Saturday, March 26, 2016

Albert Handell Mentoring Program Report

Albert Handell discusses his painting process
Some of our scenery for the week

Master painter Albert Handell returned to Sedona, Arizona, this past week to conduct another in a very popular series of mentoring workshops for landscape painters.  I've had the honor of assisting him in three of these programs, which cover not just advanced painting topics, both studio and en plein air, but also career-building advice.  This is a very useful program for painters desiring to jump to the next level in their painting and also for those interested in pursuing galleries and collectors.

Albert's pastel box
Albert's traveling oil palette
The Master Mixes

If you haven't had the pleasure of being part of his mentoring program, it is a true immersion experience.  After a Sunday evening meeting and an ice-breaker dinner, we met each morning at 9 and, with stops for lunch and dinner, went until about 9 each evening through Friday.  Mornings consisted of a full painting demonstration by Albert in oil or pastel.  After lunch, participants painted in the field as he went from easel to easel offering guidance.  Just about everyone crammed in as much painting as they could until sunset.  We painted in some beautiful spots with a variety of subjects:  Graceful sycamore trees, old gnarled cottonwoods, red rock mountains and cliffs, and rushing creeks were some of the motifs we enjoyed.  One morning, Albert had a paint-along, and we were in the field the entire day.  Each evening, we met in the studio for critiques and career-building talk (although this also happened freely throughout the day.)  Friday evening, participants brought in all the work from the week plus a selection of recent paintings, and Albert gave each of us a direction for moving forward.  For an even deeper immersion, some of the students lodged at the studio.

Rock demonstration

Lecture on oil palette colors

Painting sycamore trees

There's a great deal more I could say about this program, but I'll let the pictures speak for me.  By the way, this session filled up early, and we already have signups for the next one.  If you missed the Sedona program this time around, Albert is offering it again this fall (November 6-12, 2016) and again next spring (March 12-18, 2017).  For full details, please visit

Here are three of my paintings from the week.  Although I've worked with Albert many times, I always learn something new, and I always enjoy his generosity.

A Steep Climb 12x16 oil/canvas by Michael Chesley Johnson

Old Cottonwood 18x12 pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson

Sycamore Study 12x9 pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson

No comments: