Comments about the Santa Fe Retreat experience with Randall M. Hasson: _____________________________________________________________
On June 20th I hopped on a plane for Santa Fe for the first time with eager anticipation. I was going to be in a class with Randy Hasson to be held in his gallery/studio. There were five of us students and we were royally treated by Randy for the whole time – five days. Our study was varied in that some of us primarily wanted to work in big journals with acrylics on hand-made watercolor paper and some of us wanted to work on canvas. Letterforms, basic design concepts, color work and many, many acrylic mediums were used as we explored techniques.
The classes were ½ day of teaching and whatever we wanted to do after that—stay there and work as long as we desired or go out and see as many galleries as we could fit into the ‘way too few’ hours we had. So much to do and see!! Santa Fe is such a huge art market.
I did both – stayed late to work and also visited galleries. I was lucky as I stayed an extra full day and went up to Ghost Ranch where I got to see some old friends at the Literally Letters group just winding up a two week session there.
I came home with the biggest dose of motivation I’ve had in years. I’m now starting to actually continue on in this direction in earnest!
I highly recommend Randy and his classes. I’ve only studied with him once before but went the extra ‘miles’ to travel all the way to Santa Fe to learn more this time. He is very flexible in that he will work with you on whatever you want to learn. The main subject is acrylic on canvas or in the journals but all the necessary art subjects to do this are open for discussion. A class of only five students or less makes this almost a one on one class and much progress can be made with this much attention.
Being surrounded by Randy’s beautiful work on the walls around us just added inspiration for us to keep working on our own pieces. His explanations of how they came to be was added information for our use also. He is so sharing of ideas and techniques. And he is so talented – a real gem!
He ended the teaching portion of the week with a PowerPoint presentation which included the story and creation of his C.S. Lewis painting. He also included a lot of background of other artists and some art history too. Most informative – and inspiring. I’ll study with Randy again whenever I can.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart, Randy, for being such a generous and kind host & teacher. It was such a privilege to share the week with you in your gallery in magnificent Santa Fe…what a treat! You definitely rocked my world & broke me free of many rules and limitations in art! As a result, I anticipate experiencing much more freedom as I put brush & pen to canvas and try some of the new techniques that you showed us.
I just came back from having lunch with my artist friends, the tea ladies. The ripples of inspiration from the week continue to grow outwardly all the way in CA!
Thank you all for touching my life in this unique and creative way. May God continue to enrich & bless you on all of your journeys (& in all of your journals!).
Love & blessings,
Many who knew I was going to Santa Fe last week for an art class have asked how it was. I really knew there was no way I could really share the week I had, Randy.
The accommodations were wonderful, charming, beautiful, yummy, you were such a delight to get to know as well as the students in class. We all talked about how gracious you are, consistently so. Also, such an incredible teacher, allowing us to use your studio in the way you did and teaching all along was such a gift. I’m sure we did wear you out, and who would really want to leave at the end of the day, even though you encouraged us to go look in the galleries. I personally, was so happy in yours that I could have stayed there the whole time and been happy, just being able to take in your work and be taught by the walls around me was such a gift.
I have brought much home to incorporate & reflect on, even a new studio design in my little spot. I am truly grateful for my week in Santa Fe, thank you so much for making the special time and learning experience for those who choose to participate.
Blessings, Pam Brown
I am also pleasantly tired, but at the same time, I am energized. I went to my studio today and painted for 4 hours. The paintbrushes were calling and I had a great time. Thank you for all that you shared with us last week. It was the best!
My heart is singing and I thank you. Yeah!!!!
Hello and thank you so much , once again, for a wonderful week. I liked the multiple classes in one as we were able to view all the demos and see what the various interests were. For instance, I loved the page in the journal affair with Yolande. Since we’ve all been in that tear out what we don’t like position it reminded me to allow experiments of any kind to happen, like ’em or not. And I hope Yolande understood we’ve been there.
As I had never worked on canvas like this I was pleased with all the techniques and mediums to try. I also enjoyed the geometry lessons, and suggestions we didn’t have time to get to. I think your supply list was quite accurate, and your directions were great.
Since I had a spouse the half days were fine but Cy and I agreed that perhaps next time he would stay with our daughter. If that were the case I’d like a full day. One of the best things was sitting in your studio, soaking up your wonderful work. It was very inspiring. As were you, Randy. I appreciate all the effort you put in to the week to make it meaningful for each of us. I felt welcome You were a gracious host as well as a generous teacher. Thank you for all the water pictures!
I have warm thoughts for each and every class member. It was an excellent fit.
I want to thank you so. so much for your time and expertise and the opportunity to come to your studio and have direction from you! You are an amazing talent and I feel privileged to have been there. I also think you’re good at teaching. That’s not an easy job, to bring someone along on a journey of learning and wanting to learn. And on top of all that one of the most generous artist I’ve met. And you ooooze talent, originality,focus, insight and ability! And on top of this a friendly warm way with regular people.
Frankly I thought more than a few times that you must have been bored to tears with some of the petty questions and comments I had. But not once did you discount them, and I thank you. I was amazed at all the information that you presented and for me I would have liked working more and walking through the process) some of the techniques so I could understand them more. I am and have always been a slow learner and I need the ‘doing time’ as much as the written instruction to ‘get it’ even a little bit. But I appreciate how difficult this make it for you, the instructor. How to make it worthwhile to all of us hungry students that are each at their own level. For me, it was well worth it.
The class worked well for me. I think I would have gained more with longer days but I also appreciate that others might not have the opportunity to come to S.F as much as I. If I were just arriving in that beautiful place, I’d want to explore and see it all. But I thought your pacing was fine! At least fine for me but you must have been stretched. trying to keep us all engaged. I can’t really think of a negative and I am being truthful. What’s not to enjoy…..talented, open, giving artist. Willing to answer, explain,listen, watch, teach, explain AGAIN, help, inspire, encourage!! I’m glad I was a part of it. Thank you!
Thanks, and hope to keep in touch. best regards, deb Strawn
After your wonderful, informative, helpful (love those SPIRALS), feedback in regards
to work, (not sure if I’ll ever get past the “noodling” stage), great working environment, good
number of participants, outstanding power point analysis, and FEAST, as an extra bonus, plus, the
always available snacks… Thank you Randy for such a positive experience.
Let me begin by saying that I truly had the most wonderful art experience in my whole life! Thank YOU so much for who you are and what you’ve given us all this past week!!
I wonder if I didn’t ask too much of you… I know this must have been very demanding for you, teaching to various students at various levels at the same time. But that’s one of the things I loved about the workshop, being able to learn so much and share with everyone in the group.
The atmosphere was very warm and welcoming and the group was great! I got so MUCH more out of the workshop than I expected.
Half days worked perfect for me and having some time to work on my own in the afternoons/evenings was great. Your prior emails and supply list were good and very helpful.
The presentation was wonderful and a great addition to the workshop. So was the gourmet dinner on Tuesday! (Thank you so much for the recipes, ‘Chef Randy’!)
There is nothing I can think of that you could have done to improve on the workshop; it was MORE than perfect! I am still with my head in the (colorful) clouds and not quite ‘back’ yet and can’t stop practicing!
Only one wish remains…that I can be included in your next workshop! You are an extremely gifted and talented artist and teacher!
Comments about the workshop experience with Randall M. Hasson:
Penticton, B.C., June 2011 – I want thank you again, for an incredible course. I learned an enormous amount with respect to acrylics and the mediums, the inks and their applications. But more important, I gained insight into the possibilities of the artform, and insight into my own abilities. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I’ll risk it … You are a superb instructor, in my mind, candidly giving us as much information as possible, then challenging us and helping us to use it individually. Through this experience and your encouragement, I believe I have gained a great deal more confidence to use my calligraphy and and push it to another level. Your honest, ‘down to earth’, friendly, humorous disposition creates an “safe”, positive, encouraging atmosphere in which to learn. I believe, you helped us all grow tremendously. — Jacquie Swarchuck; Kelowna, BC.
Vanessa Crisp is a Churchill Fellow; she won the Fellowship from “The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia” for the year 2001. Her course of study was a 12 week journey beginning in the United States and ending in the UK, Ireland, and Amsterdam. She studied formally with 11 of the top instructors in the world in the Calligraphic arts, along with chosen informal study. Below is an excerpt from her 25 page report describing her participation in my week long class in that year’s International Lettering Arts Conference.
Fellowship Description … cont. p. 18 Week 8 28th July – 4th Aug
2001 : A Calligraphic Odyssey – – Boston MA
The 21st International Conference for Lettering Artists marked the last week of my time in the USA and was quite the grand finale.
In making my class selection for conference, I deliberated about the benefits of each course for both myself and usefulness in my teaching. I chose Randy Hasson’s class – Text & Texture: Calligraphy on Artist’s Canvas which was the ‘best’ workshop I attended whilst away.
Randy Hasson is an award-winning lettering artist and illustrator in one very dynamic and powerful, yet modest, package. He was a participant in the Urban Art Trail sidewalk calligraphy project in San Diego. He has been lecturer for several calligraphy societies and conferences since 1998. His artistic style incorporates calligraphy and illustration into paintings on large canvases using acrylic paint and inks.
Prior to conference, all class participants chose a subject/theme, researched and collected suitable quotes on which to base their paintings. I had initially chosen ‘Children’ in a general sense, but my painting soon become more personal and featured images of my two sons, Jacob and Jordan, and the emotions I, as a mother, had experienced since leaving them in June. I might add that my work was not the only one to create such emotion. All participants were female and it was quite an emotionally charged group, to say the least.
We experimented using a variety of media to achieve staining effects & coloured backgrounds, layered lettering, imagery and textural effects.
As the canvases developed we had daily group discussions and critiques that allowed us to talk about the decisions we’d made concerning composition, design, colour and textural effects. It gave us the opportunity to hear the viewpoints of others in regard to how they work through their creative process as well as offering ideas and solutions if required. (This was a highly valuable exercise for us all)
We covered all aspects of creating a calligraphic painting. These included:
· message – research/background, theme, and interpretation
· style – e.g. realistic / abstract or the combination of both
· contrasting elements of lettering – image /design and transparency vs. opacity
· creation of depth and texture
· image – style of painting, methods of transfer, stamping etc.
· levels of viewing – overall impression, feature, image and text etc.
Randy also had several handout sheets which acted as ‘things to consider’ when beginning new works. As an instructor, Randy has the unique ability to ‘bring out the best’ in each individual. He dared us to attempt things we didn’t feel we had the ability to do and helped us maintain our confidence at all times · His teaching style creates a relaxed atmosphere in a class which is paramount to allowing ideas to develop. No two canvases were the same and our work didn’t become a clone of his.
He is one of those rare finds – a gifted instructor who leads – but doesn’t control. For his professionalism and inspiring nature I’m grateful for choosing his class.
Sutton, Quebec Canada
I have taken numerous workshops over several decades, but would not hesitate to say that the workshop I took with Randy Hasson in Sutton, Quebec was one the the better ones. He is very inspiring, an excellent teacher and I came away from the weekend with not only ideas, but the skills to put them into practice. I have no hesitation to recommend his workshops. In fact I would take another one if it were convenient to get to.
Ottawa, ON Canada.
2004 Confluence Conference St Louis
Teaching art techniques and art history is one thing, teaching art is something else.
I had the opportunity to take a full week class with Randall a few years back. I walked into the class with an open mind and vague expectations. Looking back at it, I certainly consider Randall’s class as one of the most rewarding experiences in learning art that I have ever had.
The atmosphere: very friendly, with a lot of invaluable interactions.
The pace: adaptive, pick your own speed and respond to your art at its own pace (the way it should be)
The curriculum: simply creating art, from an idea to research to a blank canvas to the finished piece.
The secret ingredient: there is no secret ingredient… or maybe there is: Randall -throughout his class- showcases many of his paintings, not through a simple slide show, but with the full story with all its facets: ideas / drawings / discussions / back and forths / the good accidents / the bad accidents (are there any?)/ the mistakes (always welcome) / and the bright outcome.
The icing: of course you get to learn many techniques about tools and mediums and do’s and don’ts…
The cherry (on top of the icing): you get to know some fundamentals (in case you don’t know them) about art history and some nice references and bed time books.
The bottom line: a great experience to add to the “to do list” to anyone who is serious about learning art!
Joe Boissy – San Francisco CA
2001 Odyssey Conference Boston
It’s been quite a few years since I took Randy’s five day workshop at an International Calligraphy Conference, but I would take another class from him in an eye blink. The unexpected time we spent on Composition and Layout was very valuable to me. I also learned a lot from the class critiques and demos.
I recommend his classes to anyone that wants a stress free and creative environment to learn and play. He was always available for help and everyone had individual attention to their particular project. Oh the works that came out of that class!
Chris K Foster
2004 Confluence Conference St Louis
While I was working in the kitchen tonight it became very clear what your gift was to me while taking your workshop (I believe it was Ohio). If you could have held out your hand and gave me a gift it was the gift of confidence to write in my own hand on a piece of canvas. I consider my piece (Wedded Words) to be one of my best pieces, thanks to you. Not only are you a great teacher, but I found you to be sensitive, kind and caring, not just to me, but to all the students you taught in that workshop. Today, because of having you as a teacher, I have given myself permission to express my mark-making in my own unique way. To me that is a sign of a good teacher. You teach confidence and faith in one’s self.
Thanks, Randy. I’m glad to have had this opportunity to be able to tell you.
Rosie Huart – Dayton OH
2005 Letters California Style Conference
“I took Randy’s class at the California mini-conference and was totally blown away by his creative process. We did “layering” in nubby surfaced enormous books from India. We used everything from watercolor,hot chocolate,pen,pencil, and some items I cannot even remember! It was amazing. Randy is a gifted artist with a rare wit and ease of teaching that “causes” extraordinary results from his students! Take his classes! ”
Mary Ann David, Portland OR
I first met Randy in an evening College Calligraphy class. Randy was one of the “back section,” students, that meant they were the REALLY GOOD calligraphers.
I was impressed not only by the quality of his work but his commitment. He was working full time and after the late class had a lengthy drive home.
It has been delightful to follow Randy’s professional development as a talented calligrapher and artist. His works are done with passion and expressiveness. Often using his wife’s talent as a writer for his text. It is good to see a couple working in harmony and appreciation of one another.
Later, I was extremely fortunate to attend two of Randy’s classes. In both classes, I saw that Randy has a patient, unique way of drawing out of each student what they are trying to express. He instills the confidence to make the often times first intimidating mark on the “blank canvas.”
At present, I am once again eagerly anticipating yet a third class Randy will be teaching in Santa Fe, NM in October.
Karen Gideon, Fullerton, CA
2001 Odyssey Conference Boston
Randy’s style of teaching is down to earth and non-threatening. He makes it fun. Though incredibly gifted artistically, he also has a gift for bringing out the best in others. Painting and calligraphy on canvas was way, way out of my comfort zone when I entered Randy’s class at one of our conferences. He totally unarmed me with his wealth of information, the clever way he lead us into our own projects, his ability to help me see things with a new eye and with his humor. It was so much fun being in his class. He opened new doors for me and he sent me away with a new confidence.
Paula Webb – Austin TX
2003 Celebrations Conference Ohio
I have taken Randall Hasson’s class “Painting and Lettering on Canvas” at an international calligraphy conference, and have visited his studio in Santa Fe. I can say that for both, his enthusiasm and love of art, truly comes through in his teaching, his paintings, and his personality. In his class, he totally puts his talent and expertise into what he is teaching, and brings out the best of every student. He is well prepared, enthusiastic, and very encouraging, no matter what level each student is working to achieve. I would highly recommend any class that Randall teaches, and you will be amazed how his class will inform, enlighten, and encourage you!”
Julie Gray = Albuquerque NM
2006 Letters California Style Conference
I was very lucky to have a class with Randy at our Los Angeles Society for Calligraphy mini-conference a few years ago. It was about acrylic techniques in handmade paper journals. We were introduced to a multitude of new techniques and every single person in the class completed amazing pages doing work we never thought we could do.
Randy is an excellent teacher who gives everyone equal attention and guidance while showing exciting new techniques. I’m sure his other classes are just as challenging and satisfying. I’ve heard many comments about the other classes and I’ve seen the results from the students. They are very motivating.
Randy is a very kind, compassionate, knowledgeable and especially talented teacher and artist. He has a great sense of humor and is fun to be around, even when he is loading you up with work! I would recommend any class he teaches to anyone with no hesitation. I’m looking forward to attending his Santa Fe workshop next April. I expect it to be a truly great art experience – Randy – his gallery – Santa Fe. What an opportunity!!
Nancy Campbell – Glendale CA
2006 Letters California Style Conference
I took a 4-day course in painting and calligraphy from Randall Hasson in 2007. He was very thoroughly trained in Calligraphy with some of the finest calligraphers of the past 20 years in Southern California. His large paintings incorporating portraits and lettering are inspirational. He teaches by doing and then encourages you to find your own voice.
There were only 10 of us in class and I watched every one of us stretching beyond our comfort zone to produce double pages that were full of artistry and exquisite calligraphy. We all agreed that we didn’t think we could produce the results that we did. Randy encouraged us as he walked around the room with suggestions and ideas as to what we could do to improve each spread. At the end of the four days, our books were astounding representations of each of us and our work and they were all different.
I would have wanted to take more classes from him, but he had moved to Santa Fe.
Lily Stevenson – Berkeley CA
Randy Hasson structures his lessons in such a way that students of all ability levels are able to succeed. He brings in samples from art history as well as showing the steps he takes to plan and create his own work. He is a nurturing teacher, and his critiques are correct and helpful, yet non-judgmental. His class atmosphere is one in which all are encouraged to participate by sharing their thoughts, frustrations, and successes. I would highly recommend him to anyone serious about wanting to progress in their art while having a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Naomi Lesberg, BFA, MA Art Ed, middle school & adult ed art teacher
Randy Hasson is a gifted artist and teacher. I have had the privilege of being a student of his and of experiencing his powerful art work. As a teacher, Randy is thoughtful, generous, and very well organized. He created an atmosphere where students felt supported and encouraged to explore their own vision while Randy provided structure, instruction, and guidance. He is committed to bringing out the best in his students. Years later, the students I took the course with still discuss what a wonderful experience it was. Years later, we are still drawing on what we learned in Randy’s classes. As an artist, Randy’s work is powerful and wonderful. Not only is he gifted with the ability to render figures and landscapes beautifully, not only is he a skilled calligrapher, not only is he skilled at composition, design, and use of color, but most importantly, his words and images work together to tell profoundly moving stories. On a personal note, I must add that Randy is one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known.
To whom it may concern.
I have known Randall Hasson both as a student and a fellow instructor and as the former he was the ideal student in his attitude, enthusiasm and his ability to absorb and move on with the topic at hand. never becoming a repetition of the instructor, always with his own unique and thoughtful approach.
As a fellow Instructor. we have taught together at several International Conferences. I have only the highest praise for him with his keen ability as an educator/instructor and to help each student at their varying levels of skill and acomplishments. His own skills have risen exponetially with his deeper intellectual understanding of his chosen topics and I would have NO hesitation what so ever in putting his name forward to teach at the highest level in our chosen profession.
I would deem it now a high honor to teach again with him at any future Calligraphy/Lettering Conference.
Peter Thornton, HFCLAS
5th October 2009