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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

Class Description : Outdoor Painting is a fun loose space where we explore painting and the landscape for 2.5 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. If you have a suggestion of an artist or studio you would like to visit let me know.

Summer Session

June 24, 2023 - Sept. 8 2023 


10 - 12:30PM

Summer Session starts

June 24th

Register here on June 14th!

June 14 Registration for PGAS Summer session begins.

PGAS Summer Session 

June 24th - Sept 18th (11 Week Session)

Pacific Grove Adult School

1025 Lighthouse Ave.

Pacific Grove, CA 93950


Sam's Cell 914-318-4838

Bring appropriate clothing - Weather link below.


San Carlos Beach

(Last Class)

Next to Coast Guard Pier (Break water Cove)

At the end of Cannery Row (Pay for Parking)

Meet near the beach area.

(If raining meet in Natural History Museum in Pacific Grove for sketching)


Photos from Class

References from Class


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. 



Schedule : Subject to change - 

3/22/23: Raining = In-doors.  Art Room Adult School

3/29/23:  Jewel Park/ If Raining sketch in Natural History Museum
                Meet near Gazebo. Corner of Forest Ave and Central Ave Pacific Grove 

4/5/23: Earthbound Farm
                    Meet Under Pavilion
                     750 W.  Carmel Valley Rd. 93923

4/12/23:   Make-Up Class: 
                     Palo Corona Regional Park 
                     Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923              

4/19/23:  Lovers Point Park               
               Meet at upper grass picnic area               
               631 Ocean View Blvd Pacific Grove 93950

4/26/23: 25937 Colt Lane
Carmel Valley, CA 93924

5/3/23: Cancelled

5/10/23: George Washington Park             
               Meet on Sinex St Corner of 700 Alder Ave.
               Pacific Grove 93950


Gallery Conversation and painting setup demonstration


Kate Warthen

12 PM 

Pacific Grove Art Center, 568 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950


10AM – 11:30 Paint Outside

Jewell Park

Pacific Grove.

Meet at Gazebo


Cooper-Molera Adobe

506 Munras Ave. Monterey

Meet in courtyard in the back of Alta Bakery

Park on street or nearby lots such as Trader Joes(Careful of 1hr ticket).

(If raining meet in Natural History Museum in Pacific Grove for sketching)

5/31/23   San Carlos Beach (Last Class)

                 Next to Coast Guard Pier (Break water Cove)

                 At the end of Cannery Row (Pay for Parking)

                 Meet near the beach area.

(Last Class - Register For Summer Session on June 14th - First Class of Summer on June 24th:

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. 





Rackstraw Downes Article and Movie


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