The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Life Enhancement Through Drawing Painting with artist Robert Masla

WHAT: Life Enhancement Through Drawing Painting with artist Robert Masla 
WHEN: May-June 2021
WHERE: Online / Zoom 

“This program is supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.”

Join artist Robert Masla for a series of FREE workshops on drawing, sketchbook journaling and watercolor painting over a course of three days. 2 days will be conducted on zoom and the third day will be out doors, masked and socially distanced.

To register contact the artist at: or call (413) 625-8382

These workshops are limited to 20 participants on a first registered basis. They are appropriate for all levels of persons with an interest in exploration and expression in the visual arts and how it can enhance life, (ages 14+, those younger please contact the artist for clearance). Participants with little or no experience to those that are actively engaged in art and want to review basics and recharge their creativity with fresh input will find this workshop series beneficial.

In the 1st day Masla will lead you with 3 cameras through a large gamut of approaches to drawing extracting lessons from his over 50 years of experience making art. Through a series of exercises covering intention, composition, value, shape, line and edges you will discover the magic of mark making. You will gain an understanding of the effects of light and shadow on form, and the methods for creating a sense of atmosphere and 3 dimensional illusions on a 2 dimensional surface. You will also learn about simplification and abstraction and developing a personal “shorthand” to convey detail. Through exploring a variety of skills and techniques you will evolve your ability to SEE – building your confidence in your mark and enhancing your drawing and painting.

The second day will focus on Simple Ways to Success in Watercolor. There will be an introduction to the basics & the essentials of creating successful watercolors. Watercolor is no more difficult to master than any other painting medium. It is about gaining an understanding of it's unique attributes and characteristics and then applying principles related to them with patience, practice and persistance. We will start at the very beginning, understanding paper, brushes and pigments – and their relationship to water. Through a series of paint along demonstrations Masla will lead you in the dance of watercolor painting. You will be given the tools, exercises and principles to practice and continue gaining the understanding of the give and take between the artist, the paint, paper and the water that ultimately brings mastery to watercolor painting.

The Third day will be spent “En Plein Air”, sketching and painting on location in the Northampton area during the month of June, (exact location and date to be revealed to participants closer to the day / rain date created). Masla will do demonstrations to elaborate on lessons previously learned. Explaining sketchbook journaling, doing a graphite wash as well as a watercolor on paper. Participants will receive some materials to use awarded by sponsors Royal Talens North America and Fredrix Artist Canvas.

Masla’s workshops reach beyond techniques, the underlying principles shared transcend any one medium and are applicable to all. His methods encourage individual expression and self observation, seeking the implied balance of art and life and those elements that create unity, meaning and beauty in painting.


Monday May 24, 9:30 and to 3:30, (1 hour lunch break) Zoom - FUNdamentals of Drawing and Sketchbook Journaling

Thursday May 27, 9:30 and to 3:30, (1 hour lunch break) - Simple Ways to Success in Watercolor

One 4 hour session for plein air demos and practice to be scheduled in June, (date and exact location to be determined)

About the artist:

Ashfield resident Robert Masla is a full time professional artist whose exhibition history extends over 40 years. Masla's canvases, murals and portraits can be found both in the United States and Mexico in numerous public and private collections: galleries, private residencies, corporations, the hospitality and health care industries, restaurants and on film. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions in both countries. Maslas' art has also appeared in various books and publications such as: The Artist and the American Landscape, Changing Prospects, The Artists Magazine, Art New England, PleinAir Today/Outdoor Painter and American Watercolor Weekly.

Throughout his career Robert has also remained dedicated to art as an educator, teaching and lecturing in various settings with a wide range of populations, in schools, colleges, museums, and workshops. He was the Artist-in-Residence for the City of Springfield, Massachusetts in 2002-05. During that time, he created in cooperation with Springfield College, the A4E - Art for Everyone program and received three consecutive grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for bringing art into inner-city schools that had no previous art programs. In 2005 Robert and his wife Monica, built Casa de los Artistas, his Studios South, in a small fishing village on the west coast of Mexico. Each winter for the past 15 years, Robert, along with esteemed artist colleagues have conducted workshops there, (

Masla has been represented locally by the R. Michelson Galleries for over 30 years where his most recent solo exhibition, last Nov., Gratitude: The Unrecognized Essential Workers Series – can be seen at the gallery and online at You can see a sample of the full range of his work on the artists' website:

Masla received a BFA/Diploma in Painting from Tufts/Boston Museum School in 1979 and MFA from The City College of New York in 1986.

To register contact the artist at: or call (413) 625-8382

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