Pacific Northwest Art School

Pacific Northwest Art School
15 NW Birch St., Coupeville, WA 98239
360-678-3396, Toll-Free: 1-866-678-3396

The Pacific Northwest Art School is an Art School located on beautiful Whidbey Island in Washington State. Each year we hold workshops and classes in Fiber Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography. We are well known for bringing internationally and nationally known visiting faculty members who offer 80 plus workshops a season on stunning Whidbey Island located only an hour and a half drive from Seattle.


Creative iPhoneography
Karen Divine, Instructor
July 31 – August 4, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $1000

In this workshop, we step outside the role of photographer and into that of an artist. We will push the limits of how we see by isolating textures, forms, and shapes and approach our new work by learning to let our intuition be our guide. We work in a spontaneous and playful way, creating work that surprises and excites us. And, we’ll do this using the iPhone and iPad.

Whidbey Island is a compelling place for photographers and a perfect location for our exploration. The richness of the light, colors, and textures provides inspiration. Through lectures and daily assignments, you will learn to create compelling multi-layered imagery and begin discovering the work that inspires you.

We learn to create beautiful single imagery and go in depth with a multi-layering app, much easier than Photoshop and all on your iPhone. Our mornings are spent in critique, reviewing the work of artists who are unencumbered by the world of expectations, who create solely for themselves. Most of all, we learn to be playful, letting intuition take over and allowing our images to evolve.


Abstract Photography on Whidbey Island
Jack Graham, Instructor
November 3-4, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $270

A comprehensive seminar covering the important aspects of abstract photography.

Whidbey Island is known for its quaint town, picturesque ocean views and pristine beaches. We will take this to a new level and explore the other side of Whidbey.

Finding and learning to see abstracts or what could be called photo art is an interesting and provocative experience. Many of the techniques used are those we rely on every day, however we’ll explore new techniques and learn to see a bit differently.

We will cover long exposure photography, using shutter speeds and zoom lenses to create interesting effect on commonly photographed subjects as well as the use of special techniques to create the abstract.

We will spend time in the field in locations from beaches to junk yards learning to see the abstract in photography. We will also spend time on our classroom discussing the results and using software to take our work to the next level.

This will be a time to let our imaginations go and create.

Please join us for this 2 day journey into abstract photography.


From Concept to Print: The Process of Making Quality Fine Art Images
Jack Graham, Instructor
June 22-25, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $500

The process of making an image that stands the test of time includes proper field technique, creativity and processing technique. Failing to perform one of these aspects will prevent the production of a fine art photograph and print.

We will spend time in the field exploring some of the beautiful State Parks located on the island as well as the numerous rocky beaches, period farms, tidal marshes, lighthouses, Americana of the quaint coastal communities and rolling farmland of Whidbey Island. The island is truly a “photographer’s” paradise. Sunrises and sunsets are amazing this time of year and we’ll be out to capture them.

Our classroom is well equipped with a projector and visual aids. Presentations concerning all aspect of photography will take place. Special time is set aside for image reviews and processing techniques. While good equipment, field technique and subject matter all play important roles in the success of an image, good processing technique is an integral part of image production.

Jack will cover image production methods both in the field and in the studio as well as processing and preparing files for printing that Jack has developed over years of experience. This is a hand-on, in-depth learning and growing experience for all nature photographers who have gained a familiarity with their gear and are looking to extend their creative processing techniques.

The class covers everything from seeing images in the field to applying up to date processing applications including Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom as well as the use of the NIK Software collection of programs. You will receive, as part of your participation Jack’s 80+ Field Guide Workshop Syllabus.
We have no doubt you’ll come away with lots of new information and photographic tips which will improve your photography as well as some wonderful images of this amazing location. If you are a serious photographer, this is one location you’ll not want to miss.

Our curriculum will consist of 6 parts.


Gardens of Portland
Jack Graham, Instructor
August 26-27, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $350

We will have a short “Meet and Greet” on the evening of August 25 at our hotel in Portland. We will meet at 6PM. Further details upon registration.

Our workshop will end at 4pm on Sunday afternoon, August 2th.

Field locations: Swan Island Dahlias & Portland Japanese Garden

These two locations, though drastically different offer some of the best possible experience for both landscape and close up photography. This is certainly not the Grand Canyon, or Death Valley National Park, where the expanse is the order of the day. Here we will learn to take our time, look, see and take in the beauty all around us, and “work the subject” to come way with nothing less than amazing, almost surreal images.

We will be out early in the morning on Saturday at the Swan Island Dahlia Farm. After Lunch, we’ll drive to the Portland Japanese Garden and spend the balance of the day in the garden. Saturday night will consist of about 2 hours of image reviews. Sunday morning we’ll return to the Dahlia farm to apply what we learned and make a few more images. Sunday afternoon will consist of more image reviews and photographic presentations. Our workshop will end at 4PM.


Vision It! Capture it! Finish It!
John Hummel, Instructor
August 3-6, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $500

Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate

In this workshop we will explore the three phases of artful image creation. There will be daily location shooting, where John will work with you to achieve the images that spark your inner artist and tell your story. The field shooting sessions will be followed by midday critique sessions to hone in on effective ways to improve your images. During the afternoon sessions you will learn powerful post-processing techniques create images that will capture the viewer’s imagination.

In the first phase, Vision it!, you will learn five steps to observing a scene and then connecting with the story to be communicated and finally seeing that image in your mind. You will address key questions like:

· “What story do I want to tell?”
· “What elements of this scene will add to my ability to tell that story?”
· “What elements should I leave out to make my image more effective?”
· “What is the most powerful point of view to tell my story?”
· “How can simplification make my images more powerful?”
In the second phase “Capture It!”, you will learn seven tools to flesh out your vision successfully. Compositional elements, exposure, depth-of-field and perspective will be covered in a step by step process to achieve masterful images that tell your story and begin to define your style.

The final phase is “Finish It”. Here you will be shown ways to take your raw images and finesse them to clearly communicate the vision and feeling that you had as you stood at the scene. We will work with Adobe Photoshop’s powerful tools to create a workflow that will bring depth and dimension to your images and create a final piece of art that clearly tell your story.

Join us for a week of exploration into the powerful storytelling ability of photographs in the beautiful setting of Whidbey Island.

You are expected to have a working knowledge of how to produce properly exposed images from your camera. You are welcome to work in color or black and white. Any camera format will work but DSLRs would be most appropriate. You will also need a laptop computer with image editing software (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom or others) in order to work on your captured images. Plugs-ins like Nik Effects filters (available free at Google.com) or any other plug-ins will be very useful during the workshop.


The Color of Light
Arthur Meyerson, Instructor
June 5-9, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $1000

This renowned workshop is designed for both amateur and professional photographers who wish to strengthen their ability to see and work in color. Through daily shooting assignments, critiques and discussions, participants acquire techniques to become more sensitive to light and its effects on color, composition, texture, pattern, and design. While covering the use and quality of natural light, the main focus is on investigating color from a personal point of view. Arthur guides and inspires participants to help refine an individual style for creative fulfillment.

The workshop begins with an intensive review of each participant’s images and a discussion of personal and career goals. In addition to addressing the aesthetics of color photography, Arthur leads group critiques and spends individual time with each participant addressing their photography. Daily assignments put classroom techniques into practice and take advantage of the stunning light and color of Coupeville. Participants leave at the end of the week with a greater awareness of their strengths and an enhanced sensitivity to light and color.

This workshop is limited to 12 students. The talented Keron Psillas will once again offer her expertise as Arthur’s assistant for this workshop.


Bookmaking! Tips and Tools for Creating and Refining Projects
Keron Psillas, Instructor
June 11-13, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $450

Join Keron Psillas for an intensive three days of book-making. Keron is an award-winning, internationally published author, photographer and designer, as well as a mentor to a growing body of students.

This course will delve into the workflow to create a Blurb book, using Blurb software and Lightroom, as well as overall discussion about printing and publishing options. Bring your project for editing help, along with books you admire. We’ll share these with the class. Keron will share insights, tips, and critical thinking about layout and design that stem from her 20 years in the printing and publishing industry before she became a professional photographer.

Keron will spend time individually with participants working on projects, and there will be time for you to shoot the lovely environment of Whidbey Island. This popular course is designed to give you the skills you will need to create and complete your book project


Photography of Intent
Keron Psillas, Instructor
May 15-19, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $750

Join veteran instructor and long-time assistant to Sam Abell and Arthur Meyerson for an expansive week of photography! Through tips, techniques and critical thinking about your photography, Keron will help you deepen the joy and purpose in your photography. Creating intent and building strength in communicating that intent are key ideas in the course. Getting your work seen, publishing photo books, experimenting with layers and compositing, and examining short and long term photo projects are some of the other topics explored during this dynamic week. There is time each day for photographing and daily critiques of work along with one-on-one sessions to support your unique voice. Come join us and expand the possibilities for your photography.


Taking the Next Step in Fine Art Photography
Aline Smithson, Instructor
September 22-24, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $500

It is critical to the growth of a fine art photographer to understand what comes next after creating an image and that today, photographers make work in projects–a series of images that tell a story or explore a subject in depth. This workshop provides an insight into the world of photography and helps photographers package themselves and their work in a professional manner.

Throughout the workshop portfolios will be shaped and edited. Participants will learn how to build and write a résumé, how to construct a bio, and how to title and write personal statements about their work. Students will learn about photography competitions, how submit to publications and prepare work for exhibition. Information about grants, portfolio reviews and exhibition proposals are also covered. The work of a new and established fine art photographers are studied so that participants will understand what makes a successful series.


Eyes Wide Open
Eddie Soloway, Instructor
September 20-24, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $1000

Eyes Wide Open is a workshop designed to develop your seeing from what is right in front of your eyes into the world of abstractions, reflections, layers, movement, and then deeper into the realm of concepts and imagination. This workshop can be based in the city or the natural world. Visual presentations, hands-on exercises, and photographic assignments create a very full and experience-based workshop. The workshop is open to anyone with a camera. To participate in the image reviews, you need to have a working knowledge of your camera and the digital workflow necessary to edit your images.


Black &White Photography: The Art of Seeing
Robert Stahl, Instructor
September 15-17, 2017 (9am-4pm)
Tuition: $400

This workshop in Black & White photography will emphasize the cultivation of a poetic eye. Accordingly, an interpretive style will be advocated. And to reinforce this approach a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of composition and design will be provided as we consider the role of line, shape, texture, and depth along with light and time. Field excursions with the instructor will be conducted in Coupeville & vicinity. These field sessions will provide an opportunity for classroom evaluation. As well, one on one sessions with instructor Robert Stahl will be available to review material brought to the workshop (digital files and/or prints). Come join us for this stimulating workshop on the art of seeing deeply in Black and White.

Required Text: ‘The Tao of Photography’ by Philippe Gross and S. Shapiro

Robert Stahl is an award-winning photographer who in addition to teaching at the Pacific Northwest Art School also teaches photography and literature classes at Seattle-area colleges (North Seattle College, The Creative Retirement Institute sponsored by Edmonds Community College, and Highline College). He has led photo trips to Alaska, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Iceland, France, Peru, Antarctica, Patagonia, India, the Desert SW , and Pacific NW. Robert has lived and taught in Japan and his work has been widely published and is represented by Getty Images and has appeared in National Geographic publications.


“Learn the Tools of Travel Photography!” – Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival
David Wells, Instructor
September 6 (6 pm) to September 11 (noon)
Tuition: $1,000

Making exceptional travel photographs requires skills in many different types of photography, from street to still-life work to portraits. In a typical day of travel, a photographer may shoot busy festivals, quiet buildings, open landscapes, or close-up nature. The best travel photographers are versatile in their skills and fluid in their process, using minimal gear to achieve a maximum of results. This workshop covers the following topics: the traveling photographer’s camera and bag; being in the right place at the right time; varying the time of day and understanding light; portraying people; composition; stopping action vs. showing motion; framing and scaling; tripods; using the appropriate lens; flash basics. Prerequisite: Photo I or portfolio review. Note: Be prepared for a couple of early morning and sunset/twilight/evening photography shoots. We have selected the nationally recognized Wooden Boat Festival held in the neighboring town of Port Townsend as our photographic venue.

The annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington, is a maritime celebration with antique and modern wooden vessels. The three-day engagement takes place by land and sea and features over 300 boats, 100+ nautical presentations and exhibitors from across the country displaying the latest in boating equipment as well as craft beer, wine and bite-sized eats from area chefs and set in the historic Victoria seaside town of Port Townsend. Students will be responsible for purchasing their daily pass to attend the actual wooden boat festival.

The actual Wooden Boat Festival is FRI to SUN 9/8 to 9/10 so I thought 9/6 to 9/11 would be best for a class with a couple days before and a day after.
September 6 at 6:00 p.m. ends at noon on September 11th

  • Pacific Northwest Art School
  • Pacific Northwest Art School
  • Pacific Northwest Art School