“A fabulous instructor, gorgeous venue, wonderful staff, great fellow artists...what's not to love?”

Our gallery and workshop spaces are in the historic Benicia Arsenal in Benicia, California. The arsenal is a large area comprised of many former military buildings, and the building we inhabit is a stately brick structure built in 1878. Spend a few hours or a whole weekend with us in Benicia, where you’ll find plenty of dining options, shops and antique stores on Benicia’s waterfront First Street, just a 3 minute drive from the historic Benicia Arsenal.

Upcoming Bay Area Workshops


Nov 1-3 / Cleo Papanikolas: ART ADVANCEMENT: Sketchbook Practice To Answer Your Own Art Questions

Nov 1-3 / Cleo Papanikolas: ART ADVANCEMENT: Sketchbook Practice To Answer Your Own Art Questions


A 3 day workshop taught by artist, maker and author Cleo Papanikolas in Benicia, CA

Friday, Nov 01, Saturday, Nov 02 and Sunday, Nov 03, 10:00-5:00 with a one hour lunch

Materials fee $45 (paid to instructor day of class). You’ll receive an oversized sketchbook, paint, and a copy of Cleo’s book. Please bring your own paintbrushes and any of your favorite drawing materials. – we’ll have the basics


Join Cleo as she guides you through some of the exercises in her book “The Opposite Is Also True: A Journal Of Creative Wisdom For Artists” We’ll use big sketchbooks and lots of paint to create impulsive maps, lists, charts, and diagrams to kindly self-critique your artwork and artistic process. With new techniques and perspective, your instinct will point you in a new direction to take your art. bring some samples of your art; It’s OK if you’re a beginner. We’ll get you going by exploring three aspects: materials and technique, creative process, and artistic outlook. Does that sound deep and artsy? It doesn’t have to be. In this class you decide what you want it to be and both ways are good.

On day one we have introductions and brief descriptions of the easy/stuck parts of your art or craft. Then we learn some fast and loose techniques for drawing charts and diagrams. The advice in the book is presented in pairs of opposites. For example, “Do one thing well vs. Have a wide range of talents” “Make it right vs. Leave it raw” “Tell the truth vs. Tell a good story.” Students work out on paper which way is right for themselves.

Day two digs deeper into the exercises in the book filling several sketchbook pages. Students relate the concepts to their own art and map out thumbnail images, changes and plans. We talk about “Making art” vs. “Being an Artist” and compile a big book full of ideas for future reference.


About the instructor: Cleo Papanikolas has experience to share in fine art, illustration, publishing, writing and handcrafted products. She earned a BFA in printmaking from California College of Arts (and Crafts), and an MFA in painting from the University of California at Berkeley. She has taught in the San Francisco bay area at CCA, Handcrafted Studio School, SF Center for the book, UC Berkeley, CreativeLive, and Castle in the Air. Her latest book is “The Opposite is Also True: a Journal of Creative Wisdom For Artist’s.” She is the author/illustrator of "Cook Until Desired Tenderness" and she illustrated "The Comfort Queens Guide To Life" and a line of over 100 licensed products based on the book, as well as numerous other books, magazines, and products. Cleo paints professionally at any scale and has worked on large commercial murals, oil on canvas paintings for fine art galleries, and small pieces for print.

Learn more about Cleo:


Free and unlimited coffee, tea and bottled water. Bring your carafe!

Lunch Options: 1. Bring your own lunch and store in our refrigerator if needed, 2. drive 3 min away to quaint downtown Benicia and choose from a huge variety of restaurants (we provide map and recommendations), 3. Place your order with us in the morning of class from a limited menu from our restaurant of the day and have it delivered to the studio (lunch and delivery is $20, payable upon ordering). For those with allergies or food restrictions, we recommend bringing a sack lunch as we cannot accommodate special requests. On nice days, join us on the leafy patio by the fountain for dining al fresco.


By purchasing this workshop, I agree with the Waiver of Liability, Medical Release, Photography/Videotape Release and Indemnification Agreement and fully understand its contents. I am aware that this is a release of liability and a contract between myself and Okey Dokey Inc/Jen Tough Gallery, and that I do it of my own free will. I also understand the Refund Policies and the potential consequences thereof, set forth by Okey Dokey Inc/Jen Tough Gallery and agree to such terms. found here.

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