We are located in beautiful Keystone, Colorado in the middle of four, world-class ski and summer resorts. Our instructors come from all parts of the world and are all experienced art educators. Our European trips take place in the spring and fall and our Colorado trips happen in the summer and in the early fall!
TEACHERS & STAFF
Sarah Bracco has been an art teacher for more than 30 years, teaching in public schools (nominated twice for Teacher of the Year), at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO., and teaching a variety of workshops. Sarah has participated in many watercolor workshops with well-known artists, enriching her own painting skills, and loves sharing her experiences and knowledge with others!
Comments from students:
“Very fortunate are the students that have experienced your joy, excitement and enthusiasm for art (and life)…. Many times I have seen the grateful look in people’s eyes for what you give them.”
“I want you to know how much I enjoyed the workshop… you were so enthusiastic, full of energy, information & encouragement!”
As an artist, Sarah’s true passions are watercolor and “the Traveling Sketchbook”, using mixed media. Whether working on location (plein air), from personal photographs, or observation from everyday life, each painting truly becomes a new discovery filled with color and light. She paints with watercolor groups in Kansas City and Colorado and is involved in several Kansas City sketch groups. She always takes her sketchbook on trips capturing “visual memories”. Sarah has been accepted into many juried shows and exhibits her work in solo and group shows. Her work is in many private collections.
Sarah lives in Leawood, Kansas and loves spending time with her family, traveling and painting! She is grateful to all those who have encouraged her art and treasures all the art friends she has made along the way. She looks forward to the art adventures ahead, keeping the color fresh and her brush wet!
Amy Evans has always loved to create. She was fortunate to have some grade school teachers who recognized her early love of drawing and painting and encouraged her parents to help nurture her passion. She graduated from Rhodes College with a degree in Art with Distinction. Her main interest was Oil Painting and she began teaching in addition to painting as well as doing fiber art.
Her oil paintings now are in private collections as well as several galleries and she is now a Master Signature Emeritus member of Women Artists of the West and a signature member of Plein Air Painters of Colorado.
Many years later she still remembers the advice of her art professor and she passes it on to her art students. Anyone can learn to paint at any stage in their lives. Once we learn the basics, we begin to move towards something more.
John Keeling is an award-winning watercolorist who lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. He is enjoying a second chapter as a freelance artist, after retiring as a Creative Director from Hallmark Cards in 2013.
A dog lover and owner of three beagles, John has built a successful custom pet portrait business, painting the majority of dog breeds over the past seven years. His design won the 2020 Purebred Dog Day Fine Art/Poster contest.
John is represented by MHS Licensing and his watercolors can be found on a range of products, including calendars, fabric and home décor. He is a member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society, having had his work accepted to the national show for three consecutive years.
He enjoys teaching watercolor to all ages and skill levels, from private lessons with a nine-year-old to a group of 80-somethings at a local senior living community. He has given workshops at local galleries, art centers, and in his home studio and gardens.
For more information about John and his work, please visit his website at www.johnkeelingpaintings.com.
Kathleen Lanzoni grew up in Montreal and California but moved to Colorado 26 years ago. She was formally trained at the Art Institute of Boston and the Massachusetts College of Art, receiving a BFA.
Kathleen is an award-winning signature member of the Colorado Watercolor Society, the Western Colorado Watercolor Society, the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society and the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. She divides her time painting between the studio, Plein Air (outdoors on location) and on-site murals.
Dena Peterson was honored to be selected as one of 120 international artists out of 5000 applicants for the film, “Loving Vincent”, truly a labor of love and tribute to the life and struggles of Van Gogh as told through his paintings.
“As artists, many of us can relate to Van Gogh’s struggles, which is why his life strikes such an emotional chord with us.”
Dena’s small-town roots prompted one of her art professors to comment that her work expresses a love of intimate, quiet, and peaceful spaces. She enjoys the richness and texture of painting with oils, both en plein air, and in her Colorado Springs studio.
“For me, painting is not about copying reality. I want to paint with passion to evoke emotion.”
An award-winning artist, Dena’s paintings have been exhibited in regional, national, and international shows, such as Birds in Art and the Loving Vincent Exhibition. She received her training at the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Students League of Denver, and the Scottsdale Artists School, where she was selected for the prestigious Wade Fairchild Memorial Scholarship.
She was invited to be an opening night speaker about her work on “Loving Vincent” at the Plein Air Convention and Expo 2017 in San Diego, CA, sponsored by Eric Rhoads, publisher of Plein-Air Magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur. She recently released a DVD on how to paint like Van Gogh through Streamline Publishing. “Loving Van Gogh” can be purchased at http://lilipubsorders.com/Dena-Peterson
Among her teachers and mentors are Kevin MacPherson, Kevin Weckbach, and Mark Daniel Nelson. She is a signature member of The American Impressionist Society and Women Artists of the West and Associate Member of Oil Painters of America and Plein Air Artists Colorado.
Karen Ramsay, celebrated Colorado watercolor artist, devotes her time to capturing the beautiful landscapes around her, and teaching students the techniques and joys of her favorite medium. She is thrilled to be planning this very exciting workshop in Provence. Connect with Karen on Facebook, karenramsayartist.
From an early age, Karen enjoyed a love for drawing and painting. Encouragement to pursue this passion came from her parents and artists in her family: her grandmother and cousin. She has been featured in the Big Sky Journal as an "Artist of the West”. Other accolades include: Paint The Poudre: People's Choice Award, Wild About Colorado: Best of Show and the Colorado Watercolor Society: Member Show Award.
Karen is a graduate of the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver and has studied under some of her favorite artists, including Charles Reid, Burton Silverman, Frank Webb, Eric Weingardt, Thomas Schaller and Iain Stewart.
Karen is a member of, WOW • Women of Watercolor, Colorado Watercolor Society, PAAC • Plein Air Painters of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, where she paints and teaches in Rocky Mountain National Park. Another way Karen enjoys the outdoors is cycling, whether at home in Colorado or most recently in Scotland.
“Thanks again for your tremendous class. You are such a great teacher, positive and encouraging! You have a true gift in teaching, not to mention in painting.”
“We had the best two days ever in your class!! You’re a great teacher and we feel so blessed to have connected with you!”
Sue and Mike
Cheryl St John is a fourth generation Colorado native, with a great appreciation of nature and the environment and the preservation of both. Born and raised at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Cheryl got introduced at an early age to the beauty of the Colorado mountains and developed her love for the outdoors that influences her artwork today.
Working as a plein-air and studio landscape artist, Cheryl’s inspiration comes from the wide, open spaces of Colorado, New Mexico and Europe. She states “Painting en plein-air, (her favorite way to work), is always a challenge, and a never-ending routine! The changing light and weather conditions create a sense of urgency that translates to a spontaneous and loose interpretation of the scene, something that is very difficult to achieve in the studio.
She works both in oil and watercolor. Each medium has its own characteristics which, when using clean vivid colors and as few brush strokes as possible, makes for a loose impressionistic finished work of art.
Cheryl studied fine art and design at Rocky Mountain College of Art and at the Colorado Institute of Art. She has won numerous awards and is currently in many collections around the world.
Paul Birchak has taught painting, drawing, sculpture art classes and workshops for over twenty years. His artwork reflects extensive personal and academic studies.
People of all ages are enjoying Paul's energetic and unique workshops and classes. In Paul's fun and adventurous classes, you can be a complete beginner or a practiced artisan. Through Paul's techniques and personal attention to your goals, learn to draw and paint in plein-air and studio landscape, portrait, still life, flowers, animals and so much more.
In every workshop, a firsthand demonstration and instructional materials are provided to help you create your masterpieces and help you develop your own personal style.
Explore traditional and modern techniques. Learn styles such as contemporary, classical realism, illustration, impressionism and more. Learn to paint in oils, acrylics, watercolor and mixed media, or drawing in pencil, colored pencil, pastels, charcoal and all other drawing mediums. Beginners, intermediate, and accomplished artists are always welcome.
Catch up with Paul daily on Facebook to see recent demonstrations, or to learn more about new classes, workshops and more.
Cathy Goodale is a dedicated, persistent, and educated artist whose style reflects her individuality. “If you pay attention, art transcends all parts of life and makes the ordinary things in life “a painting”. Her career has been filled with painting, teaching and learning. The demand for excellence, painting in oil and watercolor, continues to drive all of her endeavors and her imagination pushes her to paint past her "artistic safe places".
Growing up in Denver, Colorado, with an early introduction to art classics through her grandmother was instrumental in leading Cathy to Stephens College in Missouri and to a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Northern Colorado. She continued her art training at Denver University, studying commercial art under William Sanderson.
The opportunity to study with the best has been a gift. She has studied with Charles Reid, Richard Schmid, Burt Silverman, Carolyn Anderson and Zolton Szabo, to name a few master artists.
The opportunities of travel and teaching workshops in different cultures such as Russia, Mexico, Africa, Spain, France, Ireland and Costa Rica will always be one of her greatest learning experiences.
Cathy’s Galleries include Columbine Gallery in Loveland, Colorado, The Art Estate, Fort Collins, Colorado and Estes Cultural Arts Gallery in Estes Park, Colorado.
James Biggers is never satisfied painting the same subject in the same way. He forces himself to learn and see more while constantly searching for inspirations and techniques to give his paintings essence.
James graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree before moving to Colorado where he now resides and pursues his passion for painting. A strong sense of design that is evident in his paintings was developed during his work as a graphic artist.
Biggers discovered, "at some point you have to put something of yourself into your work, without this element you will never have a great painting. Design and the subject may attract people to your painting, heart is what keeps them there." The best way to capture the heart of a subject is to paint from life and to continually search for new subject matter. Extensive travel has fed this desire.
Wanting more than a breathtaking scene to paint, Jame's goal is to portray the essence of emotion. He strives to give his paintings depth so that the viewer can go beyond what initially drew them into the work of art. "Capturing a frozen moment in time with great emotion is what we do as an artist."
creative writing instructor
in Stockholm, Sweden
Jill Murphy Long, author of the award-winning Permission to…book series and novels. She is a professional writer, filmmaker, and teacher. She loves to inspire others and has assisted more than 35 writers, who have become authors and screenwriters whose films are now produced.
Her best-selling Permission to…book series was published by Sourcebooks. Permission to Nap received the Excellence Award, a distinguished recognition presented by the Chicago Book Clinic and the Benjamin Franklin Award by the Publishers Marketing Association for being a finalist in the category of New Age (Metaphysics/Spirituality). Her other titles Permission to Play and Permission to Party also give busy adults ways to find balance in life.
The Conduit is a time-travel novel about a missing mother and Skiing With God is a humorous story about the 8,143 ski resorts in Heaven.
Her stage play, MADE IN CHINA that highlights generational racism, won at national and international playwright festivals and was produced.
Her screenplay, Wedding Belles, co-written with Lyn Wheaton was a finalist in the national screenwriting contest, Scriptapalooza.
Since relocating to Portland, Oregon, Jill has written, directed, and produced more than 25 short films. Her film company, JML Films, stands on the ethics of Justice, Mercy, and Love.
Through her creative vision, authentic voice, and efficiency, Jill continues to spotlight environmental and societal injustices. She writes “green” scripts and runs “green” film sets.
Her scripts are also female-centric; evident in the two, feature films now in development: Chance Day and MELTDOWN Based on True Events.
Currently, JML Films is being recognized on the national and international film festival circuit.
Her creative and diverse experience includes:
Director/Member Film Fatales, Portland, Oregon
Film Festival Judge 2017 & 2018 Breckenridge International Film Festival, Colorado
Creative Writing & English Professor Colorado Mountain College, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Ski Patroller CPR/AED certified
PSIA Ski Instructor: Steamboat, Copper, Kirkwood, and Seven Springs Ski Resorts
Creative Director/Owner at The Ad Group, Newport Beach, California
Creative Director/Partner at Murphy & Watt Advertising, Irvine, California
Freelance Copywriter at Foote, Cone and Belding, ADWEEK, and The Advertising Center
California State University, Fullerton Bachelor of Arts in Marketing/Communications
Lo Peyron Mathews, administrator & coordinator
Lo Peyron Mathews is the owner of Alpine Creative Tours. She has an extensive background in art management as well as 15 years’ experience in the travel industry, working for a prominent European tour operator and for travel agencies. She has also worked for the airlines and organized vacation trips to international destinations.
She excels at coordinating all the details involved in planning and executing creative vacation tours and travel. She lives in the beautiful Colorado Rockies with her husband and children, loves hiking and skiing and is an amateur photographer and painter.
Originally from Sweden, Lo speaks four languages and has traveled and lived extensively throughout Europe.