The Halstead Studio Environment


Classes at the Halstead School are very focused and intently quiet experiences interspersed with bursts of camaraderie during the breaks.

  • Students treat one another with a collegial warmth and respect. This respect is demonstrated, in part, by remaining quiet while the instructor is talking or working with another student. It is also demonstrated by arriving on time or, if late, awaiting a modeling break to enter and set up one’s workstation.
  • Easels and benches are provided for students’ use. However, there is no place to store work or your equipment in the studio during the week. Consequently, students have to carry their art materials and work to and from the studio each week.
  • People with allergies or who are especially sensitive to smells can be assured that there aren’t a lot of noxious fumes to contend with. That’s because Mr. Halstead does not allow turpentine and other strong-smelling thinners, varnishes, and mediums to be used during class sessions. Instead, he asks oil painters to use Turpenoid (not Turpenoid Natural), a lower-odor mineral spirit.
  • While the model is posing, only Mr. Halstead and the student with whom he is working at the moment are permitted to talk. This allows everyone to concentrate with ease and also affords them the chance to learn from Mr. Halstead even when they are not receiving direct instruction from him.
  • During breaks, there is always animated conversation and sharing about processes and techniques. On longer breaks, students may also retrieve coffee, scones, sandwiches, vegetarian meals, and even sushi from the cafés and restaurants in the area.
  • The studio door usually opens one hour prior to the stated class time.
  • Students are expected to clean up their own workstations and art supplies.
  • On the first class of the month, students usually line up early in order to get their first pick of a spot, but the door will open an hour prior to the stated class time.