Gareth Bate

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Everything else can wait.
This is...


My Time to Paint!

Make an artistic commitment to yourself.


This is a Toronto painting session.



If you don’t schedule art time…
it doesn’t happen.


My Time to Paint! is a 3 hour scheduled time slot over eight weeks, where you commit to show up and work on an art project of your own making. It’s your time. You’ll be with a group of friendly creative people and get feedback and guidance from an experienced artist and instructor.


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.

I know that motivating yourself to get going can be hard without the pressure of an instructor and a structured class. And maybe even a deadline. So when you take a class you get lots done — but then you might stop painting completely when you don’t… Sound familiar?

I know that sometimes you just want a time slot in your week to keep making art. No course pressure and no structured homework. You’ve done some art courses. But right now you just want time to implement the things you’ve been learning, work on an art project, or work on a continued learning project.

Think of this as like a gym membership.

Only unlike my gym membership — you actually go...



Ever wanted a place you could just go make art without having to take a class?


Well here it is!



It’s important to be clear on what this IS and what’s it’s NOT…

This is not a course like my other technical or imagery courses. Those ones are intensive, highly structured, and vigorous classes. They’re a lot of work. If you're curious you can see them all here...

I wanted to offer you a time slot that doesn’t involve taking a full course. You put in the time during our session but any additional time after that is up to you.

For My Time to Paint! there is no course curriculum, group demos, homework or my assignments. It’s not specific group instruction in any particular medium or subject. The pressure of this session is to show up. It’s not a pressure to perform or produce.


You’re Making a Commitment
to Yourself

You have a scheduled appointment to paint or draw during a time slot in your week. This will get you to actually show up, rather than just doing something else. There’ll always be something else to take up your time. You’re busy, my other courses are a major time and work commitment. My Time to Paint! isn’t. It’s straightforward - No pressure or elaborate assignments or homework pdfs lol!

Let’s face it — paying makes it real. Part of why I go to the studio to do work is because I’m paying for it. If something is free or too cheap we don’t take it as seriously. We’ll just replace that time with other random things. Basically you’re paying to force yourself to commit. It works great!


Social Group Setting

Ultimately, making art is a solo endeavour that you have to get used to. But a supportive social group can make a real difference when you just want to get going. A little social pressure is good for you. We’ll all notice if you don’t show up to do your work! These sessions will likely be chatty so if total silence is what you’re after then this is not the right place for you. We’ll have a small group of seven people max. What I don’t want this to be is so casual that you don’t get anything done. We can chat and have fun, but it’s also a working time.



Painting or Drawing Project

You could invent a project for yourself. Is there something you've been wanting to do? Projects can be abstract or representational. You could choose a subject matter and then each week you try to make a painting. You could work on a long term painting over several weeks. Maybe you decide to do several paintings from start to finish.


Experiment Time

You could use the time to experiment and try new things. Is there an approach to painting you’ve wanted to try? Or a new medium you just want to experiment with without having to worry about it looking good? My number one advice for all art making is to “not give a crap” and just do something without expectations and judgements.


Study Time

If you want, you could use the time to catch up on your assignments from my technical painting courses. You could work on your colour mixing charts, paint your Ideals, build your scrap books, finish your brushstrokes class assignments. You could get a lot of charts done during this scheduled time. Or you could use the time to tackle a learning project of your own making that you’ve been wanting to do. You could practice and try to get better at doing something you know you’re struggling with. One of the best things I ever did was sit for many days and just draw lines in my sketchbook. After filling three sketchbooks with nothing but lines — my lines looked a lot better!




In the first 20 minutes we’ll catch up and check in on where everyone is at in their project. I’ll give you feedback and suggestions. This will be with the full group. Then you work for the rest of the session until the last 20 minutes. At the end we’ll go around and see how things have gone and I’ll give you feedback again. I won’t be coming around to check in on you throughout the session, only at the start and end. At the beginning if there’s technical or imagery questions I can demonstrate on an individual basis.


What I’m Providing…

• A creative environment. An artist studio filled with art making.
• A well lit studio space and tables to work.
• A three hour session.
• A fantastic building that has art galleries and coffee shops and creative people doing their thing.
• Supportive and critical feedback at the start and end of the session.
• Technical expertise in a wide range of painting and drawing subjects.
• Guidance on your project.
• Answers to your questions about art and art making.


First and Last Session

At the start of our time I'd like you to present some kind of project that you intend to work on so that we all know what you want to accomplish. Be bold and have some ambition for it. In the last class I'd like to spend the last hour reviewing everything that was accomplished during the eight weeks.


My Work in Progress

While you are working I will also be tackling a major multi-week painting project. I’ll explain my process and how I go about doing a major large work. This is very different from my more casual improvised demo paintings in my technical courses. You’ll get to see how a sustained large painting develops from the preparatory stages to the finished piece week by week. That’s not something I've ever shared before.


Your Responsibility

Your project idea and ambition. All your painting supplies, canvas, paint, brushes, palette, etc. A small table top easel if you want one.



Art Untangled


My Time to Paint!

Make an artistic commitment to yourself.



Registration: OPEN!

Instructor: Gareth Bate

City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Class Location: My studio at 401 Richmond St. West, Studio S-17 in the Basement orange section. (At Richmond & Spadina.) See Google Map.

Number of students per class: 7 maximum

Duration: Eight Weeks

Price and Registration Info at the bottom of this page:

Important Note: You must be able to attend the first session

Registration Deadline:

IMPORTANT: Your painting supplies are not included



Dates don't work for you?

If you're interested in this session but these dates don't work for you be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you get updates from me about future courses. I change the days and times each semester. I'm thinking of offering this in the evening in the Spring. Shoot me an email to let me know that you're interested.



Session FAQ


How will I come up with my project?

Is there something you’ve really wanted to work on? This would be a great chance to finally tackle it. We’ll discuss your projects as a group in the first session. I would say - just pick something to do. Often giving yourself a restriction is a really good first step. It could be a subject matter, colour scheme, painting method, or an idea you have. You choose something and then stick with it. Just make a decision and pursue that one thing consistently.


Can I change directions or work on totally different things each week? Like say a painting one week, and then a chart another time?

Sure. Ultimately it’s your choice of what you work on in these sessions. My advice would be to pick a direction and then stick to it — rather than jump around. But if you know that that is your intention, then it’s fine.


What if I’m not in the mood to paint that day?

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. 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 on paintings but also have a backup plan which is your learning project.


I'm a total beginnner. I've never painted. Is this appropriate for me if I'm new to painting?

Probably not. This is not a course. So I'm not actually teaching anything specific during this time. I'll be responding to what you are working on. If you are just starting out I would reccomend starting with either my technical course The Colour Mixing Detective or my imagery course Abstract and Imaginative Painting. You need to ask yourself a few questions. To me there are two types of art students. One likes to leap right in creating paintings and the main motivation is creativity and self-expression. This type is better off doing some paintings 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 paintings.


But it’s ok to just work on technical things?

Yes. This would be a great way to get anything done that you weren’t able to finish before.


How much feedback will you be giving?

At the start and end of the session I will give feedback if you want it for the first and last 20 minutes. If you don’t want it - you need to tell me. I’ll tell you honestly the thing you need to hear right now to move forward. I try not to bombard you with all the things that could be doing. My current courses are all geared towards abstraction or technical subjects. But I also do representational work. I’ve done extensive portraits, landscapes, cityscapes etc. So I can also give feedback on those subjects.


Is there a formal critique at the end?

Depends. If that seems appropriate then we could do that at the end of the last session. People may be doing very different things so a group critique might not make sense. Maybe we can do it for those who want it.


Will the class be silent while we are working?

No. Every group is different and silence is great… But realistically that won’t be the case or desirable. I’m totally fine with a chatty social group environment for this session. I also don’t play music because it causes conflict.


What if I don’t know how to do something.

I can help within the realms of what this session is. So I can give you short personal demos and suggestions at the start.


I’m missing some sessions, can I get a prorated fee?

No. You’re taking a table spot in the class that could be available to someone else. I don’t do prorated fees.


Is the class wheel chair accessible?

Yes. I’ve had a student in a wheelchair take the course. There’s a wheelchair ramp straight to the basement on the side of the building near Peter Street. There’s a ramp near the main entrance near Spadina Ave and an elevator on the main floor. Unfortunetly, the only wheelchair accessible bathroom is on the 4th floor. The elevator is close to my studio.


What are your plans for COVID-19?

The 401 Richmond building has hand sanitizer at the front and back entrances and they do a good job of keeping it clean. I encourage you to wash your hands when you arrive. I will also be wiping down the table surfaces regularly with disinfectant. My intention right now is to proceed business as usual until things change. One has to “Keep Calm and Carry On”, no? All the homework assignments are pdfs with full written instructions with pictures. They are completed from home with no problems. This has always been the case with my courses. So half the course already operates “online”. Some students choose to print out the pdfs at the print shop rather than look at the screen. So it works great! You will also have access to all the photos we work from early in the class and I will be teaching you how to figure out how they were made. If some kind of lock down were to occur I would continue to run the course as best I can via email with the assignments. We would then make up some of the missed studio demos later. Perhaps in a more condensed format. I’ve cleared my schedule on Saturdays in the spring and summer to potentially accommodate a spill over of my semesters if there is a gap period. As of right now I'm running my courses normally, while taking the same precautions that everyone is taking.



Materials FAQ


Can I store my art supplies at your studio?

No. You need to take them home. I can accommodate your painting if it needs to dry but I can’t store all your stuff. But ideally you’d also keep working on something on your own time.


Do you have tables and easels?

I have tables, but not easels. So if you want a table top easel you’ll need to bring your own. I can’t accommodate a full standing easel.


What mediums are useable in the studio:

Acrylic, oil, watercolour, gouache, oil pastel, graphite, markers, collage, Gamsol solvents, Galkyd oil mediums.


What mediums are NOT unusable in the studio:

No - Turpentine, Liquin, Air brush, encaustic, soft or chalk pastel, charcoal. Nothing dusty. You can’t work on some crazy project that involves flinging paint all over the place or making a mess. Walls need to remain clean. Gessoing your canvases should be done before arriving.



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 talk about art every week. 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 courses I teach:

Art World Untangled: Museum Tours
Brushstrokes and Painting Effects
The Colour Mixing Detective
Colour Stories and Relationships
Abstract and Imaginative Painting
Outdoor Abstract City Drawing Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Art History: The Masters: 1400-1850
Art History: The Moderns: 1850-1980



So it’s time to make a decision.

You can run errands all winter...

Or you can join us and get some art done!



Register Now to

Reserve Your Spot!


Registration is OPEN.


COST: $300

Eight Week Session

That's a 24 hour session which breaks down to around $12.5 an hour.




You can SAVE $50 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. You could also pay by cheque mailed in advance of the course. Payment is required within two days of recieving the invoice.


Refunds Policy

I don't offer refunds. This is a small class. When you sign up you're taking a spot, so it's important to commit to the session. 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 Time to Paint!

What to include:

Full Name 

Your Email

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

What medium do you plan to work in? 

Which session are you joining?

Payment Method: Online: e-transfer or check.

Your Plan: Do you have a project or intention in mind already?

How did you hear about this?


What happens next?

After you register I'll confirm in an email and then send you an invoice and full session info.


Still Got Questions?

Send me an email:


I'm looking forward to seeing you!



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