About the Teaching Artist

Michelle Chrisman has been making her living as a full-time oil painter and instructor for over 20 years. She is a Plein Air Painter of the New Mexico landscape, a contemporary figure painter and a still-life painter. Michelle’s work is represented in Santa Fe by The Signature Gallery, in Taos by Wilder Nightingale Fine Art, and Weems Gallery in Albuquerque. Michelle is a Contemporary Colorist/Expressionist oil painter grounded in the Principals of Impressionism – how light works in the natural world.

I love the visual beauty of New Mexico and the West. What excites me most about painting is “seeing” the abstract shapes & patterns in the visual world. Painting outdoors, I finish my work in one setting on location, “Alla Prima.” Remaining grounded in the principals of “how the visual world works,” while at the same time, responding emotionally to the beauty of the visual world that I am capturing in paint! The medium of oil paint is also very important, letting the medium speak, and capturing the calligraphy of impasto painting with palette knife. Michelle has been teaching Plein Air Painting Workshops for 15 years at Ghost Ranch as well as Contemporary Figure and Still-Life Painting in Albuquerque. “I am excited about oil painting that is emotionally expressive!” Michelle graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in Figure Illustration, The School of Visual Arts with a BFA in Graphic Design , and completed intensive art studies at the New York and Denver Art Student Leagues and Scottsdale Artists School. Instructors who have had the greatest influence on Michelle and her work are Kevin MacPherson, Kim English and Peggi Kroll-Roberts. She has long been a long-time Signature Member of Plein Air Painters of New Mexico.

You can see more of Michelle’s work on her website>


Covid Policies

  • All staff and students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination to Harwood administration
  • Masks must be worn by all people on Harwood’s campus – both indoors and outdoors
  • Harwood Art Center shares a campus with Escuela del Sol Montessori School & follows all school-wide health and safety policies.

 Class Description

Join noted artist Michelle Chrisman, for a weekend of plein air painting in Albuquerque’s North Valley. Participants will be taken through concepts of landscape composition and the study of outdoor spectral light, drawing particular influence from French Impressionist principles.

All painting mediums and levels of painter are welcome.


This class will be held outdoors in the North Valley of Albuquerque.


This class will happen over two days, Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th from 9am-5pm.

There will be a lunch break on both days.


This class is appropriate for ages 16 and up (under 18 requires parent permission).

The class will be limited to a maximum of15 students.

All participants must provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in advance of the class.

What to Bring

      • A face mask*
      • Paint (basic limited palette colors)
      • Palette
      • Gamsol turpentine & Painter’s Can
      • Roll of viva paper towels
      • Small trash bags
      • Paint boards
      • brushes
      • palette knife
      • painting gloves
      • View Finder
      • Wet painting boxes or pizza boxes
      • small sketchbook
      • pen
      • 3 mid-grey jmarkers
      • black sharpie
      • umbrella
      • sun protection (hat, sunscreen, etc.)
      • Water bottles
      • A sack lunch

A more detailed materials list will be sent to enrolled students after registration.

* Recent research indicates that, unlike with previous variations of Covid, cloth masks alone are not sufficient for mitigating the spread of Omicron. As such, Escuela del Sol and Harwood Art Center are asking staff to wear either a respirator mask (such as an N-95, KN-95 or equivalent) or a surgical mask paired with a cloth mask. We are recommending the same for you all to help stop the spread of this new variant.

How Much

Harwood is committed to providing accessible classes to our community. All Art School classes this fall will be offered on a sliding scale with subsidized, at cost, and community support options. A $10 materials fee is included in the cost of the class.

Regular Registration Subsidized Registration Community Support Registration
register at cost subsidized amount for students who can’t cover the full at cost amount option to register for the class and help support another community member registering for the class
$150 $125 $175

If you are unable to contribute the subsidized amount, please reach out to Director of Education Dani Belvin at dani@harwoodartcenter.org to inquire about our limited scholarship opportunities.


If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Dani Belvin at dani@harwoodartcenter.org

Register Now

Use the form below to register or click here to visit this class on EventBrite

Refund Policy

Class Fee refunds will only be issued for cancellations received by email (dani@harwoodartcenter.org) or EventBrite’s refund system at least one week prior to the start date of the class. The Class Fees will not be refunded if students withdraw from the workshop less than one week before the start date of the class or after the class has begun. If the class is cancelled by Harwood Art Center for any reason, the Class Fee will be refunded in full.