The Painting area at Washington State University embraces an interdisciplinary approach to artistic creation. Students are asked to examine the importance of their practice within the greater context of the fine arts and contemporary culture. Observational painting skills are developed early in the curriculum alongside formal and technical considerations such as composition, color and mark-making. Beginning students connect with aspects of art history and contemporary art personally, directly and repeatedly in order to begin seeing their own work in a larger social and historical context. As students move through the program, each individual is encouraged to develop an individual approach to art making. Frequent individual critiques and feedback enable students to work closely with the faculty, while interactions with peers, group activities and experiential interdisciplinary collaborative projects help to provide our art majors with the skills needed to effectively communicate their ideas. Advanced painting courses are designed to help students build a cohesive body of work that offers a unique individual perspective informed by contemporary art and ideas.
The painting studios are large, have high ceilings and plenty of natural light. All studios are equipped with spray booths for the safe application of fixatives and spray-based paints. A movable wall transforms the main painting studio into a critique room. Advanced students have their own individual studio spaces, while all painting students have access to a shared studio as well as the woodshop where they can build canvasses, wood panels and other supports. A skilled technician is available to give workshops on stretcher construction and how to operate machinery safely.