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Outdoor Painting

"Sam Payne has clear insight into art and the process of making art. In his enjoyable classes, one learns easily. A very rewarding experience in art."
Spring 2023 Student

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Class Description : Outdoor Painting is a fun loose space where we explore painting and the landscape for 3 hours a week. Every week we meet up at a different location within Monterey County. As everyone is at a different level and using various media, I will provide loose in class and optional hw assignments based on skill set. In each semester I try to include a visit to a  contemporary local artist studio, a painting demonstration by an artist or a visit to an exhibition. I would also like to try to have a showing of some sort at least one time a year of work made in the class.  If you have a suggestion of an artist or studio you would like to visit or a space where we can have our "pop-up" show let me know.

Fall Session



9:30 - 12:30PM

Pacific Grove Adult School

1025 Lighthouse Ave.

Pacific Grove, CA 93950


Sam's Cell 914-318-4838

Bring appropriate clothing - Weather link below.

Next Class:


Earthbound Farm Stand

7250 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923


Photos from Class


Sam's Teaching Feed


4/12/23: Make a copy of a painting. This is a classic assignment and there are many ways to go about it. I suggest for this rendition that we choose a painting that is in a form that we would like to emulate. Sometimes there are paintings we love but they are not something we would imagine ourselves making! I also suggest taking a moment to pinpoint what it is about the painting you are copying that you would like to learn about. Is it the way the grass is painted? Is it the composition? Is it the color? It is important to break down the learning process into pieces. 

For the purpose of this assignment each student should assess for themselves a definitio
n of copy. This can be a loose rendition of the model or it can be a monochromatic version of the model. You could think about it as an improvisation on a melody. It should be a healthy dose of fun and pushing your boundaries. 



3/22/23: Try a smaller piece ( a study) or larger piece if feeling brave where every mark is the same size.
This project is in response to the issue of drawing verse painting.
If the student is wishing to make something that speaks paint this exercise is very helpful.
​ There is a propensity to fall back on drawing sometimes to distinguish forms and space especially in the complications of the landscape and with a medium such as water color where the preliminary is often sketched and the follow up with paint ends up far too often being a scenario of filling in. 
The type of mark you choose to repeat can be a simple 1/2 inch drag of the brush or it can be a shape like a  half circle.
Keep patient and slowly build the painting with these moves.
 This is similar to pointalism painting and artists such as Seurat. But the marks should be larger than these examples so as not to lose steam. 


Next Class:


Earthbound Farm Stand

7250 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Next Class:


Casa Del Oro
210 Oliver St. 
Montery CA 93940

Meet in gardens and courtyards. Corner of Scott and Pacific St. 

Next Class:


Bird Rock Vista Point

Bird Rock Rd. 
Pebble Beach CA 93953

Give name and Address Given in email for access at gates. 

Next Class

Next Class


Restroom, Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

36.636746433433444, -121.93383432521824


Schedule : Subject to change - 

Next Class: 9/27/23

Location: PGAS Meet in Art Room

Next Class: 10/4/23
Location: Toro Park, 501 Monterey-Salinas Highway 68, Salinas, CA 93908

See map of park here: After entry kiosk pull right at second parking lot and we will meet there! Map calls it Lot 5 Sycamore Picnic area. Call me if any questions:)


George Washington Park             

Meet on Sinex St Corner of 700 Alder Ave.   

Pacific Grove 93950



Lovers Point Park
631 Ocean View Blvd Pacific Grove 9395


Meet at upper grass picnic area

36.62599862537744, -121.91675733558242


Casa Del Oro

210 Oliver St. 

Montery CA 93940


Meet in gardens and courtyards. Corner of Scott and Pacific St. 


25937 Colt Lane Carmel Valley, CA 93924

Please take note of specific directions that will be sent by email as the turn  off can be missed off of Laureles Grade.


Earthbound Farm : Meet Under Pavilion               

 750 W.  Carmel Valley Rd. 93923       


No Class, PGAS Closed.

8/16/23: Larkin House, 464 Calle Principal, Monterey, CA 93940

Larkin House Garden464 Calle Principal Monterey, CA 93940

8/23/23: Visiting Artist : Walk through of exhibition with artist in gallery show. Seaside/Sand City. 


Red Woods. Santa Lucia Preserve.

Meet at gate as group at 9:45 and we will drive together. We will have drive-in access so that we will not have to walk far from vehicles. . 


Caledonia Park

141 Caledonia Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Meet Near Basketball Court.
Be there or be square :)

9/13/23  LAST CLASS

(Last Class - Register For FALL Session on 9/13/23 - First Class of FALL on  9/27/23 :

I also teach Color and Collage Workshop and Mexican Art History and Introduction  to Painting

Class Notes

4/12/23: What a windy time! There are a couple topics I would like to mention.
The concept of detail and the particular:
There was a class member today who asked about detail and mentioned smaller brushes and wanting to create a realistic photo like painting. I suggest we think about detail not as something small but rather as something particular. In this kind of painting if we pay  attention to a subtle and specific  shift in color or the way the curve of a tree meets the sky rather than a detail such as a blade of grass we will often be surprised at the sense of detail the painting can convey.
To make a painting  it is helpful to say to yourself, "this edge of this tree branch next to this edge of this hill" rather than simply, " I am painting this tree." The force of the reality of an image in this type of painting is contextual. 

Volume and shadow: 
A shadow can help tell a story about volume and form. As a painter you can use it as a means for solving the situation in your painting. A shadow can be used to act as a horizontal band across the picture plane beneath some row of trees and in this wat be used to set up a series of layers of one thing behind another  that create space. Or it can be used as a puzzle piece where it describes volume of a thing or a place with other pieces of color and value. A painter can push a shadow in both these directions at the same time and can become aware of sliding it one way or the other. 




Suggested Easel from a student in class:


Misc. Resources:

Rackstraw Downes Article and Movie

Secret Gardens of Monterey

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