Drawing Canyon, Sage, and Sky: May 20 - May 24, 2021

The workshop centers on drawing from the diverse geology and flora of the region, the 'canyon, sage, and sky' of Northern New Mexico, and is geared toward practicing visual artists. Each day combines a field excursion, hands-on tutorial, and time and space to create artwork in the field and at the workshop site. Each evening, we gather to dine and talk about our larger studio interests.

This way of working mirrors my own studio practice, in which a morning walk yields the subject matter of the day, and natural pigments and charcoal give me a starting point for describing my environment, its colors, shapes, and movements. 

I share mixed-media drawing techniques honed through twenty years of studio production and professional teaching, offer supportive and constructive feedback, and provide supplemental readings from relevant artists and writers. My hope is to provide an experience for artists to work intensively in this environment that I know to be so creatively stimulating, grounding, and inspiring.

Workshop Structure





Each day, we venture to field sites chosen for their beauty, natural history, and relative isolation. Equipped with portable shaded workspaces, we set up within ancient badlands, a petrified swamp forest, and on a sage-covered mesa with sweeping views of redrock canyon walls. Here, we sketch, collect images and fragments, and hunt for pigmented clays. 

Sara has created artwork in the region for the past several years, locating sites that offer the chance to wander deeply, finding points of natural inspiration in unexpected places.

Some walking over uneven terrain is necessary, for distances up to one mile.

See images from the field.





The workshop site is our space for independent artmaking and drawing tutorials, including:

  • Handcrafting natural art materials - charcoal from piñon and watercolor from pigmented clay.
  • Mixed media techniques that combine wet and dry mediums - charcoal, pastel, graphite, watercolor, ink, wax, and gouache, working on a range of grounds.
  • Observational drawing primers on gesture, line, value, and sighting.

Studio work is taken at your own pace, focusing on what interests and inspires. There are many sheltered spaces at the ranch to enjoy working in relative solitude, with panoramic views of the Sierra Nacimiento range. Constructive feedback is offered as desired, and silence is respected. 

Participants will receive a material kit that includes a range of mediums, papers, and tools. A list of supplemental materials will be provided.





There are several occasions to talk about your work. Each evening, we gather to share the day’s successes and insights over a relaxed dinner. In addition to casual conversation, there is structured time for each participant to share images and discuss their ongoing studio practice and professional interests. The workshop offers an extended opportunity to connect with like-minded practitioners and colleagues.

There seemed to be a perfect balance between focused, individual work time and reflection, and exchange of ideas and critique with others. I enjoyed not only discussions about materials and techniques, but also dialogue about teaching and the sharing of artist opportunities and career strategies. I was encouraged by others viewing my work but was also presented with thought provoking questions and suggestions that helped me expand as an artist. 

- M. Robinson, printmaker and professor

Read more reviews.


The workshop is geared toward practicing visual artists with an established studio practice. The session holds a maximum of six participants, and requires a minimum of three.

This is the pilot year of the workshop at this site. The reduced workshop fee for 2021 reflects this, and I'm excited to welcome applicants who understand the pleasure and challenge of beginning. The fee includes workshop, meals, and lodging.

Admissions are on a rolling basis, based on experience, images, and stated interests. Application review will continue until up to six spots are filled, or until April 10, 2021. 

As there is light hiking at high altitude (7-8000'), 

a basic level of physical fitness is necessary. 

Please complete the application form below; there is no application fee.

The inclusive workshop fee is $1300-1550, depending on lodging preference.