Art Lab for Teens - Rancho La Puerta
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Art Lab for Teens

Week of August 5, 2023

Sequential Artistic Explorations

  1. The Cosmic Doodle – channeling your inner artist in pure color and line play. Pen, Marker, Paper and Go!
  2. The Magic Dot – let the water do the work! Exploring the wonderful world of watercolor.
  3. Fantasy Collage – let your imagination be your guide! A little paint, paper, scissors and glue – the sky is the limit!
  4. Taking a Line for a Walk – drawing exercises for people who don’t draw.
  5. Let it Rip! The landscape of the Ranch in torn paper collage, putting color to shape and imagination to observation to fashion your own interpretive landscape “paintings.”


An award-winning painter and author, Erin Gafill has inspired people around the world with her inspirational art, heartfelt stories, and uniquely engaging teaching methods. Her work bridges art, craft, and community, weaving observation, intuition, and imagination into her painting, writing, teaching, and public speaking. A fifth-generation California artist, she was born in Big Sur, California in 1963, the daughter of a beatnik and a hippie and the great-great-granddaughter of Carmel’s first artist-in-residence. Growing up at her grandparents’ legendary restaurant, Nepenthe, a mecca for poets, bohemians and dreamers, she drew inspiration from its ever-changing cast of characters as well as the stunning and mystical beauty of the coast. Erin is the founder of the nonprofit Big Sur Arts Initiative, and a founding member of the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association. In 2001 Erin was honored to serve as the first American Artist-in-Residence at the Hamada International Children’s Museum, Hamada, Japan. In 2009, she and her husband Tom Birmingham were named Champions of the Arts by the Arts Council of Monterey County and were honored by the United States Congress for their service to the community through the arts. Her exhibit Color Duets was the featured Spring/Summer show for the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California, in 2022, and her solo exhibit, California Atmosphere, was featured this summer at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California. She is the author of a coffee table art book, Color Duets, with Kaffe Fassett, and a memoir about life/work balance, Drinking from a Cold Spring, a Little Book of Hope. Both books are available at