Creating narrative that is inspired through an interview.

Biographical Portraiture (BP) is a two part class. In this first class we cover the basics of BP by practicing with someone you know first. In the second class, Making Art In Service To Community, we cover a more in-depth understanding of BP and working with the public.

BP is the use of personal or collective biography to create an artwork. It can be literal or symbolic. Interviewing the subject is a tool used to gather content to depict a story, theme, commentary, or perspective. Research can be an alternative tool for gathering information other than an interview. While BP is often used to portray a single person, it can also illustrate themes and topics that reflect social issues.

BP is for artists working in any medium, looking for a new and inspiring way to create portraiture that incorporates storytelling. This class will provide useful tools that will push the traditional portrait and offer an exciting way of working that can be used for a single picture or for engaging the public on a broader scope. Best suited for artists who have a medium they’re already familiar with. The workshop that follows BP is Making Art in Service to Community, a workshop that dives deeper into the practices of working with others to create commentary.

Key skills you will learn

  • What is BP
  • The difference between Subject and Content
  • Working with real people in collaboration
  • How to conduct an interview that will provide content for your work
  • Using symbolism for storytelling


Online Class – Biographical Portraiture

This class includes a series of five videos = 35 min. A few assignments, PDF’s, and a followup phone appointment with Ruth. Refunds offered if you're not satisfied with your purchase after viewing.


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“Biographical Portraiture was an enriching experience for me as an artist and organizer, and also left me with excellent questions to explore in my own work. I found Ruth’s workshop added impeccable depth to the conversation of how to engage with telling other’s stories in a respectful, collaborative, and meaningful way. Ruth teaches with passion, expertise, inquiry, and honesty, all these traits combine for a compelling and invigorating experience any artist wanting to expand their work will appreciate.”

Mira Clark
Artist | Visibility Through Art Coordinator for CHIRP


Thank you to Nevada County Arts Council for their continued support.