Paint / Draw / Paint

A Workshop Retreat with Sas Colby

Mountain Home Ranch in Calistoga, California

April 19–25, 2015

Mt. Home painting barn

Painting Barn

Come and paint your heart out in this wooded retreat center featuring comfortable rustic accommodation and fantastic fresh food, in a relaxed natural setting. Mountain Home Ranch is nestled in the Calistoga hillside, surrounded by redwoods and the beauty of the California wine country. There is a spacious studio room where we will set up worktables and easels, and another cozy breakout room for meetings. We have the big wide outdoors available to us for painting, hiking, and even a swimming pool. This is where Leigh Hyams taught many workshops. Leigh was a friend and mentor to Sas, who shares her bold approach to making art. They both taught at La Serrania in Mallorca. Sas often uses Leigh’s exercises to stimulate a class with spirited prompts.

Participants are welcome to work completely on their own, or experiment with some of the techniques Sas will present. This week is suitable for those who feel they would benefit from a week immersed in painting and nature, working individually, and meeting for occasional group critiques before dinner and discussions after. Oakopolis artists Jan Camp and Joell Jones will participate in the workshop and curate artwork from our group to be exhibited in the evolving show at Oakopolis Gallery. Oakopolis is a member of the Oakland Art Murmur.

Mt home lodge


mt home cabins


Types of accommodation vary according to your choice of rustic, cabin, or lodge room, single or shared. All meals are included.

Check the website for full details of the rooms, and Kory can help you select the right room for your budget. Kory Steelman at Contact Jan Camp, Oakopolis staff at with questions about what to bring to the retreat and getting there if you are not driving yourself or carpooling. Jan may be able to purchase large materials for you in advance and bring them to the retreat.

How to Register

Space is limited. Register by February 15 by sending a brief note to Sas about your art practice, including whether you like to paint outdoors or inside, and include two images of your paintings. At the same time, send your full tuition of $550 either by PayPal to, or by check payable to Sas Colby, 2817 Ellsworth Street, Berkeley CA 94705. Participants will be notified by March 1st.

Sas will craft the class from your notes and in the event that we have too many applications, tuition will be fully refunded to those for whom there is not enough space. If response is overwhelming we may add a second workshop. Tuition of participants who are accepted is non refundable.

What to bring

Easels of insulation board and butcher paper, as well as lighting  are provided. In addition to your usual gesso, drawing papers, gels and mediums, charcoal, ink and acrylic or oil paint, we suggest the following materials:

  • scissors and small utility knife (retractable blade)
  • glue stick, PVA or adhesive of your choice, masking tape
  • water container for painting
  • drawing pencils and/or pens and/or markers and/or colored pencils
  • paint brushes: some small, some larger
  • small water color set or set of markers
  • sketch books in sizes you are comfortable with
  • notebook and pens for writing
  • A convenient bag to carry your supplies
  • mat to sit on outdoors
  • push pins, additional small clip-on lamp, and small supply taboret may also be useful

Feel free to add other materials you enjoy working with that are transportable. This could include needles, thread, fabric, handmade or textured papers, collage materials & personal imagery or art references, Xeroxes & clippings for inspiration.

Do arrive with your supplies in hand. Only limited art supplies are available locally. There may be a chance to shop during the week, but you’ll want to be prepared to start on the first day.

For your comfort, bring a water bottle, hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, sturdy walking shoes, alarm clock, flashlight.

During the week there will be a massage therapist available at the retreat. No alcohol is served but we can all bring our favorite wine or beer to share.


  • Arrive on Sunday, April 19 after 3 p.m. to get settled in your room.
  • Meet in the painting studio at 5 p.m., before dinner. Painting areas will be assigned by lottery.
  • Monday through Friday we will meet, after breakfast, at 9 a.m. for art warm-up and then get to work. Critiques and discussions will be arranged as we go.
  • Saturday, April 25 after breakfast we will meet for a final critique and depart after lunch.

Sas’s brief bio:

Sas Colby painting teacherMy mixed media art spans more than four decades of serious inquiry into a variety of forms and materials. I’m currently exploring the forms and light in my garden in a series of abstract paintings and drawings. My art is also inspired by travel and poetry, and an interest in the human condition in general. I’ve led community wide art projects such as Oakland’s “1,000 Faces,” and currently serve on the Exhibition Committee at the San Francisco Center for the Book. I’ve been a visiting artist in Australian universities, and taught at Haystack, Penland, and Anderson Ranch, cherished art schools in this country, as well as private workshops in Taos, NM and Mallorca, Spain.  I welcome this opportunity to teach close to my home in Berkeley, CA. Please check my website for a full resume and to see the evolution of my art work, and feel free to call me with any questions.