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Class No 905- fee $420


Tutor: : Jenna Packer


History as a tool box: ways of learning from the past and applying this to your current painting practice.

I will take students through a range of painting exercises each focused on a different aspect of painting, showing how we can use examples of paintings past to invigorate and problem solve as contemporary painters.

We will be working in acrylics in order to make best use of our time and because they best approximate a whole range of paint mediums. Using historical examples, we will focus on understanding colour, tone, brushmarks, and composition – including the language of shapes.

Beginning with exercises based on the work of painters such as Giotto (14th C)) to Dubuffet, Tony Fomison or Frances Hodgkins   (20th C) we will be developing a set of skills and a way of seeing how and why a painting works for us.   I believe in learning from the past, and using that knowledge to create something new and authentic. To do this, and not simply imitate, we must understand what really makes up the workings of a painting. We will have time during the class to apply what we are learning and to experiment with integrating this into our own work.

I want students to come away from this class with the tools for usefully ‘deconstructing’ a painting, whether it be medieval narrative or contemporary abstract, and for thoughtfully ‘constructing’ their own work. These are “tools which I use continually, whenever I feel stuck or at a loss in my painting practice: I have picked them up over time and in many places, and I find them incredibly useful!

After graduating from Ilam School of Art in 1988 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Jenna went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in History (First-Class Honours) at the University of Canterbury the following year. Through the 1990’s she continued her art training with time spent at the Glasgow Print Workshop, Otago Polytechnic, The Slade School of Art (London) and La Rouelle Studio (France). A painter, printmaker and illustrator, Packer has been exhibiting her work since 1990 both within New Zealand and abroad. After several years living in France she returned to Waitati, coastal Otago, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Her most recent work draws on concerns about the politics and impacts of climate change, as well as her interest in social history [The Water Project at and The Art of the Deal,] She is represented in Dunedin and Queenstown by Milford Galleries.


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