Exploring Color and Light

A Two Day Plein Air Workshop

All Media

John Clayton,  Instructor

August 4th and 5th

Friday and Saturday, 9am – 4pm


$195 Members

$225 Non-members

John Clayton, Portsmouth Arts Guild
Light on the Bay, oil painting
John Clayton, Town Hall, Portsmouth Arts Guild
Town Hall, watercolor

Join John Clayton for this two-day plein air workshop in and around beautiful Portsmouth.  Watercolor and oil painters are invited to expand their experiences and understanding of color and light!  We will create dynamic paintings that express their own creative, solid expression.  John’s no-nonsense approach covers all elements of plein air painting, including step-by-step instruction on light, shade, composition, design and color.   

He will simplify the scene to flat masses and develop values and exciting color notes with the goal of light filled paintings.  Students will learn how to mix key colors by comparing color notes and painting shapes of color in an expressive creative, way. 

Each day begins with a demonstration illustrating key elements resulting in paintings that are successful and exciting.  Class will be outdoors at locations TBD, but will move indoors to painting still life in case of rain.


About John Clayton

John Clayton, searching for of his own artistic voice, left the grey walls of The Art Student’s League of New York. Clayton’s journey lead him to the Cape School in Provincetown where he embraced the “Art of Seeing Color” as taught by the late Henry Hensche, and Charles W. Hawthorne.

Clayton would paint outdoors as often as he could. Over many years Clayton matured into a devoted plein air painter. He now makes his living painting and teaching throughout Cape Cod in the Summers and the streets of Key West in the Winter. “Color is the vehicle I use to express my own sense of nature. I am inspired by nature and light; its ever changing conditions are challenging to me.

His work is about the light key, and expressing it through paint. While attending the The National Academy in New York, John was the recipient of the Arthur and Melville Philips Scholarship and the Mrs Roberts Forbes Scholarship. He also received an honorable mention in the Academy’s annual student show. Clayton was one of eight in the Provincetown Art Association’s “Emerging Artists Exhibition”, in 1999.

In 2006 he received a Mass Cultural Council grant. Among the many teachers with whom John Clayton has studied, include Harvey Dinnerstein, Marybeth McKenzie, and Cedric Egeli.

With thanks to our generous sponsors