Archive for March, 2017


Architecture of the Soul

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Winter Trimester 2017 Part 1 with Jonathan Solter

Architecture of the Soul

“All real education is the architecture of the soul.” – William Bennett 

I've Been There

“I’ve Been There” by Jonathan Solter

The beginning of 2017 has ushered with it a dramatic shifting of realms. In numerology, 2017 represents the number one: It is the beginning of a new era where we can set our collective intentions and our most precious heart-centered desires on the upcoming nine year cycle.
As we witness the world around us awaken with activists, here at the Vienna Academy of Visionary Art we are offering our contributions to the greater good through prayers of paint for peace. There is no one better than Jonathan Solter to have taught our most recent program “Architecture of the Soul”. Through his expertise of composition and design, he led our students on a personal journey of discovering their own unique mind temples. He offers a fresh view of vivid color, light, and dimensionality that has produced incredibly interesting results on our students canvases!

Jonathan Solter is widely known for his live painting skills at festivals around the world, as well as his collaborations with other artists. We wanted to bring a taste of these same experiences to our students, so during the first week of his term Jonathan started a large collaborative painting with his students. Starting with broad strokes, Jonathan taught us about flow and form and how those can be elaborated upon to create harmony and balance when many hands are on one canvas.



Student/Teacher Collaboration – Winter Trimester 2017 (Work in Progress)

Our students also had an exclusive opportunity to create a live painting on January 28 at the Paradise Winter Festival here in Vienna. Jonathan spearheaded the composition but he encouraged our students to communicate together to develop the overall vision. The festival goers thoroughly enjoyed seeing the painting unfold before their eyes and many stood back to watch for long periods of time, taking pictures, videos, offering insight and making special requests. So our students were exposed to the integrative process of live painting and the blossoming of the creative process with a multitude of environmental influences.



Collaboration from Paradise Winter Festival in Vienna, January 28, 2017



About his experience, Jonathan said:

“It was an honor to be added to a long list of amazing visionary artists that have taught at the school so I jumped at the chance to be included. It was enriching for my own artistic pursuits and vision to be here in historic Vienna surrounded by amazing culture and architecture teaching my class ‘Architecture of the Soul’. In the class the students and I created our own soul temples as the students envisioned them to be.

My goal was to transmit my knowledge from techniques with spray paint to building up a painting with layers of color on a monochromatic base with acrylics. There were demonstrations and lectures on flow, patterning, building architecture in a landscape as well as my professional practices of being a live painter.

I think the most important thing I can say about the school is how it is building a loving community of artists and a place where your ideas can blossom and bare artistic fruit. Laurence and Florence and the rest of the academy staff have created a sanctuary for painters of all types to come together and make amazing art; students of all ages from around the world finding a common love baring their souls in paint.”


As the term came to an end, some of our students shared their feelings about their experience studying with Jonathan:

“Jonathan taught us endless painting tricks and demonstrated how to create everything from mountains and bushes to galaxies, temples and cosmic jellyfish. His genuine enthusiasm to help us with our paintings in any way possible was there every day and I feel lucky to have met and studied with him.”
~Phil Johannides (Nicosia, Cyprus)

“As a professional artist and business owner for the last 10 years, I had a high expectation from the course at VAVA and Jonathan didn’t disappoint. As a tutor, he shared his practical experience of live painting, going above and beyond, as he took us all to a local live event for some first hand experience. He also imparted valuable techniques like using acrylic washes and I feel like I’ve gained important tools to help develop my vision. As a human, his humble and open attitude gave me insight into the real life of a professional painter and has inspired new personal goals to transition to painting from tattoo art.”
~Joe Phillips (Barry, Wales)

“Jonathan’s demos with acrylics have been fantastic. Through him I’ve learned a totally different approach with acrylics, using glazing and washes. I have worked with acrylics before, but never with fluid colors. Jonathan was very gentle and patient and showed me that so called “big mistakes” can always be corrected and adapted – and if not, one shouldn’t be afraid to let go and get back to the starting point. I’m especially grateful that he gave us the opportunity to experience live painting, with some deep insights for successful collaboration.”
~Verena Wild (Bobenheim, Germany)




Jonathan Solter’s “final bow” while receiving applause during our closing circle.


-Written by Alecia Sacre Coeur