Explore Narrative Oil Painting in the Historic Northwest Corner of Philadelphia with Clarissa. Learn how to collect inspiration and develop a story visually, studying techniques of composition, value and symbolic use of color.
Meet the Artist
She studied in private studios around New York, and continued her education in some of the finest and oldest art schools in the country. She is an instructor and lecturer in drawing, painting, encaustic painting, gilding and decorative arts classes and workshops, as well as lectures in film-related art, art history and color theory seminars and has taught programs at various prestigious institutions.
Her work appears in both private and public collections. You may have seen Clarissa’s work before without even realizing it. She spent almost two decades as a scenic artist with over 40 credits in film and television, including creating Lee Krasner paintings in the film Pollock. Over the years, she created sets varying from burned out buildings to gilded ballrooms, reproductions of master paintings for films to original artwork for film characters.
Film is a primary influence in her work. As an avid film lover, and history buff, she brings her love of narrative imagery into her paintings, with a fusion of historical portraiture, film and pop culture influences.
Clarissa spends her time working with arts organizations, in her studio painting, at historic or music events, or at any of Philly’s museums or historic sites. Or at the movies!
Your VAWAA experience
- Gain an overview of the ancient method of painting with molten colored wax, a supple, tactile and versatile material to work with.
- Introduction to coloring the wax, using different heat methods of fusing, incising, collaging, and image transfer.
- Discover many uses of mixed media with encaustic - bring your own collage materials and ephemera.
- Inspiring studio environment with tools, books, paintings and other artists in the building.
- Studio time to discover your own way of working. Professional support, guidance and encouragement in finding your vision.
- Immersion into Clarissa's diverse world of creating and daily encounters inside and outside the studio with her groups of artist friends.
- Visit to The Philadelphia Museum of Art and visit Jasper Johns’ encaustic work.
- Or sightseeing in historic Philadelphia, or a tour in historic cemetery!
- Enjoy the beautiful historic garden district, meeting other creatives, and/ or enjoying the culture, food and flavor of local life.
- Your unique original painting.
- Tools and materials.
- Your VAWAA experience.
- Materials and tools.
- Your own handcrafted work to take home.
- Snacks, Coffee, & Tea
Guest Reviews (3)
Tony O., United States
I had a specific goals and Clarissa customized my VAWAA that helped me meet those goals. The lessons were perfectly balanced and thoughtfully executed.
Jonathan Q., United States
Before walking into my first VAWAA, I chose to shed any expectations of what a 4-day painting workshop might look like. I walked into this experience as a "black canvas" and felt a peaceful freedom. It was a beautiful break I knew I wanted in my life. My thoughts were running freely. I was in flow.
Disconnecting from my phone for a portion of my day revived me. And then a thought hit me like a Read more
Yvonne K., United Kingdom
Clarissa was not only a great listener, artist/designer, life advisor, but most importantly a supporter. Through her abundant books collection and references, I learned to read more.
Don't just think, indeed think 'intuitively', just like encaustic itself. Via our conversation, I start moving flexibly with encaustic medium alongside. There were time that I lose control of perfect outlines, mea Read more
You'll be in Philadelphia
Things you might be wondering
What is the skill-level required?
Each VAWAA is tailored to your skill level. There is no required experience level, only a willingness to learn. Wonderful for beginners, incredible for experts. You’ll go through the entire process of an art form at your own pace, have exclusive access to the artist and their studio, and connect meaningfully.
Will I be solo or in a group?
Each VAWAA is private and designed for you and your friends. No strangers. Why? Because it allows for a deeper and more meaningful connection with the master artist while maximizing your learning that’s tailored to you. Most VAWAAs allow up to 4 guests for each studio session so as to respect the master’s space and preserve the intimate nature of the learning experience. We do organize intimate group retreats from time to time.
What does the price include?
VAWAAs are priced fairly to support professional artists and makers while providing access to high quality and personalized creative experiences to everyone. Artists decide their own fees for hosting, teaching, materials, tools and studio access. And we support them by managing all their bookings and providing every guest a personal VAWAA experience coordinator to help with planning.
What if I need to cancel?
For a full refund, cancel within 7 days of purchase. To receive a 50% refund or 75% credit towards a future VAWAA, cancel at least 30 days before the start of your VAWAA. You can reschedule at least 30 days before the start of your VAWAA for a $100 rescheduling fee. More on COVID-19 related cancellation policy here.
I'm ready. What should I expect?
Select available dates listed on the artist’s calendar page and start reservation. You won’t be charged yet and have the option to reserve dates with a $300 deposit per guest. If you don’t see the dates you’re looking for, email us or let us know via contact form and we’ll see what’s possible. If you're not ready to book quite yet, you can “save” the VAWAA artist to receive periodic updates. Once you book, you get a direct line to us for everything you need help with. We assist with travel planning, accommodation, possible project ideas, and even local things to do in your off-time.