Gareth Bate

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Inspiration is everywhere.


Why would I go outside?
I’m too busy doing…


My Inbox Art Project!

Stay Creative and Engaged No Matter What…


ONLINE Art course
STARTING early Nov. 2020



Photos: Gareth Bate


It’s time... for a distraction.


My Inbox Art Project! is a project delivered to your inbox every two weeks. There are nine projects. All projects can be done from HOME using ANY MATERIALS you can find around the house, or order online. That’s the whole point. I want you to be resourceful and figure something out! It’s very open-ended. You can put in as much time as you want. You’ll interact online with a group of friendly creative people, and get feedback as a group and guidance from an experienced artist and instructor.


The course begins Mon. Nov. 2, 2020. The final project is due Sun. Mar. 11, 2021.

I think that in uncertain times with a lot of stress, anxiety and self isolation it's important to keep learning, and do optimistic and creative things. The huge disadvantages in some regards like being trapped inside - can be flipped into a great opportunity to make art! You are in control of your own creativity.

Even as an introvert who is quite content to sit at home and not talk to anyone, I’m still finding this situation a challenge… There are a lot of unknowns right now and the news is alarming. This course is meant to be a welcome distraction from all that stuff.

The thing that will be most fun in this course is the surprise of seeing what everyone produces in isolation. When we bring everyone's work together what different interpretations will we see?


Need something to keep
your spirits up?


Well here it is!


Photos: Gareth Bate


Here’s How The Projects Work

Every second Monday morning you’ll receive a new surprise project from me in your inbox. Each week will be a totally different thing. It’s your job to figure out how to make it work and interpret that assignment in creative ways. You can produce as much work based on it as you want. I’ll give you ways to keep going. We take a break for the holidays and then continue in the new year.

In my course Outdoor Abstract City Drawing each week students are surprised with a new location where they have to meet me for class. They sign up with no idea where we will be going. That’s part of the fun. On this info page I’m deliberately not revealing what your projects will be. I want you to be open minded and to just dive right in with whatever I throw at you. The whole point is that you have to get creative and figure something out. They don't need to be perfect. Who cares. All assignments can be done from inside your home.

IMPORTANT NOTE: My photos on this info page are for making it look nice - they don’t represent the projects we’ll be doing. They're just here to demonstrate that you can find beauty and inspiration at home.

You can choose to do your assignment abstract or representational or a bit of both. Use your imagination. You can go back and forth. It’s up to you. You could even use a different medium for each assignment.

The advantage to this course is how open-ended it is. You're not having to obtain specific materials. That's a major challenge right now.


You’re Making a
Commitment to Yourself

The most fundamental thing in making art is a scheduled time where you commit to show up. Making art is about maintaining the practice — not making masterpieces. It’s better than just watching the news or TV. I don’t think we need more news right now!


Photos: Gareth Bate


Submitting Work

On the Sunday when the project is due you’ll send me an email with photos of the work you did that week and process shots. It would be fun to see your work area. It would also be helpful if you write down what you were going for - so I can refer to it.

It will be really cool to see how vastly different everyone reacts to these projects. With everyone working in isolation in totally different mediums inevitably the results will be surprising. There’s no right or wrong way to do these projects. They’re your interpretation. The project gives you a frame and restrictions. The creativity is working within those limitations.


Possible Mediums:

Use ANYTHING you want!

  • Substrate: You will need to find something to put your image on like canvas, paper, etc. I would suggest ordering some heavy XL brand watercolour paper online or canvas pads, or canvases you have ready to go. While you wait use computer paper or anything you can find.
  • Painting: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolour, Guache
  • Drawing: Pastels, Chalk, Ink, Markers, Charcoal, Conte, Pen, Pencil, Pencil Crayon.
  • Collage: Paper, magazines, newspaper, cardboard, household stuff.
  • Fibre & Textiles: Supplies from Sewing, Quilting, Knitting, Felt, Fabric Collage
  • Photography: Create or set something up.
  • Sculpture: Clay, plasticine, objects, Papier-mâché, cardboard, plastics, lego, assemblage.
  • Junk: Anything you can find.
  • Installation: Build a diaorama in a box.
  • Digital: Create a digital image on your computer or phone using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, a phone drawing app or another program.
  • Leftovers: Any supplies at home you’ve had for a while and not used? Great chance to use them up!

    Photos: Gareth Bate


    Feedback From Me

    This will be a large part of the course. On Sunday evening before the next assignment you’ll submit your work to me via email. I’ll then work over the next week to assemble and curate everyone’s work into a slide show and record commentary overtop. I’ll then send out a video with my reactions and feedback. This is group feedback. So you'll see what everyone else did and learn from what I say about their work too. This is the most valuable aspect of the course. I’m going to be commenting on what I notice and may give suggestions for improvements. I’ll also likely suggest ways you could redo it to make it even better. I’d like you to be open to that possibility.

    I’m also a curator for the World of Threads Festival. It’s a festival of international contemporary fibre and textile art. We call our approach to curating - “Synchronistic Curating”. We get hundreds of submissions and then we sort through them to try to find the “common threads”. We are searching for themes that jump out, which we then use to build exhibitions. I’m looking forward to discussing the thematic connections that emerge out of these projects. When I ran this course last time it was fascinating to see how different the work was for the same project. Everyone was off doing their own thing. But often there were common features which was really interesting.


    Social Media Distancing

    A supportive social group can make a real difference right now. I will set up a private Facebook group only for people doing this course where you can post photos of your work and process shots. You’ll be able to interact with the other students and talk about what you are working on. Keep it positive. In this class you need to just submit your work. Don’t be self-censoring or being self-conscious. Just put it out there. What you think is crap other people might really like. Give people the chance to respond. This is not a place for criticism. That’s not the point. The Facebook group is mostly a place for you to interact with each other. I'll pop in every now and then. But I won't be there all the time. I know Facebook is unpopular with a lot of people, (myself included). Right now it’s the easiest way to make this happen. You can choose to opt-out of this aspect and just receive the course assignments and a link to the video feedback I record. But I will only be doing group feedback via the Facebook group. You could create a fake Facebook profile to join the group. 


    Advantages of Online Learning

  • Keep learning during Covid.

  • You don't need to leave your home!

  • Make work on your schedule.

  • Work in private.

  • Clear written instructions.

  • Be able to review the videos and watch on your own time

  • Join from anywhere in the world.

  • Connect with people in different places.

    Photos: Gareth Bate


    My Best Art Advice

    My number one advice for all art making is to “not give a crap” and just do something with no expectations. You are not overly identified with it. You don’t need to like it. Your job is just to make things that you think work and put them out there. No judgements. This is how I approach my practice. It’s liberating.


    What this is NOT…

    This is NOT a technical course with demos from me. I’m not going to be doing demos in any medium. This is a creative course. I will give suggestions on approaches that might help make things look better. I keep my technical courses separate from the creative ones. I’m offering two technical courses online The Colour Mixing Detective and Brushstrokes and Painting Effects as well. If technical stuff is what you’re looking for then check out those ones. This is a group learning experience and doesn't involve personal consultations.


    Photos: Gareth Bate


    Art Untangled

    I created Art Untangled to teach one-of-a-kind courses that you can't find anywhere else. These courses get right to the heart of the painting problems you face. Rather than learn everything at once, I break it down into courses that focus intensely on a single issue like colour mixing, painting techniques or colour relationships etc. I also teach exclusively creative courses. This is about putting in the work over a relatively short period of time so that you can save YEARS of struggle. There’s a lot to learn in painting and drawing but it doesn't need to take you decades if you learn it well from the start with the right teacher.  


    My Inbox Art Project!

    Stay Creative and Engaged No Matter What…





    Registration: OPEN!

    Course Location: ONLINE ONLY

    Instructor: Gareth Bate

    My City: Toronto, Canada

    Duration: 8 Weeks (bi-weekly) + Bonus Pre-Class Assignment

    Price and Registration Info at the bottom of this page:

    Fall 2020 Registration Deadline: Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

    IMPORTANT: Your art supplies are not included



    The course is delivered online with each new assignment arriving every second Monday morning. There is no live component so the work can be done at any time. My commentary videos will arrive a few days after your due dates.

    Pre-Course Free Bonus Assignment 1: At Registration
    You can start as soon you're confirmed!
    Due: Sun. Nov. 15, 2020

    Assignment 2: Monday, Nov. 2, 2020
    Due: Sun. Nov. 15, 2020

    Assignment 3: Monday, Nov. 16, 2020
    Due: Sun. Nov. 29, 2020

    Assignment 4: Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
    Due: Sun. Dec. 13, 2020

    Assignment 5: Monday, Dec. 14, 2020

    Holiday Break

    Assignment 5 Due: Sun. Jan. 10, 2021

    Assignment 6: Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
    Due: Sun. Jan. 24, 2020

    Assignment 7: Monday, Jan. 25, 2021
    Due: Sun. Feb. 7, 2020

    Assignment 8: Monday, Feb. 8, 2021
    Due: Sun. Feb. 21, 2020

    Assignment 9: Monday, Feb. 22, 2021
    Due: Sun. Mar. 11, 2021


    Dates don't work for you?

    If you're interested in this course but these dates don't work for you be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you get updates from me about future courses. Shoot me an email to let me know that you're interested.



    You can SAVE $25 off your course price if you sign up a friend who hasn't taken my courses in the past. I take $25 off for each person you sign up.


    Photos: Gareth Bate


    Lets Keep Going and Making Art


    Fall 2020 / Winter 2021


    Projects sent on MONDAY MORNINGS

    Projects due SUNDAY EVENINGS at Midnight


    Photos: Gareth Bate


    Frequently Asked Questions



    What if I don’t know how to use a medium?

    This is an experimental course. So you’ll learn here by trying it and figuring it out. We are not worried about really technical things in this course.


    What if I don’t have any art supplies?

    I want you to figure out a way to make it work no matter what supplies you have. If you only have a pen and computer paper then use that. If you only have packaging you can cut up then use that. Cardboard? Magazines? You can order some supplies online as well.


    Is this for Abstract or Representational?

    Both. You can work however you want and I’ll respond to whatever you make.



    How do I start when I get the project?

    I’d say schedule time when you know you’ll be free to work. Read through it and think it through. Maybe close your eyes and see if anything comes to mind. You could let the idea guide your choice of materials. Ultimately you have to just start something and then react to what you’ve made and either keep going or change course depending on the results. Something that is really valuable to do is to start and get something out. Then look at what you’ve done and either keep going or perhaps start over, based on what you now know.


    How do you stay motivated right now?

    One of the most fundamental things about having an art practice is to FORCE yourself to do something artistic. There are days when I really do not want to be creative. I’m tired or stressed and I don’t have it in me. But I still go to the studio (Or I did until now!) On those days I will work on “learning projects” so I sit and do a colour chart, work on my teaching scrapbooks or I carelessly play with materials. Sometimes this turns into a “who cares painting” which might just end up good! The point is, you had the discipline to actually show up and that is always rewarding. It’s about the practice not the product. Something you could do is plan to work but also have a backup plan which is your learning project.



    Is there one on one consultations about the projects?

    No. This is a group learning experience. I'll be commenting on your work but it doesn't involve individual consultations. I'll do my best to pop in and respond to questions posed in the Facebook group.



    I'm a total beginner. I've never made art. Is this appropriate for me?

    Sure why not. You have to start somewhere. Just own that you are a beginner and don’t compare yourself to other people who have been doing it for years. As long as we are clear that this course doesn’t include me doing demos.

    To me there are two types of art students. One likes to leap right in creating artworks and the main motivation is creativity and self-expression. This type is better off doing some work and then acquiring technical skills along the way when you realize you need them. The other type likes to have a technical foundation in order to feel comfortable starting to paint. They want some assurance of competence with the materials before launching in to the creative part. If you’re the first type then this is perfect. If you’re the second type and interested in technical painting courses then check out The Colour Mixing Detective and Brushstrokes and Painting Effects. If you’re unsure, email me and we can talk.


    Can I do this course with a friend or family member?

    You can both sign up individually. Both would be required to pay. I ask you not to share this with people who have not paid. I appreciate your honesty in this regard.



    Unsure if this is for you?

    Shoot me an email and we can chat about it.


    Ready? Continue on to join us!


    About Me

    My name is Gareth Bate and I’m a full time artist, curator and art teacher living in Toronto. I work in painting, installation and photography. I have an email newsletter called "Art Untangled" where I regularly talk about art. You can subscribe here. I've been asked if everything I do revolves around art and the answer is pretty much yes!

    I've travelled extensively and visited all the major museums in London, Paris, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Montreal and Cape Town. I'm Festival Curator of the World of Threads Festival an international festival of contemporary fibre and textile art in Oakville. I graduated with a BFA from OCAD University and a diploma from Central Tech's adult art program. I've been teaching since 2008. I’ve been featured on CBC News and Radio Canada and in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Now Magazine and La Presse among others.

    Here are the ONLINE courses I teach:
    The Colour Mixing Detective
    The Colour Mixing Detective Chief Inspector (Advanced)
    Brushstrokes and Painting Effects
    My Inbox Art Project: Home Edition


    So it’s time to make a decision.

    You can sit around and watch Netflix...

    Or you can join us and get some art done!


    Photos: Gareth Bate


    Registration is OPEN


    COST: $400

    +TAX for Canadians depending on region



    You can SAVE $25 off your course price if you sign up a friend who hasn't taken my private courses in the past.



    How to Pay

    When you book I'll send you an invoice. You can then send me an online e-transfer or cheques in Canada. Payment is required to be sent within two days of receiving the invoice. There is tax for Canadians. As soon as I've received payment I will start to send you course materials.


    Refunds Policy

    I don't offer refunds. I want you to commit to taking this and doing the work. I offer a lot of information on this page to help you make a decision. If you're unsure, send me an email and we can talk about it.


    Here's how to register...

    Send me an email:

    Subject Line: Registration for My Inbox Art Project! Fall 2020 / Winter 2021

    What to include:

    Full Name 

    Your Pronouns 

    Your Email

    Your Phone (so I can communicate with you if necessary)

    Full Address:

    Payment Method: Online: e-transfer or cheque for Canadians.

    How did you hear about this?


    What happens next?

    After you register I’ll confirm in an email and then send you an invoice. After payment is received I’ll send full course info. I don't want to keep you waiting so there is a bonus assignment as soon as you're confirmed. You can get started right away!


    Still Got Questions?

    Send me an email:


    I'm looking forward to it!



    Please share my courses with anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks!


    Photos: Gareth Bate