Thirteen Ways of Painting from a Photograph

Pair of artworks

Date: June 12-16, 2023 (Summer)
Medium: Painting
Instructor: Kristy Deetz (email)
Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced

This workshop will apply Wallace Stevens’ poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” as inspiration for taking risks and exploring various approaches to painting from a photograph. Stevens’ poem uses the blackbird as a subject for observation, as a means to consider different ways of seeing, perceiving, and using language. Assignments will be both quick and extended, representational and abstract, concept and materials driven, text and image based. Slide lectures, demos, and writing exercises will enhance the studio practice. Students with experience painting and drawing who seek ways to jump start and expand their practice will benefit from this workshop.

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Undergraduate Credit

Graduate Credit

Tuition does not cover the cost of supplies and materials. Many of the workshops require you to bring specific materials or tools with you.

Supply List

Supplies are subject to change. A final list will be emailed to each participant before the first day of class.

This class is for Intermediate/Advanced Students so you should already have most materials, which are standard painting supplies.

Bring one photograph as subject matter for the workshop. Also, bring several back-up photos in case you get stuck in the process of working with the first photo.

This is a suggested list and represents a range of brush types and paint colors. Supplies are available on-line through Dick Blick. The workshop materials fee covers: matte and gloss mediums, and canvas paper (18”x24”)

Acrylic Paints, 2 fl. oz. Tubes (Utrecht, Golden, Liquitex Heavy Body) in the following colors—

Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Umber
Cadmium Yellow Light
Ivory Black
Cerulean Blue
Titanium White
Ultramarine Blue

Dioxazine Purple
Phthalo Green (yellow shade)


Brushes: You might be able to save some money by buying craft versions of the following brushes at places such as Michael’s, otherwise, these are the best brushes for the least expensive price.

#6 round, Winsor & Newton, University, Series 233
#4 flat, Winsor & Newton, Series 236
#8 flat, Winsor & Newton, Winton Brushes (bristle)
#12 flat, Winsor & Newton, Winton Brushes (bristle)
2-3”, inexpensive, bristle, house painting brush

Palette Knife (straight edge or trowel); spray bottle or mister

Preferred Palette for mixing paint: Masterson Stay-Wet Premier Palette (16”x12”x1-3/4”) comes with five sheets of Stay-wet disposable palette paper (12”x16”) and Stay-Wet Palette Sponge (12”x16”). c. $22 from Utrecht/Dick Blick on-line: Item #32031.

Alternative Palette: flat Tupperware container with an airtight lid—no smaller than c. 12” in any dimension). Put wet sponge or paper towel in container corner to keep paints moist.

Large cup or small bucket for water; Cotton rags and/or paper towels (Bounty works well)


If you live close by, bring your own painting boards.
Acrylic varnishes and mediums; Supplemental acrylic paint colors; Toolbox or container to transport supplies
Additional brushes
Paint shirt, work clothes, frock or similar, bar of soap (Lava)

Suggested Text: Painting as a Language: Material, Technique, Form, Content, by Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel, Harcourt College Publishers, 2000, ISBN: 0-15-505600-X.
The least expensive way to purchase the textbook is on-line and as “used.”

Studio Fee

All workshops have a studio fee. Fees are collected at the end of the workshop and payable by check or credit card. MU no longer accepts cash.

Estimated studio fee for this workshop: $TBD*

*The final cost may vary depending on the actual cost of materials at the time of the workshop. It is possible for fees to be less or greater than the range indicated depending upon individual student usage.

Studio supply fees are an estimate and can be subject to change due to supply chain issues or transportation cost.

About the Instructor

Emerita Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay, Kristy Deetz’s extensive exhibition record includes national and international venues. She frequently serves as a visiting artist and has led numerous painting/drawing workshops at venues including Haystack, Oxbow, Penland, Anderson Ranch, and Arrowmont. Recently she served as Erasmus Visiting Lecturer at the University of Kassel, Germany, Artist-in-Residence at University of Florida, Gainesville, and at The Burren College of Art in Ireland.