why study with us?

 
Photo by Nate Bell

Photo by Nate Bell

Study in Santa Fe, one of UNESCO’s designated Creative Cities

Santa Fe is a beautiful city set at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and is home to hundreds of galleries, renowned restaurants, cultural landmarks and natural wonders. Short day trips outside of Santa Fe take travelers to the idyllic mountain town of Taos, Abiquiu, the home base of Georgia O’Keeffe, and the quirky & creative town of Madrid. Santa Fe is widely recognized as a fantastic place to visit, and among others, was recognized as one of the:

  • 14 Best Places to Travel in 2019—Forbes

  • Most Vibrant Arts Communities—National Center for Arts Research

  • Best Weekend Getaways—Reader’s Digest

  • #2 City in the U.S.—2019 Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards

A student pushing the boundaries in her process by covering up areas with stencils and big blocks of color.

A student pushing the boundaries in her process by covering up areas with stencils and big blocks of color.

Learn to Take Creative Risks

A sure-fire way to grow as an artist is to take risks. We encourage this in our classes, and help students to understand the fine line between preserving what is strong in an artwork, and letting go of what is not. We teach you how to take bold, creative moves that help to liberate your art process and develop more engaging final pieces.

 
Slicing thin sheets of New Mexican mica in preparation for use in a painting

Slicing thin sheets of New Mexican mica in preparation for use in a painting

Ground Your Art with Natural Materials

Mica, natural pigments, sand, and seeds are among the many materials that can be incorporated into your artwork. In our workshops, you will learn how to use these items in unique and archival ways. If you want, bring along found treasures from your local area and we will show you how to use them in your artwork.

A student using aluminum foil in a painting

A student using aluminum foil in a painting

Create Unique Textures with Common Household Items

What do aluminum foil, glue, rubbing alcohol, and plastic wrap all have in common? They can all be used to create a rich and complex surface in your acrylic painting. Whether you are a realist, abstract artist or somewhere in between, learning how to use common items to create uncommon paintings will inspire your process and will add dynamic effects to your final piece.

 
A student’s painting after a 4-hour Landscape workshop with Ellen Sklar-Abbott, one of our instructors.

A student’s painting after a 4-hour Landscape workshop with Ellen Sklar-Abbott, one of our instructors.

Paint the Landscape Your Way

If your goal is to paint the landscape as you see it, then you have come to the right place. Our Landscape teacher Ellen Sklar-Abbott is an accomplished painter and talented teacher who has studied with David P. Curtis, a master Boston School painter, in Essex, Massachusetts from 2007-2012. Her landscape painting technique is thorough and easy to understand, resulting in students leaving the workshop with a strong foundation.

 
A student using pouring medium that she just learned to make in the 3-day abstract painting intensive.

A student using pouring medium that she just learned to make in the 3-day abstract painting intensive.

Expand Your Technique Toolbox

So many techniques, so little time! Brush skills, blending, glazing, interference layers, reductive painting methods, alternative tools, and how to create stunning effects in your artwork are some of the things featured in our abstraction workshops.

 
Instructor  Andrea Cermanski  teaching about the color wheel.

Instructor Andrea Cermanski teaching about the color wheel.

Pop Your Paintings with Color Theory Skills

Color is perhaps the most important element in an art piece, as it illicits an immediate emotional response from the viewer. Understanding and applying color theory - correctly- clearly separates out the amateurs from the professionals. While color can seem easy, there is much to learn and understand to use it well. Color theory is incorporated into every class we teach because we understand its significance in your work.

 
A mother and daughters painting class.

A mother and daughters painting class.

Study with Friends or Family

Taking an art class with family members, friends, or colleagues is a fantastic way to bond and be creative together. We can accommodate children as young as 5, and welcome the opportunity to help facilitate a positive experience for your group.

 
Photo of Andrea Cermanski by Anne Staveley

Photo of Andrea Cermanski by Anne Staveley

Get Mentored by a Professional Artist & Educator

An artist for 25 years, owner Andrea Cermanski has a Bachelor’s in Art History, Masters in Art Education, and has been teaching art to teenagers and adults for 12 years. She has exhibited her work in five solo and nine group shows, including "Feminists Under Forty," which was curated by Judy Chicago. Her experience includes working with total novices as well as advanced artists looking to bring their work to the professional level, and her paintings are featured in E. Ashley Rooney's "Contemporary Art of the Southwest" (2014). She is currently represented by galleries in New Orleans and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.