Art Workshops and Classes Descriptions

Heather Neilson 
Artist & Educator

Current Art Workshops and Classes

Heather Neilson is an abstract artist and art workshop instructor, employing primarily non-objective and expressive techniques. She has taught art workshops to the public for five years, primarily in her studio in Whiting Mills located in Winsted, Connecticut. She is a certified and trained GOLDEN Arts Educator. She has been trained by several international artists and has attended continued education classes at the New York Arts Student League.

Heather teaches the following classes and can modify curriculum as needed:

  1. Abstract Painting
  2. Abstract Collage
  3. Art Journaling
  4. Silhouette Art

I also offer quick 1-2 hour demonstrations of GOLDEN brand products and techniques including:

  1. Image transfers
  2. Crackle paste effects
  3. How to use various molding pastes and gels to create a landscape
  4. Uses for different types of acrylics (heavy body, high flow, fluids)
  5. Geli plate printing onto various substrates – paper, fabric

Descriptions and pictures of classes follow. All can be tailored to suit the class dynamic and other logistics.

Abstract Painting

You will discover images, marks, colors and shapes that inspire you and that will be used to build your own painting. The workshop includes spurts of doing mixed with reflective pauses and discussion. You will experience making art as a fresh and spontaneous way of seeing and feeling.

Student work:

Abstract Collage

Create a unique abstract artwork from hand made papers and found images. We will start with making our own collage papers using acrylic paints and applying various marks and textures. We will cut and paste to create several completed pieces ready for you to frame. You will love playing with shapes, compositions and making papers.

Student work:

Art Journaling

Learn how to build a practice of creativity and self-reflection using visual and written language. Through various exercises and prompts, you will use writing, mark making, paint, collage and more to create beautiful and meaningful journal pages. This is a highly personal and gratifying experience that provides simple and lasting tools to bring into your life.

Examples of exercises include writing prompts, finding and making poems, pairing visuals with the written word, making backgrounds from paint, collage papers and using paint to create designs from which to add writing.  

Longer classes (more than1 day) include making and embellishing book covers.

Art journaling is many things.  It is a writing practice, a mobile studio, a diary, a private art practice and more. 

Silhouette Painting

Great for teen birthday parties or girls night out, participant’s start with tracing each other’s body. The papers are then taped to the wall or table and then each person paints, collages, writes and marks on their paper.  Heather demonstrates some techniques and then participants go for it. This is so fun and entertaining! 

Student work:   

Images from Whiting Mills
100 Whiting Street, Studio 509

What students are saying……

“I’ve never taken an art class, as an adult, until I took Heathers class. I was nervous, but she was reassuring and made it fun. There were other great people there too. I highly recommend it to anyone.”

“Heather …offers a supportive, non-judgemental space to create art and make new friends! I highly recommend and endorse her method of teaching and gentle guidance to bring out the best work in each participant. ♥️”

“I have taken art journaling classes with Heather Neilson and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Heather teaches many aspects of creating a mixed media art journal including image transfer, collage, writing from personal experience and experimenting with ink, color and graphite. Heather is an enthusiastic teacher who has many ideas to share and creates a warm and supportive learning experience.”

“Heather is an amazing instructor. She makes you feel calm and positive about your efforts. She is very helpful and full of ideas. I will definitely take more classes with her!”

“Heather gave us some valuable exercises to explore, then an opportunity to use them freely on canvas. I learned something, materials were provided, a great deal for the price – plus her work is inspiring!”