Erin Lee Gafill & Tom Birmingham – Get in, Get Out, Get On With It! (Online); Thursdays, January 18-February 8, 2024

Date: Thursdays, January 18-February 8, 2024
Time: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific Time (1:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time/6:00-8:00 PM London Time)
Level: All
Medium: All

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Tapping the Source and Breaking Through Creative Barriers

During this jam-packed 4 week workshop with two award-winning teachers, you will explore a variety of mediums and techniques to find entry into your own personal and unique creative expression.

Together, we will explore elements of design including line, proportion, texture, value, contrast, color, and more. Using timed exercises and out-of-the-box methods, we will keep your inner critic on the run and help you bypass barriers of self-doubt and self-judgment.

Whether you are a seasoned professional in the arts, or you’ve never picked up a paintbrush, these four weeks will awaken your artist within and help you to identify and dis-arm your inner self-saboteur. While this workshop will use and demonstrate a variety of techniques, its primary intention is to help you to find your own creative voice and break down blocks that inhibit a personal creative practice. For those who already have a creative practice, this inspirational workshop offers a jumpstart into a new path forward. If you have never before found a way into the creative arts, but you’ve always wanted to try, this is a great place to start with two supportive guides cheering you on.

An award-winning painter and author, Erin Gafill has inspired people around the world with her inspirational art, heartfelt stories, and uniquely engaging teaching methods. Her work bridges art, craft, and community, weaving observation, intuition, and imagination into her painting, writing, teaching, and public speaking.

A fifth-generation California artist, she was born in Big Sur, California in 1963, the daughter of a beatnik and a flower child.  She is the great-great-granddaughter of Carmel’s first artist-in-residence. Growing up at her grandparents’ legendary restaurant, Nepenthe, a mecca for poets, bohemians and dreamers, she drew inspiration from its ever-changing cast of characters as well as the stunning and mystical beauty of the coast.

Erin is the founder of the nonprofit Big Sur Arts Initiative, and a founding member of the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association (MBPAPA). In 2001 Erin was honored to serve as the first American Artist-in-Residence at the Hamada International Children’s Museum, Hamada, Japan.

In 2009, she and her husband Tom Birmingham were named Champions of the Arts by the Arts Council of Monterey County and were honored by the United States Congress for their service to the community through the arts.

Her exhibit Color Duets was the featured 2021 Spring/Summer show for the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California, followed the next summer by a solo exhibit, California Atmosphere at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California. She is the author of a coffee-table art book, Color Duets, with Kaffe Fassett, and a memoir about life/work balance, Drinking from a Cold Spring, a Little Book of Hope. Both books are available at

Tom Birmingham is an artist, photographer, and international teacher. As a founding director of the award-winning Big Sur Arts Initiative, Tom has provided instruction and enrichment in the creative arts in a variety of mediums, from Big Sur, California, to Hamada, Japan. He teaches photography and drawing at Rancho la Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, and watercolor painting, sketch, and creative writing with his wife Erin Lee Gafill on their annual creativity retreats to Italy.

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About Our Online Classes:

  • This class is taught live via Zoom. To take this class, you need a microphone and camera enabled computer OR an iPad /smart tablet OR a smart phone (android or IOS) and a strong internet connection.
  • You will have access to an online class group message board on our website where you can share work, comment and ask questions. (Exact use of the message board, critique of student work and general class format is at the discretion of the instructor, please check course description for details.)
  • Class will be recorded and recordings expire 60 days after the final day of the course.
  • Participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and class details 5-7 days before the class starts (don’t forget to check your junk folder). Zoom link will also be posted in the class message board. Check your confirmation email for a message board link. Find out how to access the class group message board here.