Within 1 week of registering for a class online, you should receive a personalized confirmation letter with information about where to meet for the class and what to bring. If you DO NOT receive this email, please contact our office at (520) 883-3024 or email arts@desertmuseum.org.

 
FALL SESSION I
Image
Take it to the Finish Line
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
October 9, 16, 23, 30 November 6, 13, 27 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Rachel Ivanyi
Fee:
$300 museum members/$350 nonmembers
Work alongside Rachel Ivanyi as you create (and FINISH!) your own art project. Come with a few ideas in mind, or let Rachel help you pick a project in the media of your choice. Rachel will be showing her personal art process as well as providing guidance and support. Join us for an inspiring studio space, professional mentorship, and the company of other artists, to complete that art you’ve been thinking about.
Bonus: Periodic animal and botanical visitors will offer inspiration!
 
FALL SESSION II
Watercolor Painting: Composing with Negative Shapes
Friday, Saturday 10am – 4pm
November 9, 10
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee:
$125 museum members/$175 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Pencil I or equivalent
The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition…and it can be a totally freeing springboard from which to develop a painting. The Japanese word "ma" is sometimes used for this concept, for example in garden design: the space between elements that reveal the subject. Isaac Stern described music as "that little bit between each note - silences which give the form”. In an amazingly fun way, we will try our hand at some easy techniques that have us working from the background forward to create gorgeous paintings. No watercolor experience necessary, but experienced painters welcome to come experiment - guaranteed fun for all!
 
Flight School: Photographing Birds in Flight
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 9am – 3pm
November 9, 10, 11
Instructor: Sharon Schafer
Fee:
$175 museum members /$225 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Previous photography experience and working knowledge of your DSLR camera
This more advanced photography workshop will teach you about the habits and adaptations of the magnificent raptors that grace our skies. The class also provides clear instruction in the challenging art of photographing birds in flight. Emphasis will be on capturing images of birds in flight with a large portion of the class dedicated to an on-site field experience. Time is also set aside to learn the basics of properly processing images and reviewing and critiquing the final results. Participants are required to have a DSLR and at least a 300mm telephoto lens along with a good understanding of the manual control of it.
 
Zentangle® on Desert Gourds
Saturday, Sunday 10am – 4pm
November 10, 11
Instructor: Gale Sherman
Fee:
$150 museum members/ $200 nonmembers
Prequisite: Experience drawing Zentangle® patterns on paper.
Explore drawing Zentangle® patterns on locally grown gourds using black, brown, red, white and other inks. Learn about selecting and preparing gourds as well as techniques for working on their surface. All materials are included in the class fee.
 
Journaling: Creative Touches
Mondays 9am – 12pm
November 12, 26 December 3, 10, 17
*This class skips November 19
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Get out your journal or sketchbook. Freshen up your drawing skills; choose your own theme or subject. If nature is your passion, explore and capture the wonder and beauty of the Southwest. But it’s not just about nature! You can concentrate on any subject—or subjects—that interest you. The real fun is in experimenting with a variety of materials, techniques, and approaches to add color, interest, and excitement to your sketchbook or journal pages.
 
Color Mixing with Colored Pencil
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
November 13, 27 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I or equivalent
Is choosing the right color the most challenging aspect of colored pencil for you? Deciding what colors to layer together to build the color you want? Finding the combination that creates a color match? Unlock the secrets in this class as you work with limited palettes. Learn how color works to develop rich, glorious, and vibrant mixes. Principles apply to any color medium. Predict your color mixes with confidence and never be intimidated again!
 
Colored Pencil on Black
Tuesdays 1pm – 4pm
November 13, 27 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I or equivalent
Discover the richness and power of the colored pencil on black as you explore the dark side of color and work on a black surface. First evaluate your color palette and experiment with how color reacts on black paper. It won’t be anything like colored pencil on white paper! Then learn how to predict color in the lower values and apply your knowledge to create compelling compositions that glow with elegant color.
 
Color Mixing: Agave Inspired!
Tuesdays 9am – 12pm
November 13, 27 December 4, 11, 18
*This class skips November 20
Instructor: Susan Morris
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Agaves are such an interesting plant and have so many wonderful characteristics and uses that are special just to them . . . and they have their own individual coloring too! In fact many of our desert colors hardly resemble “green.” In this class, we’ll be getting some specialized recipes and learning key principles of how to make your greens match this beautiful desert.  Instructor demonstrations will be in watercolor, but you may use your medium of choice.
 
Outside the Box: Adventures in Abstract and Nonobjective Painting
Wednesdays 9am – 12pm
November 14, 28 December 5, 12, 19
Instructor: Rick Wheeler
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
This class provides an opportunity to explore an intuitive approach to painting. Part of the technique requires a willingness to follow one's instincts with regards to combining color and shape, while pushing your work towards abstraction. The instructor will provide several examples of how to start such a project. Acrylic is our medium. Take a chance, and look for the happy accidents.
 
Scratchboard as Mixed Media
Wednesdays 1pm – 4pm
November 14, 28 December 5, 12, 19
Instructor: Rick Wheeler
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
By definition when one medium is used in combination with another medium it’s termed “mixed media.” Many scratchboard users combine colored inks, watercolor, pastels, or watercolor pencils with scratchboard, forming a mixed media. This class will introduce you to adding traditional oil paint with either watercolor or inks, thereby creating a triangular mixed media. This is a technique that is rarely seen, and one the instructor has perfected in his own search for more originality in his use of scratchboard. Discover the variable looks and techniques that can be achieved by combining transparent and opaque mediums in a mixed media format. The instructor will provide his own photographs to work from, but also encourages students to bring a photo of their own choosing, preferably a photo of their own or one they’ve been given permission to use.
Love Stinks: Sonoran Desert Skunks
Thursdays 9am – 12pm
November 15, 29, December 6, 13, 20
*This class skips November 22
Instructor:  Rachel Ivanyi
Fee: $170 museum members/$220 nonmembers
Meet the Desert Museum’s Fab Four! Arizona is the only state with four species of skunk and you will get to know all of them in person during this class. Celebrate the biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert while you discover and express your individual art making processes while taking time to study these loveable mammals. You will be exposed to a variety of seeing and art making that you may not have experienced in the past. The instructor will offer both natural history and expressionistic viewpoints. Bring your medium of choice and be open-minded to trying something new. Don’t worry, the skunks won’t spray you, but they will inspire you!
 
Colors of the Desert in Colored Pencil
Thursdays 9am – 12pm
November 15, 29 December 6, 13, 20
*This class skips November 22
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I or equivalent
Mauve, sage, slate blue, ochre, terra cotta, periwinkle, henna, burnt carmine...you’ll find all these colors—and more—in the desert of the Southwest. In this class the main emphasis is on COLOR. Color combinations and formulas will be provided to get you started. Then concentrate on an area that fascinates you—desert plants, animals, landscape elements—observe, record, and ultimately capture your subject in the glowing colors of the desert
 
Developing Textures with Colored Pencil
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm
November 15, 29 December 6, 13, 20
*This class skips November 22
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$160 museum members/$210 nonmembers
Texture—the way things feel: rocks, tree bark, leaves, flower petals, yarn, string, fabric, stuffed animals, leather, bricks, rusty metal, weathered wood… the list goes on and on. An understanding of texture and pattern is essential for creating realistic surfaces. Plan to observe textures, identify the light source, evaluate shadows, build color and recreate values. Keep a record of your observations as you explore the rich textures around you and develop them with colored pencil.
 
Behind the Scenes Photowalk
Friday 9am – 3pm, Saturday 7:30 am – 11:30am
November 16, 17
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee
: $155 museum members/$205 nonmembers
A professional photographer and staff animal keeper join forces to create two days of exciting picture taking opportunities. This class is for photography enthusiasts of all skill levels no matter what kind of camera you have. Lots of opportunities to learn, take pictures, ask questions and experience the Desert Museum from the inside out!

Bring your camera, extra memory cards, charged batteries, desert walking shoes, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and water! You may walk a mile or more each day! Join us for a unique experience that has students returning again and again! Learn about animal photography coupled with an up-close experience of how things work behind the scenes. Take some great pictures, make some new friends, and have a lot of fun!
 
Focus on Agaves: Nature Journaling
Saturday, Sunday 9am – 12pm
November 17, 18
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee: $60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
Celebrate the Desert Museum’s agave garden fine art style. In this workshop you will focus on the families of agaves: learning as you draw and analyze the patterns of growth, varied colors, leaf structures and details of each species. Discover the interdependence of human and animal life around these unique desert plants as you listen to an ASDM docent lecture and practice drawing/painting living specimens on the museum grounds within the agave garden
 
Interchangeable Lens Camera Crash Course
Saturday, Sunday 9am – 12pm
November 17, 18
Instructor: Robert Renfrow
Fee: $60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
If you have a camera that you can take the lens off of, then you have an interchangeable lens camera! These types of cameras have unique settings not found on most “point and shoot” type cameras but they can be confusing to understand. This class will explain which primary settings and controls are the most important to know about and how to use them. What is “depth of field” and how is it controlled? How do f-stops, shutter speeds and ISO all work together? The importance of resolution and sensor size, lenses and lot’s more will be discussed in beginner friendly terms. Get the most out of your interchangeable lens camera by taking full advantage of its many robust features, after all, you paid for them!
 
Critter Close Ups: Macro Animal Portraits
Sunday 9am – 3pm
November 18
Instructor: Kenny Don
Fee:
$65 museum members/$115 nonmembers
This is not, "HONEY I SHRUNK YOUR PICTURE"! In this workshop participants will explore and learn techniques of taking "Portraits" of small Critters, Plants, Feathers, Minerals, etc... Everyone will have time to do some images and may choose to participate in an image critique session
 
Color Drawing with Nu-Pastels
Wednesdays 1pm – 4pm
November 28, December 5, 12
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee:
$90 museum members/$140 nonmembers
Prerequisite: Pencil I & II
Have you ever experienced the richness of drawing in color on toned paper? Color vibrantly pops! Our emphasis will be on exploring the act of drawing - from realistic color assessment into expressive and playful color…wherever you are most comfortable. We will begin with learning to see the subtleties of reflective color and color interaction all the while using nu-pastels on paper. Landscape, desert flowers, desert wildlife will be our subjects…Accurately translating what you actually see to paper - proportion, perspective and value - will be our focus all the while drawing with exciting, vibrant color!
 
Mixed Media Plein Air
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm
November 29, December 6, 13
Instructor: Catherine Nash
Fee:
$90 museum members/$140 nonmembers
Loosen up and draw nature with a no-fear approach in a class that honors expression. Try new ways to create art using a variety of media with guidance from an expert. Learn how to put together a versatile and transportable art kit to carry for working outdoors or when you travel. It’s easy and fun to layer watercolors with wax-based colored pencils, conté crayons and more. Experiment as you draw on the extraordinary desert landscape.
 
Breaking Watercolor “Rules”
Saturday 10am – 4pm
December 1
Instructor: Rachel Ivanyi
Fee:
$60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
Spend the day breaking many of the “rules” we think we need to follow with watercolor. Watercolor can seem either too free, or too controlled, depending on your experience with it. Mix mediums, use that black paint, mix those unmixable colors, etc. –push those boundaries in this class! We will explore together some of the cool effects and happy “mistakes” you will want to create again in your own work. Materials provided. All levels welcome.
 
Oil Painting for the Ultimate Beginner
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 9am – 3pm
November 30, December 1, 2
Instructor: Ada Koch
Fee:
$175 museum members /$225 nonmembers
Back by popular demand, this workshop is perfect for the absolute beginner or for a painter trying oils for the first time. This introduction to oil painting class covers everything you need to know to get started. In three days, Ada Koch will cover basic terminology, essential techniques, color strategies, composition and perspective. You will complete several paintings with confidence (Desert Museum themed still life and landscape) and leave with successful first oil paintings and an enthusiasm to continue painting on your own. Returning Ada Koch participants are also welcome to join and will be given time to work on more advanced projects.
 
Intro to Adobe Lightroom 6/CC with Take Home Lessons (Dec)
Saturday 9am – 3pm
December 1
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee
: $65 museum members/$115 nonmembers
Join Pro Photographer/Educator Jay Pierstorff for this one day, lecture style class on Adobe Lightroom. We will start from the basics and learn Lightroom’s most useful photo editing tools. You don’t need to bring a laptop. Take notes, ask questions, and learn what makes Lightroom one of the most powerful photographers’ tools! Students receive a USB flash drive with video lessons to view on your home computer.
 
Intro to Adobe Photoshop CC/ Elements with Take Home Lessons (Dec)
Sunday 9am - 3pm
December 2
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee:
$65 museum members/$115 nonmembers
Join Pro Photographer/Educator Jay Pierstorff for this one day, lecture style class on Adobe Photoshop. We will start from the basics and learn Photoshop’s most useful photo editing tools. You don’t need to bring a laptop. Take notes, ask questions, and learn what makes Photoshop one of the most powerful photographers’ tools! Students receive a USB flash drive with video lessons to view on your home computer.
Intro to Adobe Lightroom 6/CC & Photoshop CC/ Elements with Take Home Video Lessons
Saturday, Sunday 9am - 3pm - 
December 1, 2

Instructor: Jay Pierstorff -
Fee:
$120 members/$170 nonmembers
This two-day class introduces you to both Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. These two programs are now distributed by Adobe under one subscription. These programs have evolved into a “Lightroom first” and “Photoshop second” workflow. Learn how to use both programs by watching Photo Instructor Jay Pierstorff demonstrate each program’s most useful features. Students receive a USB flash drive with video lessons to view on your home computer.

 
ABRACADABRA!
Saturday 10am – 4pm
December 1
Instructor: Gale Sherman
Fee: $75 museum members/$125 nonmembers
People have been using watercolor to change the background of papers for generations. However, there are lots of other interesting, simple, and FUN ways to work “behind the scenes.” Joins us for a day of hands-on exploration- including several ways of staining, printing, marbling, etc. No experience necessary!
 
Compact Camera Crash Course
Wednesdays 1pm – 4pm
December 5, 12
Instructor: Robert Renfrow
Fee
: $60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
Want to get the most out of your digital "point & shoot" compact camera? This informative class will help you understand these pocket-sized but capable cameras. Learn to lock focus for asymmetrical balance, overcome backlighting using exposure compensation, set white balance, fill flash and creative techniques using the programed shooting modes. Learn about camera Raw vs jpeg and selecting the proper resolution. We will decipher the user’s manual and have time to practice with our cameras.
 
Photoshop Elements Quickstart
Thursdays 1pm – 4pm - December 6, 13
Instructor: Robert Renfrow
Fee
: $60 museum members/$110 nonmembers
This simplified, beginner friendly class is designed to get you off to a solid start with Adobe Photoshop Elements. We will concentrate on the most important Photoshop tools you need to know about in order to quickly improve your photographs. Learn just eight simple steps for making fundamental image corrections and properly prepare your photographs for emailing or printing. You will find out how to “rescue” a bad shot, set the resolution of an image, remove color tints and red eye, fix blemishes, improve photos that are too dark or too light and find out how to make your photos really “pop.” Bring your laptop and follow along. Photoshop Elements version 12 or newer must be installed
 
Creative “Grown Up” Printmaking
Friday, Saturday 9am – 3pm
December 7, 8
Instructor: Janie Gildow
Fee:
$125 museum members/$175 nonmembers
Remember those potato and linoleum prints from elementary school? Well, these multiple prints are a lot better and much more fun! Learn how it all works by practicing with Styrofoam. Then “graduate” to high density printing foam (easy as cutting cheese). Try your hand at monoprints, relief printing, collagraph, and reduction prints. Be inspired by the desert subjects around you, or develop your own images. Even design your own logo, chop, or monogram. Class supplies included.
 
Photo Ops: More Behind the Scenes (Dec)
Saturday 7am - 11:30am, Sunday 7:30am – 11:30am
December 8, 9
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee
: $155 museum members/$205 nonmembers
Join Photographer Jay Pierstorff and ADSM Curator Shawnee Riplog-Peterson for this two-day Summer photo event. Start early in the morning when many of the Museum’s animals are active as Jay and Shawnee set up photo ops for great animal photos outdoors. Go behind the scenes and see how the animals live at the Desert Museum. As the morning heats up, we move inside to photograph live animals on plain backgrounds in a studio setting including rattlesnakes and Gila monsters. Learn about tethered shooting directly to your computer. Continuous lights, and depth of field for close ups.
 
Lighting a Small Subject
Sunday 9am – 3pm
December 9
Instructor: Kenny Don
Fee:
$65 museum members/ $115 nonmembers
Photography is all about "painting with light". How a subject is lit determines if the image is flat and boring or exceptional and interesting. Lighting a small subject can be a challenge. This class will demonstrate some techniques to achieve lighting that will create interesting images. There will be time for participants to practice either on grounds or in the classroom with direction from the instructor who is well versed in taking photos on the museum grounds
 
To HDR or Not?
Sunday 9am – 3pm
December 16
Instructor: Kenny Don
Fee: $65 museum members/$115 nonmembers
This class will discuss the technique of High Dynamic Range Photography at the Macrophotography Level. When should you use it or not use it. What are the challenges? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Participants will have time to practice their photography either on grounds and/or in the classroom.
 
Holiday Behind The Scenes Photowalk (Dec 23)
Sunday 7:30 am – 11am
December 23
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee
: $75 museum members/$125 nonmembers
A Photographer and Museum Curator team up to give you a memorable holiday experience! Did you get a new camera, lens, or camera phone for the Holidays? Do you have friends or family visiting this season? What a perfect holiday experience for a photo enthusiast, animal lover and fan of the Desert Museum! This class is for of all skill levels, no matter what camera you own! Join us for this very special Holiday edition of the Art Institute’s Behind the Scenes Photowalk. Only three walks will be held. In these early morning classes, you will have the opportunity to photograph many of our Museum animals as they react to enrichment activities! You will also get to see and tour “Behind the Scenes” areas of the Museum that the public never gets to see! Come ready to take pictures! No classroom time for this special event! We will maximize the experience by taking photos and visiting locations right away! Note: we may walk a mile or more during this class! Bring your camera, extra memory cards, charged batteries, desert walking shoes, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and water! Take some great pictures, make some new friends, and have a lot of holiday fun! Because of the limited "behind the scenes" areas this class only has room for 10 people and fills up quickly!
 
Holiday Behind The Scenes Photowalk (Dec 24)
Monday 7:30 am – 11am
December 24
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee: $75 museum members/$125 nonmembers
A Photographer and Museum Curator team up to give you a memorable holiday experience! Did you get a new camera, lens, or camera phone for the Holidays? Do you have friends or family visiting this season? What a perfect holiday experience for a photo enthusiast, animal lover and fan of the Desert Museum! This class is for of all skill levels, no matter what camera you own! Join us for this very special Holiday edition of the Art Institute’s Behind the Scenes Photowalk. Only three walks will be held. In these early morning classes, you will have the opportunity to photograph many of our Museum animals as they react to enrichment activities! You will also get to see and tour “Behind the Scenes” areas of the Museum that the public never gets to see! Come ready to take pictures! No classroom time for this special event! We will maximize the experience by taking photos and visiting locations right away! Note: we may walk a mile or more during this class! Bring your camera, extra memory cards, charged batteries, desert walking shoes, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and water! Take some great pictures, make some new friends, and have a lot of holiday fun! Because of the limited "behind the scenes" areas this class only has room for 10 people and fills up quickly!
Holiday Behind The Scenes Photowalk (Dec 25)
Tuesday 7:30 am – 11am
December 25
Instructor: Jay Pierstorff
Fee: $75 museum members/$125 nonmembers
A Photographer and Museum Curator team up to give you a memorable holiday experience! Did you get a new camera, lens, or camera phone for the Holidays? Do you have friends or family visiting this season? What a perfect holiday experience for a photo enthusiast, animal lover and fan of the Desert Museum! This class is for of all skill levels, no matter what camera you own! Join us for this very special Holiday edition of the Art Institute’s Behind the Scenes Photowalk. Only three walks will be held. In these early morning classes, you will have the opportunity to photograph many of our Museum animals as they react to enrichment activities! You will also get to see and tour “Behind the Scenes” areas of the Museum that the public never gets to see! Come ready to take pictures! No classroom time for this special event! We will maximize the experience by taking photos and visiting locations right away! Note: we may walk a mile or more during this class! Bring your camera, extra memory cards, charged batteries, desert walking shoes, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and water! Take some great pictures, make some new friends, and have a lot of holiday fun! Because of the limited "behind the scenes" areas this class only has room for 10 people and fills up quickly!