Promotional Graphic for Susan Sugar's Plein Air Painting Class

$275, $225 mbrs. (discounted price will display for members upon login)

Limit 5 students.

Plein air watercolor classes: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday June 25-28 at 6pm (sessions will run for 3 hours)

Students will meet at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Please read a note about our in-person classes at this link.

Additional session available (students may enroll in both sessions). Sign up for June 18-21 here.

Please note: both sessions culminate in a final critique at Susan’s Turtle House studio/home. At a later date, the students’ work will be exhibited at The Studios of Key West, with an art opening to celebrate the accumulated work.

(Students will meet at Ft. Zach Beach, June 25-28, 6-9pm)

(If you require financial assistance, we may be able to help)

Paint the sea and sky at dusk, a summer favorite.

This 4-day workshop is an adventure in seeing. Our subject? The unfolding ever-changing symphony of light and color at dusk on a summer evening by the sea. Given the vastness of sea and sky and the swiftly changing pictorial moods, where do we even begin? How do we choose where to focus our attention? How do we engage in the joy of mark-making (expression) without measuring ourselves against what we think is “art”?

This class is about being present. It is about showing up. That is the hardest part of any practice.

Sessions begin each evening with a group critique and a brief demonstration by Susan. The rest of the evening until sunset is dedicated to painting, with Susan providing individual attention to each participant, as desired. The goal is to find your own unique voice as a painter, whether you are professional or a beginner.

Some painting experience helpful.

For the past 25 summers, Susan has been capturing the tumultuous ever-changing seas and skies of Key West.

With a background in dance and architecture, she works with rhythm, space, and light, recreating what she sees and feels, searching for what moves her most.

Sugar has a degree in Dance and Theater from George Washington University in Washington DC.  Following this, she studied architecture at Columbia University and then attended the New York Studio School of Drawing Painting and Sculpture, NYC where she studied with Graham Nickson and Mathew Radford.

New York City has been home since 1979.  She summers here in Key West, when the skies are most active, using the Plein air watercolor studies to develop large oils in her New York studio.  Susan has exhibited her oils and watercolors here in Key West since 1995.  She has also shown in New York City, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Hamptons.  She is currently exhibiting with JAG Gallery, here in Key West.

Supply List

Watercolor block – Aquarelle Arches, fine, cold pressed 7 x 10″ (or, 140 lb paper, 20 sheets). Block is very useful because the paper is securely held for working out doors. Feel free to use another size to work in.

Sugar prefers a slight texture, but the block does come in satin (smooth/no little bumps).  Excessive bumps/course grain not recommended.

Paints – watercolors – a basic palette of 8 colors or more. Student grade are fine. No particular brand. Sugar uses cakes, but tubes are fine.


Portable chair if uncomfortable sitting on the ground

Towel to sit on

Plastic container for water

At least 3 watercolor brushes (fine tip for line drawing and detail, medium sized, and a bigger brush for wide strokes or washes.

Small notebook for writing and notes

Camera (optional)

Hat and sun protection

Something to nibble on if you tend to get hungry while inspired

Supplies available at Books & Books with an additional 10% discount.

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The Studios of Key West
533 Eaton Street
Key West, FL 33040

Box Office Hours
Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm


The Studios of Key West