Workshop Schedule 2017

A photo from the Saugus Library, Color Your World in Pastels! Workshop
Saugus Library Color Your World in Pastels!

Learn how to paint:  which workshop is right for you?  Here are the new workshop for 2017!  Sign up early; some workshops close a few weeks before the date shown:

February 23, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 PM  Shute Library, 781 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149  Color Your World with Pastels!  Workshop Call the Shute Library to sign up at (617) 394-2308.  Teens and adults welcome, no experience or materials needed.

March 11, 2017 10:00 – 12:00 PM   Holbrook Public Library, Holbrook, MA  2 Plymouth Street, Holbrook, MA 02343  Color Your World With Pastels!  Call Holbrook Library to Register.  Materials Included- no experience necessary!
April 22, 2017  10:00 Am – 12:00 PM  Sunderland Public Library, 20 School Street, Sunderland, Massachusetts 01375 – (413) 665 2642  Color Your World With Pastels!  Call the Sunderland Library to Register.  Materials Included- no experience necessary!

Saturday, April 29, 2017  10:00 – 2:00 PM  Essex Art Center 56 Island St., Lawrence, MA  Color Your World with Pastels.4 Hour intensive class- Materials Included.    Call Essex Art Center to Sign Up.  978-685-2343

Saturday, June 3, 2017  10:00 – 2:00 PM  Essex Art Center 56 Island St., Lawrence, MA  Go Outside and Play!.2 Hour intensive class  Setting up for success when you go outside to paint!  Tips on how to set up, materials etc.  Oil, pastel, watercolor and gouache.  .    Call Essex Art Center to Sign Up.  978-685-2343

No experience is necessary for any of these workshops or for my classes.  This is a relaxing time for you to explore what each medium does, how to use it, what the good materials are and why.  You may ask any questions.  This is not a drawing workshop so you need not already know how to draw.  These workshops are about exploring the pastels or oils and paying little attention to drawing.  You can follow along with me to do a simple painting, or you can bring a photograph that you took to work on.  (Please bring an easier photo as time will not permit an in depth painting tutorial).

I hope to see you at one of the workshops or classes!



Private, Semi Private and small group classes are held at my studio or at a location TBA.  Currently class times are Thursday 9am-11 am.  and 11:30-am – 1:30 PM  Please email me  at or call me at 978-273-8925 to register or for any questions.

Color and Light by James Gurney Book Review

Color and Light by James Gurney

“Color and Light” by James Gurney is one of my favorite “go to” art books. As most of you know, James Gurney is the author/illustrator for the Dinotopia book series. In his best selling instructional book, “Color and Light” James takes us through many helpful scenarios of how to set up our objects (or people) and light them to make it easier to paint.   James discusses and illustrates the use of light on many subjects and how to portray that in paint.  He then shows many examples of how one would apply that knowledge.

In “Color and Light”, James takes us through many diverse color schemes and clearly describes how to apply this information so anyone can understand no matter the level of painting that you are at –  from beginner to advanced painter.


I highly recommend  “Color and Light” to anyone who is starting out in art and/or in  fantasy art. You will be delighted and enlightened and will refer to this book over and over again!  color and light

James Gurney  has a blog with extremely interesting facts and instruction. He demonstrates painting in goucahe  and watercolor and shows videos of everything from his paint box as he travels to sketching on location. You can find him in the streets painting watercolors or gouache buildings and in the farms painting some of the animals. His videos are short but informative and very much worth watching repeatedly.  He is a master artist who enjoys teaching art to all levels of students.  I just can’t wait for his new book, video, blog, or DVDs come out.  I am a subscriber of his channel.

I have attended an exhibit of James Gurney’s work and it is exquisite.  I liken it to the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Photos can never do justice to the real paintings.  James proves himself over and over again to be one the modern day masters.

James is also selling downloadable instructional DVDs for very reasonable prices. You can find all of his items on his website

Sharon Morley, Artist,  December 26, 2015

You can learn to draw and paint!

Draw and paint.  You can learn it!  It is as simple as that.  The question is …. How much time are you willing to spend?

Draw and paint every day.

Sunflower, draw and paint
“Kissed by the Sun” 11×14 Oil on Canvas by Sharon Morley


I teach many oil painting and pastel painting workshops and have taught studio art classes for many years and the one thing I hear over and over again from my beginning students is “My drawing looks childish”.  “I have no ability” or better still, “I have not talent!”  “Talent!”… I love that word..  Yes, there are a few prodigies in every category in life but most successful artists are not “born” that way.  They are encouraged!

A child is taught the basic skills of learning to journey through this world,  We teach them everything from learning to read and write, knowing right from wrong, and all other sorts of necessary information.  Does a child sit down and write their name perfectly the first time?  No… there are three factors involved here.

1) They have to have instruction how to write their name. 
2) They have to WANT to write their name. 
3) They have to practice writing their name.

Those are the key factors in the success of anything!  I ask my adult students “How many of you expect to sit at a piano and play like Mozart?”  No one raises their hands.  Yet when it comes to  being an artist, they expect to be able to paint like the old masters!  Usually the artwork in museums that we adore is not the artist’s first attempt at painting.  It was years of practice with the highs and lows of trying, achieving and failing.  Then getting back on track and trying again.

People who draw well (or do anything well actually) are encouraged.  A child who is told he is a good artist at an early age will love to draw and paint.  They will do it more (practice) because they are praised for it and they like to do it.  The parents will get them art lessons so they excel faster.  And there is the cycle of success.

If you dream of being an artist or just becoming better at art, the key is to get instruction and practice!!

How many of you will become good artists?  All of you who persevere!   Do you have the will to follow your dream?

Sharon Morley, December 13, 2015


Cesar Santos’ New DVD is out!

Cesar Santos, Streamline Art Video
Secrets of Portrait Painting with Cesar Santos

Secrets of Portrait Painting with Cesar Santos

I have just finished watching the new DVD “Secrets of Portrait Painting with Cesar Santos” and I must say it is the best portrait painting DVD on the market that I have found (and I have watched a lot of videos). Cesar Santos is a very likable guy who paints world class portraits.  In this DVD from Streamline Art Video, Cesar shows us step by step how he achieves a likeness in a subject, what paint colors & brands he uses, and how he sets up his palette and more..  Throughout his demonstration which is 20+ hours long, Cesar explains what decisions he is making and his ideas on what makes a painting go from a “good painting” to a “great painting”.  In this day and age where we have social media and we see a lot of one hour paintings and unfinished work or sketches, it is such a joy to see a portrait come to such a finished product.

I am also glad that the DVD is 20 hours because you can watch small bits of it at a time (It took me a couple of weeks to view the entire video) thereby absorbing the information that Cesar so generously gives out.

Cesar narrates as he paints through the entire video with such humor and passion that it is such an awesome experience to witness.  If you are interested in learning how to classically render a portrait, this is the only DVD that you need!  It is well worth the money (think about it as having a workshop in your home that you can watch time after time – and it still costs a lot less than most workshops).

This is a “Must Have” for any serious portrait painter.  An upadate..  4.1.16 I have used the methods of Cesar’s Portrait painting Dvd in my two newest portraits.  I feel I learned a lot about seeing values in portraiture in both Oil and Pastel.  Check out my portrait page and see”The Optimist-Mike Morley” ,  “Riley”  and “Gloria”.

Eric Rhoads Founder of Streamline Art VideoFine Art Connoisseur Magazine, Plein Air Magazine, and many more ventures, has created a masterpiece DVD from a masterpiece artist. I have some other DVDs through Streamline Art Video and they are all fabulous-I will talk about them later.   Well worth the investment.  Has anyone else bought this DVD?  If so, I would love to hear your comments!

Posted by artist Sharon Morley December 3, 2015