Painting Intensive for the Experienced Painter


 Do you consider yourself a landscape painter with some experience but feel you aren’t improving? Then this program is for you! Michael invites you to join him in a one-on-one experience in his New Mexico studio and in the field where he’ll work with you to improve your skill. After a preliminary consultation, he’ll create a custom program to bring your craft to the next level. Includes consultations after the program for three months. (You are responsible for your own meals and lodging.)



Now booking for Fall 2023.  Contact Michael to talk about possibilities for a week.

Payment Details

    • Cost of the intensive is USD $700
    • Half payment of $350 USD required at signup. Payment is non-refundable unless your reserved place can be filled by another participant.
    • Payment may be made by check or Zelle.


1. What’s the Private Painting Intensive Like?

Based in northern New Mexico at Michael’s winter studio, this program is for experienced painters only. After a preliminary consultation with Michael to create a custom program, you’ll work with him side-by-side, one-on-one both in the field and in the studio. Includes consultations after the program for three months.

This is not a workshop for people with mobility issues. You will need to be able to walk a distance (usually less than a half-mile) on sometimes-uneven ground with your equipment and carry your own gear. There may not be picnic tables or benches available, so if you need a seat or a table, you should consider bringing your own. Make sure your wear sturdy shoes; sandals are unsafe and also present a danger of sunburn. Restrooms may not always be nearby. Studio is on the second floor, so you will need to handle stairs.

The ideal candidate for this program is a serious and experienced student of painting. You should be comfortable with your chosen medium, materials and gear such that you can paint on your own; part of the program may involve periods of independent activity in which I give you assignments that I will later critique.

2. Can I bring a friend or spouse?

Friends or spouses are welcome to join us in the field but not in the studio.

3. Do I need a car?

Yes, you will need a car, as you may wish to explore on your own, especially with the optional assignments. The studio is a little over 2 hours by car from the Albuquerque Sunport (ABQ.) On the drive from Albuquerque, there are many things to see, and you may want to explore the area.

4. What about travelling with paints?

Oil paints you can either ship ahead or put in your checked luggage. You shouldn’t have any problem with them, since they are “artist’s oil colors” made with vegetable oil and have a very high flash point. However, don’t take mediums (e.g. Galkyd) or solvents (e.g. Gamsol), all of which are highly flammable. These you will need to ship ahead. There are no art supply stores nearby. The closest is in Albuquerque. (I will have some Gamsol on hand if you need it.)

Pastels you should take in your carry-on luggage. Put them in a container that will be easy for security to open. Make sure the container can be easily secured again so your pastels don’t go spilling down the aisle.

If you need to ship your materials ahead, you are welcome to. Let me know, and I will provide the shipping address.

5. What’s the weather like?

The studio sits at 7000 feet. Nighttime temperatures will be cold, but in the daytime in the sun it will most likely be comfortable with layers. A warm hat and gloves are advised. We do have a studio if it is too cold, but we will aim to get out to at least gather reference material.

Do understand that 7000 feet is considered high elevation. Most people have no trouble with the elevation other than being a little short of breath when hiking. This soon passes after a day or two. However, if you have heart issues, please consult your doctor first.

6. What if I’m not doing oil or pastel but using some other medium?

Michael works in oil, pastel and gouache. Because of the nature of the workshop, these are recommended.

7. What about lodging and meals?

You are responsible for your own meals and for lodging. There is plenty of lodging nearby. Here are some suggestions on AirBnB:

    • Wild Sheep Place – 5 miles from studio – beautifully scenic location, accessed off Togeye Canyon Road (which is dirt, so you may want 4WD vehicle)
    • Quiet Retreat in Beautiful Ramah Valley – 0.5 mile from studio – right in town

The following are a bit further afield:

    • El Morro RV Park – – 13 miles from studio – RV parking as well as cute cabins to rent, near El Morro National Monument, plus restaurant on premises
    • Mountain Harmony Retreat – – 16 miles from the studio – RVs to rent for glamping! Plus RV parking and a restaurant on premises and B&B
    • The Inn at Halona – – 23 miles from studio – in the center of Zuni Pueblo
    • Cimarron Rose B&B – – 29 miles from studio – near the Continental Divide
    • Also check out AirBnB – – Search for places in or close to Ramah, New Mexico. Studio is near the center of town.

8. What’s the daily schedule?

Each day will consist of a half-day (4 to 5 hours) working with Michael one-on-one plus appropriate assignments on your own for the rest of the day (you would have access to Michael during the non-program time for consultation); depending on the situation, some days may be full days as field trips to more distant locations.

9. Can I get wi-fi access?

Yes! The studio has wi-fi as well as cell service. (T-Mobile works best.) Outside of town, however, cell service may be spotty. There is no landline at the studio.

10. What should I expect?

Read the workshop description carefully, and if you have specific questions or concerns, please ask Michael.

11. Where can I get more information about the New Mexico area?

Nearby are the Zuni Pueblo, El Morro and El Malpais National Monuments, Ancient Way Cafe, the Old School Gallery and the Bandera Ice Caves.  Here’s a really good website with lots of information about the area:

12. What’s a good way to prepare for the program?

Michael will customize the one-on-one private intensive with you and give you recommendations to prepare. Best, of course, is to keep painting! And to think about what you would like to accomplish in your week.

13. What about bad weather days?

We have a great studio to work in.

14. What are the post-program consultations like?

Michael offers three one-hour Zoom sessions over the following three months (one a month) in which you can ask questions, get feedback on recent work, and so on.  See the Zoom Mentoring page.

15. Can I get a supply list?

Michael will be working in oil, pastel or gouache, depending on your needs. Here is a general supply list. After the initial consultation, Michael may recommend something different.

7. Can I get a supply list?

For retreats, Michael doesn’t require participants to bring anything other than what they usually take for plein air painting.  However, here is his basic list for oil and pastel.