Upcoming Fine Art Classes

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Fine Art Department

Barbette Quinn

Barbette Quinn

Instructor: Barbette Quinn
May 8–10, 2020 (Friday–Sunday, 9:30am–4:30pm)
All levels

Register Online Now
Or call the Mendocino Art Center Registrar:
707 937-5818, ext. 10 or toll-free 800 653-3328, ext. 10


This class will give you an appreciation of the medieval art of illuminated letters and provide you with the techniques and skill enabling you to create your own. You will be working with parchment and learning how to make your own paint using pigments and egg yolk (Egg Tempera). You will also learn how to apply gold leaf. You will have the opportunity to view different examples of illuminated letters so that you can look at different subjects and see what appeals to you.

This class is open to all levels of experience and participants will take home their completed original letters. As you will see, not all illuminated letters have a religious subject and therefore can have a wide appeal.


I was born in Boston in 1947 into a large artistic family, where our toys were paints, paintbrushes and pencils. I am a self-taught artist specializing in medieval painting in the UK and Italy. I developed my painting skills through working on several historic restoration projects including the state rooms of Edward I in the Tower of London and gilded the casement of the organ in the Chapel at The Houses of Parliament, London.
I became passionate about illuminated letters when I visited Siena, Italy, in 1986. I then took up an apprenticeship in a private company restoring historical books and painting illuminated letters in Siena.

I learnt to work with egg tempera, the original method of painting in the mediaeval times, working on vellum or parchment and finally embossing with gold leaf.

– Barbette Quinn

Current MAC Members: $324
Non-members: $360 plus a $45 non-member registration fee

There is a registration fee of $45 for each class for non-members. Current Mendocino Art Center members do not pay a registration fee and may take 10% off each class registration. The discount is reflected in the prices above. Not a member yet? You may sign up below.
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Cancellations must be made in writing, either by mail or email. If you notify us at least 21 days prior to the first class meeting, you will receive a refund of tuition less a $45 cancellation fee. No refunds will be made after that date for any reason due to our contractual obligations and material acquisitions. If the Art Center is compelled to cancel a class you will receive a full tuition refund. Memberships are non-refundable as they are considered a donation to the Art Center.

Instructor materials fee: $25 (all materials including parchment, pigments and gold leaf will be provided).

Materials List


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Please choose the applicable tuition price:

$405: Non-member tuition price (includes a $45 registration fee)
$324: Current Mendocino Art Center member


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