Classes and Workshops

All classes are taught by Nancy Polo.  For more on her work as a teacher click here.

Helicon or Minerva’s Visit to the Muses, by Joos de Momper

Classes through the Classical Cottage School

Beginning in Fall 2012, I  will be teaching Art History and Studio Art at the Classical Cottage School in Winchester, VA. CCS is a consortium of professional teachers who implement an education model built from a study of Latin. Curriculum focus is on developing grammar, logic and rhetoric through a study of English & Latin Grammar, Ancient History, Mythology, Classical Literature, and Roman Culture. This classical perspective allows students to explore art and art history with a greater depth and appreciation for the social, political, and cultural contexts that makes the art and history possible.

The Fall 2012 art history class will serve as an introduction to the discipline of art history and preparation for the AP Art History exam.  It is a general survey class that is typical in a liberal arts college with a focus on European and American art from 1600 to the present. Because of the vast amount of material to be covered, students are expected to study on their own if they choose to take the exam.  Study guides, web resources and reading lists will be posted on this website to help students in their independent study.

The Fall 2012/Spring 2013 studio class will focus on the seven elements and principles of art in a weekly study of basic drawing and painting techniques. The sketchbook will serve as a personal diary for exploration in practical skills. The National Junior Classical League and the Virginia Junior Classical League sponsor a Graphic Arts Contest each year at their respective conventions.  Students in my class may choose to develop a project to enter in the Painting and Drawing Category as the culmination of their coursework for 2013.  Additional art supplies may need to be purchased by the individual to complete these special projects.

Adult Classes through Opus Oaks

Beginning in 2013 I will offer a sketching and painting class through Opus Oaks. The class will be a study of local landscape, flora and fauna using a digital camera to explore on foot, and then translate these photos into finished drawings and paintings in the studio.  For a better idea of my own work created through a similar study please visit my landscapes portfolio. Further details about the course will be published in the Opus Oaks Course Catalog for 2013.

Smithfield B&B, photo courtesy of Kirk Fuller
Smithfield B&B, photo courtesy of Kirk Fuller

B&B Guests at La Capretta

If you are a B&B guest at Smithfield Farm Bed & Breakfast, you may reserve studio time and supplies for a self-guided project or a specific art project with instruction.  Each visit is planned via email and can be initiated using the form below.



On Farm Studio and Meditation/Reading Room

Nancy's Easel at La Capretta
Nancy’s Easel at La Capretta

As a supplement to the art history and studio classes, I will be offering studio time at La Capretta on Tuesdays from 9am-4pm for students.  Because of the limited classroom space for CCS in particular, it will be advantageous for students to have a space where they can get messy. CCS students will have access to the same art supplies that were purchased for their coursework through CSS, or their own personal supplies for larger painting, drawing and/or pastel projects. Any other visitors to La Capretta will be responsible for their own supplies.  B&B guests can make arrangements ahead of time via email on the form below if they would like to make a painting or a drawing on their farm visit.


Inside La Capretta Studio & Gallery
Inside La Capretta Studio & Gallery

In addition to studio time, students and guests may have access to a small library of art and art history books that they can sit to read in the garden or in the gallery.  Chairs are provided, but you may bring your own throw pillow or blanket.  If you want to bring your guitar, mandolin or other instruments, the vaulted gallery ceiling offers excellent acoustics.  I love to paint to music and welcome anyone who wants to serenade as others make art.

Alternatively we can have a small field trip to Opus Oaks East West Studio where Gale Bowman Harlow has just opened a 2800 book art library.  The library will be open on most mornings and afternoons during the week when we can make an appointment to check out books.  For more information contact Gale via Opus Oaks website.





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