Classes & Workshops

  • "Cynthia is an extraordinarily gifted and skilled teacher. Watercolor as a medium has a notorious reputation of being difficult, tempestuous even…Cynthia makes watercolor painting fun and very approachable. She can teach to students of all skill levels - from very beginner to long-time practitioners. Her classes are marked by her incredibly generous approach to sharing her deep passion for art and her broad knowledge of all aspects of the processes of painting. Come to her classes prepared to learn! I am continuously amazed at the amount of material she packs into every class and yet she maintains a light-hearted and fun approach.

    One of the areas where Cynthia’s skills are particularly in evidence are her gentle yet detailed critiques. If you struggle with not liking your work, not knowing where to go next with a piece, or not knowing what is “wrong” ….this is where you will likely find a great deal of helpful assistance. Cynthia helps identify things in a piece that our eyes often miss due to our inexperience or general errors due to our long hours spent looking at the same piece.

    Cynthia’s broad skills and uniquely knowledgeable approach to teaching has brought me many enriching and enjoyable experiences painting with watercolors."

    - Lynn Grasamkee

  • "Focused, resourceful, and intuitive, Cynthia accommodates a range of art levels and skill sets. The beginner and seasoned artist can explore techniques in ways fitting for each one. Sharing among classmates further evolves in critiques, and usually by the end of the class, a warm camaraderie has grown.

    Being in one of Cynthia's classes is somewhat like going on a well-planned adventure. Guided by a solid itinerary, fortified with lectures and demonstrations, the group embarks together on an exploration that is guaranteed to have its lighthearted and spontaneous moments as well as assignments that require patience, practice, and concentration. When the journey's done, each artist has expanded abilities, a fuller tool kit, and the pleasure of greater confidence."

    - Carolyn Swift

  • "Cynthia is not only a multitalented artist but a consummate educator.  Every one of her lessons is a gem.  Her students are treated to a perfect balance of art history, theory, demonstration, hands-on practice...and FUN!  It's obvious that she spends a great deal of time and thought preparing for each class.

    Cynthia has mastered the "art" of online instruction and shifts seamlessly between prepared slides, clear views of demonstrations and images of her students' work.

    The greatest treat is how generous Cynthia is with her time.  Whether during class or a specially scheduled critique session, Cynthia offers comments that are always constructive and respectful, and she encourages her students to offer the same.  What results is a positive, collaborative and enjoyable experience for all"

    - Susan Chollar

  • “Cynthia is a wonderful artist and a generous teacher.  I have taken several of her classes and can say she takes her students seriously.  She meets you where you are in your skill level and starts with the basics everyone should know. At the same time she is creative in presenting challenges for those ready to move ahead.  No one gets lost in the shuffle.  Everyone’s understanding of the material is addressed individually.   She is always well prepared, with visuals, demonstrations, exercises to improve skills, new materials to try, and books to read.  There’s no pressure,  just a wealth of information for you to use as your time and interest permits.  She shows you the path to becoming a better artist.”

    - Janet Platen

  • "After not picking up a paint brush in over 40 years, I was introduced to Cynthia's classes.  Studying with her has been a transformative experience. She expertly taught me watercolor from a novice level to a mastery of the techniques. Her depth of knowledge and kind but demanding teaching style got me out of my comfort zone to explore color theory, composition, and values that I can apply to all art disciplines, not just watercolor.  She has a great sense of humor and a more than generous spirit.  It has been a joy learning from her.

    - Patti Wilson

  • “I took a few journaling classes with Cynthia and now I have a great journal about journaling.  Not only can I look back and remember the exercises I did and the techniques and tools that I experimented with, but I have pages of notes regarding authors, artists, art supplies, and all sorts of information regarding color, format, process and composition. After that I took her classes on gouache and watercolor landscapes and found them as enjoyable and productive.   It was easy to see that there was a lot of planning and preparation for each class but Cynthia was also open to feedback from the class in terms of what individuals were interested in around a topic.Being in her class was a pleasure and helped my knowledge base and confidence tremendously.”

    - Beverly Flemming

  • "I want to share my enthusiasm and appreciation of Cynthia's encouraging and skillful approach to sharing her love of art. I've taken many group classes as well as private lessons with her. Cynthia is always very prepared with organized, clearly thought out lessons. She is respectful of each student's artistic vision, skill level and learning style. I started out a beginning student and now I am able to create paintings that I feel proud of."

    - Aviva Longinotti

Painting The San Juan Islands

Seascapes - En Plein Air

09-13-2023 11:00 am - 10-04-2023 11:00 am
Seascapes - En Plein Air

En Plein Air - Santa Cruz Coast

Seascapes in Watercolor 

4 Week Series - Live & in Person, on Location

Wednesdays - September 13 to October 4, 2023

11am to 1pm 

Additional Online Critique: Tuesdays 3pm 

$295 per person

Limit to 10 students

This 4 week plein air series class will offer students the opportunity to explore an expanded watercolor palette and technique repertoire designed for seaside exploration.  Meeting together and strictly following social distancing protocols, we will explore several beautiful local coastal spots. Crashing ocean waves, sea bluffs, rocky coastlines, serene beach scenes, boats and floats and more!

Locations/Schedule will be provided upon registration.

We are no longer accepting registration for this event


Small Group Critique Fall 2023

09-14-2023 - 11-09-2023
Small Group Critique Fall 2023

By limiting these sessions to no more than  6  students, we have the luxury of time to explore the work completed each month.  Offered in a 3 month block, each student has the opportunity to take in and act upon gentle suggestions to show growth and development in their work over time. As with all my classes, recordings will be available for later review. 

Fall 2023 - Thursdays;  September 14, October 12, November 9; 3pm to 4pm Pacific Time.

Sorry, the event is now full and we could not accept more registration


Expressive Landscapes in Watercolor

10-18-2023 - 10-25-2023
Expressive Landscapes in Watercolor

Online via the Winslow Art Center

Wednesdays; October 18 & 25

10am to 12pm Pacific Time

This 2-day workshop will explore an exciting approach to watercolor landscape painting. This experimental technique produces wonderfully ethereal and liminal effects, with no two paintings the same. Each day will cover instruction/demonstration and practice time for creating exciting and expressive landscapes.


Fantastic Beetles

11-08-2023 - 12-06-2023
Fantastic Beetles

Dates: Wednesdays, November 8-December 6, 2023 (no class November 22)
Time: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific Time, 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time, 6:00-8:00 PM London Time
Critique Sessions: Tuesdays, November 14-December 12, 1:00 PM Pacific, 4:00 PM Eastern, 9:00 PM London Time
Level: All
Medium: Watercolor & ink

It’s reported there are over 350,000 known species of beetles in the world. Long been prized by collectors due to their variety in shape, size and gorgeous coloration and patterning; beetles’ alien beauty have also been a fascination for artists. In this class, we will spend 4 weeks exploring how to illustrate a few of these remarkable critters while learning a variety of watercolor and ink/bleach (!) techniques. Suitable for all skill levels.


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