The following is an article from a series that I am writing for the Art Association Napa Valley.
2016 New Years Resolution:
Attend a Workshop – part 3
Yosemite Art Center
Six days a week from March to October you can attend an art session in Yosemite Valley for only $10 per day. The trick is finding somewhere nearby to stay. My husband and I managed to grab the last campsite available for the 3rd week of April in Lower Pines campground near the Happy Isles shuttle bus stop. We parked our truck camper there for the week and I was able to take the shuttle bus to the Art Center.
I was pleasantly surprised to find such a nice and well stocked art studio in my favorite national park. I had confused it with the Ansel Adams photography center, but the art program has its own building full of tables and supplies right behind the Yosemite Village store.
Classes run from 9:45 am to 2pm Monday through Saturday. You are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. A different artist leads the workshop each week.
In my case, I chose to study with Juan Pena after seeing his work on his website. Each day he started with an overview of his unusual watercolor palette and color mixing. He would do a short demo and then direct us to meet outdoors in the beautiful landscape. The first day we painted some dramatic trees that framed a view of the Needle. The second and third days we painted Half Dome from a meadow by the Merced River. I decided to spend the rest of the week exploring on my own.
One thing that I was not prepared for that season is the beautiful groves of dogwoods in bloom. They were absolutely stunning. It was also quite chilly in April, so be sure to take many layers if you go eagerly or late in the year.
The Yosemite Art Center website is part of the Yosemite Conservancy organization. Look for Art Center Calendar on their page. They recommended you pre-register for the workshops, but I never saw anyone turned away. You can bring your own supplies or purchase what you need at the Art Center. You can often also contact the instructor beforehand for a materials list. I think you will find is very inspiring to study art in such a beautiful location .
Point Reyes National Seashore Association Field Institute