Be Bold, Be Fearless! Plein Air Workshop

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Michele Usibelli
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Be Bold, Be Fearless: a Plein Air Painting Workshop with Michele Usibelli

Demonstration: October 28, 2023 | Saturday | 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Workshop: October 29 – 31, 2023 | Sunday – Tuesday 

First Workshop day, 10/29, meets 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Subsequent days’ meeting times will be announced by the instructor during the class.

  • Medium: Students can choose to work in Oil, Acrylic, Pastel or Gouache.
  • Experience Level: To get the most from the workshop experience, participating artists should be comfortable setting up their own gear and have some experience painting en plein air.
  • Registration: Each student must register individually. Click the Cancellation Policy tab above for more info.
  • Materials List: Click the Materials List tab above for a list of materials/supplies students need to bring to the workshop.
  • Location: Sedona Arts Center, North Studio.

Michele Usibelli will do a 2-hour morning demonstration on Saturday, October 28 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon that will be open to the public. Students enrolled in this 3-day workshop will get preferential seating, but others will be attending just the Saturday demonstration session as well. She will demonstrate her process for creating work in the studio from plein air work and photo reference.

Starting on Sunday, Oct. 29th, Michele will be leading this immersive 3-day workshop experience. Participants may paint in oil, acrylic, pastel and gouache. Demonstrations and instruction will focus on the essentials steps of plein air painting. The workshop will start with an abbreviated lecture on the fundamentals of sound painting, including a discussion of drawing, value, design, and color. Short demonstrations will be combined with one-on-one instruction on location in the beautiful high desert landscape of Sedona.

Questions about the Workshop? Email Michele at

Michele is known for her energetic brushwork and color as well as highly personalized and positive approach to teaching. Her award-winning artwork has shown in both group and gallery exhibitions, in regional, national and international juried exhibitions and has won numerous awards. Her artwork can be found in public and private collections throughout the world. Michele has been accepted into the following organizations: Oil Painters of America/Signature Member, American Impressionist Society/Signature Member, California Art Club, Women Artists of the West/ Signature Member, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. For more information about Michele, click the Instructor tab above.

The Sedona Arts Center is proud to present the Sedona Plein Air Festival Oct. 20 – 28, 2023, the week before the demo and workshop. The Festival brings 25 of the most talented artists in the country to paint in the Shangri La of the Southwest. A week-long, constantly evolving exhibition results in the big Awards Night reception on Friday evening, Oct. 27, and everyone is invited to attend the free event.  For more information and schedule of Festival events, visit our website at, and bookmark the page so you can see the schedule and list of artists for 2023 as the information becomes available.

In-Person Classes
COVID Health and Safety Protocols

The health and safety of our Patrons, Students, Volunteers, and Staff are a top priority. Since COVID-19 first surfaced, our staff continues to monitor the situation closely, taking every precaution to keep our Patrons, Students, Volunteers, Staff, and our community safe.

  • Mask-wearing is optional inside Sedona Arts Center buildings until further notice.

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Michele Usibelli

Michele Usibelli

Like all artists, I feel I was born to create, and was drawn to art from as early as I can remember. After earning my degree in architecture from the University of Washington, I combined my professional life with my love of travel.  My extensive travels and life experiences provide the solid platform from which my artwork is created.

My early training established a strong foundation in the Russian Impressionist tradition of seeing and painting shapes of light and color using relatively loose brushstrokes. I have studied extensively and have been influenced by numerous historic artists, most notably Nicholai Fechin, John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase. All of these influences have allowed me to establish my own unique artistic style and define me as a truly versatile artist.

While I am drawn to many painting genres; still life, landscape, cityscapes and figurative-its my individual style and paint application, that creates and maintains a constant theme throughout my body of work. My work is created primarily in oils, but I also enjoy working in acrylics, gouache and pastels in my representational style. I strive for consistency of style that is uniquely my own.  Collectors continuously say they “can spot my work from across the room”. Establishing my own, unique, artistic voice is my primary goal. I will never paint the same image twice, Every piece that I create is truly an original, completed to my highest standards. I am thankful to have the opportunity to pursue this passion I call art! Through my art I have had the opportunity to establish many long term friendships with collectors, galleries and other artists. When a collector purchases a piece I do not view it as a one time event, I view it as a new friend for life. I am extremely grateful for those who have supported me and hope you will continue to appreciate and support all artists who are making the world a more beautiful place.

Michele’s award-winning artwork has shown in both group and solo gallery exhibitions as well as regional, national and international juried exhibitions. Usibelli has won numerous awards, most recently the Silver Medal Award at the prestigious Salmagundi Club, NYC/2015. She is honored to have her work in the permanent collection at the University of Alaska Fairbanks/Museum of the North, along with long admired historic and contemporary Alaskan artists.  Recently, Michele has followed her passion to teach, conducting ongoing workshops and art demonstrations. She has proven to be a popular juror. Her artwork can be found in public and private collections throughout the world.

Michele is a member of, and has exhibited with, the following organizations; Oil Painters of America/Signature Member, American Impressionist Society/Signature Member, Women Artists of the West/Signature Member, California Art Club/Artist Member, Salmagundi Club/NYC, American Women Artists and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association/Signature Member. Her work has received numerous awards. 

Artist Statement

“During my work in architecture, I felt deeply connected to the arts. But I truly discovered my passion when I began to explore oil painting. For me, the process of creating begins with a scene that I feel carries a certain energy and evokes an emotion. I find myself drawn to subject matter with rich colors or intriguing light. The vignettes of everyday life that inspire me to paint, regardless of whether it’s a landscape, figurative work, cityscape, or portrait. It is my primary goal to have each artwork I create resonate with energy and the poetry of light. I follow my own ‘rule’ of painting what is truly important to me and feel very fortunate to be able to share that with all those who support and appreciate my work. There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that my work, which is so important to me, is appreciated by others.” 

Questions about supplies? Email Michele at

  • Portable plein air easel
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Odorless paint thinner
    Will be provided by the Sedona Arts Center
  • Paper towels and trash bags
  • Panels (with or without canvas)
  • Sketching supplies
  • Outdoor wear
    Sun screen, wide brimmed hat, insect repellent, camera to get reference photos, umbrella (can help to keep you cooler and keep the sun off your easel, but not entirely necessary). Wear clothes you will not be worried about getting paint on. A darker colored shirt (blue, gray) is best so it doesn't reflect light onto your panel.
  • Backpack
    A backpack to carry it all! Organize items so they can fit into a single pack. You can attach your easel to this or carry it separately. Any hiking we do for the class will be short; however, it's best to be able to get to your painting location in a single trip from your car.

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn, toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn

In-Person and Online Workshops

  • Payment in full is due upon registration, or a payment plan can be put in place by the student upon check-out through Sezzle.
  • There is a $125 Cancellation Fee for any cancellations made before September 28, 2023. Remaining balance will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after September 28, 2023.
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Important Message

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.

Covid-19 Update for In-Person Classes and Workshops: 

As long as SAC is able to provide an environment that adheres to the CDC guidelines for social gatherings, and assuming all other normal criteria are met and the workshop or class goes forward, the above cancellation policies are in effect.