Visiting Faculty – Ryan WURMSER /   Abstract Color Forms   oil on linen, 2022  
Visiting Faculty – Ryan WURMSER /   Gris Charts   oil on linen, 2022  
Visiting Faculty – David BAIRD /   Study for Untitled   oil on linen, 2022  
Visiting Faculty – David BAIRD /   Untitled ( in progress)   oil on linen, 2022  

“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? Proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination is required to enroll.
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)

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

Desktop and laptop users can apply online.


Tablet and smartphone users can apply offline.
Request the course application using the link below:




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.



Ryan WURMSER  — Visiting Faculty
      Tutor in Painting and Drawing

Ryan Wurmser (b. 1973) is a full-time studio-artist, writer, and teacher. He has taught at the
California Art Institute, the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, BACAA (San Francisco), as
well as privately at his own atelier, Studio 909 (Thousand Oaks, CA).

Wurmser has also worked as a conceptual and visual development artist. A brief list of clients
includes Landmark Entertainment Group, Disney Imagineering, Spectra Entertainment,
Renaissance Entertainment, Universal Studios and Paramount Studios.

His work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the following: Forbes Gallery/NY,
Colorado History Museum, Denver Museum of Art, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at
Pepperdine University, Pasadena Museum of Art, Bennington Center for the Arts, USC Fisher
Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Museum.

In 2006, he was honored with the Gold Medal for Best Painting at the California Art Club’s 95 th
Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of Art and also received the Grand Prize
at the “Artists for the New Century” Exhibit (Bennington, Vermont). In 2015, he was awarded
the Portrait Commission of Lord Martin Cecil, 7th Marquess of Exeter, for the Burghley House in

Wurmser co-authored ART-SCI: The Consilience of Art & Science in the 21st Century with Dr. Thomas H. Kepner. He has written on many subjects in the visual arts including aesthetics, light and color, concept and composition, and plein-air painting.

Ryan Wurmser attended Art Center College of Design, and studied extensively at private schools
including the California Art Institute, Associates in Art, Steve Huston Studio, LAAFA, Andreeva
Academy, Studio Escalier, Ecole Albert Defois (with Ted Seth Jacobs), and BLFA.

In 2019, he graduated with a Masters Certificate in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

“Cinematic Study” by visiting faculty Ryan WURMSER, oil on linen, 2018


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 Phoebe” (detail) by visiting faculty David BAIRD, oil on linen, 2023