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Workshop / “Introduction to Expressive Figure Drawing” with Nicholas Tay

May 21, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT

On Saturday, May 21st at 2pm, join visual artist Nicholas Tay for the in-person workshop “Introduction to Expressive Figure Drawing Using Light and Shadow”.

The event, promoted to celebrate Tay’s exhibition at the Massy Arts Gallery, is a hands-on class created for visual artists that are curious on how to start drawing from a live model, and are looking to learn methods for figure drawing.

Artists of any level are invited to attend and participate in this two-hour introductory workshop, where Tay will discuss the use of light and shadow to depict expressive and dynamic human figures. This workshop will focus on how to push the figure beyond realism and use expressive, representative mark making to tell a meaningful story.

Attendees will work with a live nude model and will be guided by instructor Nicholas Tay on how to use shadow composition to create dramatic anatomical renderings. Participants will also be led on the use of materials, observational steps, the components of light and shadow to depict form, and how to expressively capture these diverse elements.

Topics to be explored include: simple geometric construction, gesture, contour, silhouette, value, mark making and edge control.

The event will be hosted at the Massy Arts Gallery – at 23 East Pender Street in Vancouver – and capacity is limited (12 seats only).

Entrance is upon donation, and registration is mandatory.

Covid Protocols: For all in-person events, attendees must provide proof of vaccination, wear a mask (N95 masks are encouraged and recommended as they offer the best protection), and consent to having their temperature checked at the front door. We kindly ask that if you are showing any symptoms, that you stay home. Thank you kindly.

Click here to register for the workshop

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Fee: By donation with proceeds going to the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation. Recommended donation of $10, but attendees are welcome to contribute with what is comfortable.

Materials: Please bring a sketchbook – other materials will be provided at the workshop.

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The Mentor

Nicholas Tay likens his arrival and upbringing in the Pacific Northwest from the age five to falling in love. He dove into the freshness of the air, the ice crystals that crunched beneath gravel fields, street hockey in the freezing wet, the stories of our First Peoples whisking him away on the wings of Raven and Thunderbird, and later the liberal ideal of the multi-cultural mosaic.

Exploring multi-cultured identity is at the core of Tay’s artistic practice, wherein vastly divergent ideas can be represented with emotional honesty in a single work of art: “I used to feel that being Chinese Canadian was akin to being lost between houses of separated parents, or being an alien guest of a gracious host. Through the exploration of my art, I have found that both cultures are truly at home in me and in my work.”

Ever flexible with his approach, Tay’s choice of medium suits the stories and cultural forms he explores. Charcoal or paint lets him offer sensuous luxury as a contrast to our increasingly digital experience. At other times, while he is wary of the seductive cleverness of digital processes, these modern modes are ideal.

Traditional forms carry immediacy, and arrest creator and viewer alike in their visceral presence and the abstract, emotional truth inherent in their mark making. Conversely, using 3D software brings machine algorithms to every pixel.

Through his training at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and his years working in Visual FX and video game development, Tay became interested in the possibilities of working with technology as his collaborator. Through its interpretation of the artist’s instructions, the technological mediator separates the creative output from potential artistic biases.

Art has been a dominant part of Tay’s life since his earliest memories. Beyond words or numbers, it has been the most clear, honest, and comforting means of expression.

Identifying as an introvert, and amalgamating diverse lines of heritage between China and Canada, Tay embraces art to tell honest, deeply personal stories in a way that would be daunting in other formats, bridging the awkward and profound, or in Tay’s words, “the profoundly awkward”.

Nicholas Tay received his formal art training from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He lives and works in Vancouver on the unceded and traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh) and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples.

Nicholas’ art practice is defined by a visual dialogue between abstraction and representation, and revolves around his personal experience as a Chinese immigrant to Canada.

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May 21, 2022
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDT