T H E  W I L D   L I L Y   I N S T I T U T E


Art Theory Courses

For participants in the Fraser Valley

or Greater Vancouver

Register by phoning:  (604) 826-0029

Instructor Emily Isaacson: Emily Isaacson is the author of sixteen books, of both poetry and fiction. She has spoken on postmodern art, the arts, creative writing, and the writing process. She is an arts advocate who teaches on the theory and motivation behind art, and how to work in many mediums including performance. She currently lives in Abbotsford, and has served on the board of three arts organizations.

I. Counterpoint Art Theory

Counterpoint Art Theory covers the main tenets of The Artist’s Way by author Julia Cameron. The theory of counterpoint is one developed by writer and photographer Emily Isaacson. It uses creative writing to unblock artists and writers, creative practices that would work in any medium, and tools to expand your horizons in art. Participate in creative exercises to get your creative juices flowing, and begin to use words and movement more fluently to express yourself and your art. A good starting practice for daily work by any emerging or professional artist.

"One of my friends is a world-famous artist of formidable talents. He is assured a place in history for his contributions to his field. He is sought after by younger artists and respected by older artists. Although not yet fifty he has been singled out for lifetime achievement awards. Nonetheless, this is an artist suffering in the throes of artistic anorexia. Although he continues to work, he does so at greater and greater cost to himself . . ."  

-Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way 

2 hour seminar

Time: 2-4 PM

Sat, May 20

Cost: $45.00

Location: The MAC, Mission, BC

Textbook: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron


II.Counterpoint Signs & Symbols in Art 

Counterpoint Sign & Symbols in Art covers the use of symbols in art mediums; artists have utilized symbols since the beginning of time to express meaning in their art, and convey their motivations and inspiration.We will explore many famous paintings and their symbolism, as well as symbolic language in literature. We will study the use of signs for direction and prophetic enlightenment for artistic inspiration.

"Artists have always incorporated symbols into their works. 

Many paintings deploy a symbolic language so that objects and figures represent not just themselves but ideas and concepts. By looking at the symbolism present in works of art, we can examine the beliefs and ideologies that determined an artist's thinking. An understanding of the pictoral language of symbolism can also reveal both the beliefs and emotions of the artist's imaginative world."

-Signs & Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to their Origins and Meanings (Penguin).

2 hour seminar

Time: 7-9 PM

Date: TBA

Cost: $45.00

Location: TBA

Textbook: Signs & Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to their Origins and Meanings (Penguin).


III. Counterpoint Literature and Creative Writing

Counterpoint Literature and Creative Writing teaches anew the writing process using the tools of atmosphere, character, and genre. We look at symbolism in literature. We look at the technique for producing a unique and authentic piece of art. Going toward regular writing, tackle the journaling process, and critique one of your own poems with a group. Particularly meaningful in embarking on our way to fuel the spark in writing is Julia Cameron's text The Vein of Gold. Looking at the various genres of creative writing is facilitated by modern expressions such as blogging and self-publishing. We will also cover copyrights, internet protocol, and banks for material for artists online.

"When I am feeling challenged, I take a cue form Rodgers and Hammerstein and, instead of whistling, I take some little ditty and use it to rhyme my way out of trouble:

You can't make me angry.

You can't make me mad.

You can't even cause me

To feel bad or sad.

You can pout like crazy.

You can hurl abuse.

I won't feel I'm lazy.

Chuck your slurs, they're just no use."

-Julia Cameron, The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart

2 hour seminar

Time: 7-9 PM

Date: TBA

Cost: $45.00

Location: TBA

Textbook: The Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron