There is nothing better (or worse!) than to paint outdoors! The vast number of distractions of all kinds and the challenges to confront are myriad and the conditions are often very uncomfortable. And, it’s where all the lessons of light are learned the hard way! Until you try painting a scene outdoors, you can’t grasp how quickly the light changes, and the clouds, (the boats!) and shadows move. A Plein Air class with a great instructor may be just what you need!
Mike is clear: the payoff to enduring the rigors of Plein Air is enticement of visually soaking up the scene until you own it. You also get an urgent energy, the risk of experiment, a reaching for something new. To open his own pathways to more creative approaches is always a pull for Mike. To inspire his students to reach their personal challenge inspires him to keep on teaching!
Mike is an exuberant instructor! His students swear by his message of ‘going beyond the obvious’ and credit his teaching with their own breakthroughs to deeper, bolder artistic understanding. His enthusiastic, positive and often hilarious approach is infectious. Mike’s nature is to make everything fun and keep the processes exciting, yet challenging. (We had a spontaneous and very successful day trip to paint on Monhegan Island in the middle of the week…that may become a tradition!) Those who have been in his workshops or classes often repeat them in order to be around his stimulating teaching and ample supportive guidance. He spends 15 to 20 weeks per year instructing groups from beginners to advanced painters and also frequently leads painting trips to a variety of exciting European painting destinations.
Raised in California, Mike resides in his hometown of Santa Cruz, about 100 miles south of San Francisco on the California coast. A degree in Engineering and a career in marketing and hi-tech led him to many different assignments, none of which included art. As a youngster, Mike was always attracted to art, but parental “encouragement” led him away from making it a life’s focus. Art began as a kitchen table hobby in 1988 and soon consumed his every thought. He started at age 46 with a few lessons, lots of books and an occasional workshop to get him on his feet. What paid off most, he says, was the compulsive, daily and late night sessions at his easel. Mike is an adventurous, bold soul and it shows in the way he applies his painting skills. He is never satisfied with the superficial. Always reaching for excellence, he is one who must exhaust all avenues of learning, in order to enlarge his understanding and expand his abilities. Mike is associated with numerous art societies and is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society. The awards he has received, the articles in magazines and his art featured in painting books are a testament to his continuous pursuit of excellence. His paintings are held in private and corporate collections in the US, Europe, and Australia.
Some General Class Information:
- Most classes will be limited to a maximum of 16 to allow for optimal individual attention; do make sure your instructor knows where you have set up, and try to stay close to the demo area. Less running around for them, more time for feedback to you!
- We will process your payment after we get your online Registration and will email you a receipt.
- You will get a Supply List and more detailed info when you Register, and again about a month before the class. The first day, the Studio will open early…we will make sure you know the time!
- If you will need mediums or other supplies/equipment, let me know and I will have them here for you to buy in class. You are also welcome to ship things ahead. Ask for the address!
- Classes usually run M-F, between 8:30-4:30, but the exact hours are at the Instructor’s discretion…never fewer than 6 total/day, but sometimes we start earlier or end later…or both!
- We eat dinner (Dutch) somewhere as a group at least once, usually Monday nite for starters; friends, companions, hosts are welcome to come along.
- We always have a lunch break, to use or not, it’s up to you…and a lunch plan depending on where we are painting.
- The plan for the day is weather-dependent and usually decided at the end of the previous day if possible, or each morning!
- Our Studio is large with good light; you’ll have your own table space and you are welcome to leave equipment etc. there for the duration of the class. It is possible to paint after hours, we’ll explain the logistics!
- There is ample free parking at the Studio, which is within easy walking distance of downtown.
- We carpool (or sometimes walk) to painting sites, most of which have shade and at the least, a porta potty or nearby facilities. You will get good directions and we often caravan. Please do NOT depend on your GPS unless we give the Go Ahead…It is often wrong!
- Each class has an experienced Monitor who is your Go-To person for any problems or needs…we all will do our absolute best to see that you have a great class experience!
- Downtown has great galleries, shops and food and the area is full of wonderful places to paint!
- For Lodging and Travel info, click on the buttons on the Home Page.
- Cancelation and Refund info is at the bottom of the online Registration Form…(please do read the Policies before you check that you have!)
- And be sure to contact us with any questions. Thanks!