Visiting Faculty – David BAIRD /   Interior (Phoebe)   oil on linen, 2023  
Visiting Faculty – Byron COPLAND /   Still Life   oil on linen, 2021  

“I assure you no art was ever less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and study of the great masters; of inspiration, spontaneity, temperament — temperament is the word — I know nothing.”

– Edgar DEGAS, Impressions and Opinions (1891)

“All perceiving is also thinking, all reasoning is also intuition, all observation is also invention.”

– Rudolph ARNHEIM, Art and Visual Perception (1954)


LOCATION: SPRING PAINTING: COLOR to COMPOSITION will convene in Argenton-Chateau (79).

Please see our Facilities page for complete details on our campus and school facilities.
CLASS DATES: 11 April – 25 May 2024

Group Arrival: 5:00PM, 11 April at Angers/St Laud – Gare SNCF.
Studio sessions will be held for 6 weeks total, Sunday – Thursday with 6 hrs life model daily, 5 days per week.
CLASS SIZE: 12 maximum + instructor(s)
WHO is ELIGIBLE? Anyone may apply.
There are no academic or other pre-requisites.
All students must enroll full-time for this 6-week program.
TUITION PRICE: 3850 EUR, shared 2BR housing included.

(Single living available in limited supply for a surcharge)
5 JANUARY 2024
HOW to APPLY: Admissions for 2024 SPRING PAINTING: COLOR to COMPOSITION are closed.

Before you apply, please review the ADMISSIONS page for general information about the application process.



COURSE DESCRIPTION: “Color to Composition”

2024 Spring Painting: Color to Composition is a new curriculum, available exclusively in this location, team-taught by visiting instructors Ryan WURMSER and David BAIRD.

Students will pursue a creative, practical curriculum in perceptual color, color theory, the abstract elements of design and of pictorial composition, painting the human figure in a studio environment 24-30 hours/week.

Class topics will include:

• abstract exercises in color perception, color design, visual concept and the principles of composition

• advanced color theory & palette systems (closed/open palettes, palette heuristics, & palette forms)

• drawing for composition (line – notan – value studies)

• the formal language of composition (point – line – shape – form – structure)

• the transcription/ visual analysis of masterworks

• abstract perception and pictorial space, composing au premier coup from the live model

Individual critique will be given 4-5 days weekly, and lecture-demonstrations will be given 1-2x weekly.

Instructors will work frequently alongside students and the studio culture will offer daily opportunities for individual as well as group discussion, and impromptu “work-in-progress” demonstrations.



David BAIRD  — Visiting Faculty
      Tutor in Painting and Drawing

David Baird (b. 1986, USA) is an oil painter and draftsman focused primarily on contemporary figurative painting. He has taught classes in the US, Australia, and Europe, and has been visiting faculty at Studio Escalier since 2016.

Mr Baird has exhibited his work in New York, London, and elsewhere including: Memento Vivere (2021), the inaugural exhibition celebrating the reopening of the historic Lyme Academy in Lyme, CT; the 2022 New York Figurative Show at the Salmagundi Club (NYC), where he took first prize, and was invited to exhibit in the first ever Hartley Invitational at the same institution.

His latest work is featured alongside some of the most prominent figurative artists working today in Beyond Description, a dual-site exhibition taking place simultaneously at Figure | Ground Gallery (Seattle, WA) and Sugarlift (NYC).

David Baird has traveled and studied widely, attending the Ryder Studio School (Santa Fe, NM), the Janus Collaborative School of Art (NYC), Studio Escalier (Paris), and the Jerusalem Studio School, where he was awarded the Avigdor Arikha Masterclass Scholarship in 2019 to continue his studies in Italy.

The artist is represented by Tregony Gallery in London, and currently lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Study of Angelo” by visiting faculty David BAIRD, oil on linen, 2023


Byron COPLAND  — Visiting Faculty
      Tutor in Painting and Drawing

Byron Copland is an Australian Painter born in Wollongong, 1990.

He has been awarded the A.M.E Bale prize for works on paper 2018, The Kennedy Art Prize 2022 and a William Fletcher Foundation Grant 2022, has been a finalist in numerous events and a part of a number of group exhibitions.

From a family of Artists/Teachers, Byron has drawn since he could hold a pencil. At 21 he travelled to Europe in search of an education in painting that would connect him to the paintings he loved – the dazzling energy of the Baroque with it’s dramatic reveries, the serene yet mysterious beauty of the renaissance in its classicised forms looking back to the grace and quiet grandeur of Greek Antiquity, it’s further iterations dubbed Neoclassicism emerging in the 18th century and continuing into the 19th, and of course the perceptual romance of the impressionists.

It is in these wanderings he found Studio Escalier and the museums of the world. Returning to Europe each year for as long as he could (6 to 8 months at a time), Byron would study in a studio setting with some of the best painters/teachers working today and complemented this with countless hours of drawing the collections of paintings and sculpture in the Louvre, the Prado, and the V&A Museum.

Byron now lives in Melbourne painting still life, landscape and anyone who will sit still long enough. He loves all painting, regardless of style or aesthetic as long as it has some kernel of truth.

His work is held in private collections in Australia, England and France.

“Ageing Still Life” by visiting faculty Byron COPLAND, oil on linen, 2022