Tag Archive: ART SCHOOL

Hello to my friends around the world!

I am so happy to have Karen’s okay to go ahead and share her newsletter.  Every month, I receive it and enjoy the poems, her thoughts and her awesome paintings as well as her news.  I always feel better after reading it.  So I invite you to enjoy it this month along with me.  You will also see that she has included a write up about me!  Near the bottom!  So please share this post on Linked in, Twitter or wherever else you wish to share it. 

I send to all of you – Love and Light,

Laara WilliamSen,

International professional painter,

Art educator, Vancouver Lower Mainland, B.C. CANADA

Wonder connects us in an arc of energy, an arc of synergy.
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The first month of a year always feels fresh. The cold atmosphere makes everything smell fresh; snow transforms the outer world. It is an open time, a time to wonder. Wondering can take us back to a place within, when curiosity was a constant presence.For nearly a month our garden has been visited by this sparrow hawk. It is beautiful, sleek and decisive. (There are many more feathers on the ground than in previous winters.)
“When Hawk swoops into your life be ready for a whole new level of awareness developing in your mind and spirit. Hawk bears observation skills and broad perspectives on His wings. You could not ask for a better companion…..
Hawk is often a messenger from Angels, Devas and the Divine. He signals a time in your life when you need to focus on what’s ahead and prepare for a leadership role. Your global vision is a potent helpmate in this. Just as the Hawk, you are ready to fly higher than ever before.” 
For more on how animals are harbingers of many things, visit here: https://whatismyspiritanimal.com/spirit-totem-power-animal-meanings/birds/hawk-symbolism-meaning/For a few days, I wondered how they knew when Hawk was about. The feeder would be full, and seed scattered on the ground; but the garden bare of birds. Later in the day, 14 morning doves would be feasting away, and more than 20 sparrows taking raucous turns at the stocked tube. Sometimes this dance of present/absent goes on all day.I wonder what the birds do when they get cold. I often wonder where birds sleep at night. I wonder what they dream about. What do birds see out of their eyes? Do they take in a lot more information than we do; and is time faster or slower in their experience of it?
I’ve often wondered what the clouds do at night; what might they wish for?
I’m less interested in wondering about things I can easily answer. What a mean, tight place that puts the imagination!What are you wondering about?

Below: Little Cloud Wants Something Else, 18k gold on patterned, prepared paper, image 12″ diameter, overall, 31″x23.25″, $1,800.

Please join me on Tuesday evening, February 6, from 5:30-7:30pm for this opening reception:

The Impact of Art: artists find refuge and regeneration through their art

Art Times Two        the gallery at Princeton Brain and Spine
731 Alexander Road, suite 200, Princeton, NJ 08540

Anne Elliott, Karen Fitzgerald, Shellie Jacobson, Charlene Lutz, Sarah Morejohn, Maria Pisano
curated by Madelaine Shellaby

The exhibition runs through August, 2018.

Here are new things I am working on: a suite of paintings with black backgrounds. On the left, Night Clouds, image 11″ diameter, oil on prepared paper, 19.5″x14.5″ overall. On the Right, Night Clouds, image 18″ diameter, oil on prepared paper, 31″x26″ overall. Left, $800.; right, $2,000.
Here is a feature about my work at Alpha and Omega Arts:


There’s a terrific exhibition at the Westchester Community College Fine Arts Gallery through March 10, 2018.

Séance, by Carla Rae Johnson.

She says this about her work:
“My sculpture is directly connected to ideas and often addresses issues of social, political, and cultural import.   As an artist, I find the most challenging forms and concepts at the intersection of the visual and the verbal.  Begun in 2000, “The Séance Series” suggests imagined meetings between unlikely pairs; creative individuals that never met during their lifetimes:   Emily Dickinson with Marcel Duchamp, Hildegard of Bingen with Herman Melville, Bessie Smith with Ludwig van Beethoven and Audre Lorde with Abraham Lincoln.

Each of the pairs in “ The Séance Series” plays a game. Lorde and Lincoln play “bridge.”   This bridge is not a card game, but a physical, symbolic span across an obstacle.   I think Audre Lorde would have confronted Lincoln on issues of race, power, and privilege, so it is Lincoln who must build the bridge.   Not a straightforward crossing, this is a difficult, jagged transition; composed of huge steps, twists, inclines, and internal tensions.   At the top of the center of the crossing is a “spirit-level” symbolic of the quest to equalize and create a more level ground.   Beneath the bridge sits the “house.” Emblematic of the existing social structure, “the master’s house,” is the obstacle that must be bridged with understanding and common ground, level ground, so that together Lorde and Lincoln can dismantle its walls and work toward a just future.

Above Right: Audre Lorde Meets Abraham Lincoln, from The Séance Series, 2nd view, wood & rope, 75″x96″x48″, 2007

Above Left: Hildegard von Bingen Meets Herman Melville, from The Séance Series, DETAIL, wood (maple), 54″x36″x71”, 2001

You can find gallery hours and directions here:

Elinore Schnurr is a co-traveler – a terrific artist who works in Long Island City. We have known each other many years. Currently, you can commission, or acquire one of Elinore’s excellent paintings at a 15% discount: simply contact her and use this code (18*1504) when you finalize your purchase.

Don’t procrastinate – this special offer is only available through this newsletter, and it will expire on March 31, 2018.


Above: LOOKING IN ON FLORENT II   oil on board  18” x 22”   2013 (framed) $ 2,200.00

Florent was an all night diner on Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District in Manhattan, close to where the Whitney Museum is now. The food was cheap, the ambience was artists. This view caught a glimpse of the interior from outside the window as I passed by on a busy Saturdayafternoon.
Below: THE UN AND CHRYSLER BUILDINGS AT SUNRISE  oil on linen  24″ x 29”   2017
$ 4,600  (strip-framed)
There is a short time, called “slack tide,” when the currents change direction and the river becomes still like glass. That is the only time we see reflections of the buildings on the river. At sunrise in summer, the light turns stone and glass into one of the natural wonders of our planet.

Do you wonder how you can find career development support?

Look below!

Artists! I am putting together a pilot course so that you can achieve local and international exhibitions, and recognition through The Professional Development Mentoring for Artists course.  I will be teaching the foundation of professional career development through written and live classes, with coaching in between classes based on my career of thirty years as an art educator and international professional painter.

I am excited about serving the larger online world of artists.  I want to help you achieve your successful art career.

So that I can refine my content and better understand what you may need, please book a free one hour online coaching call with me.


I’m looking forward to chatting with you about your work, and what your career dreams are!

This year we continue our Second Decade Campaign

Please join us: send a gift in any amount.




Hello to all of my friends around the world!

Soon September will be here and the first semester of my new online art school will be starting.  I am happy to let you know that I have all the technical systems in place to get started with a limited number of students.

Because I do Private Tutorials, I will only take up to 15 students. I will be teaching;

  • Painting or
  • Professional Development for artists 

I work individually with each student and we work on the program of activities that will best help the student to discover more about their painting.  Also I do Private Tutorials to assist students with their professional development in the arts.

I am available in between classes to answer questions.

Each week I prepare a class just for the student and this usually can take me up to two hours.

The class is one hour online through a meeting service where we can see each other and chat back and forth.  I can view the student’s artworks and give them feedback.  They can discuss with me what they are not happy with and I will give them choices about changing certain areas of their painting.

Then the student will go to the online course and pick up their written notes for that class and also the video of our one hour online discussion.  I will leave an assignment for them in their online course to complete.

Once, their assignment is completed, I leave my personal remarks for them and once again the student is welcome to call me between classes.

I have been teaching in my own art school, Laara WilliamSen School of Art for more than 30 years and I have served over 10,000 happy students.

Alice and her daughter creating in Italy at the Ozu Cultural Center Studio!


Laara WilliamSen, International professional painter, art educator., Served over 10,000 happy students!


So if you are interested……my promise to you is that I will “outcare” every other art teacher because I am experienced and I put my heart and soul into each student’s program.  

The other big advantage is that you can work at your own pace.

You can complete this course in two to three months. You keep all videos, lesson notes, assignments and my comments for your lifetime.

As long as you complete your course within 18 months of your enrollment date, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement from Laara WilliamSen School of Art.  It is okay to take longer if required.  You do not receive a Certificate of Achievement after eighteen months, but it is important to me that you progress at your own pace of learning.

Also LWSA has a 30 day money back guarantee!

Have a look!  And by becoming one of my first online students at Laara WilliamSen School of Art’s students you will save 45%



If you require a payment plan please visit this LWSA course page and scroll to the bottom.

I have two types of payment plans for you to choose from.  You pay a little more but if this is easier for you then I am happy to provide a payment plan that works for you! 


And if you have any questions please contact me at

1 604 560 4269 or

1 778 968 8250

and I will be happy to answer them for you!


Sending lots of Love and Light to All

Laara WilliamSen

International professional painter, art educator and charity event planner

Vancouver Lower Mainland, B.C. CANADA


PS If you enjoyed this post you are welcome to share it on Twitter, Linked in, Facebook or wherever else you wish!

Thank you!

Hello to all of my friends around the world,

I am so pleased and excited to share the good news that I am opening my Laara WilliamSen School of Art online August 31st.  I hope you will have a look www.laarawilliamsen.com and please share this news with others.  What is especially unique about Laara WilliamSen School of Art is that I will be doing mainly Private Tutorials.  This is explained below!



Discover the inspiration and confidence to create your dreams!

I have overcome huge difficulties in my life and I’ve also realized my highest dreams. To accomplish this, I sought out specialized education and training.

I have experienced deep artistic frustration, suffered from car accidents, recovered from cancer twice, was  a widow at a young age, raised two children with varying teenage problems and my home was destroyed by fire.  There are actually more life challenges but these were the major ones. By using my positive belief system and creativity, have overcome them all.  I am not kidding you!

So, I most likely do understand how you are feeling.  That is why I designed these courses, both from my experiences and my training, to help you succeed and do what you love!

During the more than 30 years of operating my own art school, I formed three departments;

Painting and Drawing,

Creative Life Skills and

Healing Art.

I believe deeply that the very best way for you to learn is through Private Tutorial.  Then you progress at your own pace in an individualized program tailored to your particular requirements.

I am very passionate about facilitating for each person privately whether you are developing your painting and drawing, learning new creative life skills or struggling with illness.

My goal is to assist you to reach clarity of vision and do what you love!


Right now I am offering up to July 15th  “How to be a Professional Artist” only until July 15th, 2017.

My enrollment is limited so grab this course if you wish to develop your Artist Statement, C.V. and learn how to do Proposals for galleries, art centers and local and international exhibitions.  It is my joy to offer this to 5 students only!  

GET STARTED NOW! www.laarawilliamsenschoolofart.com 


When the course opens August 31st, 2017 the full fees are $1,800.00 so get your spot today!  I look forward to hearing from you!



“Laara WilliamSen is a gem of a person.  As an Artist, her paintings are filled with Light. As an Art Educator, her recommendations are multi fold.    She….. encourages  artists to practice more, catch up with their vision, while simultaneously looking at the loop holes to achieve the best of their true potential.  Thank you Laara for the love and support you given to me all through the years!”

Kanwal Zafar, Contemporary Fine Artist, Islamabad, Pakistan April 5, 2017


“ I can’t say enough positive things about Laara WilliamSen!  She not only taught me the techniques of painting, she gave me the confidence to do it!  She encourages me to paint freely, making each painting a true expression of myself!   She was exactly what I was looking for in a teacher who has also become a friend!”


April 2017, Marcia Fraser, South Surrey, B.C. Canada


If you enjoyed this article please share it with your friends, on Twitter, Facebook, Linked in or anywhere else you wish!

Laara WilliamSen, International professional painter and art educator for over 35 years! 10,000 happy students!

I am sending everyone lots of Love and Light

Laara WilliamSen

International professional painterArt educator

Vancouver area, B.C. CANADA

email laara@laarawilliamsenschoolofart.com

To all of my wonderful creative friends around the world! 

Laara WilliamSen visiting Francis Pratt at the Montmiral School of Art April 2014

Laara WilliamSen visiting Francis Pratt at the Montmiral School of Art April 2014

April, 2014

I travel down a narrow cobbled lane where the springtime heat bounces off the high stone walls. The air is scented with fresh baking and something more; the sense of an ancient road well traveled. 

Around the next corner, I have arrived at The Painting School of Montmiral in France!  As I enter the building, I am at once at ease in the cool air and heavy stone walls supported with huge old wooden cross beams.

Coming down the stone stairs to welcome me is Francis Pratt, a true Master of Painting, Art Education and Science!  It is my pleasure to introduce to you this brilliant person and his passion for sharing his knowledge!




Francis Pratt's students at The Montmiral School of Art

Francis Pratt’s students at The Montmiral School of Art

Francis Pratt’s quest for knowledge is only surpassed by his passion for sharing this knowledge. His many years practice as an artist, of research into questions relating to drawing and painting and of working as an Art Educator informed his decision to move to France and begin his own art school. It took Francis Pratt just a few months to organize and establish The Painting School Montmiral in May, 1988.

With excitement he gathered up all of his collective artistic and scientific knowledge and his skills as an Art Educator to create the Art School courses.  His years of seeking the truth about creativity along with his years of teaching art became fully expressed in the content of the Courses offered at the Art School.  He then refined and tailored his Courses to individually facilitate for the students.

Student painting on the Esplanadee

Student painting on the Esplanadee

As a testament to the success of his vast knowledge and experience, The Painting School of Montmiral has been operating with success for twenty eight years.  Thousands of students from beginners through to professionals have taken his Courses and each one leaves with confidence, a new way of viewing the world and practical skills to enhance their future paintings.

A very different and vastly more interesting type of artistic education than I have met before.” Yolande Hart

A magical place, good company, intensely stimulating ideas and teaching. I came to Montmiral to have my eyes stretched and I do not think I have ever looked so hard.” – Unity Couzens

“This course, with its application and explanation of the latest researches in both colour and line psychology, completely redefines and resolves the anomalies of what we see. The reference to proven research and the patient explanations of its implications with respect to how the brain receives and interprets information provides a fundamentally sound approach commonly lacking in other courses and literature.” – Iain McCowan

Painting in the Sunflowers

Painting in the Sunflowers

Francis Pratt is writing, what I consider to be, a manifesto that is very important to our contemporary art world. We are in an age of rapid scientific discovery and his writing includes this along with many other areas of his studies to redefine how we view art and making art. Here he shares his thoughts and a brief sketch of his writings.

“As for my writing, apart from contributions to the scientific literature, I have written articles for popular art magazines such as The Artist, the Artist and Illustrators Magazine and Modern Painters. Currently, I am writing four interrelated books, all of which are the fruits of a lifetime of pursuing my quest for a deeper understanding of the subjects of creativity and self expression.”

Painting is fun

Painting is fun

Below he outlines his four interrelated books and/or his manifesto.

1: “What Scientists can Learn from Artists” describes the scientific experiments and ideas that played such an important role in determining the content of my teaching. The research had its origin in a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of established artistic practices and teaching methods that emerged from my efforts to help my students at every level.

2: Drawing on Both sides of the Brain” is a compendium of two books that concentrates exclusively on line drawing. They are “Drawing with Feeling” and “Drawing with Knowledge”. The approach is, first, to explain what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of traditional artistic practices and teaching methods and, then, to suggest how the weaknesses can be overcome using the new ideas coming from my research.

3: “Painting with Light and Colour” is also a compendium of two books: “Painting with Light” and “Painting with Colour”. As with the two books on drawing, both provide critiques of traditional ideas and practices, many of which have been submerged by the processes of history. The remainder of the books resuscitate submerged ideas in the light of recent research and add many new ones. Topics dealt with include “illusory pictorial space, whole-field colour and lightness relations, harmony/discord, shadows, shading and highlights and new perspectives on local colour interactions.

A principal underlying both practical books is to spend as little time as possible on topics that have been well dealt with in the past.

4: “New Perspectives on Creativity” is relevant to all domains of creativity, although the bulk of the new ideas presented come from a combination of my scientific studies and my research into the history of Modernism in Painting and the cornucopia of new approaches that it spawned, a subject that runs as a leitmotif through all four books. It is argued that the roots of all subsequent progressive painting and conceptual art are to be found in the last decades of the nineteenth century.

Francis and student in the landscape

Francis and student in the landscape

Francis Pratt – EDUCATION

At the Academic Community of the Wilno University in London Francis Pratt studied under Professor Marian Bohusz-Szyszko, Polish artist and teacher. Bohusz-Szyszko influenced him so deeply that these teachings became the foundation of his life as an artist and later as a scientist and art educator.

During the following years, Francis Pratt spent twelve years at the University of Stirling, first, as Cottrell Memorial Fellow and, then, as Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology. The first of these two appointments was as an artist and enabled him to work on a project that involved exploring new approaches to colour in painting. The the second of them allowed him to do research on how artists use their eyes when drawing and painting. During this time he worked with colleagues from various departments, with expertise in the psychology of perception, developmental psychology, neurophysiology and computer modeling. He says, “I took on the Research Fellowship because I saw it as an opportunity for at least seeking answers to many seemingly insoluble questions that had arisen in the classroom and in my own work during the previous twelve years, during which I had been teaching painting and drawing at all levels from evening class to postgraduate.”

He attended the Bath Academy of Art earning a degree equivalent Dip AD and then he studied at the University of Bristol, Department of Education earning an ATD which is an art teaching qualification.

His activities included wide ranging research into

  • the psychology of perception,
  • developmental psychology and
  • Neurophysiology.

g-Figure drawing class-1


Francis Pratt has taught figure drawing and painting in various Institutes of Further Education and, as a Visiting Lecturer, has been employed at all levels in Art Schools, especially for his knowledge of colour. For more detailed information please see the Course Director page on the Painting School of Montmiral website.



Color Mixing

Color Mixing

It is rare to find a Painting School not only based on individualization for each student but a Painting School that includes the enormous professional research in both art and science that Francis Pratt has achieved.

Francis is the most remarkable teacher of painting I believe you will find. I first encountered him when my mother, who had been a painter for over fifty years, returned from his course with some beautiful and exciting paintings, the like of which she had never done.

He had somehow managed to nudge her forward just enough to produce towards the end of her life some brave and surprisingly beautiful landscapes which challenged much of what she had done before.

He then took me on, a difficult unschooled banker who wanted to find out if he had any talent as a painter late in life. Francis provided me very easily with the tools, not only to progress and judge my own work, but to give me the means to look at the work of serious painters with a really appreciative and informed eye.

His teaching is not difficult to take on board if you have had no teaching before or if you are open to change. He distills the very essence of how the eye and the brain work in looking at images and how this translates into working on a canvas or a sketch book.

The reward is self evident in the quality of the output. His influence and effect on me has been transformative. I have an enormous amount to thank him for.” – Paul Zuckerman, a banker, on behalf of myself and my mother Joan, an exhibiting artist.


Relaxing in the countryside

Relaxing in the countryside

Students setting out for a day of creating!

Students setting out for a day of creating!








Francis Pratt at The Painting School of Montmiral aims to help students to be better able to solve their own problems so that when the course is over they go home with confidence and the knowledge to assist them in their future paintings.  Francis Pratt comments, “I have been delighted that the courses in Montmiral have attracted students of all levels, using a wide range of mediums and with very different goals, from slavish accuracy to abstraction and self expression.”

At the final exhibition

At the final exhibition


The Painting School of Montmiral is the very essence of Francis Pratt’s ever increasing knowledge and creative skills. For Francis it is all about each student fulfilling their own aspirations!

Students relaxing outside a gite (French for accomodations)

Students relaxing outside a gite (French for accomodations)


If you wish more information about Francis Pratt’s individualized teaching methods please view the Course page on The Painting School of Montmiral website.  http://www.painting-school.com

Cuurent Art Course Enrollment Information

Cuurent Art Course Enrollment Information

Thank you for reading this article about Francis Pratt and if you enjoyed it

Please feel free to share it on Twitter, Facebook, Linked in or wherever

else you wish to….

Very Best Wishes to Everyone

Laara WilliamSen

International professional painter

Vancouver area, B.C. Canada


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