Doña Ana Arts Council offering multi-day art workshops

January 24, 2019 Carlos Arreola

The Doña Ana Arts Council, which has been offering Get ArtRageous! two-hour art classes to enthusiastic and often-filled sessions, is now delving deeper into more extensive workshops for beginning to experienced artists.

The first of the new Art Workshops was held in January, a two-day workshop with accomplished local artist Julie Ford Oliver on “Fracturing Technique in Oil or Acrylic.” A continuation of the class will be offered Feb. 1-2, open to those who took the first session or have previously studied this technique with Oliver.

With their move to Mesilla and the addition of the Arts & Cultural Center, a variety of classes, concerts, art exhibits and other activities have been added to the nonprofit’s offerings. DAAC

“What we are finding is that working artists are signing up for the Get ArtRageous! classes to experiment with different mediums or techniques like alcohol ink, jewelry making and various painting styles. But there is also a demand for longer, more in-depth workshops,” said DAAC Executive Director Kathleen Albers. “We hope this will give more work to highly-accomplished local artists as teachers and give aspiring artists a chance to learn from experts.”

“Half of the proceeds raised from this workshop will go toward improving the equipment and technology in the DAAC Arts & Cultural Center. We hope to add a computer, camera, projector and large screen so workshop leaders can demonstrate detail as they teach,” said Albers.

Albers is working with local and regional artists to develop additional in-depth classes for the first months of 2019. Following part two of the fracturing workshop, the next class is a three-day workshop, to be held Feb. 5-7 with Polish artist Krystyna Robbins, titled “Paint with Depth and Texture in Oil.” The cost for this three-day workshop is $300, or $240 for DAAC members.

Robbins was born in Scotland, raised in London, and immigrated to the U.S. as one of the last Ellis Island immigrants. She received her degree in commercial art from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and began a career in fashion design working at E.D. Winter and Ann Klein Fashions of New York. She teaches her own series of art workshops throughout the Southwest, Mexico and Europe.

After moving to El Paso, she says her passion turned to capturing the charm of missions and historical structures bathed in the lights and shadows of morning and evening light. Today, her work is recognized for not only her blending of realism and impressionist compositions, but her use of a rich color palette and use of depth to bring out the warmth of Southwestern and European scenes. Her work is widely represented in private, public and corporate collections.

An additional multi-day workshop will be offered Feb. 12-14 with Denver artist Andy Mallen, titled “Puppy Love (or Kitty Love): How to Paint Your Pet.” The workshop is for all levels of artists in oil or acrylics.  

Mallen is one the region’s foremost pet portrait artists and runs Canvas Canines, a special order pet portrait studio in Denver — view her work at

“Dogs, cats, bunnies, birds or goats — they all inspire my emotional spirit to paint,” said Mallen.
“I’ve been told that the way in which I paint animals’ eyes is particularly unique, well I suppose that makes sense as they are the path to the soul. Whether it is because of the innocence of the animal or their intense spirit, these creatures captivate an inner sense of honesty for me.”

The cost is $200 for the two-and-half-day workshop, or $160 for members, a 20-percent discount. There is a limited space for 10 students, so early registration is encouraged. Register at  or by phone to 523-6403. A materials list will be provided.

Other upcoming workshops include Carolyn Bunch’s “Portraits in Pastels or Charcoal,” set for March 22-23; Nancy Begin’s and Susan Hansen’s “Working in Mixed Media,” set for late March or early April; and Jody O’Meara’s “Watercolor on Yupo Paper” in April or May.

The Doña Ana Arts Council Arts & Cultural Center is located at 1740 Calle de Mercado in Mesilla’s Bulletin Plaza.

For more information, call 523-6403 or visit


DAAC Andy: Denver artist Andy Mallen will lead the Doña Ana Arts Council’s three-day “Puppy Love (or Kitty Love): How to Paint Your Pet” workshop, set for Feb. 12-14.

DAAC Taverna: Pictured is “La Taverna, Tuscany,” an oil painting by Polish artist Krystyna Robbins, who will lead the Doña Ana Arts Council’s three-day “Paint with Depth and Texture in Oil” workshop, set for Feb. 5-7.

DAAC Oliver: Julie Ford Oliver, left, works with a recent art attendee of the Doña Ana Arts Council’s recent “Fracturing Technique in Oil or Acrylic” workshop.

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