A few years ago I decided I wanted to re-learn painting, so I started looking for lessons in San Francisco. Surprisingly, aside from going back to school, I couldn’t find any serious, consistent classes in the city. So I broadened my search and discovered Marin Art School in Novato. I’ve been going for over two years now and it has been exactly what I needed: drop-in, affordable classes, with the intensity I craved.
Founded in 2005 by Dorallen Davis and Jane Heaphy, the school focuses on the colorist/impressionist method. And I have to say, painting this way has really unlocked a lot of “color mysteries” for me. I mainly work with Dorallen—and while she can be tough, I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s a very accomplished painter (as is Jane) and I find the drive up from the city worth every mile.
MAS is currently going through some changes, reducing the size of the studio space, but the schedule remains the same. Classes range from plein air (above) to figure drawing/painting and still lifes. There’s also no shortage of demos and proverbs (“Practice makes permanent!”) from Dorallen. Or appearances from the two live-in cats (Monet and Van Gogh) who seem to be enjoying all the fun props.
(Portrait paintings and framed art by Dorallen Davis. Paintings leaning on the shelf by students.)