Classes & Workshops

Class graphic

Find all class and workshop descriptions here!

Portsmouth Arts Guild classes and OPEN STUDIO SESSIONS are open to members AND non-members

 Sunday Open Studio

We will meet on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 PM. All levels and media welcome.There is no instruction but we will have a short critique following the sessions. Free for PAG members/$5 non-members. We will set up one or two still lifes, people can bring their own objects to draw or paint, bring photographs or work on whatever you wish in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. 

       Watercolor Open Studio

WC Open Studio meets on Thursday mornings from 10-12 and provides an opportunity for watercolorists of all levels to paint together, meet others and exchange ideas. $4/$5 non-members.

For more information on the Sunday Open Studio or Watercolor Open Studio contact Suzanne Lewis   401-254-1668   or


Spring 2017 Classes

Click on the link below for the full brochure, or scroll through classes below.

Spring Brochure 2017

Click here for a printable Registration Form: PAG Registration Form

New Youth Class for Ages 8-18

Sewing Class Using Machines with Traci Vaspol and Karen Katin

Participants will learn proficiency with a sewing machine, use a variety of age-appropriate techniques, and create at least one project per session that highlights a different sewing skill. Reference book suggestions will be made each session to coordinate with the topic . Projects will be differentiated to accommodate a range of learners within the group. Possible projects include a pillowcase, pencil case and stuffed animal.

Instructors: Traci and Karen have many years experience teaching sewing to all age groups in after school and other programs.

Date:   4 Fridays, March 3,10,17, 24

            Time:  4:30-6 PM

            Tuition: $100/$90 members (sewing machines and materials provided)

 Intermediate Watercolor with Lynn DeBeer

Experiment with still life, portraits, and/or abstract painting in your personal style. This course will revisit composition, sketching, color and review watercolor techniques to work in the subject of your choice. We will refer to paintings and artist that have stood the test of time, learn techniques of the masters and then develop your personal style to build on your current level and develop the style that speaks to you personally.

Instructor: Lynn DeBeer is a Fine Arts Graduate of Skidmore college and has been teaching painting and creative exploration for over 25 years. She has also been an arts administrator, a fine arts consultant and has worked with artists for over 30 years to develop and market their work.

Date:     6 Mondays, March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10       

Time:    10-12:30

Tution: $150/140 members  


Still Life and Figure with Lynn DeBeer

This studio class will concentrate on still life and figure painting. This class is open to both watercolor and acrylic artists. Lynn will help artists at all levels with tips to take their paintings to the next level. At least one session will be devoted to painting the figure. You can also switch between watercolor and acrylics if you would like to experiment with a new medium. This will be a relaxed, fun class.

Instructor: See Intermediate Watercolor above.

Date:        6 Mondays, April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22                                          

           Time:       10-12:30

            Tuition:               $150/140 members ($10 model fee to be paid to instructor)

Beginning Watercolor Painting with Elizabeth O’Connell          

Join us to experience the fun of working in watercolor! This class will introduce the beginner to watercolor painting. Using still life and photographs, we’ll explore drawing and painting techniques, mix colors, learn painting tips for watercolor and the best materials to use and engage in positive discussion of students’ work. We’ll also examine painting techniques and palettes used by the masters of watercolor, Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent.

Instructor: See Plein Air Watercolor below

      Date:           5 Fridays, March 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14

       Time:         11-2

      Tuition:     $150/140 members


Plein Air Watercolor with Elizabeth O’Connell

Let’s enjoy summer and painting together outdoors! This class will introduce artists to the methods and materials for working with watercolor. We’ll paint outdoors on gorgeous days and indoors in rainy weather. Painters who would like to review or expand their skills are invited to join us. We’ll explore drawing techniques and materials, mixing colors, painting tips, and finish a painting each week. We will visit several local sites together to paint outdoors.

Instructor: Elizabeth O’Connell studied art at Boston’s former Garland Junior College, and watercolor painting with Natalie Phanstiehl and Richard Grosvenor. She exhibits her work at local shops and at the cooperative store Made in Warren, Warren, R.I.

Date:        5 Fridays, April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26

            Time:       11-2

            Tuition:   $150/$140 members


Drawing 101 with Suzanne Lewis

Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn and improve with practice. It forms the foundation for painting and other artistic expression. Open to those who would like to learn or review basic drawing skills such as composition, value, perspective, etc. We will work in charcoal and pencil. We will work in the studio from still life objects. Teacher will give demos and individualize instruction based on skill level.

Instructor: Suzanne Lewis has a Master in Arts in Teaching from RIC and Certificate in Drawing and Painting Studies from RISD Continuing Education Program. She has been teaching at Portsmouth Arts Guild and other locations for a number of years.

            Date:            5 Tuesdays, March 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11

            Time:  9:30-12  

            Tuition: $120/110 members ($5 materials fee to be paid to instructor at first class)


Drawing 102 with Suzanne Lewis

In this class we will concentrate on drawing landscapes, buildings and boats at various locations in Portsmouth and Bristol . We will start with pencil and charcoal and also try other media, such as pen and ink and watercolor. On rainy days we will draw still lifes in the studio. Open to those with some drawing experience or basic drawing instruction.

Instructor: see above

           Date:    5 Tuesdays, April 18, 25,, May 2, 9, 16  

            Time:     9:30-12

            Tution:   $120/110 ($5 materials fee to be paid to instructor at first class)


 Drawing the Portrait with Kathy Weber

Working from a live model, we will discuss the proportions of the face and how to use light and shadow to block in the features. There will be a teacher demonstration each class. All you will need are paper, pencils, charcoal and an eraser. This class would be a good introduction to Painting the Portrait in 4 Colors (see below).

Instructor: Kathy Weber has a BFA/Painting from UMass Dartmouth. She has won numerous awards and her work has been published in American Artist Magazine. She has a background in commercial art and illustration. See

Date:   2 Wednesdays, March 15, 22

            Time:  9:30-12 noon

            Tuition:   $60/50 member (model fee of $20 to be paid to instructor at first class)



Using a limited palette of only 4 colors can simplify portrait painting. This is the palette made famous by Swedish master painter Andres Zorn, a contemporary of John Singer Sargent. First we will create a color chart where students will see how versatile and effective this group of four colors can be for painting skin and hair. Then we’ll paint from a live model. The teacher starts each class with a demonstration. Oils and acrylics welcome. Some previous drawing or painting experience, such as Drawing the Portrait (above), is recommended.

Instructor: see above

Date:   5 Wednesdays, March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26

            Time:  9-12 noon

            Tuition: $160/150 members ($130/120 returning students who have done the color chart previously) ($40 model fee to be paid to instructor at first class)   


As the rainy days of April give way to the budding blossoms of May, both Betsy and I feel rejuvenated. In this series of classes, we plan to capture the world around us, both the enthusiasm of new starts as well as the coming of summer days. We will provide calendars and prompts for writing and art work as well as a variety of materials. Collaboration is encouraged and expected.

Instructors: Raya and Betsy have collaborated for a number of years at various locations to enable students to produce personal accounts of the texture of their lives through journaling.

            Date:   4 Thursdays, May 4, 11, 18, 25

            Time:  1-3:30

            Tuition: $100/90 members


****  New Evening Classes this Spring****

 Intermediate Watercolor with Lynn DeBeer

See Description of Intermediate Watercolor above.

           Date:      5 Wednesdays, April 20, 27, May 3, 10, 17

            Time:                6-8 PM

            Tuition:   $100/$90 members

 Open Figure Studio with Wayne Quackenbush

Join this 6 week open figure studio. Open to all media and skill levels. No instruction-simply an opportunity to paint or draw from live models in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. The models may be clothed or nude. There will be a series of short and longer poses depending on the wishes of the group.

           Date:   6 Tuesdays, March 21, 28, April 11, 28, May 9, 16     

           Time:   6-9 PM

           Tuition:  $70/60 for PAG members (tuition is to pay models)

 Guest Artist


Have you always wanted to paint in the out of doors but were afraid to try? Conquer your fear in this fun, low key class and experience the joy of plein air painting. In this course, we will study the techniques of plein air painting, including the effects of light and how to translate that onto our canvas. In this class, there is no “correct” way to paint and no such thing as a mistake. Open to all levels. Oils and acrylics.

Instructor: Mary Giammarino is drawn to the beauty of nature and plein air painting. Having discovered the “Cape Cod School of Art”, she has returned to Provincetown to paintevery spring since 1989. She teaches on Cape Cod, Vermont and on trips to Italy. She is represented by the Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown and the Elizabeth Rowley Gallery in Orleans, MA. See her work at

Date: Saturday-Sunday, May 13,14

            Time:  10-4 PM

            Tution: $250/225 members



Art Lessons For Young Artists

with Joanne Murrman

This Saturday morning class will be geared toward children who want more art in their life. It will include a variety of painting, drawing, and collage projects. Materials, techniques and styles will compliment the student’s school experience. Each student will explore his or her own manner of expression. Topics include simple perspective, portrait and figure drawing, and pastel still-life.

Art Lessons For Young Artists

Dates: 5 Saturdays, Jan. 7-Feb 4

Time:      9-11:00

Location: Portsmouth Arts Guild

Tuition: $95/$85 members ($5 materials fee)

Ages:     7-11

(for information or to register please contact


Instructor: Joanne Murrman is an experiences artist and art teacher with a BFA from Mass College of Art and a M.Ed from Boston University. She has 40 years of experience in teaching K-12 art.


For more information contact or call Suzanne Lewis at 254-1668



PAG Cancellation and Refund Policy:

The Portsmouth Arts Guild reserves the right to cancel classes with insufficient enrollment. Refunds of 100% if class is canceled; 80% for withdrawal at least one week before start of the first class. No refunds after one week before the start of your class. Adult classes are open to ages 15 and up with permission of instructor. If student is a minor, parent/guardian will be asked to sign a waiver on the first day of class.