Past Workshops

Rumi, Creativity and Your Life as An Artist

Levels: All Levels

Instructor: Fereshteh Fatemi

Offered: Feb. 24th & 25th, 2018 10am - 4pm

Fee: $160 / $140 members

This two-day workshop offers a unique experience designed to awaken your creative process, connect you to your heart, and uplift your spirit. The work is based on the beautiful and inspiring poetry of Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet, scholar, and mystic. We will read and explore some of Rumi’s poems, which offer both illuminations in their own right, and passages that we can use as directives for a reconsideration of our lives and ongoing work. Each poem will be a prelude to creating a collage or mandala. The art we imagine under Rumi’s influence is both meditative and healing, and revelatory. With each of these exercises, we will deepen our self-understanding and offer ourselves new paths to self-discovery. This process of reading, art, and conversation can be a life-changing experience that will also be two days of fun.

Fereshteh Fatemi is a Soul-Centered coach with a BA in Fine Arts and an MA in Spiritual Psychology. She studied Rumi for 11 years in Farsi, her native language.

Bring your lunch!

Materials for collage and basic materials for mandalas will be provided.  If you have any favorite coloring media for mandalas, bring those with you.

Drawing on your iPhone

Levels: All

Instructor: Audrey Takeshta

Offered: February 17th, One day, Saturday 10am-4pm

Fee: $89 one price for this class. Thinking about SCAL membership?

Did you know you can draw/paint/sketch with the realistic look and feel of traditional media with your iPhone? Impossible? But it is possible!
Ever have that spark of ideas and there’s no pen/paper in sight? Now, just pull out your phone and you have the perfect surface to start drawing.

We will be using an application called “Procreate Pocket” and it is only $2.99 (from your App Store on your iPhone).
•This Class requires your iPhone (not iPad) to be running iOS 9.1, 10, or 11+

We’ll start with learning the basic drawing tools and work our way towards “layering” and other fun features.

This workshop is limited to 10 students so sign up today!

Materials Required:
• Your iPhone with Procreate Pocket loaded
• Please bring your cable charger for your iPhone
• Reading glasses (optional)
• Stylus pen (optional but will give free one if someone needs it)
• Bring your lunch or snacks

*Sorry, we will not be covering other “Smart” phones, iPads
and/or iPhone trouble-shooting 😉 

Audrey Takeshta has formally studied art at San Francisco City College, SF Art Academy, UCSC Extensions and San Jose State University, where she received her degrees in Graphic Design/Illustration & Advertising.

Audrey has worked at various small advertising and graphic design studios in the Bay Area. During the past 25+ years, she has also worked at many high-tech companies, including Oracle, Fujitsu, Adobe, PayPal and VMware. She is currently employed as Marketing Coordinator for the Santa Cruz Art League. You can see more of Audrey’s work at: or Instagram: drawing4kyoko

*1 min. video-not true to size. Click on the bottom right icon for full screen mode. Music by Julie Maxwell.

Introduction to Head Drawing

Levels: All

Instructor: Daniel Asturias

Offered: Saturday, January 20th, 2018 10am-4pm

Fee: $89.00. Not a member yet?

I studied figurative and portrait art at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and I have many collectors of my work in Northern and Southern California, Oregon, and Florida.  I focus on a value drawing approach to figurative and portrait drawing,  with little reliance on the line to describe the figure.  This was a popular and successful course at the community college where I taught as an adjunct professor.

This 6-hour workshop will introduce you to the principles of Chiaroscuro (value drawing) using recommended materials and applying them to the drawing of the Head. We will review the proportions and the principles of drawing the head following a step by step process to render the play of light and shadow on the head and facial features, it will be lit predominantly by a single source of light.

The first three hours will be devoted to a demonstration of the principles used to draw the head.  You’ll be given an opportunity to apply these principles to the drawing of a life size bust of the head.

In the afternoon you will again draw the head, using a live clothed model.

This 6-hour workshop is designed to provide you with enough information and techniques to incorporate them into your own drawing experiences.  These techniques would also prepare you for possible future studio courses for students interested in a more advanced approach to drawing the clothed figure……more to come!

Beginning Silk Painting Class: January-One Day

Levels: All

Instructor: Debra Dolsberry

Offered: January 13th, 2018 10am - 4pm

Fee: $89.00

Wrap yourself in an explosion of color you create in this silk painting workshop. No prior art experience is necessary. Students learn basic color theory by mixing magenta, yellow, blue, and black dyes both off and on the silk. Create an abstract design with dye flowing freely on the silk or use water based resist to draw a design. You learn how to create texture with water, salt, and alcohol. A materials fee of $45 includes everything you need to paint one14 x 72 silk satin scarf with additional scarves available for $15 each. Most students create 2 scarves – one free flowing and one simple motif, though artists with experience in other mediums might paint only one more complex design.

Debra Dolsberry delights in introducing students to the joys of painting on silk. Her workshops have
been enthusiastically received in Kailua Kona, Park City, Mendocino, Vancouver, and Aptos. Her advanced workshops are tailored to silk artists who create textiles for garments and most recently her article “Dressing the Curves: Bias Cut Garments” was published in the Silk Painter’s International periodical Silkworm. She will be the Artist in Residence at the Mendocino Art Center from March through May of 2018.

The Figure In Clay- Cynthia Siegel

Levels: All

Instructor: Cynthia Siegel

Offered: One Day-Saturday only: Dec. 9, 2017 10am-4pm

Fee: $89 one price for this class. Thinking about SCAL membership?

Explore the expressive potential of sculpting the figure in clay! Students will work primarily from live models and their imaginations, but may also reference historical and contemporary figurative work. Projects can include portrait busts, small figures, body fragments, and fantastic alterations of the figure. This one-day workshop will focus on working in solid clay, and will begin with our preparation of an armature (support structure) and a discussion of human anatomy and proportion. During our session with the live art model, your instructor will offer feedback, sculpting tips, and mini-demonstrations. The workshop concludes with special instructions for finishing your sculpture at home, including techniques for hollowing out your sculpture and recommendations for surface finishes. Local ceramic supplier, Phoenix Ceramics, has kiln services available for students wishing to fire their sculptures. All skills levels are welcome! Please bring a lunch, drink, and/or snacks.

Award-winning sculptor, potter and 2014-2015 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar to India, Cynthia Siegel exhibits her work internationally, receiving awards at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale and the Cheongju International Craft Biennale.  Ms. Siegel has presented lectures and workshops in India, Israel, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, and the U.S. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA degree is from San Jose State University. Ms. Siegel lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA, and currently teaches at Cabrillo College.

Urban Sketching; Explore and Enjoy where you are through journaling!

Levels: All

Instructor: Brian Bowes

Offered: One Day-Saturday only: Dec. 2, 2017 10am-4pm

Fee: $89 one price for this class. Thinking about SCAL membership?

Explore the world, Experiment with new tools and techniques, & Enjoy life!

Urban sketching is a wonderful way to connect with the world around you. While making drawings on location, this workshop will cover a range of different techniques including watercolor, other water-media, collage, pen, ink, and the good old pencil! During the course we will discuss the unique methods and techniques that can help to develop artistic abilities and super-charge your creativity!

The workshop will begin with in-class demonstrations and discussions at the Art League, and followed by field trips to nearby locations.

Increasing our knowledge and extending our ability is an ongoing and continuous process to which everyone is invited! Please join our quest for improvement and ways to make different or better drawings. This workshop is limited to 15 students so sign up today!

Instructor Brian Bowes has an MFA in Illustration from the University of Hartford, a BFA in Illustration from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and an AA in Graphic Design from the Santa Rosa Junior College. He has taught at the Disney Family Museum, Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center, among others. Brian is proud of the work he does as the Youth Education Director for SCMAC in bringing Art After School Classes to the children of the San Lorenzo Valley. Brian teaches private lessons, and is a working illustrator.

Painting a Luminescent Floral and Dynamic Loose Landscapes-JoNeal Boic

Levels: Intermediate

Instructor: Jo Neal Boic

Offered: October 28 & 29 9-3:30

Fee: $160 / $140 with member discount

This weekend we will learn how to create luminosity and more interest by layering transparent color. For this reason we will use, primarily, a transparent palette. In between waiting for layers to dry on our floral, we will break free and paint exciting colorful landscapes! This class is designed for the intermediate student who has the basic techniques of watercolor already under their belt; wet into wet, glazing/layering, and washes. Offered: October 28 & 29th, 9 – 3:30 pm, Fees: $160 / $140. Instructor: Jo Neal Boic has been a teacher for more than 40 years and she has been painting and teaching watercolor for 29 of those. She loves to teach and believes that all students are capable of learning to draw and paint in whatever medium they choose. She fancies a variety of subjects but is particularly drawn to nature.

Mastering the White Paper in Watercolor-Robert Dvorak

Levels: All

Instructor: Robert Regis Dvořák

Offered: Saturday, Sept 30, 2017 (One Day) 10-4pm

Fee: $160 / $140 with member discount

Follow in the footsteps of John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer as you learn, through a series of carefully crafted exercises, how to make your watercolors come alive with light and color. The transparency of watercolor demands that you work from white to dark and from large shapes to small. You will learn that where we put color is just as important as where we leave the paper clean and white. Enhance your color shapes with white paper–dark against light to create luminosity, use lost and found color edges to add mystery and space. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painter, you will benefit from this workshop. Mastering the white paper is one of the most important skills in watercolor painting. Offered: Saturday, Sept 30, 2017, 10-4pm, Fee $89.  Instructor: Robert Regis Dvořák is an artist and professional speaker who presents workshops and keynotes on drawing, watercolor and creative thinking education and business.  He is the author of four books on drawing including The Practice of Drawing as Meditation.  His latest book is Travel Drawing and Painting.

Papier-mâché Masks – Donna Thompson

Levels: All

Instructor: Donna Thompson

Offered: September 23rd & 30th  11:00 to 4:00pm

Fee: $160 / $140 with member discount

In this workshop you will learn the construction process of making a mask using the papier mache method: paper, tape , and wheat paste.  You will be able to complete the mask over the two day workshop. The mask can be made to wear or as an art object to display.  The first day will involve a brief overview of world masks with many examples to stir your imagination. Next the designing of the piece followed by the building of the mask with the papier mache process.  The next week ( it takes a day or so for drying) you will paint and decorate your mask. Create an animal, a person, a Day of the Dead skull, a Halloween surprise,or a magical beast. To bring with you: for an animal or person bring a photo image. Material fee: $10 All levels. Offered: September 23rd & 30th  TIME: 11:00 to 4:00. Fee: $160/140 SCAL members. $10 materials fee. Class is at instructor’s studio. Instructor: Donna Thompson, BFA MA  has been working in the medium for the past twenty five years. She had the amazing opportunity to take a workshop with two members of the legendary Linares family and learned several tips on creating paper sculptures from experts in this very special field.

Mixed Up: The art of mixed media layering

Levels: All

Instructor: Dee Hooker

Offered: August 12th 11am-5pm

Experience the infinite possibilities of paper, paint and found materials while creating a ready to hang, mixed-media artwork. The goal of this workshop is to experiment with different techniques, layer them properly and have a good time. Part color theory class, part exposure to fresh ideas about composition with emphasis on creativity, how to loosen up and break the rules. Combing, scribing, rubbings, stencils, stickers, stamping, whitewashes, transfers, gold leaf, rust, glazing, tinting and even smoke are finding their way into FINE ART and we will play with them all. Feel free to bring 2D materials you have questions about or would like to use.. Each One Day Workshop is limited to 8 participants.

All levels. Offered: August 12th  (class is a ONE DAY workshop.) TIME: 11:00 to 5:00ish. Fee: $145/$125 SCAL members. $10 materials fee
Class is at instructor’s studio. Includes lunch and California wines. Instructor: Dee Hooker is a professional artist, curator, director of the Cabrillo Music Festival BLUE UMBRELLA ART COLLABORATIVE and a 25+ year Open Studio participant.

Working In Wax – Jeff Arnett

Levels: All

Instructor: Jeff Arnett

Offered: August 5 & 6, 2017- 10-4pm

In this workshop you will create one or more small wax sculptures. Subject matter is up to you; bring two or more images, objects, ideas, or sketches to work from. You will be guided in sculpting by hand and with tools, including hot wax techniques. You should be able to finish one or more wax sculptures suitable for bronze casting. All tools and materials will be provided. A handout will provide options for casting your work in bronze as well as sources for tools and materials. Bring a lunch and work clothes and/or apron. Offered: August 5 & 6, 2017, 10-4pm, Fee: $160 /$140 members. $15 material fee to instructor. “Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump.” Auguste Rodin. Read more at: Instructor: Jeff Arnett, BFA, MA, has been a working sculptor for many years. Mentored by sculptors Doyle Foreman, Peter Hanson and Ante Marinovic, he works primarily in stone and Contact Jeff at with questions about the workshop.

Intuitive Painting (one day)

Levels: All

Instructor: Laura Shepardson

Offered: July 22nd (one day only) 10am - 3:30pm

Fee: $89 one price

This class is designed to inspire creativity and encourage artistic expression. To create in a way that moves you into the mystery of yourself. The process, not the end result will become your focus. If you paint for product you havea result in mind, a direction, a goal, a place you are trying to reach. When you paint for process you can go anywhere. Using your intuition,imagination and spontaneity you’ll playfully paint highly original works of art without judgement, comparing, or concern for outcome. This creates an uplifting sense of inner freedom, where the painting possibilities are endless.

Instructor Laura Shepardson Often inspired by the diverse settings in her life, Laura expresses her imaginative voice through a wide assortment of mediums. With over 25 years of experience in creating art, Laura’s various means of expression include clay pottery, bamboo jewelry, mosaics, mandalas, and of course, painting.Much of her work has been exhibited in galleries, and successfully sold at gift shops throughout the Caribbean and Oregon, including her own boutique at the Tropical Treehouse in Rincon Puerto Rico. Laura also enjoys facilitating classes, and workshops that inspire creative expression.

Basic Encaustic Painting – Terry Dowell

Levels: All

Instructor: Terry Dowell

Offered: Saturday & Sunday, July 22 & 23, 2017 10am - 3:30pm

Encaustic painting is an exciting, ancient and cutting-edge art form.  Painting with molten beeswax is very forgiving and extremely versatile.  The possibilities are endless using:  collage, stencils, stamps, ink, oil paints, watercolors, photography and so much more.  Explore through demonstrations how to mix paint, fuse layers of wax, apply oil and chalk pastels, embed photos, and apply image transfers. Artist of all media and skill level will enjoy the limitless possibilities and fascination that encaustic has to offer. No drawing skills necessary. Bring a lunch.  All materials are provided.  This workshop is taught at the instructor’s studio in Aptos. Limited: 6 students, Saturday & Sunday, July 22 & 23, 2017, 10 am – 3:30 pm, Fees: $165 + $60 materials fee. Instructor:Terry Dowell is a mixed media artist specializing in encaustic work.  Her work can be seen in private collections nationwide and in juried shows in Northern California.  Other than encaustic, Terry has worked in wheel thrown and hand built pottery, photography, oil painting, watercolors, plein aire painting, and drawing for the last 50 years.

Make Your Colors Sing! – Seana Mallen

Levels: All

Instructor: Seana Mallen

Offered: July 15 & 16th, 9 – 3:30pm

Fee: $160 / $140 members

This is a two day intensive workshop for painters in watercolor or acrylic who want to expand, intensify, and enliven their use of color. Starting with basic color theory, we will explore the concepts of hue, saturation, temperature and value. We will use complementary and harmonious colors to create a series of small paintings inventing and investigating new color ideas in the media of your choice. Bring Lunch. Level: All, July 15 & 16th, 9 – 3:30. Fee: $160 / $140 members. $10 materials fee. Some materials provided, but please bring your own paper, and your choice of paints and brushes. Coffe, tea and cookies provided. Instructor: Seana Mallen , MA, an inspiring teacher and great lover of color!  She’s exhibited her work internationally, in the US, England and Bahrain, and has an MA in Drawing from Kingston University, UK. She has over 25 years experience teaching painting and drawing at university and adult education level, and she loves  to  share her enthusiasm for painting..,

Paper Arts – Silhouette & Diorama

Levels: All

Instructor: Dana Peters, MFA

Offered: July 8th and 9th 9am - 3:30pm

Experiment with paper in ways you never imagined possible! In this weekend workshop you will create two and three dimensional artworks as you think beyond paper’s traditional uses. We will explore conceptual implications in art and culture, and learn methods of manipulation such as intricate paper cut outs and dioramas. Students will be introduced to contemporary art work by famous paper artists such as Swoon, Adrien Coburn, Andy Byers and Kara Walker. Students will leave this class with two cohesive and thought provoking paper works.

Instructor Dana Peters, MFA, is a mixed media artist, printmaker, and performance artist. She was also the 2012 Resident Paper Costumer and Performance Artist at Proyecto Ace Residency Program in Buenos, Aires Argentina. She exhibits her two and three-dimensional paper works across the U.S. and internationally. She also exhibits locally in galleries and museums including the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History and the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz.