Distilling the Landscape in Sedona

tuscon sky 9x12
simple bayou 8x10
reflection 10x10
bayou light 10x10
tuscon sky 9x12
jagged edge, 8x10
plein air
wash at dusk 8x10 (002)


Distilling the Landscape in Sedona with Ben Hamburger

March 16, 2024 | Saturday| 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

  • Experience –Beginner and experienced plein air painters are welcome, however, this class is a class for people with some substantial painting experience
  • Medium – Open to Acrylic and Oil painters
  • Registration: Each student needs to enroll individually.
  • Location sites in Sedona and the Sedona Arts Center, Theatre Studio

Simplifying what you see is a necessary component of observational painting. But it can also be used as a liberating constraint to explore design, composition, and color. During this class, we will focus on distilling our surroundings into compositions that convey both the essence of the landscape around us and our individual artistic voices. We will begin by focusing on selection and composition exercises before moving on to full color paintings. Discussions on theory and demonstrations will be followed by painting time with guidance by the instructor and group critique. Beginner and experienced plein air painters are welcome, however, this class is a class for people with some substantial painting experience. While demos will be provided in oil paint, both oils and acrylic painters are welcome.

24 0316 BH

Ben Hamburger

Ben Hamburger

Ben Hamburger is an artist and educator based in New Orleans, LA. Hamburger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from Eckerd College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. Hamburger has led workshops and taught courses in schools, universities, art centers, museums, correctional facilities, and nonprofit organizations around the United States, as well as Bolivia, Thailand, and India. Hamburger has attended artist residencies at Sustainable Bolivia in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Joshua Tree Highlands Residency in Joshua Tree, CA. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions around the country at locations including the Maryhill Museum of Art, The San Bernardino County Museum, and Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh. Hamburger’s work has been covered by Indy Week, The News and Observer, Voice of America, Tampa Bay Times, and The Baltimore Sun. Hamburger is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the School of Art and Design at Western Carolina University and teaches painting at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art. He can frequently be found painting around New Orleans and in his space at Mid City Artist Studios.



Suggested Materials:

The following material list is a great place to start but there are lots of options out there. Feel free to try out different things and reach out with any questions.

  • Field Easel: I still use a good old French easel, but also have a tripod with a New Wave U.Go pochade box. There are a bunch of different kinds of easels available at various price points, but a French easel is a great and relatively affordable way to start.
  • Palette (often comes with French easel)
  • Brushes: #2, 4, 8 and 12 Filbert, flats, and/or rounds (and any others you may like) I like Princeton Aspen Synthetic Brushes. Feel free to get a set.
  • Paint (It is up to the student to choose whether to use acrylic or oil paints. I recommend Gamblin oil paints, but there are many good brands and ones to suit any budget. Feel free to choose):
    • 37ml: ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, cadmium yellow medium, lemon yellow, alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber and any other extra colors you may want.
    • 150 ml: titanium white
  • Solvent:
    • 16oz gamsol solvent (if using oils)
  • Painting accessories:
    • Brush washing jar (or other tightly sealed jar with a screen to clean brushes)
    • Small bottle of refined linseed oil (if using oils)
    • 1oz dropper bottle for linseed oil (if using oils)
    • mid-sized palette knife
    • backpack or tote bag to carry everything
    • Latex gloves
    • rags and/or paper towel roll
    • Paint scraper for cleaning palette
    • View finder (or cut a piece of cardstock paper into 2 right angle L shapes)
  • Mixed media sketchbook/canvas pad/scrap canvas/gessoed paper (some kind of cheap surface of your choice for quick composition and value studies.)
    • Canson XL Oil and Acrylic Pad – 9″ x 12″ would work great
  • Drawing pencil(s) of your choice
  • Painting surfaces: 2-3 panels or canvases. Usually painting panels are preferred over stretched canvas for plein air painting because the light does not shine through. I happen to like a more rigid surface anyways. I recommend DaVinci Pro Medium Textured Panels. You can also use canvas panels or make your own. I get mine from Jerrys Artarama, but they have them at local stores as well.
    • Sizes: Around 8x10in, 10x10in,  9x12in, or 11x14in
  • Other supplies:
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug spray
    • A hat with a brim
    • Plenty of water
    • Umbrella that can be attached to your easel
    • Snacks/lunch

If you have any questions at all, about any of the supplies, please don’t hesitate to contact Ben at benhamburgerart@gmail.com.

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually.
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Office at 928-282-3809, ext. 1.
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.

In-Person and Online Workshops Registration/Cancellation Policy:

  • 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 March 16, 2024. Remaining balance will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after March 16, 2024.
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Note: If traveling to Sedona, we strongly urge students to purchase refundable airline tickets or travel insurance in case of workshop cancellation due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen changes. Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for non-refundable ticket purchases or lodging fees.

Important Cancellation Policy 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.

Suzan C., Plein Air Painting and Alla Prima Painting student

"What a wonderful teacher and artist Ben is! He is extremely generous with his talent, bringing out there best of each student's own strengths as we learn and paint with him. His courses are well planned--hands on, enjoyable, and no wasted time. In class, we talk about the topic du jour, generally with a brief demo, and then we plunge into our own work as he circulates, giving individual attention. In the classes that I have had with him, each student has been delighted with his / her development. I am a better painter thanks to working with Ben Hamburger. "

Shelly D., Alla Prima Painting, Acrylic Underpainting, and Expressive Landscape Painting Student

“Ben Hamburger is a uniquely gifted artist and teacher. He clearly and concisely explains key concepts and techniques and then provides illustrative demonstrations at the beginning of each class. More importantly, throughout a painting session, he provides insightful direction that helps the student artist to see what is “off” and what should be a next step. He listens carefully to ALL and is a patient and kind instructor who provides a supportive learning environment to every student! Humble and down-to-earth, Ben always arrives at class well-prepared and eager to help.”

Howard S., Plein Air Painting, and Alla Prima Painting

“If you want to pick up painting tricks of the trade, take one of the many methods classes. If you want to become a more confident and proficient painter true to your own style, take classes with Ben Hamburger. He has that special gift that has students of all ages and levels returning to study with him for a long time.”

Julie W., Alla Prima Painting Student

“Ben is an excellent instructor. His demonstrations of technique at the start of each class really allowed me to learn a lot in a short time. He not only shows the technique, but he talks through it in real time to explain what he's doing. He does a great job giving individual advice, and his feedback is clear and straightforward. On top of all that, he's a super nice person! Highly recommended!”