Knife Painting at the Cedarburg Cultural Center

Saturday, October 7:  9 am-2 pm 

Paint with thick creamy paint and create vibrant, colorful surfaces. Knife painting allows the artist to loosen up and achieve a more impressionistic look. Working from photo, students will learn how to handle painting knives in order to achieve unique texture on their paintings. Techniques in knife manipulation with be covered as well as direct painting methods and color observation. This class is best for students with some basic painting experience. A supply list is available online. 

$82 CCC Members / $98 Non-Members 

Upcoming Wilson Center Classes in Brookfield

Register onlinetoday!

Knife Painting with Acrylics (Ages 14+)

Thursdays, November 2 – 16 (3 sessions), 6:00 – 8:00pm 

Back by popular demand! Working from photo, students will learn how to handle painting knives in order to achieve unique texture on their paintings. Techniques in knife manipulation with be covered as well as direct painting methods and color observation. 
$65.00  Supplies not included. 

Impressionistic Pastels (Ages 14+)

Thursdays, November 30 – December 14 (3 sessions), 6:00 – 8:00pm 

Learn how to accentuate vibrant colors, interesting contrasts, and expressive palettes in pastel. This class is all about technique and how to create a strong piece of art. Focusing on the impressionistic tradition, we will discuss optical mixing, quick work habits, and color sensitivity. Beginners welcome. 

$65.00 Supplies not included. 

Upcoming Classes

Classes held at the Springs Gallery/Studios 521 Wisconsin Ave. Waukesha 

Acrylic Florals with a Knife
Tuesdays, September 19 – October 24, 10am-12pm

Florals are one of the most inspiring subjects for artists. Working from photo we will discuss different aspects of floral paintings, including blending, graduation, depth, and design, with knives! This is a great opportunity to practice your knife work.

Abstract Mixed Media Collage
Thursdays, September 21 – October 26, 10am-12pm

With a focus on design, self expression, and composition, students will start with a theme or idea and create mixed media works.  These works will incorporate painting, drawing, cut paper, pasting, layering, etc.  Demonstrations and discussions in abstraction will be used to show students how they can combine many of these items to create interesting and unique works.

Classes are $120 each for 6 sessions. Supplies not included.
To register for either of these classes, please contact me via email: Payment options will include cash, check, PayPal, and Venmo. 

Please note that by registering for a class at my studio, you agree to hold The Springs Gallery/Studios and Beki Borman harmless of any liability of injury or loss. 

Mini Paintings

I have a number of smaller framed works for sale at $100 each at sizes 8″x8″ (9″x9″ with frame) or 8″ x 10″ (9″x11″ with frame). Contact me schedule an appointment to see the full collection at my studio!


Your Brain on Art

I recently picked up Unthinkable by Helen Thomson at the local library. It is a book about unique brains. Each chapter explores the story of a patient whose brain is notably different than the “norm” for various reasons. My favorite Chapter, “Seeing Auras”, is about a gentleman who sees colors with people not in a psychic reading sort of way, but as an add on to things like body language, emotion cues, etc.

Thomson goes on to discuss a brief overview of synesthesia. Synesthesia is defined by Merriam Webster as: “a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated”. A synesthete can hear color or see colors with music. There is an overlap in sensory experience. Thomson explains that these sensory pathways in our brain already run close together, and it is believed that synesthesia is a result of “pathways of communication between sensory regions that don’t normally exist”. (Thomson, 80).

Thomson then suggests that we may all have aspects of synesthesia and can
strengthen or build these crossovers with use. Now to get to why I am writing about this on my blog: I think artists inherently build unique ways of seeing the world through the act of making art. A plein air painter will begin to notice colors in light that a non painter might not. A sculptor my feel the sensation of certain sounds or smells in the molding of clay or bending of metal. From personal experience, I know that I see shapes and colors in places I once did not. And many of my students have expressed similar sentiments.

Simply put, the practice of art is not just about developing the skills of mixing greens, using the right marks, or understanding perspective. The repetition and practice of art regularly is literally rewiring your brain and changing way you experience the world. This cannot be learned. You must grow it by making art regularly like building a muscle. Artists of all experience levels benefit from challenging themselves and being uncomfortable. It is only when we step out of our comfort zone that we create new connections, break mindless habits, and add complexity to our senses.

Helen Thomson, Unthinkable, Harper Collins, 2018

A Note on My Teaching Philosophy

I have been teaching art for over a decade. Most of my classes are designed by me and are geared to embrace a range of experience levels.
Being an artist takes WORK. But it is never too late to start. I believe one should start in a way that will be less intimidating. Don’t spend thousands on supplies and then be afraid to “waste them” on “bad paintings”. The hardest part of making art is not to learn the tools or techniques. The hardest part is breaking old habits and being fearless in trying new approaches.

As a teacher, my goal is to help the individual on their unique journey while providing general goals and lessons for everyone in the class to learn from and respond to. I hope you will consider taking a class with me at some point. I offer classes in painting (acrylic), abstraction, pastel, mixed media, landscape, drawing, and more. Click on the classes link above to see what’s coming! Feel free to contact me with any questions . I hope to make art with you soon.

Best Regards

Redfin Blog

I recently contributed a quote to Redfin’s latest blog post:

Opt for strong color combinations for the best effect

As an abstract landscape painter, I believe that simple but strong color combinations (such as complementary colors like orange and blue) create the best effect. – Beki Borman

You can see the full article here.