William Wray Workshop

Instructor: William Wray
Medium: Oil or Acrylic Painting (Plein Air/Studio)
Workshop: October 4–6, 2021 — Postponed
Class times: 9:00am–4:00ish
Tuition: $650.00
Class Size: 12 (Small class size means more quality time with instructor)

In this William Wray Workshop, students will work small in oil or acrylic using limited values and simple massed forms. The subject will be the landscape with structures found in industrial, farming, and urban scenes. This class is designed for mid-level students struggling with starting their painting confidently. Also, long-time artists who want to add a strong composition-based abstract foundation to their work. The class will concentrate on that critical beginning of a painting, working very small with limited values. If you want to break your same old rendering habits and find a simpler expressive style, this class is for you.

William Wray will give a short beginning lecture and a quick demo. Then he will give personalized painting demonstrations with each student as the day progresses tailored to the individual’s painting level. This class will be partly outside working from life and in the studio from your own photography and studies.


William Wray has lived in California most of his life and studied painting at the Art Students League in New York. As a fine artist, American cartoonist, and animator, he is widely known for his contributions to MAD Magazine and The Ren & Stimpy Show as well as his current focus on regional landscape painting. Making his living as a cartoonist who specialized in painted subjects, he spent many years coalescing an eclectic array of art styles, ultimately finding his voice in a contemporized reflection of traditional California regional painting that focuses on humble subject matter rarely considered as fine art.

With urban landscapes, cartoon elements, and superheroes as frequent subjects, Wray is noted for a tightly cropped and abstract painting style. The Huffington Post said he “has a brisk, bold style that gives his city scenes a jolt of painterly drama. Southwest Art Magazine called him “a chronicler of the fading urban remains of a bygone era.”

Wray blends traditional skill sets of realism and the sheer energy of abstract expressionism in an ongoing evolution to find the balance between two seemingly unrelated styles. Wray has challenged himself to create a brand of realistic expressionism he hopes to use as a bridge into the customarily circumspect contemporary art world.

Personal Website: http://williamwray.com  
Pasadena Star News interview (2017)
OC Weekly article (2017)

Here is a quick glimpse into a William Wray painting…

Accommodations & Food

  • Accommodations are not included.
  • The area has some hotels and comfy inns. Below are some options to stay near our studio.
    • Wildflower Ranch Inn (859) 481-4576 (Workshop capacity now full for staying at the Inn) Located on the same property as The Art Distillery and is own and operated by Rich Brimer & Carol Henry. Art workshop students who reserve a 4-night minimum during any workshop will receive a 25% discount when booking. We have a limited supply of accommodations for our workshops students. If you wish to book a room with us, please contact us as soon as possible to reserve your space. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required when booking your room.
    • AIRBNB has a few offerings around the area. They vary in price depending on the location.
    • Hampton Inn • (270) 699-4000 • 1125 Loretto Rd, Lebanon, KY 40033. Mention The Art Distillery to receive our corporate discount.
  • Breakfast will be included for those staying at Wildflower Ranch Inn
  • The workshop includes lunch for all 3 days for all students.
  • Dinner: We will likely be going out and each person will take care of their own dinner bill.

This workshop has been postponed due to the current surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases.

The Art Distillery