Painting students in our department receive excellent technical training, develop a strong visual language and a deep understanding of art theory. Beginning painting students learn representational painting, color theory, historical and contemporary art practices, and how to express their creativity. All students learn to make panels and stretchers, skills that make painting, both small and large-scale, affordable and convenient. All this is reinforced in Intermediate painting students as well as learning to think critically and develop individual approaches to painting with greater understanding of contemporary painting genres and methods. Advanced students develop a body of work, and express their personal voice in form and content. Students are encouraged to continually experiment with various tools, techniques, all styles of representation, and gain knowledge of all forms of contemporary art movements.
Advanced painters are given their own studio spaces, and have many exhibition opportunities in our smaller “Rage Gallery” as well as the SSU Art Gallery. Advanced and BFA students benefit from feedback and critiques with notable artists from our Visiting Artist Lecture Series. The optional BFA program is an immersive studio experience allowing students to develop a mature and individualized body of work.
Finally, the painting department at Sonoma State is focused on ensuring the safety of our students and the environment. Our faculty and staff are focused on non-hazardous processes and materials such as solvent-free oil painting, using water soluble oil paint for washes, and walnut oil for glazing. We are focused on creating a safe and healthy environment for students to work freely in.