Hands on Art

To RSVP for the Hands on Art programs, please sign up here.

Gunther Haidenthaller: Drawing with Ordinary Pens and Crayons

LOCATION: Escalante Heritage Center
September 17 @ 4:30 pm (full details)

September 21 @ 4:30 pm (full details)

NOTE: $15 fee collected day of program – covers materials. Limited to 20 participants. Bring a chair. To RSVP, please sign up here.  

Drawing with a pen is relaxing, fun, and essential to improving your art. The more time you can spend drawing, the more you’ll improve! The combination of an ink drawing with an ordinary ballpoint pen and equally ordinary crayons can produce surprisingly vivid results. There’s nothing wrong with being a kid, just having fun scribbling with crayons!  This activity led by the 2021 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Artist in Residence will help you discover the joy of using ordinary supplies.

Günther Haidenthaller emigrated with his family from Austria as a child, and grew up drawing and painting, majoring in illustration and advertising design at Utah State University. He spent 27 years as an advertising graphic designer and art director, with occasional illustration projects to keep things interesting. Günther left full time employment in 2015 to pursue his passion for painting. He says, “Being Austrian, I am haunted by the ethereal, dreamlike quality of light in the moisture-laden European atmosphere. I strive to express that longing in every image I create. Art is all about passion, and this is mine.” He has studied with a number of prominent, well-known artists including Randall Sexton, Joshua Clare, Carl Purcell, Kathryn Stats, Stephen Stauffer, Colley Whisson, Lyn Boyer, and Doug Braithwaite. Günther is a member of Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society, as well as several local Utah artists’ organizations. See more of Gunther’s work here.

Jill Simkins: Continuous Line Drawing

LOCATION: Escalante Town Park Pavilion
September 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

NOTE:  $20 fee collected day of program – covers materials.  Limited to 20 participants (minimum – 5). To RSVP, please sign up here.

A line tells a story, creates a visual record of how you perceive an object, person or animal. A line can be bold, sharp, angry, angular, or light, happy, flowing and delicate. As you draw you will discover how a simple line, making twists and turns, can create unique and simple, or interestingly complex art. All ages and ability are welcome. Bring a clipboard if you have one.

Jill is an Organic Vegetable Farmer who creates art in many mediums; using plants and flowers, magical garden paths, oil or water-color paint, clay, and by using recycled, found or worn out items. Living her life working outside in the soil and discovering this beautiful world by hiking, backpacking, catering horse-pack trips in the High Uintah’s, river rafting, or camping in her vintage trailer, has given her a great respect and love for the outdoors which she attempts to capture on canvas. She especially enjoys painting cows, farm animals, and people.  Her work has been sold in several galleries throughout the West.

She writes about her painting and adventures  here.


Nancy Seiler: Little Landscapes in Watercolor

LOCATION: Escalante Town Park Pavilion
September 19 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

NOTE:  $25 fee collected day of program – covers materials. Limited to 18 participants (minimum – 8). To RSVP, please sign up here.

Nancy will show you how to translate a large landscape into a 2.5” x 3.5” watercolor study. You’ll learn some color-mixing tricks along with how to show contrast and value. This process is great for nature journaling and creating quick studies for larger paintings. We’ll be painting on three small pieces of watercolor paper (ATC—Artist Trading Card size 2.5” x 3.5”).  Nancy will provide mechanical pencil and brush for use during workshop. You will receive a small sample kit of QoR watercolors, palette, and paper to keep. Please bring water container and paper towel.Nancy Seiler received her Visual Communications degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1981. She is a GOLDEN Working Artist for GOLDEN Artist Colors presenting lecture/demos and workshops in watercolor and acrylic in Southern California and Montana. She has taught classical botanical illustration, nature journaling, and painting since 2003. Visit her website at www.nancyseiler.com to see her work.

Scott Geary: Basic Watercolor Painting

LOCATION: Escalante Town Park – Hands on Art Tent
September 23 @ 10:00 am (full details)

September 24 @ 4:30 pm (full details)

NOTE:  $20 fee collected day of program – covers materials (fee reduced to $10 if participant uses their own supplies).  Limited to 8 participants. To RSVP, please sign up here. Open to all skill levels, but with an emphasis on beginner/intermediate.

For painting outdoors, watercolor could be the perfect medium. Unlike oil paint or pastel, a watercolor kit comes in a simple and easy-to-carry package.  Sometimes beginners can be confused, or even intimidated about starting.  This hands-on program of exercises will help attendees understand the processes and possibilities involved in making a successful watercolor painting. Special attention will be paid to working with Southwestern skies and landforms. 

All watercolor supplies will be provided. Participants will get to try a variety of high quality watercolor papers. There will be multiple paint sets, but the more “exotic” colors will need to be shared, as will some brushes. 

Santa Fe-based artist Scott Geary was the 2017 GSENM Plein Air Artist-in-Residence.  Scott is a long time supporter of the Escalante Canyons Art Festival and has won numerous Mixed Media awards for his watercolor paintings during the plein air competitions through the years.  He is a professional artist who often works on private installations in and around Santa Fe.  

Sue Tyler: Mixed Media Landscapes

LOCATION: Escalante Town Park – Hands on Art Tent
September 24 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am

NOTE:  $25 fee collected day of program – covers materials. Limited to 12 participants. Bring a painting shirt/apron. To RSVP, please sign up here.

Create a mixed media landscape using a variety of materials. Bring your creative imagination, a sketchbook, and your favorite drawing tools, and landscape ideas/images to make a unique landscape painting.  Materials are provided, so whatever else you bring to use is optional.  Sue will get you started, guide you, then your intuition does the rest!

Sue Tyler was born in Idaho, and has called Teton Valley Idaho home for 35 years. She began drawing and painting at a young age, inspired by local landscapes, animals, and icons of the past in Western culture. Sue taught art to all ages for almost 30 years, until she retired to paint full time. Sue’s painting can be seen in galleries and plein air events throughout the West. Her recent awards include Escalante Canyons Art Festival (honorable mention)2019, Driggs Plein Air Festival, 2nd Quick Draw, 2019, National Juried Show, 2nd place, 2019, Arts Idaho Biennial, top 50, 2004, 2007 2008, 2012, 2019 (honorable mention). Sue paints plein air landscapes in acrylic and watercolor. In the studio, her mixed media pieces allow a freer expression of a subject. “Mixed media allows an intuitive, versus literal experience, she says. And I can focus on design essentials. Hopefully, each piece is a conversation with the viewer.” See more of Sue’s work here.

Loretta Domaszewski: Rock formations, Patterns and Textures – An Abstract Approach

LOCATION: Escalante Town Park – Hands on Art Tent
September 24 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

NOTE:  $30 fee collected day of program – covers materials.  Limited to 15 participants – ages 10 and up.  To RSVP, please sign up here.

Explore natural rock formations, unique patterns and colors inspired by the Southwestern landscape through painting on prepared textured relief surfaces. Learn about color mixing and expressive painting techniques using fluid acrylic paint, brushes, and non-traditional painting tools. Enjoy painting with movement, rhythm, and color harmony. Each participant will follow along with a demonstration, assimilating the layered rock textures, colors, and atmospheric skies of the Escalante Canyons landscape, introducing their own creative twist. A program packed with information in a fun, relaxed environment.

Loretta Domaszewski paints to create visual poetry with a deep connection to the earth as a living body. Spirit of Place is the inspiration for exploring the concept of the journey, the pathway, the personal quest. She speaks a universal language.

Loretta has a BFA from Tufts University, the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, and a K-12 Art Teaching Certificate from Brandeis University. She is an award winning contemporary artist from Montana exhibiting nationally in galleries and museums, teaching all ages and levels for over 40 years. Loretta has been awarded the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument’s 20th Year Anniversary Artist in Residence, Escalante Paint the River Horse Pack Trip, Escalante Arts Festival Best in Show First Place Watercolor, Mixed Media, and 2nd Place in the Plein Air Paint Out. She is a member of the American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.

Her passion is to be active, explore nature, create art, and encourage self-discovery through artistic expression.

Visit Loretta’s website to see more of her work here.

Instagram: instagram.com/LorettaFineArt

Facebook: Facebook.com/LorettaFineArt  Facebook.com/LorettaDomaszewski

Lisa Bryant: Mulling Over Pigments – Make Your Own Watercolor Paints

LOCATION: Escalante Town Park – Hands on Art Tent
September 25 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

NOTE:  $25 fee collected day of program – covers materials. Limited to 10 participants. To RSVP, please sign up here.Deepen your understanding of a primary artist’s tool – your paint. In this workshop we’ll explore characteristics and history of pigments, while learning to make watercolor paint through a process called “mulling”. You’ll walk away with some interesting art history tidbits, a better understanding of how paints are made, what’s in them, why some cost more than others, and a set of hand-mulled artist grade paints. Be prepared to get a little messy and have some fun.  We’ll work singly or in pairs, each making a batch of paint. At the end, it’s a “paint swap meet” where we mix and match half pans in tins that you can take with you. Mulling a batch of paint can take 2 hours or more, which also gives us time to swap pigment tales.  Lisa will provide all the materials. You just need to provide some elbow grease and sense of adventure.

Lisa is a communications specialist and soil scientist by trade, but in her heart is an artist. She still considers herself to be a beginner or at least have a “beginner’s mind”, constantly learning and exploring the beauty of the watercolor. She’s fascinated by the magic that happens when paints and water mingle on the paper, capturing the kaleidoscope of nature’s colors and light in a way other mediums can’t. Plein air offers a way of just “being” with nature that is irresistible to a person who chose a career in soils and forestry in order to work outside. Her curiosity was piqued a couple years ago upon learning the pigment supply for quinacridone gold simply ran out.  Her art journey detoured into pigment history, learning to make paint, and deepening her understanding of pigments, paints, and color theory, thus meshing her two passions, science and art.  


Carol Johansen: Desert Acrylic Pour

LOCATION: Escalante Town Park – Hands on Art Tent
September 25 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

With just the squeeze of squirt bottles, create colorful stunning abstract masterpieces of the Grand Staircase-Escalante in the coolest evening shadows or blistering warmth. 

No experience necessary. Any age, any ability. Small, medium, large, you choose your canvas size. Success is guaranteed!! Just watch the colors emerge and swirl on the surfaces for unpredictable results. You are going to love it!

NOTE:  $20 fee collected day of program – covers materials.  Limited to 15 participants. To RSVP, please sign up here.

Carol Johansen captures the spirit and beauty of the wide open spaces in the West, making original vibrant one of a kind oil paintings. See more of her work here.