Mendocino Open Paint Out
on Northern California's
Beautiful Mendocino Coast

September 17–23, 2018

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John Hewitt
Wendy Brayton
Ellen Howard
Suzi Marquess Long
Will Maller
Dennis Simpson

Mendocino Open Paint Out featured artists will each host a demonstration (free to participating artists, donations requested from non-participants) and jury the paintings created during the week.


John Hewitt

Following a family trend, John began painting in college as a student of Vernon Nye, noted California school watercolorist who was chair of the art department. Upon graduating later from medical school, he began studying with Vernon in summer school classes taught at the Albion Summer School of art, founded by Vernon and Pacific Union College in the 1960’s. This continued until 2009, with John as the headliner the last 15 years as Vernon stepped down in his late 80s.

Other influences include Millard Sheets, who awarded John several awards in national juried shows and gave much personal encouragement by saying John was one of his best half dozen students during his career as art teacher at several art schools and many private workshops. From him, John learned to appreciate color harmonies that he uses to this day. Morris Graves called him a “composer” at a chance meeting in a frame shop in 1985.

In the 80’s John sought out the prominent watercolorists of that era and studied with each repeatedly. The list includes George Post, with whose work he is often compared, Rex Brandt, Jane Burnham, Tom Nicholas, Mario Cooper, and several others.

John began his teaching career at College of the Redwoods at the request of Floyd Bettiga of the art department in 1980. The appointment at Pacific Union College soon followed. John now also teaches workshops several times a year at various locations in America and Europe. In 2016, John was inducted into the Watercolor Honor Society, America’s most exclusive watercolor group. His paintings are in many public and private collections, including the University of West Virginia Medical Center, the Carson Mansion, Asilomar State Park of California, and the offices of Pacific Union College.
John has shows in many galleries and has many awards.

John Hewitt's Demonstration:

Composing a Harbor Scene
Wednesday, September 19, 7pm

I see many excellent illustrators out there, and that is good. That is usually my first thought at a scene. However, if I am to make a painting that has the power to take a viewer past the simple facts of a scene and into the realm of excitement and mystery of the feeling of the scene, then I have succeeded. How does one do that? Sometimes we accidentally do that. More reliably we use the elements and principles of design as tools to take that leap into imagination that is a must to achieve images that fascinate and even mesmerize rather than simply recording a moment in time and place. When we understand this, then you do it every time! Well, almost every time! Most of the time? At least some of the time!

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Wendy Brayton

My life changed the first time I went outside and painted. At that time I did not even know the term “plein air.” That day I discovered a world full of brilliant colors that I never knew existed. Never in a million years would I have thought that my life journey would turn me into a painter much less a plein air painter. Fair skinned and easily to sunburn, I spent my life avoiding the sun and relished cloudy days. This is no longer the case. I now pine for sunny days with long mysterious shadows, golden sunsets and starry nights with cool moonlight.

Seventeen years have passed since that day and everyday I count my blessings. Painting has brought me so much joy. It is an adventure every time I set out and it has surrounded me with likeminded artists and friends. Art has allowed me to travel, participate in shows and competitions. It compelled me to return to school and earn a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the San Francisco Academy of Art. Most importantly, it has provided me with a good and happy life.

Wendy Brayton's Demonstration:

The World of Reflections
Thursday, September 20, 2pm

Wendy's Airstream demonstration will share tricks and techniques on how to create reflective surfaces.

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Ellen Howard

"I strive for my paintings to engage the viewer and evoke a sense of connection, create a stillness that transports the onlooker to a tranquil space. Each painting is unique and an expression of that mood or energy expressed at that time.”

National Juried exhibitions include California Art Club’s 107th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, American Impressionist Society Annual & Small Works Show, NOAPS Best of America, Outdoor Painters Society and Plein Air Painters of Colorado. She was one of 19 artists for the “Northern California Impressionism” exhibition at Peninsula Museum of Art. Ellen’s work has been showcased in Plein Air Magazine and American Art Collector magazine. She is a member of the Oil Painters of America, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, American Impressionist Society, the Outdoor Painters Society, and the Plein Air Painters of Colorado. Ellen regularly participates in plein air competitions and received the Frank Bette Honorable Mention at the Frank Bette Paint Out, 2018, and was a featured artist at the Mendocino Open Paint Out in 2016. She won “Best Waterscape” at the 2017 Mendocino Open Paint Out.

Ellen is an Artist Member and Co-Chair of the California Art Club, San Francisco Region. Ellen teaches weekly oil painting classes at Art Attack in Burlingame. She also teaches several plein air workshops per year.

Ellen Howard's Demonstration:

Pushing Color: Capturing the Contrast
Between Your Light and Dark Patterns in Your Painting
Tuesday, September 18, 7pm

Ellen will talk about focusing on identifying the light and dark value patterns throughout your paintings to strengthen your composition. By establishing strong light and dark patterns, painters can push the color contrast in their paintings and enhance the impact of their paintings.

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Suzi Marquess Long

Award-winning artist Suzi Marquess Long has been enjoying plein air painting over the past several years and has accumulated several prizes including People’s Choice in Los Gatos, and Best of Show in Shelter Cove. 

Her work continues to evolve as she selects from a variety of subjects to paint from including ocean waves, vistas, and seashore to architecture, flowers and birds. The variety may seem incohesive but is an extension of Suzi’s many years as a mural painter that gave her experience with myriad motifs.

Suzi is an excellent instructor and for many years conducted drop-in classes in pen and watercolor from her watertower gallery on Albion Street in Mendocino.  Suzi is still teaching through ThePortablePainter.com.

Suzi Marquess Long's Demonstration:

Underpainting Your Pastels
Tuesday, September 18, 2pm

Underpainting pastels makes for breakthrough results! Surprisingly delightful pictures can be created from a variety of media. Suzi will demonstrate some of these and the results using acid-free sanded paper as a substrate and adding colorful layers to achieve an exciting outcome! 

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Will Maller

Will Maller, a signature member with the International Plein Air Painters (IPAP), Outdoor Painters Society (OPS), and National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) was named “2010 Paint the Parks Grand Prize Purchase Award Winner,” and was noted as one of the 50 finalists in Southwest Art Magazine’s top “21 artists over 31.”

Will began his studies at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and went on to earn his BA in Art/Minnesota State University, Mankato with graduate work at the University of Minnesota. Recently his work was featured in Plein Air Southwest Salon 2016, Plein Air Artists of Colorado, and 20th National Exhibition, as well as being a juried plein air participant in numerous plein air exhibitions (Carmel, Telluride, Aspen) and winning an Artists Choice Award in the 2014 Los Gatos Plein Air Art Show. Coastal landscapes, seascapes, and tributary subject matter are sources for Maller’s subject matter.

“I have had a love of the visual creative experience since childhood, with art being first a way of staying out of trouble, then a way of getting into trouble, then just a natural part of who I am. Each painting begins as an invitation, proceeds as an adventure, and ends as a gift – whether a joy in itself or a lesson learned, whether just for me or to be shared with others.”

– Will Maller

Will Maller's Demonstration:

Capturing Image Essentials, Quick, Loose and Bold
Thursday, September 20, 7pm

Make informed design and color decisions, giving you more creative control over your chosen subject. This demo will focus on placing your shapes correctly, with tonal accuracy, at the beginning of your process. Finding a way to control small movements in both tone and color temperature is the key. Join master artist Will Maller in understanding the abstract structure of painting to step up to your next level.


Dennis Simpson

Dennis Simpson finished a degree in Fine Art from Cal State University, and has been painting seriously since 1964. His main mentor was Vernon Nye, a member of the American Watercolor Society. Dennis tries to paint simply to show both the mark-of-the-tool and let the viewer supply the detail.

After serving in the Army as a Flight Medic on a UH1 Huey and marrying after release from service, Dennis launched a 35-year career in teaching, including 30 years in Special Education. Dennis painted as often as possible to stay fresh and earn extra income. His work is in many collections and has won a number of awards in juried competitions. Half the income Dennis now receives from painting goes to build schools and wells in Africa.

Due to a last minute family emergency, Dennis Simpson is unable to serve as a Featured Artist during the 2018 Mendocino Open Paint Out. His demonstration time slot is being replaced by “Painting Critiques by Featured Artists, Wednesday, September 19, 2pm

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Bob Rhoades' Presentation:

Title: A Visual History of Plein Air Painting
Friday, September 21, 2pm

Mendocino Art Center Art ClassesBob Rhoades will present a brief and selective history of plein air painting from its formal beginnings in 19th century France to its expansive practice in Europe and North America today. 

Bob has been a local resident and Mendocino Art Center member since 1982. His teaching for the College of the Redwoods includes drawing, watercolor, printmaking, art appreciation, and plein air painting. He has lectured to small groups at the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Uffizi, Prado, and Matsumoto Museum, among others.

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Mendocino Art Center

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Mendocino Open Paint Out

The Mendocino Art Center is a very special place, located in a stunning, rural location, overlooking a rugged expanse of the Pacific Ocean, 150 miles north of San Francisco. It has been a haven for artists since 1959, when founders Bill and Jennie Zacha first realized the potential of this unique community as an artists' colony.

Mendocino Art Center Jewelry     Mendocino Art Center Ceramics

Today the Mendocino Art Center is a highly regarded artistic and educational institution known for retreat-style classes led by superlative artist-instructors. More than 150 two- to five-day classes are offered each year in ceramics, fiber arts, fine art, jewelry/metalsmithing and sculpture.

Jan and Maxine Stussy

The art galleries feature monthly exhibitions spotlighting the creative works of local and national artists and the Mendocino Art Center continues to be at the heart of what makes the Mendocino Coast an enchanting and vibrant place to visit.