Plein Air Painting Workshop

Trip Type: Photography, Art & Yoga Classes

Hike Level: Easy

Date: October 23-26, 2019 (3 Days)

Group Size: 9

Price: $550 for members, $575 for nonmembers


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Walks on level terrain typically on paved trails. Learn More


Artists have flocked to Grand Canyon for over a century. In such an expansive and complex landscape, recording one’s impressions can be daunting, as well as immensely rewarding.

Join nationally-known artist Michael Chesley Johnson as he shares his strategies and experience to effectively paint the landscape on-location at the beautiful Grand Canyon!

Trip Highlights 
  • Expect to see dramatic and sweeping views from several South Rim rim-side paining locations

  • Develop strategies and experience to effectively paint the landscape on-location

  • Learn the methods for "capturing the moment" quickly and efficiently but without sacrificing mood and magic

  • Receive daily critiques

Photo description: Painting on the Rim
Photo description: Painting on the Rim
Photo description: Painting on the Rim


Meet at the Community Building at 9 a.m. MST for introductions to the class topics and materials followed by Plein Air painting. Wrap up at 4 p.m.

9 am to 4 pm each day.

Critiques and lecture until about 10 am, followed by travel to an assortment of painting locations including: Yaki Point, Mohave Point, and Grandview Point.

There will be a final critique at the end of the final day of class.


During the latter part of October, sunrise is late (around 6:45 am MST) and sunset, early (around 5:30 am MST.).  This will give participants the opportunity to paint Grand Canyon's spectacular sunsets in an optional evening painting session.  Average temperatures at this time of year on the South Rim range from a morning low of 34 degrees to a daytime high of 62.  However, be prepared for warmer or cooler, and dress in layers regardless.

Should the weather be inclement, we will paint at inside location.

Meet your Grand Canyon expert

Michael Chesley Johnson

Michael paints primarily outdoors in pastel or oil, choosing locations from the American Southwest, Downeast Maine, and the Canadian Maritimes. He has been invited repeatedly to national plein air events such as Grand Canyon Assocation's Celebration of Art.

Michael was awarded Master Pastellist status by Pastel Artists Canada in 2008, and he is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society, the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of New Mexico. His paintings have appeared in many magazines and are in both corporate and private collections. He was featured in The Artist's Magazine in September 2013.

Michael is a nationally-known teacher, giving workshops across the U.S. as well as seasonally in Maine and the Southwest. A Contributing Editor for The Artist's Magazine and frequent writer for Pastel Journal, he is the author of several books, including Outdoor Study to Studio: Take Your Plein Air Paintings to the Next Level and Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel. He has many videos available, as well.

Michael maintains a summer studio on Campobello Island, New Brunswick (Canada), and a winter studio in New Mexico.

What's Included

Price for the class includes:

  • Our expert instructor.
  • Gear Lists.
  • Individual instruction & daily critiques.
  • Park Entrance Fee Waiver.
  • Camping on the Rim at Mather Campground.

What's not included

You are responsible for:

  • All of your painting supplies.
  • Transportation to and from the canyon.
  • Hotel lodging in the park before or after your trip.
  • Gratuity for your Instructor.

Additional notes

This workshop is for suitable for all levels.

Download Class Syllabus

Get started

Book this trip online

Or call (866) 471-4435
Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM Arizona MST