NEW! Simplify thru Shape, Value, and Color w/ Lon Brauer, June 17 & 18

Join award nationally recognized painter Lon Brauer in the White Mountains of NH this Summer for this 2-day plein air painting workshop!

Shape, shape, shape. When we look at something we are seeing shapes. Color, value, and shapes. It’s never about the tree, or the barn, or the bridge, or the flowers…not really. Rather it is the shapes that are presented by light hitting objects. Light and dark pattern. Get the shapes right, then you are off and running. Recognize the patterns and the thing paints itself. Remember paint-by-number? Find the shapes and paint them in.

Plein air painting is about rendering what’s in front of us.  We see it and we want to translate that into some form that we can put on canvas.  It is in the translation where the magic resides.  In this workshop I will show you ways to simplify your approach to achieve more dynamic compositions and stronger images. This will strip away some of your preconceived notions as to what makes plein air painting and replace them with fresh ways to describe the world in front of you.

This method strips away the visual baggage and opens the student up to a new-found freedom in the painting process. Your artwork will take on a dynamism and movement that only a painting can convey. I will show you ways to stretch your visual experience and how to gain confidence with your image making. Let’s find those shapes and perhaps we can make a better picture!

This is a plein air workshop so students will be outside. Lon will describe his approach thru demos each day followed up with one-on-one instruction as students give it a go with their own plein air kit.

The student will be exposed to the following:

  • The limited palette
  • Mixing colors – what are the possibilities as we expand the palette
  • Converting a subject into shapes
  • Paint application – what can a brush do
  • Cropping for better composition
  • Developing strategies when starting a painting
  •  Color and value issues
  •  Paint-by-number

This workshop is suitable for experienced as well as beginner. It is tailored primarily for oil painting but all mediums will benefit.

June 17 & 18, 9am-4pm, $365  Location TBA



MATERIALS LIST The following is what I have in mind for this workshop. This is a bare bones list. Beyond the requirements, you can fill in as you wish.

PAINTS I use Windsor & Newton Winton colors. They are considered student grade but are fine for these exercises. And they are affordable. However, you may use whatever brand you wish.  

Titanium white
India Yellow
Cadmium Lemon yellow
Dioxizine purple
Ultramarine blue
Sap green
Alizarin crimson
Cadmium red med
Cadmium orange
Ivory black

BRUSHES I like Princeton or Rosemary-Ivory (synthetics) and Rosemary Eclipse (softer synthetic)
A variety of flats or brights – 1in (12), 3/4in (8), 1/2in (6), 1/4in (4)

PALETTE KNIFE Any knife for mixing and spreading paint. We will be mixing paint.

SURFACES canvas panels or whatever surface you choose. 12x12 is a good size. 6 or 8 should be enough. Michaels has inexpensive panels.

MEDIUMS I use odorless mineral spirits for cleaning brushes as well as a medium. Occasionally I will also use Galkyd or Galkyd lite (Gamblin) as medium. I have of late also been using stand oil or linseed oil.  Feel free to use what you prefer.


 Easel – Your favorite plein air set-up (Jackson Art has a limited number of  1/2 box French easels for rent for the weekend for $35. Contact us if interested at

Palette for mixing paint
Odorless mineral spirits or your favorite solvent
Paper towels
Trash bag for rags.
Gloves if you choose
Hat for sun
Bug spray or such for mosquitoes

Lon Brauer is an American artist known for his work in figure and plein air landscape.  Born in 1955 and coming of age in the seventies, he has roots in the abstract expressionist movement. Although a representational artist he steers clear of the overtly literal. His work is a mix of the abstract and representational bringing an expressionistic use of paint and materials to create images that challenge the viewer with new perspectives.

Lon shows his work nationally. He presents numerous workshops on painting techniques and alternative methods. He lives and works with his partner, quillwork artist Djuana Tucker, and owns Lon Brauer Studios in Granite City, Illinois.

For more info visit


Cancellation Policy: We ask that you to give us fourweeks notice if you need to cancel for a full refund minus a $35 cancellation fee. Cancellations should be made by phone by calling (603) 387-3463. This provides us the opportunity to fill the space. We are sorry, but we cannot give refunds or issue credits for missed classes or no shows.  

Price: $365.00

Date: June 17, 2024

Available Spaces: 10

NEW! Palette Knife Painting En Plein Air in Jeffersonville, VT, W/ Melanie Levitt, June 29&30

Join award winning painter, Melanie Barash Levitt, for a two-day outdoor painting workshop in beautiful Jeffersonville, VT through Bryan Memorial Gallery. The focus of this workshop will be on how to paint an entire painting in oils with a palette knife creating interesting marks and textures while capturing the light and shadow of the scene. Through demonstration and individual attention, students will learn how to distill the important information from the landscape and translate it onto the canvas. Melanie will address the importance of sketching/composition, how to create depth & light in a painting, color mixing, energetic mark making, and how to choose a stain color for your scene. All this will be taught in an understandable step by step process which will lead students to improve their ability to simplify the landscape and create a dynamic painting in a short time.This class is suitable for the beginner or the intermediate student who want to loosen up and learn how to paint with a palette knife. We will meet at Bryan Memorial Gallery and then we will head outdoors. Painting locations TBD. In case of inclement weather, we will paint at the gallery. Artists at any stage of their development are welcome. Students are responsible for bringing their own supplies.
Saturday & Sunday, June 29 & 30, 10am-4pm (meet at Bryan Memorial Gallery) $300
Melanie’s Suggested Supply List
-Sketchbook & Drawing Pencils or black Sharpie
-Two to Three panels (around 12x16”):  I use Ampersand Archival board but you can use any smooth surface board. You need a hard surface to push the palette knife against. Recommended size 12x16”  and don’t go to small. You can also bring a panels sized slightly smaller or larger
-Oil Paints: Limited Palette of a Warm & Cool of each primary color
(I use Gamblin brand oil paints)
Suggested Colors:
Titanium white
Ultramarine Blue
Pthalo Blue or  colbalt blue
Cad yellow Light or Lemon yellow
Cad Yellow Medium
Cad Orange
Cad Red Light
Alizarin Crimson
Optional: Transparent Red Oxide, Yellow Ochre or any other colors you like to use

-Brushes for sketching  (I use flats/brights size 4,6,8) Bring what you have and what you like to sketch with
-Palette Knife I use a 2.5” palette knife with bent neck and pointed tip.
-Color Shaper Tools-(clay sculpting tools)  These pick up paint, I will bring a few to class
-Brush washer and odorless turpentine (Gamasol only please)
-Palette to mix on
-Paper towels ( I recommend Viva) or a box of tissues
-Plastic bag for trash
-Studio Easel with side table or plein air easel. Melanie has some French plein air easels for rent for $35 for two days if needed. Please email at if interested
-Umbrella to block sun(suggested)
-Lots of water & lunch or one can be picked up
Melanie Barash Levitt graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990. She currently lives in the White Mountains of NH and is the owner of Jackson Art Studio & Gallery.  Melanie is an award winning artist who paints in a loose, impressionistic style with a brush or a palette knife in oils. As a plein air artist, Levitt paints on location to capture the mood of the scene. Her favorite subjects are the mountains, rivers and small farms of NH and the rugged coasts of Maine. Her artwork resides is in the home of many collectors through the US, Canada and Europe. She exhibits her work in galleries and shows throughout NH, ME, VT and NY. She has been featured in Boston Chronicle (WCBV TV, ABC), NH Chronicle (WMUR 9), and has been published in various newspapers and magazines . She also has received numerous awards for her paintings in regional shows and juried events and is a member of the Salmagundi Art Club in NYC and on the staff at the 2024 Plein Air Convention in the Smoky Mountains.

Price: $0.00

Date: June 29, 2024

Available Spaces: 12

NEW! Intro to Plein Air (Outdoor) Painting w/ Melanie Levitt, July 13 & 14

Have you always wanted to set up and paint outside  in the beautiful White Mountains of NH? Join award winning painter, Melanie Levitt for a weekend workshop. In this BEGINNER outdoor oil painting workshop, students will enjoy the process of setting up an easel outdoors and painting the beautiful  landscape “en plein air.” We will meet on location TBD.  (acrylics can also be used but I suggest open acrylics that dry slower) Through demonstration and individual attention , students will learn how to distill the important information from their observation and translate it onto the canvas. Melanie will address the importance of sketching, how to create depth & light in a painting, composition, color mixing, and other tips for painting outdoors. She will do demos both days with both a brush and palette knife.

All this will be taught in an understandable step by step process which will lead students to improve their ability to see the landscape and create a finished painting in a short time. This class is suitable for the total beginner or the intermediate student who wants to learn how to paint outdoors. All levels welcome. Students will complete at least one painting each day. We rent out a limited number of French plein air easels for an additional $35 for the weekend.  We will work with a very limited palette of paints and students will be responsible for bringing their own supplies. (see list below) Small class size for lots of individual attention and lots of fun.

Saturday & Sunday,  July 13 & 14,  9am-4pm, $295  (This class is also open to high school students)

*In case of rain we will paint at our outdoor tent at Jackson Art Studio & Gallery or find another covered location

Price: $295.00

Date: July 13, 2024

Available Spaces: 7