Renowned Painter Gianne de Genevraye to Teach at Susi Q

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The Susi Q is becoming known for the many creative programs the nonprofit organization offers, from writing classes to its focus on visual and expressive art forms. 

In March, internationally renowned artist Gianne de Genevraye will add more luster to Susi Q’s already impressive roster of instructors.

In March, internationally renowned artist Gianne de Genevraye will add more luster to Susi Q’s already impressive roster of instructors. Photo courtesy of the Susi Q.

“I’m excited to announce that Gianne, a talented contemporary landscape painter, will be teaching a class in dry pastel techniques,” said Nadia Babayi, executive director of Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q. “Gianne is internationally known, with her work included in collections in France, Italy, Sweden and of course the United States. We are honored that she is joining us to offer this class.” 

Participants in the Contemporary Bouquets in Pastel class will learn the basic techniques of dry pastel technique in a non-competitive setting. 

“In the first class, we will explore the ideas of light and shadow and learn about negative space by doing exercises in dry pastel,” de Genevray said. “In the second session, we’ll discuss composition and color and do a contemporary finished drawing of our chosen subject of bouquets. The third session will feature a mini-pastel history presentation and students’ artwork ‘exhibited’ with refreshments. Students can invite a friend or family member to join them on the occasion.”

De Genevraye said her emphasis is on the joy of making art, not on individual prowess. She believes that judgment kills creativity. 

“My classes are structured not to be intimidating in any way,” she said. “In fact, my students say that their favorite part is the last session, during which I lay out all the artwork produced by the class on a long table and offer a critique of each. Each piece is presented anonymously, so no one feels put on the spot. Students can choose not to participate if they prefer, but everyone in the class benefits from the feedback.”

Participants in the Contemporary Bouquets in Pastel class will learn the basic techniques of dry pastel technique in a non-competitive setting. Photo courtesy of the Susi Q.

Beginners are welcome to participate.

“I start every class by saying that no one is going to be creating a masterpiece, least of all myself,” de Genevraye said. “I hear a collective sigh of relief, and the fun begins.”

Budding artists on a fixed budget are encouraged to contact Susi Q care management director Martha Hernandez for available scholarship opportunities at (949) 715-8104. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Feb. 23. 

Born in California, de Genevraye received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of California Irvine, studying under contemporary masters Judy Chicago, Tony Delap, Craig Kaufman and John Paul Jones. 

The Dry Pastel class is projected to be one in a series of “Boutique Technique d’Art Basics” sessions at the Susi Q, designed to introduce aspiring artists to a range of techniques – or to awaken the creativity in everyone. 

Classes will take place on Monday, March 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Tuesday, March 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and Wednesday, March 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. Those interested can register online or RSVP by phone at (949) 715-8105.

The Susi Q offers a wide range of educational and fun programs, classes and clubs for older adults – though all ages are welcome. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed, and independent. More information on the Susi Q can be found by visiting www.thesusiq.org.

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