Category Archives: Redux Adult Art Classes

Oil Painting with Erik Johnson

Where the Wind Always Howls

Where the Wind Always Howls

Fan whirring peacefully in one corner, the painter Erik Johnson moves around the studio, arranging wax paper palettes for his Monday night painting workshop. He is slender and graceful, with the reflective stillness of a Zen practitioner.  Johnson, who is a gallery artist represented by Robert Lange Studios, has been teaching workshops at Redux for “about a year,” he says.  “And I just finished up on a mural painting class at a high school.  Can you imagine doing that for a class in high school?”

I shake my head, smiling.  Johnson has the comfortable immediacy of a person who finds himself at home wherever in the world he goes, but he’s been in Charleston “about 18 years.”

I’m sitting in a plastic chair that is precisely the color of melty orange sherbet, my back to the burlap doors of the two smaller painting studios behind us; Johnson, wearing faded plaid shorts and periwinkle blue shirt, moves back and forth inside the horseshoe of folding tables, adjusting, rearranging.

He says offering this workshop has forced him to clarify his teaching.  “I almost feel sorry for my early students,” he says, laughing.

“I met some of my favorite teachers when they were teaching their first class.  I think sometimes it can make you more accessible.  Because you’re less jaded, more open, maybe.  But you say this class has clarified your teaching- what would you say are some of the core tenets to becoming a better painter?”

“Patience.  I’ve spend 200 hours on a single painting.  A lot of the work I do resembles my students’ in its early stages, but I just push on longer.  Monday night classes are three hours long, once a week, for four weeks.  And I offer an intermediate class after that for four weeks.  But the thing is, a lot of people just keep on taking workshop after workshop.  But they also need to paint on their own,” he says.  “Working on your own is how you learn what you need to ask in class, so that workshops like this are really valuable. And you can read about painting, too.  Independent study, that’s important.”

I scribble this down, then look up for more.

But Johnson shrugs, closing a drawer of paints.  “That’s about it.  You can teach technique and craft.  Experience is really what does it, what makes you a good painter.  But its most important that your art says something.  And I don’t know that you can teach that.”

“Does your work have a message?”

“Some of it.  I do different things, but I have some recurring metaphors.  Like goldfish- you know, you look at a goldfish in a bowl.  That bowl is its whole world, yet it exists in a much larger world.  We all have our own bowls, our own spheres of experience.  To me a goldfish is a perfect representative of the individual in the world.” He pulls out his ipad thoughtfully.  “I like to put them into different scenarios, these beautiful scenarios, but when you really look at it, you see there’s something there-” he shows me a photorealistic painting of an old fashioned scale, balancing a globe at one end and a fishbowl at the other.  “This one’s called The Needs of the Many.”

The Needs of the Many

The Needs of the Many



“And this one- “We Cannot Rest.”

We Cannot Rest

We Cannot Rest

“I’m a minimalist,” Johnson says.  “I usually just paint the object, maybe with a little something else.  And I work very slowly, but I like to paint the ephemeral- goldfish, fire- so in the early stages I compose my first sketch with photos.”  He puts away the ipad as the first of his students walks into the room.  He shakes her hand, greeting her warmly.  Daniela is a Brazilian biologist and the proud mother of three cats; this is her first time taking one of his workshops.  She beams, delighted to be here.

Johnson walks around the horseshoe squirting dabs of red paint onto the wax paper palette in front of each chair, talking to Daniela and I.  “So recently I was talking with some other artists about themes in their work, and this one guy said his work was about finding a home.”  He puts down the red paint and picks up yellow, making his second round.  “He says he’s looking for home still.  Would you say have a sense of home?” he says.

“My parents moved out of the house I grew up in a long time ago.  So when I go home to visit, I never experience have that deep sense of being at home, you know.  But I dream about it.  The rooms, that house.  When I’m dreaming, that house- or parts of it- is still where I live.  So I guess my sense of home doesn’t exist in the real.  I carry it in my mind.”

Daniela says that as an expat, her heart is forever in two places at once.  Wherever she goes, part of her still misses the home she’s just left.

Johnson is fascinated.  “It seems like so many people have that place they want to be.  A place that feels like home.  But I’m just here.”  He shrugs, smiling. “I’m just happy.  Although I do like to visit New York every couple of years.  I get an itch if I haven’t visited in a couple of years.  But I’d never want to live there.”

“You’re a bloom where you’re planted kind of guy.”

“I guess I am.”

You can follow Erik Johnson’s work on both Facebook and Instagram.  He likes “the videogame aspect of Instagram; I’m trying to reach that high score, that K behind my number!” and someday plans to sell sketches and drawings through social media.

On summer Mondays from 6-9, you’ll find him here at Redux, teaching patience, practicing kindness.

Do yourself a kindness and take his class.

-article by Pauline West, a novelist and writer for Redux Contemporary Art Center.  Her novel Evening’s Land recently won the Helene Wurlitzer Fellowship Award.

You Are Here

You Are Here



Friends in the Dark: Redux + CCP

Mariah Channing & her film camera collection.

Redux Artist: Mariah Channing & her film camera collection.

Have you heard the buzz….there is a resurgence in film photography in Charleston! Even though we are living in a fast-paced digital age, more and more people are being lured to the tactile, sensory, and magical experience of film processing.

Recently, The Redux Contemporary Art Center and Charleston Center for Photography (CCP) joined together to meet this desire and growing passion. Together, we will be offering traditional darkroom classes in Redux’s revamped darkroom. Thanks to Douglas Carr Cunningham and Redux Studio Artist/Intern, Mariah Channing for all of their hard work in cleaning, organizing and restoring the dark room into its beautiful new state. It looks absolutely amazing, but don’t just take our word for, come see it yourself! Redux offers the only public access darkroom in Charleston. >>Learn More

New beginner black and white classes with Douglas Carr Cunningham begin next week. There is also an upcoming pinhole camera class with Kevin Parent. These photography classes are filling quickly, so be sure to sign up soon.

Also, the Center for Photography is now exhibiting the Polaroid work of Redux Studio Artist, Jen Ervin. The exhibition will be up through the end of June, and  is part of the CCP’s 2nd Monday Lecture series.  Don’t forget to check the CCP’s website for more details on upcoming lectures.

Announcement for Land & Family by Jen Ervin

Announcement for Land & Family by Jen Ervin

Redux Fall 2012 Class Schedule

Enrollment is now open for Redux’s Fall semester with beginning to advanced courses in silver arts, drawing, photography, mixed media and more. All are affordable, timed to fit the schedules of working people and are taught by professional artists.  And don’t forget: as a member, you’ll receive 20% OFF these classes and all Redux classes and workshops! To learn more, click hereBelow are class dates & times. 

Silver Arts

Beginners Jewelry  October 9, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, October 16 & 23, 6:30pm – 9:30pm


Private Lessons in Letter Press (couples welcome!)  9 hrs per month structured around your schedule

Block Printing Fabric Workshop  October 2, 6pm – 9pm

Screen Printing T-Shirt Class  October 3, 10, 17, 24, 6pm – 9pm 

Relief Printing Class  October 29, November 5, 12, 19, 6pm – 9pm

Screen Printing Workshop  November 27, 6pm – 10pm


Painting with Acrylics  October 1, 8, 15, 22, 7pm – 9pm

Introduction to Oil Painting  October 3, 10, 17, 24, 6pm – 8pm

Mixed Media Painting  November 5, 12, 19, 26, 7pm – 9pm

Landscaping with Oil Pastels  November 7, 14, 21, 28, 6pm – 8pm


Sunday Figure Drawing (drop in)  Every Sunday, 5pm -7pm 

Introduction to Drawing  September 4, 11, 18, 25, 6pm – 8pm

Colored Pencil Drawing  September 8, 15, 22, 29, 3pm – 5pm

Intro to Drawing the Figure  October 30, November 6, 13, 20, 6:30pm – 9:30pm 

Classical Figure Drawing Workshops  September 10, 17, 6:30pm – 9pm

Daytime Intuitive Figure Drawing  October 4, 11, 18, 25, November  1, 8, 11am – 2pm

Mixed Media

Picture Framing Class  September 6, 13, 20, 27, 6pm – 9pm 

Collage/Photomontage Workshop  October 6, 10am – 3pm

Matting Techniques One Night Workshop  October 29, 6pm – 9pm

Illustrating Children’s Books  November 1, 8, 15, 6pm – 9pm

Art Theory

A History of African American Printmaking: 1724 to 2000  November 29, 6pm – 8pm 

Music Theory

Intro to Music Theory and Ear Training Class  September 5, 12, 19, 26, 6pm – 7:30pm


Private Lessons in Black & White Photography  9 hrs/month structured around your schedule

Digital-Video Filmmaking  October 4, 11, 18, 25, 6pm – 9pm

Meet Redux Studio Artist – Tina Christophillis

­Redux Studio Artist Tina Christophillis is exhibiting her first solo show, Tina Christophillis: Paintings and Drawings, at the main office of The Coastal Community Foundation in downtown Charleston now thru April 1st. This figurative body of work consists of oil paintings and mixed media drawings that reflect her personal journey as an artist. As a former dancer, improvisational movement plays a strong role in her work.

"Longing" by Tina Christophillis; Oil on canvas, 18x24"

Tina is a committed artist and she teaches figure drawing classes weekly at the Redux. Her radiant energy serves as an inspiration to her students, colleagues and blog followers. We recently interviewed Tina and here’s what she had to say.

What is your full name? My full name is Fotini Christophillis.  I was named after my grandmother who immigrated to the US before WW II.  The name Fotini means light.  I feel this represents the intent of my work.

You were a dancer in NY before you became a painter. What made you decide to become a painter? I arrived at a place in my life where I felt called to pursue an arts management degree at the College of Charleston.  I knew deep inside that I would become an artist, but it wasn’t until getting into studio art classes in college that I saw this gift surface.  I had an inspiring painting professor, and realized that this is who I am and what I would do.  It chose me.  There was not a doubt in my mind when I came to this recognition.

What motivates you? Doing the work and a need to reach something greater.  An inner impulse and a knowing that I have something to say that can not come out in any other way.

Favorite Artist? Alberto Giacometti.  I’m inspired by the unwavering obsession and authenticity that emerged in his work for no other reason than his personal need and drive. 

Is writing an important part of your artistic process? Writing has always been part of my life.  It is a way of sorting out the insights and ideas that come to me.  A daily writing ritual is very useful to me.  It gets out all the garbage and, sometimes the gems, in my mind.  Then I can get up and get busy, see what I’m doing with clarity.  It is very important to my process.

In your blog, you openly write about your artistic/personal journey. You talk about setting intentions as an artist, moving past negative thinking, and often reflect on beauty and inspiration.  Can you tell us how you got started? One day I just started blogging.  I find it helps me see bits of truth clearly, in my own way.  I’m teaching myself as my inner workings unfold.  I seek to communicate this with an audience and develop a relationship.  I’m interested in a dialogue that goes beyond the finished painting on the wall.  It’s a journey, both epic and challenging.  It’s a story, a way of life, full of daily discoveries.  Writing helps me see all of this, check in with myself and understand things from a different perspective.

Favorite author and/or book? Marrianne Williamson is my favorite author.  I love everything she says.  Her book, “A Return to Love”, has been by my side for a long time.

When presenting your artwork or writings you often say, I hope you feel safe. Can you tell us why? The idea of “safety” has been on my mind since I started painting.  I think so often people are afraid of the power and feeling within them.   So many people have the ability to create with great depth and beauty.  But also just as often we are told not to, or perhaps that it doesn’t matter.  It is my hope with my work and my life, that I inspire other people to create and express their truth.  This “safety” is the creation of this space to do so.

Favorite quote? Art is either plagiarism or revolution. -Paul Gauguin 

Tell us about your figurative drawing classes at the Redux? The independent figure drawing class is every Sunday from 5-7, year round, except on major holidays.  It’s $10 drop-in rate and all levels and materials are welcome.  The advanced figure drawing class is every Thursday from 10:30-1:30.   In this class we work from a live model for 3 hours, beginning with shorter poses and ending with a long pose.  It is for students who have more experience working with the figure and want to hone a style and personal vision. 

Favorite phrase? Let’s start a revolution!

Revival at Redux Countdown – 3 Days – Part Deux!

Crazy about graffiti? Don’t miss Live Grafitti with Crosby!

Come check out Crosby in action this Saturday!

Our wild-eye graffiti instructor, Crosby Jack, is currently working on a mural at Redux and will finish it LIVE this Saturday from 7pm until 11pm!

For more information about Redux’s graffiti classes and other unique class offerings, go here.

Revival at Redux Countdown – 8 Days!

On Saturday, March 3 we will have a traditional raffle during The Recurring Revival at Redux. Final details are still in the works, but we thought we would stir excitement by sharing the news that some of the prizes will be private art lessons with our talented and highly-skilled studio artists. 

Drawing by Janie Askew

One of the instructional give-aways will be a 2-hour private drawing class given by our new director, Janie Askew. Not only is she a fabulous administrator, she is also an accomplished artist in drawing, painting and printmaking! You can learn more about Janie’s art by visiting her website and/or revisit Redux’s more personal blog interview with her on February 23. Other prizes will include gift certificates to local restaurants, beauty services by well-known salons, and more. As the festival approaches, additional prize details will be announced, so stay posted!

Countdown – 11 Days! – Hot off the Press

Recurring Revival At Redux Tickets - Handmade by Redux Studio Artists

Check ’em out! Our custom-made, Recurring Revival At Redux tickets are fresh off the press. These beauties were made with love by our very own silkscreen artists in Redux’s print shop. They’re going fast, so if you don’t have your tickets yet – make a mad dash to the Redux or Artist & Craftsman. Advanced tickets are $10 until March 2 and will be available for $12 on the day of the festival. Kids under 10 are free! Get ’em while they’re hot!

BTW, local artists may sign up for monthly access to Redux’s print shop and darkroom. If interested, please email, Janie.