Plein Air Classes at WWM 2010


American Artist's Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference will be arriving on the sunny shores of Southern California this September 22-26, in our second-annual presentation of this four-day event. Workshops, demos, lectures, panel discussions, and evening events from more than 25 instructors will be held at the Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa, and plein air classes will take place either at nearby beach locations or on the grounds of the resort itself.

Laguna Coast
by Robert Wood, ca. 1959, oil, 24 x 36. Private collection.

Taking landscape workshops in the Laguna Beach area offers participants a connection to a long line of outdoor-painting history. Several of the early-1900 California plein air painters who brought teachings and techniques back from Impressionist France were drawn to Laguna Beach for its unique light and active community of artists. William Wendt (1865-1946), Guy Rose (1867-1925), and Granville Redmond (1871-1935) were just a few of the landscapists who frequented Laguna to paint its distinctive beauty, while Robert Wood (1889-1979) took up permanent residence there in 1949, and went on to become one of the most popular and sought after painters of this artists' paradise.

Several of our 2010 Weekend With the Masters plein air instructors know the allure of Laguna Beach all too well, having lived in the region themselves for several years or painted there frequently during group paint-outs and events. All of the artists will be teaching a unique approach to painting the coastal landscape, whether based on French Impressionism, California Impressionism, Colorist theories, Hudson River School-inspired styles, or just their own personal adaptation of traditional techniques. The WWM 2010 landscape instructors include:

Peter Adams is a lifelong resident of Southern California, the president of the 3,000-member California Art Club (established in 1909), and a plein air painter who specializes in beach scenes, specifically understanding the anatomy and science of the ocean. He will be teaching two full-day master workshops on the beach, as well as a half-day pastel demo on the grounds of the Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa.

Another California native, Marcia Burtt lives on a 1,200-acre ranch in the Santa Barbara valley and has spent the last 40 years painting acrylic seascapes and landscapes along the shores and in the mountains of the Golden State. Burtt's workshops will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the flexible and forgiving medium of acrylic. Her indoor landscape demo will cover how to obtain strong compositions and meaning in a painting.

Laguna Sunset
by Peter Adams, pastel, 12 x 16.

Western artist Scott Christensen maintains a studio, home, and gallery space in the beautiful Teton Mountain valley of Victor, Idaho, and is once again joining us as a plein air instructor at Weekend With the Masters. Similar to last year, Christensen's workshop sold out within hours of registration opening, but there are still spots available for his half-day indoor demo, during which he will show how he uses on-site sketches to create large studio work and talk about why painting from life is a necessary foundation for this type of practice.

Although nautical scenes are the specialty of this New England artist, Joseph McGurl handles all landscape vistas with grace and harmony. His encouraging, clear approach to teaching was very well received at the 2009 Weekend With the Masters event, and this year he will be teaching a full-day workshop addressing the issues of value, color, and edges; another full-day workshop focused on adding detail to plein air work; and an indoor landscape workshop that will show students how to rely on memory, observation, and on-site sketches-rather than photographs-to create studio work.

Daniel Pinkham's poetic interpretations of nature have won him the respect of both his fellow professional painters and students, and it's a rare and inspiring opportunity to have the chance to learn from him. The artist will be giving an indoor lecture on his connection to the great Russian painter Sergei Bongart, as well as teaching two full-day workshops titled "Finding & Interpreting Your Own Original Voice & Vision" and "Mastering the Potential of Color to Create Light & Air," respectively. Pinkham will also be featured in the special Saturday evening event, "Inside the Artists' Studio: Masters & Mentors," during which American Artist's editorial director Michael Gormley will interview three WWM instructors on stage who can all trace their lineage of learning back to a master of the past.

Beach Afternoon
by Camille Przewodek, oil, 9 x 12. Private collection.

California plein air painter Camille Przewodek is known for her ability with color and her connection to Henry Hensche, with whom she studied for several years at the Cape School of Art, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching two full-day workshops titled "Discover a New Way of Seeing of Color," Przewodek will also give a lecture on Hensche's approach to color and her experience studying with him. Additionally, Przewodek is the second of three artists featured in the Saturday evening Inside the Artists' Studio: Masters & Mentors."

Another one of our popular returning instructors, and yet another California native, Serrano will be teaching students how to paint convincing coastal scenes without overworking in his two full-day workshops. He will also join George Gallo in leading a special Sunrise Plein Air Demo on Friday, September 23.

It's not too late to sign up for these exciting plein air workshops, demos, and lectures at Weekend With the Masters 2010! Although seats are selling out quickly, there are still a few spots in each of the instructor's offerings. And, with our recently opened Pay-Per-Class registration option, you can opt to purchase specific workshops, demos, lectures, and evening events on a per-ticket basis.

Don't wait to sign up-you don't want to miss this rare opportunity to study with several of today's top artists while enjoying the outdoor-painting experience of the Golden Coast! For more information-including a full schedule, class descriptions, bios on the instructors, special evening events-and to register, visit And I'll see you there!

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Plein Air Painting Blog
Allison Malafronte

About Allison Malafronte

Allison Malafronte is the senior editor of American Artist magazines, and the project editor of  Plein Air Painting and Workshop With the Masters magazines. She is also the creative manager of the Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference ( which was launched in 2009 and is now in its third year. She is author of the Art for Thought column in American Artist magazine (also on the Artist Daily site under The Artist's Life blog) and the 2008-2010 Plein Air blogs on Artist Daily. 

4 thoughts on “Plein Air Classes at WWM 2010

  1. Hi,
    I will be attending the conference/workshop in September. Although my current schedule does not have any plein air sessions, I’ve been rethinking it. This is such a beautiful area, whether I take a workshop or not, I really would like to paint outdoors for a day.

    Has anyone taken any workshops with these instructors? Serrano’s workshop is supposedly for beginners. Would it be advisable for someone more advanced to stay away?? Any views?


  2. Hi Kathryn,

    I would encourage you to sign up for a plein air workshop with Frank. He also accepts intermediate/advanced students in his workshops, and students at last year’s WWM had a lot of positive feedback about his ability to help artists of all levels advance. Here is a link with full descriptions of what he’s teaching. Feel free to contact me with any further questions:

  3. Allison,
    Sorry to ask yo this question off topic, but how or where does someone submit an article or story idea for your magazine? I have been searching the entire website and no luck.

  4. Hello: I arrived here from your bio page where I found “Please feel free to contact me with any questions,” but could not discover how to contact you so thought I’d try here. I have a question about “American Artists” that I will not post here, rather I hope to hear from you around here (I just joined up) or at eeklon at yahoo dot com in case I never get here again. I am on of those dreadful “newbies” I hope that you are nice to. Einar