We recognize in each student the non negotiable need of the individual artist for creativity. We focus on giving each student a balanced amount of motivating challenges as well as the means to have the confidence to reach them.

Brigitte Curt

Born in Paris, France, is a true “French Impressionist” in the California landscape. Throughout her life, Brigitte has been a researcher – researching in aesthetics, and searching for the beauty in nature, different cultures, societies and individuals. The many painters within her family exposed her early on to artistic endeavors, critical thinking and the pursuit of creative achievements. Brigitte is most happy painting outdoors, in connection with the beauty of the natural world. with her husband she has traveled all over the world with their paint boxes. Even though she has studied with a variety of contemporary masters, in France and in the US, Brigitte is mostly a product of her mentor Ovanes Berberian's years of training and friendship

Brigitte also creates sculptures from natural woods and is a poet of the Soul

Gallerie Amsterdam, Carmel, CA
Huff Harrington Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
Kneeland Gallery, Ketchum, ID
Kathryne designs, Montecito, CA
Winn Devon Art Group, Publishing Company, Seattle, WA

California Academy of Painters, non profit educational association of artists, Palo Alto, CA, Founding Member, Education Director, Landscape Instructor
American Impressionist Society, Forestville, CA
National Association of Women Artists, New York, NY
Oil Painters of America Representational, Elmhurst, IL

Lynne Moss, "Brigitte Curt - Making the Landscape your own", American Artist
Magazine, September 1999
Listed in "Who's Who in the West", 2000
Public painting demonstration, TV Channel 6, Palo Alto, CA, 1997
Public painting demonstration, local TV Channel, Ridgecrest, CA, 1994

Peninsula Community Foundation, Grant to study landscape on location for 4
weeks with the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, Russia, Summer 2002








Jim Smyth

Jim has studied at the Academia de Belle Arti in Fiorenza, Italy, Ecole des BeauxArts in Geneva, New York Academy and the Art Students league. He is also a graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree in Fine Art.

Although academically trained, Jim practices and teaches a more impressionistic style of painting, focusing on Alla Prima technique.
He is particularly knowledgeable about drawing, perspective, color theory and the human figure, his passion.

When not in Provence, Jim teaches intensely in art schools, art centers and several colleges in the Bay Area. He is a beloved instructor and his classes fill in quickly as he is as compassionate as he is knowledgeable.

Students rating at College of San Mateo: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com

Cogswell college: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com

On his return to the United States, he began studying with Mr. Alanson Appleton at the College of San Mateo, San Mateo, California. Jim was a founding member of the Appletree Etchers, Inc., an etching print shop organized by Mr. Appleton and his students to develop and promote color intaglio. Jim served as Master Printer at the studio for many years perfecting the techniques of intaglio and developing the color theories of Mr. Appleton as applied to the deep etched plate.

Jim received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972 and holds the California Community College Certificate and an Adult Education Certificate. Jim was invited to teach "Anatomy for Artists" at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California, as a result of his many years of dissection of the cadaver and developed the course of study of Perspective for the college. During this period, he began teaching Life Drawing at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, Palo Alto, California. During the following thirty years Jim has taught an average of twelve classes per week at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, the Palo Alto Art Center and the Burlingame Recreation Department among others in all phases of drawing and painting. He has conducted many workshops for the California Academy of Painters in many aspects of drawing and painting. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor of Drawing at the College of San Mateo, San Mateo, California. He is an authority on the materials of painting and drawing, techniques of traditional drawing and painting, color theory, perspective and anatomy for artists. In his career in Life Drawing, Jim has made over two hundred thousand drawings from the model.

In addition to studies at Berkeley, Jim has studied at the College of San Mateo, Foothill College, De Anza College, Mission College and West Valley College, all in California. One of the pivotal points in his career was studying with Mr. Maynard Dixon Stewart at the University of San Jose, California. He spent a year at the New York Academy of Art where he was offered a full scholarship and at the Art Students League of New York. He concurrently attended classes at the National Academy of Design in New York. Among others, Jim studied with M. Andrejivec, Ted Schmidt, Elliot Goldfinger, Gary Fagin, Ted Jacobs, Leo Neufeld, David Leffel, Jack Ferragasso, Jim Childs and Everett Raymond Kinstler and Kim English. Jim has also studied with the noted painter and colorist, Ovanes Berberian. In 2002 Jim was invited to study at the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he worked in Life Drawing and Life Painting.

Jim is a popular lecturer, a sought after demonstrator and juror. He is the recipient of many awards for both his painting and his teaching. In 1988 and again in 2003, he received the Kenneth Washburn Award in recognition of his teaching career at the Pacific Art League and in 1993 was awarded the Paul Emerson Award recognizing his contributions to the arts in the community. Jim is listed in the "Who's Who in the West" and is co-founder of both the "California Academy of Painters" and the "International Visual Arts Foundation."

Jim and his wife and partner Brigitte Curt(see "American Artist" Sept. '99) have traveled and painted in Hawaii, China, Australia, France, Spain, Belgium, Germanyand Russia. They lead annual painting trips to France for their students and other painters. He continues his busy schedule of classes in the Bay Area of California while finding time to continue working at his easel.