Desert Light: Plein Air Painting

aaron schuerr


Desert Light: Plein Air Painting

Get ready to explore the desert with award winning artist Aaron Schuerr. Find “the story” in the landscape and paint it in a way that is direct, simple, fresh, and honest. Engage in fun exercises designed to focus on value, color, and shape. From that foundation, you’ll explore edges, atmospheric perspective, color and shape relationships, composition, and mood. Most importantly you’ll learn to paint with greater intention. Through demonstrations, group discussions, composition walks, painting exercises, and plenty of individual instruction, you will learn to approach the landscape in enthusiasm and confidence. This workshop is open to all levels in pastel and oil.

Aaron Scheurr

Aaron Schuerr


My art is borne out of my struggle to absorb, comprehend, and understand the natural world. I’m overwhelmed, and yet I can’t tear myself away. And so I paint, so as to stand there for just a little longer. And then I return to the studio and paint something bigger, in order to digest what I’ve experienced while painting in the field. Then I take that frightening step: I invite the viewer to add his or her own story to it. At the sight of a beautiful sunset we instinctively turn to the person next to us, be it friend or stranger, to see if they are looking too. If they are, we feel a kinship with them. No two people experience a sunset in the same way, and yet we can experience it together. Though painting is largely a solitary endeavor, it is never a lonely one, because I am invited to share in the ineffable mystery of beauty. And that is where the art is.

Briefly, I am an artist, writer, actor, husband, and father of three wonderful boys. It all gets mixed up until the distinctions are blurred, as they should be. The heart of my work is in the outdoors, absorbing the pattern of light on the landscape. Actors speak of “being in the moment” immersing themselves so totally in story that everything else falls away. The open air is my stage, and in the best moments, I am lost in it. I have no desire to impress you with these paintings. Rather, I strive to share my experience with honesty and without fear.


Pastel Society of America, Signature Member
American Impressionist Society, Signature Member
West Coast Pastel Society, Signature Member

Recent Awards and Honors

2016 Best Pastel, Plein Air Magazine’s Plein Air Salon
2015 First place, Pastel Society of the West Coast Membership Show
2015 First place, 11th Annual Mile High International Exhibition
2013 Award of Excellence, American Impressionist Society
2013 Plein Air Magazine Juror’s Choice Award for America’s Parks through the Beauty of Art
2013 First Place for the Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100
2012 Third Place in Plein Air Magazine’s “Plein Air Salon
2011 “Best Quick Draw” Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painter Show
2010 Gold Medal for the Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100
2005 Gold Medal for the Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100, First Place in the landscape category

Selected Shows and Exhibitions

2017 26th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils
2017 Landscape Show, Howard/Mandville Gallery
2016 17th Annual American Impressionist Society National Juried Exhibition
2016 25th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils
2016 28th Annual Juried Exhibition, International Association of Pastel Societies
2015 Instructor, exhibitor for the IAPS Convention

Aaron Schuerr Materials List

Open the PDF at the above link to view or print the materials list.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellation/Refund Policy: The $125 deposit is non-refundable; the balance is due one month before the first day of the workshop. No refunds after the one-month cut-off date. If paying in full upon registration, $125 of the total tuition fee is non-refundable. There are absolutely no refunds after the 30 day cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all monies paid will be refunded in full.

“Aaron is a wonderful teacher! He changes how you see with little things, like looking at grass from the sunny side and the shady side, to the big things like shapes and composition. He is generous with his knowledge and his time. Watching him capture a sunset or autumn aspens with falling leaves and a blue sky or a winterscape is instructive and amazing.” –Sheelagh Williams

“Aaron Schuerr is an engaging, well organized instructor. His workshop is filled with great tips and all are well explained. His demonstrations clearly outlined his intentions in the workshop. Our workshop participants thoroughly enjoyed Aaron’s relaxed personality and learned much in the four days he was here in Rochester NY. We highly recommend him if you are seeking a landscape workshop instructor in either pastel or oil. We look forward to an encore visit in the future.” -Suzi Zefting-Kuhn