Workshops, Classes & Events


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Navigate using the arrows just beneath the calendar. Hover over a date to see an event.

Upcoming workshops are highlighted in GOLD. Studio days are PINK. Shows, exhibitions, and other events are highlighted in GREEN.



Mary Pettis

Mary welcomes students of all levels to attend her workshops, unless an advanced skill level is specified. Read Mary's letter to workshop students on this page.


A Letter to Workshop Students:

Mastering the technical side of painting is a lifetime process, so be gentle and patient with yourself and love the journey. Cherish the present moment, and try not to compare yourself with other artists.

The technical tools we explore in depth are Line, Shape, Value, Color, Edges and Texture. I believe that my role as a teacher is to help train you to analyze your impression in light of the abstract qualities of each of these tools. As you advance in your knowledge of the tools, focus shifts to fuller expression of your content, concept, or idea. To truly capture the quality of a place or a subject, you must have a feeling about it beyond its physical appearance. If you feel nothing about your subject, so will your viewer.

Great paintings begin as subjects viewed with sensitivity, insight and empathy. Your art should arise from that which fascinates and stirs you. In my workshops, it is my hope that you will experience the joy of not only creating, but also the joy of successfully conveying your message through this elegant language of paint!


This Month's Workshops & Events

Sat - Apr 01
  ASMA 17th National Exhibition - Quinlan Visual Arts Center

The American Society of Marine Artists 17th National Exhibition: Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainsville, GA from April 13, 2017 – June 3, 2017.

Sat - Apr 01
  OPM Lecture, demo and paint-out

Outdoor Painters of Minnesota Lecture and Demo followed by afternoon paint-out.

From 9am - 4pm at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN

Sat - Apr 01
  ASMA 17th National Exhbition - Academy Art Museum and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

The American Society of Marine Artists 17th National Exhibition: Academy Art Museum and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Easton, MD from December 9, 2016 – April 1, 2017.


Mon - Apr 24 -- Fri - Apr 28
  Plein Air Painting Convention & Expo - San Diego

Join me this year at The Plein Air Convention & Expo - the world's largest plein air event. It's like the Woodstock of outdoor painting! Over the week, there will be painting demonstrations on four stages, plus each day we'll go out painting and break the world record for the most plein air painters painting in one place simultaneously.  My demo, on the main stage, is on Thursday morning at 8:30am.  I am out on location painting and helping others - come and find me!

This event takes place in San Diego, California, April 24-28, 2017.  Register now at



The Artistic Anatomy of Trees,
Water, Rocks and Sky
Location: Taylors Falls, Minnesota
Dates: May 12th - 14th, 2017
Price: $375.00

In the same way that understanding human anatomy can help us to paint the figure more expressively, a knowledge of the artistic anatomy of rocks, trees, water and skies can help artists to develop a true "landscape sense", backing bold, bravura brushwork with the sound knowledge of the construction and movement of forms.

Our "The Artistic Anatomy of Trees, Water, Rocks and Sky" 3-day workshop will take place in the beautiful St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL!


Plein Air Figure in Landscape
Location: Taylors Falls, Minnesota
Dates: June 23rd - 25th, 2017
Price: $405.00 + $20.00 model fee

Have you always thought it would be fun to paint figures from life? Have you been afraid to add figures to your plein air landscapes and cityscapes? Or, are you a classically trained artist who wishes to improve your ability to grab the essentials in shorter model sessions? Here is a solution!

Join us for our "Plein Air Figure in Landscape" 3-day workshop, which takes place in the beautiful St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. Click HERE for more information. Space is limited!

To register:


Paint Italy in 2017 with Mary Pettis
Location: Cinque Terre, Italy
Dates: September 28 - October 5, 2017
Price: $2,895.00 (painter) $2595.00 (non-painter)

Join Mary for an amazing week of painting on location in the scenic Cinque Terre (5 Villages) of Italy. We’ll stay at a charming family-run hotel above bustling Monterosso (the largest of the 5 towns) and spend each day capturing the color and light of this enchanting land on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

We’ll walk, train or boat to various locations for some of the most scenic painting venues imaginable. There are broad vistas, water and boat scenes and tiny village streets for you to capture on canvas. Daily painting will focus on how to quickly gather and edit essential information in the field, accompanied by critiques and fun art discussions with Mary.

Click Here to register for this exciting painting trip.