Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paint the Historic Delta Towns - a Workshop!

I will be doing a three-day workshop in May! (Friday - Sunday, May 3 - 5) 

This workshop is a little different from my usual workshops in that it incorporates both indoor and plein air work. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

We will be painting the historic Sacramento Delta towns of Locke and Isleton. Locke is an old Chinese settlement on the Sacramento River, founded 1915 or thereabouts, and it still stands pretty much the way it was then. It's a little one block town (literally!) where the main street is so narrow you could almost jump across it. The wooden buildings are rickety and crooked but for the most part still standing.

Isleton, several miles downriver, is also a historic settlement but has an entirely different flavor from Locke. Both are full of character and just waiting to be painted!

So what I want to do with this workshop, is to split it into two parts. The first part will involve on-location plein air sketches and studies, and shooting photo references. We focus on information gathering; what's important? what's just fluff? What needs to be said? What needs to be edited? 

Rather than trying to complete paintings on location, our plein air studies will have a bit of a different, yet specific purpose of being studies for a larger studio painting which will be executed in studio.

Main street Locke. Take away the cars and it's a time warp.

Which brings us to part two. Using our plein air studies, and photo references we collecte, we will work up a larger studio painting indoors at the School of Light and Color in Fair Oaks, Cal, which, by the way, is next to my studio.

I want us to really pay attention to the process of doing a larger studio painting, and put the time and effort into prep work.  I think too many of us just rush into it and end up frustrated and disappointed (is that you nodding your head?). 

Because, as you know, painting is not about copying a photograph. You have to create a compelling image by which you communicate your version of the world. Your vision. Your experience. 

That's easier said than done, of course, and not something you can learn over one weekend. But this workshop will help you take the guesswork out of the process, become more aware of what's essential and what's not, and be more visually articulate.

Hotel Del Rio in Isleton.

So if you want to learn more about creating studio paintings from field studies, paint funky street scenes of towns that time forgot, and have a few drinks with me at Al the Wops, join me this May and come sling some paint!

Historic Delta Towns; From Field Studies to Studio Finishes
May 3 - 5. Tuition: $395

To sign up, please contact Debbie at

The School of Light and Color
email: sarback@lightandcolor.comsarback@lightandcolor.com
phone: (916) 966-7517

All levels are welcome, but you should have a basic understanding of oil painting, and some plein air experience.

'Hope you can make it!!

Find out more about Locke and Isleton


  1. I really enjoyed seeing your work. I usually don't subscribe by email because I don't check my email for art as often as I do my blog. If I could have the option of following in my blog instead of by email, I would definitely follow more artists. Just a thought. Inevitably I end up unsubscribing because I never see their work. Too much email. Hope you consider adding the "follow"option here. Thanks

  2. Hi Kevin, thanks for the input and I agree with you~

    Blogger used to have a Follow button at the top of the window but now it's gone and I can't seem to figure out how to add one.

    I'll add that capability back on my blog when I figure it out :-D

  3. Boy, does that look like fun. Wish I had the time and funds to make your workshop. I love your work. It has all the right elements for my tastes.