education credits and clock hours are available to educators through Seattle Pacific University (SPU). Payments for fees are paid directly to SPU online. Students will receive a link to register via email one week before the first day of class. The cost for Studio Class credits is $50 for 1 credit, $20 for 10 clock hours. Courses taken for credit or clock hours through SPU may not be repeated.