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Private Workshops, Santa Rosa Junior College Classes, Pepperwood Preserve Classes

Marsha Connell offers a variety of workshops and creative retreats in addition to college and university classes.
Marsha's teaching style reflects her engagement as a multimedia artist, bridging traditional studio practice and expressive arts.

Marsha is also available by invitation for your group workshop, for slide lectures and poetry readings, and for individual lessons, consultations and critiques.

Workshop topics include:

    • Spontaneous Watercolor and Moving Meditation
    • Expressive Painting: Gesture and Color
    • Painting From Nature: Exterior & Interior Landscapes
    • Finding Your Own Voice in Painting
    • Nature and Spirit Art Workshops
    • Twilight Painting in Pastel and Oil Pastel
    • Making Connections Through Collage
    • Watercolor: Exploring Transparency
    • Gesture and Stillness: Two Approaches to Watercolor
    • Working from the Model
    • Lively Pastels
    • Sketching on the Trail
    • Professional Development Seminars for Teachers
      Landscape Painting



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Private Workshops, SRJC, and PEPPERWOOD PRESERVE










GESTURE and STILLNESS: Watercolor Workshop
with Marsha Connell and Sally Baker
November 2 & 3, 2013, 9:30am-3:30pm
Pepperwood Preserve, Santa Rosa, CA 95404


Two painter friends
One known for expressive “painterly” landscapes, one for elegantly rendered still lifes, both passionate about color, offer their unique weekend of watercolor exploration. (Visit Sally and
Marsha online and during ARTrails Open Studios October 12, 13 & 19, 20, 2013. Studio maps and catalogs online

You’ll explore skills including
Painting soft-edged wet-in-wet forms, building images by layering marks and shapes, painting seamless transparent washes as a meditative practice, and delineating sharply focused objects.

From abstract to realist, from spontaneous space-shaping with a brush to methodical color-forming based on careful drawing.

Your instructors bring many years of painting and classroom experience to guide you—Marsha at Santa Rosa Junior College and Pepperwood Preserve and Sally at Healdsburg High School, as well as workshops and classes for students and teachers across the country.

Participants of diverse backgrounds are welcome.
Class is structured around group exercises and individual pursuits. Beginners will find guidance for basic exploration. Experienced painters and repeat students will find support to develop technique and expression.

Use what you already own or consult our list, sent upon registration.
Snacks provided. Please bring your lunch.

Sign up early! Workshop is limited to 25 participants.
Fee $195. Complete registration by mail or email to or
Mail checks to Marsha Connell, 2180 Beverly Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 or
Sally Baker, My Daughter the Framer, 637 4th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
You may phone in credit card numbers or ask questions of Sally 707-829-0396, or Marsha 707-527-7754.


GESTURE and STILLNESS Watercolor Workshop with Marsha Connell and Sally Baker
November 2 & 3, 2013, 9:30am-3:30pm



Phone __________________________Email_____________________________________________

Payment: cash____, check_____, or credit card______(include numbers on front and back, or phone in)

Art interests and experience


ARTICLE BY A FORMER STUDENT, a visiting journalist, who was delighted with Sonoma County and with Marsha and Sally's painting workshop


Most famous wineries that welcome tourists for tastings are affiliated with bistros where fine chefs who pair wine and food specialize in gorgeous presentations. But, surprise! The county's gourmet grandeur is just the beginning! Sonoma County is a magnificent and constant feast for the eyes: The expansive landscape of fertile fields and forests, crisscrossed by lazy rivers and bordered by a craggy coastline, is dotted by elegant estates, quaint farmhouses, charming hotels and B&Bs, and a collection of dramatically designed wineries-- all positioned to have spectacular views.

The countryside is so beautiful artists flock to live and work in the area. In fact, Sonoma County has an unusually high concentration of prolific painters and sculptors, many of whom exhibit their work in permanent collections or rotating exhibitions at wineries . . .                               

As an alternative to feasting on art in the tasting rooms, you can browse the county's numerous art galleries or follow Sonoma County's Open Studios, which invite you to visit with artists in their ateliers. Studio visits are arranged by various arts organizations, including Sebastopol Center for the Arts and the Arts Council of Sonoma County

Both sponsor organized itineraries several times each year: Art at the Source and ARTrails, but will also help tourists to visit artists' studios on an individual basis.

Sonoma's scenic beauty is so awesome, and the concentration of talent so palpable, you're likely want to pick up a brush or pen -- even if you think you're talent-challenged. Simply put, Sonoma is a great place to overcome inhibitions and try your creative hand, and there's ample opportunity for you to do so with excellent guidance . . .

. . . join the upcoming "Gesture and Stillness: Two Approaches to Watercolor. Workshop and Creative Retreat" with Marsha Connell and Sally Baker, two brilliant watercolorists. Connell and Baker, both widely collected, are extraordinary teachers.

Connell, known for expressive free-flowing "painterly" landscapes, takes participants outdoors to paint plein air, while Baker, known for elegantly composed and meticulously rendered still lifes, works indoors, showing how to create perfect washes and refined shapes with realistic shading. Both are passionate about color and about exploring personal creativity. Their dramatically different styles perfectly complement each other. You can work with one or both of them.

You'll learn spontaneous soft-edged "wet in wet" painting, building up images through overlaying, painting seamless transparent washes and creating sharply focused objects.                       

Enrollment is limited. If you don't have watercolor materials, you'll get a list of suggested supplies. Contact Connell at or Baker at .

Excerpted from article originally published Friday February 13, 2004



The following workshops are not scheduled in spring 2013. Future dates to be announced.

Email for further information about listed classes,
or with invitations or proposals for workshops in California or other locations.

<img src="images/Marsha_PondinBloom.jpg" width="602" height="383" />PAINTING YOUR LANDSCAPE
with Marsha Connell

When: Various workshops to be announced

Where: To be announced

Who: For artists at any experience level (in any painting or drawing medium) who are seeking instruction, feedback, changes in approach or media, creative community, or opportunities to paint at different sites. Art ideas, demonstrations, and information support each person's vision, representational to abstract.

Media: a focus on oil, but instruction can be given in any painting and drawing media, including acrylic, watercolor and pastel.
Use materials you already own or suggestions from supply list given after registration.

Your instructor Marsha Connell: is on the art faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College and both teaches and exhibits her art at Pepperwood Preserve and national and international venues. Her background in diverse arts media and her cross-disciplinary interests have led her to evolve a teaching style that bridges traditional studio practice and expressive arts.

Sign up: Pay by cash, check, or credit card. Complete registration by email to

Mail checks to Marsha Connell, 2180 Beverly Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

Please include this form or facsimile with registration:


with Marsha Connell



City State Zip



Media/subject interests and art experience


Artists' Retreats in Soreze, France

Marsha Connell hosts retreats for painters, writers, photographers, and more, in the charming village of Soreze. Because these retreats are the most affordable organized French vacations possible they fill up very fast.

Sea Ranch pastel

Lively Pastels
Instructor: Marsha Connell

Mendocino Art Center
Retreat Style Workshops on the Mendocino Coast



Check SRJC catalog or online for latest offerings. Dates to be announced.

Marsha Connell will be on leave from SRJC Art Department Spring 2013

Art 3: Introduction to Art and Design

Art 7A: Drawing

Art 13: Watercolor



Non-Credit Classes at Pepperwood Preserve

Registration and up to date information about classes at Pepperwood Preserve is online.

Click on "Take a Class", then "View our catalogue"

Marsha at Mt St Helena

Sketching on the Trail at Pepperwood

Pepperwood Preserve
3450 Franz Valley Road, Santa Rosa
FEE: $30.00

Deepen your observational skills with sketching. Explore Pepperwood Preserve with artist Marsha Connell, while enjoying an introduction to basic drawing skills, from gesture and contour, shading and texture, to varieties of expressive and dynamic mark making. Hikers, scientists, beginning or experienced artists, students, are all welcome.

Landscape Painting

Dates to be announced.

Pepperwood Preserve
3450 Franz Valley Road, Santa Rosa
FEE: $30.00

Join plein air artist and SRJC instructor Marsha Connell painting the Pepperwood landscape. Explore realism, tonalism, impressionism, and expressionism. Beginning painters will learn basics of working in the field. Experienced painters will expand their repertoire of approaches. Instruction and demonstrations will be given in oil. Use supplies you already have in any painting media or see list, emailed after registration.

Some supplies available to share. Class will paint outdoors unless it is raining. Rain does not cancel, as Bechtel House has a wrap around roofed deck, as well as floor to ceiling windows with views of rolling hills. (If you paint indoors, paint not requiring solvent will be necessary, eg acrylics, water soluble oils, watercolor, pastels.) Bring lunch, water, appropriate apparel, and a floor or ground cover or tarp.

Marsha Connell is dedicated to fostering the joy of personal discovery through creative process. A long-time SRJC art instructor, Marsha has also led workshops from Mexico to New Mexico, Tennessee, and Alaska, and at many California venues (CA Arts Project, Mendocino Art Center, Sonoma State University Depth Psychology). She travels and hikes with a sketchbook and her artwork has been exhibited widely.


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