Santa Fe workshops


A Winter Weekend in Santa Fe with Michael Shemchuk

The Value of Color: Abstraction by Design

February 21, 22 and 23, 2020


Join us in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a fabulous 3-day workshop with Bay Area artist Michael Shemchuk (“Shem”), where you will explore composition and design by employing Shem’s unique process using paper, varnish and paint, while having an extremely limited palette.

Our workshop will be held in an artist’s studio that is just steps from the incredible artist space Meow Wolf and centrally located… it’s just a short drive to the Plaza and numerous hotels.

Winter in Santa Fe…

While in Santa Fe, explore the Railyard Arts District, home of dozens of galleries focusing on contemporary, cutting edge art, or Canyon Road, where you’ll find over 100 galleries, boutiques and restaurants in half a mile. There are so many things to do and see in Santa Fe, you’ll probably want to stay a bit longer, or come a bit earlier to take it all in. The food, the art, the architecture and history…. it truly is an enchanting and beautiful town…. we hope you’ll join us!

Workshop description

Value of Color : Abstraction by Design
Limiting both our materials and palette offers challenges to our vision and design skills. We will examine thru the collage & paint process the subtle color values of oxidized (aged) paper. In essence we will be exploring the “color of time”.
Oxidized or aged paper (see lignin) expresses a multitude of color variations from pale yellow to deep ochre. These variations depend on the air & light exposure of the paper. Employing the Abstraction by Design process, we explore these (aged) color values against the limited backdrop of white paper, white & black paint, graphite and varnish. These pared down resources present challenges to our skills of balance & composition as well as scale & color.


Above: Our studio for the weekend


Workshop will be held 9:00-4:00 Friday, February 21, Saturday, February 22 and Sunday, February 23. Lunch break approx 12:00-1:00


With so many incredible places to stay, we’re leaving it up to you (but we do like the funky El Rey Court Motel: No matter what, make sure to add on time before or after our 3-day workshop for exploring around Santa Fe, Taos and more!


Santa Fe has an elevation of 7000 feet and is dry and arid, and in February, unpredictable., although usually sunny.


While you can fly into Santa Fe, most people opt to rent a car at the Albuquerque airport and drive the 45 minute journey to Santa Fe, which is an easy and beautiful desert drive. The airport code is ABQ, and it’s a small airport that is really easy to navigate.

3 full days of instruction with Michael Shemchuk in a centrally located Santa Fe artist’s studio space. This workshop is limited to 10 students for more personalized instruction and time with Shem: $950

Hurry, Shem’s workshops sell out quickly!


Materials to bring:
6- 16”x16” x 7/8”cradled wood panels. (See Blick item # 07044-1616) 1 quart White semi gloss house paint. Any brand.
1 quart Black semi gloss house paint.
2 quarts Gloss acrylic varnish/urethane. Any brand.
1 pint YES stikflat glue.
20 + sheets 8.5”x11” white printing/office paper.
10- sheets black tissue paper.

Collage papers: This workshop requires students to resource and bring a variety of

aged oxidized paper. Sourcing: old newsprint, pages from aged/old books, old prints, old maps, etc.
These collage papers should be naturally dis-colored by time & exposure.

6+ Quart paint/mixing containers. Plastic, yogurt, cottage cheese containers work well. 5-6 2” chip brushes & stir stick
1-wide 6” 1 -narrow 1” metal putty knives
1- scrubber sponge & rags

1 sheet 80 grit sandpaper. Scissors & utility knife.