Artists will have the rare opportunity to study with some of the greatest plein air painters in America. Plein Air Painters of America master instructors Kenn Backhaus, Jill Carver, Len Chmiel, Ralph Oberg, Matt Smith, Skip Whitcomb, and Dan Young are coming to the southeast to teach at the Booth Art Academy.


$850 per student for four days of instruction, one full day of artist talks, two evening lectures, and Booth Museum admission. A lecture only option is available upon request.


Students will take two, two-day classes. Students will select a different artist for each class. A maximum of fifteen students will be in each class. A full day of artist talks by each of the participating instructors, two evening presentations featuring PAPA members, and a special tour of the Booth Museum are also included.

Painting Locations:

All of the classes will be outdoors. In the unfortunate event of inclement weather, classes will be indoors.


Students will bring all supplies needed for both classes. After final payment, students will receive a supply list for each two-day workshop.


Booth Museum Members may sign up from October 9 – 11, 2017. Registration will open to the public on October 12, 2017. Call Booth Art Academy Manager Kent Mullinax at 770-387-1553 to register and select your artists. A 50% deposit will be required to register. Final balance payment will be due by February 10, 2018 by 5:00 pm. There will be no refunds after February 10, 2018.

Not a Booth Museum Member? Take advantage of the Booth Museum Member early registration by becoming a Member today! Join online by clicking here or call Membership Manager Karen Mahoney at 770-387-8613.

Students will be responsible for their accommodations, transportation, and meals. There is a room block at the Hilton Garden Inn – Cartersville. To book a room in the Booth Museum PAPA block, click here. Once the room block is full, you can call 770-382-9787 and ask for the “Booth rate.”

Classes with less than 10-students are subject to cancellation. In the event of an artist class cancellation, students will choose another instructor based on availability.


Sunday, March 25
Students arriving in Cartersville may pick up their welcome packets from the front desk of the Booth Western Art Museum between 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Welcome packets contain participant name badges, schedule of events, directions to workshop locations, and information on the museum and local community. Workshop participant badges will admit students to the museum throughout the week. Students may tour the museum on their own.

Monday, March 26
Student check-in at Booth Museum from 8:30 am – 9:15 am. Those who have not already received their welcome packets can pick them up at the front desk. Artist talks from six different instructions going on throughout the day at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:45 pm, 2:45 pm, and 3:45 pm. Lunch on your own will be from 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm. Lunch will be available for purchase in the Museum Ballroom. Following the artists talks, students may take a special tour of the Museum from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, March 27
9:00 am – All students meet with their first instructor and paint for the full day, with a break for lunch on your own.
7:00 pm – Presentation by artist Len Chmiel in Bergman Theatre at Booth Museum.

Wednesday, March 28
9:00 am – Day-two of the first class.

Thursday, March 29
9:00 am – All students and instructors meet with their second instructor and paint for the full day, with a break for lunch on your own.
7:00 pm – Panel discussion with the artists moderated by Booth Museum Executive Director Seth Hopkins in Bergman Theatre.

Friday, March 30
9:00 am – Day-two of the second class.

To register, call Kent Mullinax at 770-387-1553.

Kenn Backhaus

As a representational painter, I am dedicated exclusively to exploring to the fullest, the potential of subjects in and around my life. Painting is not just an illusion in two dimensions but a moment in life captured on canvas. Painting is like a language, varying in mood and atmosphere, reflecting the diversities of life itself. I enjoy the challenges of painting various subject matter, so my approach to the painting process is to involve the viewer with those subjects as much as possible. My painted interpretations balance suggestive information with proper information inviting the viewer to become part of the process, translating and finishing parts of the painting themselves. Engaging the viewer in this way is much more interesting than if the painting is totally spelled out for them. I want the viewer to see the use of the medium, the end of each brush stroke, the spontaneity, the assuredness of knowledge. If I can give the viewer a sense of atmosphere, light and shadow in the scene—maybe just to open their eyes to the simple beauty around us—then I feel I have accomplished my goals.

Jill Carver

“Nature has provided me with a spiritual compass in life. For me, a painting should be evidence of a personal process of observation, exploration, dialogue, and acquired knowledge. This process, this ongoing ‘conversation’ with the land, is the closest I have come to living in its truest sense.”

Originally from London, England, Jill Carver moved to the United States in 2002. Before becoming a full time professional artist, she was a curatorial research assistant at the National Portrait Gallery in London for twelve years. Jill currently divides her time between Austin, Texas, and Rico, Colorado. Recognition for her work has come quickly; in 2014, she won the Gold Medal (Artists’ Choice) for Best in Show at Maynard Dixon Country. Previously she won Best in Show at the Laguna Beach Invitational and Telluride Plein Air, both in 2009, and Artists Choice at the Easton Plein Air Festival in 2008. Jill has been featured in Art of the West magazine, Plein Air Magazine, and Southwest Art Magazine.

Len Chmiel

“What’s my definition of an artist? An artist has an opinion. If there’s no self, then there is no art. Look at Richard Diebenkorn or Gustav Klimt, they were excellent designers, they were all excellent technicians, very skillful, but they didn’t let that skill hinder their expression. Art is when you go beyond being a good craftsman and interject yourself. Conversely, you don’t have to be a great technician to get your viewpoint across. Van Gogh is an example of that.”

There is an intimacy and honesty about the subjects that oil painter Len Chmiel chooses as each painting is an expression of himself. He explains that he has a pretty good idea of who he is at this point in his life. “I used to try to control everything but now I allow my intuition to speak.  My intention is to expand the boundaries of realism rather than merely painting a facsimile.

Ralph Oberg

I paint outside primarily as a means of learning the colors and moods of nature, and capturing the essentials. Plein air paintings are, these days, primarily a vehicle to inspire and improve my studio work. I wish still I had many of those paintings I did years ago, in my studio archives. Some were sold—a necessary evil—before I had a chance to develop them in the studio. I do fewer plein air paintings but keep more of them today; they are a library of information needed in the studio. They also inform me of the spontaneous techniques that I strive to incorporate in the studio, hard as that is with the luxury of time. I tend to be a realist, recording as much useful information about the values, colors and forms quickly to enhance the drawing and detail that the camera provides. In the studio, the small study brings back the total experience of being in the moment, which helps me add some of the emotional aspects of the scene.

Matt Smith

Though my interest in painting took hold early on in life, it wasn’t until my college years that the landscape became my primary focus. When I wasn’t painting, I was outdoors hiking, camping or fishing, so the transition seemed natural. Eventually this led me to explore the idea of painting the landscape from direct observation (en plein air). Since then I’ve traveled and painted in many areas of the U.S., western Canada, and Europe in search of fresh ideas. Thirty years later I still get a charge out of loading up my art gear and heading down a new desert wash or road yet traveled.

Skip Whitcomb

The aesthetic of the landscape and man’s humble “scratch marks” have always intrigued me. I seek out the visual surprises, the unexpected in nature, and the often overlooked. It might be a particular color note, atmospheric effect, or unique arrangement of light and dark patterns. Outdoor painting, landscape painting in general has much in common with fly fishing or hunting. It requires knowledge, familiarity, and respect of the subject. Generally my time is spent “hunting” in the country I love and know best…the American West, with occasional forays to more distant locations. My work is the way I process my world in an attempt to render with dignity this place we occupy.

The painter is the eye of the people. He sees the things which they have no time to look for, or looking, have not learned to see.”  – Daniel B. Parkhurst

Dan Young

Dan Young was born in Denver and grew up in rural western Colorado. His experiences camping, fishing, and exploring throughout the Rocky Mountains as a child have been a strong influence on his work. He attended Colorado Institute of Art, hoping to find a direction for his talent. After graduation he moved to Dallas Texas to pursue the commercial art field. Even with a successful illustration career, the landscape of his youth was always calling him back to Colorado. He returned in 1989 to begin painting full time. Young enjoys painting the rural life of the west, the ranches that dot the mountain valleys and river bottoms. He clings strongly to the importance of painting from life. He tries to spend as much time as possible painting on location, trying to capture his love and appreciation of nature on canvas. He has worked diligently trying to convey the feel of the moment in his paintings. “For me it is not about the details of a scene. It’s the emotion of the moment that I’m after.

To register, call Kent Mullinax at 770-387-1553.

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