Discover more of your unique artistic voice

Types of Workshops Available

Adventures in Abstraction in Pastel

This is an exercise driven workshop covering the essential elements of effective design, and the different types of abstraction in the full range from representational to non-objective art. Abstract painting in pastel is a completely different experience than with other media. This class will challenge you to understand and progress in making good abstract art, setting you free to enjoy the process. Two, three, or four day in-person options are available.  Longer versions of the workshop especially build into a powerful experience. This class has has often been referred to as “life-changing,”

Advanced Composition in Pastel

Want to understand composition better and be much more confident about it? Want to take your pastel paintings to the next level?  This class takes a deep dive into design principles, the elements of visual language, diverse mark making, and utilizing contrast and heighten interest in your paintings. Two or three day in-person options available.

Abstracting the Landscape in Plein Air (either in pastel or mixed media)

Loosen up your plein air painting and learn to see the landscape more abstractly. One to five day in-person options available.

Painted Paper Collage

This is a fun and immersive class. In this hands-on, technique driven workshop, you will vicariously learn the fundaments of  composition. You’ll make a wide range of collage papers, using various methods, in both mixed-media and printmaking. No previous experience necessary. Two, three, or four day options are available. A further option is to do these classes in black and white. This in-person class is amazing taught on consecutive days, but could be separated out into separate workshops.

Non-traditional Techniques and Surfaces in Pastel

Bring your spirit of curiosity and play to this unusual class, which will revitalize your art practice. You will discover new and exciting ways to express yourself in your pastel art. You will not find this unique techniques-driven class anywhere else. And because what is being taught is about technique, it can be applied to any preferred subject matter. You will explore these techniques: wet in wet, stenciling, scraping, masking, shaving, printing, and atypical textures. You will also use a variety of unusual surfaces, both purchased and handmade. This will be an active, fast moving class of many exercises, layered with discussion between. Three day in-person workshop.

Adventures in Printmaking without a Press

This is a beginning and delightful class on the Gelli plate, Linocut, and stamping, teaching printing techniques, monotype approaches, and collage techniques with both printed opaque and transparent papers. One, two, and three day in-person options available.

Painting Meditations

Painting through guided meditations, you’ll learn to trust the unfolding process and have effective conversations both within your head and with the painting in front of you. In order to paint with your own authentic voice, refining these conversations is essential. These mediations can be done in any media in a full day workshop (with whole group using the same media), or added as a short exercise to any other workshop.

Creative Sketchbook Approaches

Hire me to lead a months-long zoom class for your group, with creative prompts and exercises to do on your own time to expand your sketchbook practice. Weekly or monthly zoom meeting options are available; the duration is flexible.

Scheduled Workshops

Painted Paper Collage:

Creative Arts Camp in Maine is hosting this week long class for Christian Science church members, August 20-27 on the shores of Long Lake near Harrison. See info here. (Class is full; but waitlist is available.)

Nontraditional Techniques and Surfaces in Pastel:

A 3 day workshop sponsored by the Pastel Society of Maine, October 7-9, 2024. Held at Ferry Beach, in Saco, Maine, right on the ocean, with housing and food available. Click here for more information and to register.


Polly was awesome! I’d love to take another one of her classes. This workshop went above and beyond my expectations. It was a great combination of lecture, production, and discussion.”

Rossella Pulit

This workshop will stay with me forever.  I have a new understanding. I wish it was longer.” 

–Laura Kinlock

“I was relieved to be in an abstract art class that was full of content, meaning, and focused learning. I’ve been disappointed many times before in abstract art classes, and this was by far my best experience in one. When’s your next workshop? I will travel!”


“The exercises were great; the clear, simplified, explanatory approach helped me. Each exercise built on the prior ones, and all contributed to my understanding. I really appreciated the structure. It made doing what was so new so much more comfortable.”

– Sharon Gorman

“I expanded my repertoire of techniques and ideas, and I made progress toward not being bullied by a photo reference. This workshop would benefit any ‘tight’ painter if they would be open to it.”

-K. Etheridge

I give this workshop an A+. I loved being pushed out of my comfort zone. I feel empowered.”   

–Sue Bosworth

“I started abstract painting a year ago and Polly has me even more motivated to continue on the abstract path. What I enjoyed most was Polly’s enthusiasm and painting knowledge as well as meeting fellow artists. I’d love to take another one of her workshops. 

–Lin Gotta

“My understanding of design elements and motifs has increased immeasurably. I am now more conscious of composition. Anyone at any level will feel stretched by this workshop and will find what is already within them.”

-Rosalind Forber

 “I so enjoyed my time in your workshop. You were clear in your instruction, extremely well prepared and showed just the right amount of leadership strength. You empowered our freedom. As I continue to explore and investigate abstraction and figure out how to find my own voice, I will keep your exercises whispering in my mind.”  


“Polly is informed and communicates well. Her ideas are well structured, and the critiques were kind and welcome. The material is comprehensive, and I could repeat the workshop tomorrow and keep learning. ”


“Your workshop was terrific for my art and soul. The critiques were wonderful. Polly has a great way of making people feel comfortable when discussing the art work pros and cons. I really enjoyed this class and it came at an important time for me in my life.”    –Kate Henderson

All the exercises were helpful, and the pace was excellent. This workshop breaks barriers.   -Judith S.

Polly is a good teacher and very personable. She provided helpful feedback and gave positive reinforcement, inspiring creativity in every student. She was wonderful, just the right balance of making us work hard and and keeping us focused, while still having lots of fun with no fear. Everything about this workshop was excellent!”   -Jonah

“It was very freeing!  This workshop will put you out of your comfort zone in such a comfortable way, and will help you express your own unique self.”  -Susan H.

“You are a superb and generous instructor. There was a lot of JOY! It was fun and freeing and new doors have opened! -Carolyn Emerson

“You got me out of my ‘box’! It worked!  -Eric Vogel

It was liberating not to copy.”  -R Sutter

“Thank you again for the wonderful workshop you gave this weekend. I just want you to know that I think you are a fabulous teacher! Your presentations were very organized and interesting. You kept us focused and motivated, while providing a safe, warm, and encouraging environment for exploration. I feel energized and look forward to developing abstraction in my work. I would love to attend your other workshops.”     -Sharon Kehmna

Jump-start and revolutionize your whole art practice!

You’ll work hard and have fun doing it.

Contact me here with any questions about attending or hosting a workshop.

I look forward to working with you.