Paint the American Riviera

Mixed Media Workshop in Santa Barbara, California with Mary Beth Shaw
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Mary Beth Shaw mixed media workshop in Santa Barbara

Beautiful Locations, Copious Creativity, and Lots of Laughter

Dates: March 14-20, 2021
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Cost: from $3150 based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $550

Join Mary Beth Shaw on a mixed media workshop in Santa Barbara, California. First, we will start by creating a handbound book that we will fill day by day. Then, during our wanderings, we will take tons of photos using our smartphones to use as a starting point. Next, upon return to our 24-hour studio, we will enjoy creating mixed media vignettes. A variety of art parts will be used, ranging from rubbings to painted papers to found treasures. In the end, we will move effortlessly back and forth over our pages layering paint and collage. Moreover, the beauty of our surroundings will inspire the mood of our books through color reference and engagement of our senses. Expect to be simultaneously exhilarated and relaxed as art and vacation merge into a precious memory.

You can learn more about Mary Beth Shaw and view her work on Meet the Artist page.

Mixed Media Workshop in Santa Barbara

With it’s Mediterranean climate and south-facing coast Santa Barbara is an artist’s dream. Year-round beautiful light and panoramas where the Santa Ynez mountains tumble into the Pacific make the perfect setting for our mixed media workshop with Mary Beth Shaw. Additionally, Santa Barbara also holds a special place in our hearts as we lived here for many, many years. We are excited to share our favorite places with you!

The week together will focus on collecting inspiration and making content for your travel journal. You will visit beautiful Santa Barbara locales, have wonderful food and lots of laughter along the way. There is some walking to get from one place to another, but most of the included walks are city strolls. A daily, brisk morning walk along the beach is always available.

  • Art Program 85% 85%
  • Sight Seeing 75% 75%
  • Walking 65% 65%
  • Fun! 100% 100%

What’s Incuded

Mixed Media Workshop in Santa Barbara

  • Daily mixed media art classes with Mary Beth in the studio
  • 6 nights at centrally located, beachfront hotel
  • Visits to the Santa Barbara Mission, Rose Gardens, Waterfront, and other quintessential Santa Barbara locations
  • Welcome aperitivo
  • Fabulous welcome and farewell dinners
  • Orientation meeting and walk
  • Optional guided walks to some of our favorite spots
  • One-week unlimited use downtown and waterfront shuttle pass
  • Daily, optional morning walks along the beach
  • Wine and chocolate truffle tasting
  • Free time to explore scenic Santa Barbara 
  • Delicious continental breakfast to start your day
  • Wine social every afternoon
  • Support from your guides who were long time residents of Santa Barbara 
  • All transfers and admission to sites
  • Fully hosted and escorted


Mixed Media Workshop in Santa Barbara

1. Small group classes

With a maximum class size of 15, you can expect quality time with Mary Beth as well as your friendly, like-minded classmates.

2. Experience the Santa Barbara Lifestyle

From our centrally located, beachfront hotel, we will explore and sightsee at a leisurely pace.

3. Studio Workshop

Mary Beth will introduce techniques and materials to develop your work in our Art Walk studio space.

Journal spread - Mary Beth Shaw mixed media workshop in Santa Barbara

Example Itinerary

Mixed Media Workshop in Santa Barbara

Actual daily schedules may differ.

hotel Milo Santa Barbara art vacation tour

Day 1

The mixed media workshop in Santa Barbara begins at our charming, beachfront hotel in downtown Santa Barbara just blocks from State Street. After a meet-and-greet and program overview, we will have a short orientation walk to get to know the neighborhood.

Our first day will close with fabulous welcome dinner in downtown Santa Barbara.


Day 2

In our Art Walk studio Mary Beth will outline the week’s project, and you’ll have time to begin work on your travel journal. Following lunch, we will be treated to an art-themed guided walking tour of downtown Santa Barbara. We will visit local galleries, historic sites, and artist’s workshops and do a bit of junking along the way.

The remainder of the day is free to explore Santa Barbara or spend in the Art Walk studio.

Day 3

A morning in the studio gets the creative juices flowing. Afterwards, we will explore the Santa Barbara waterfront. Inspiring locations abound for collecting materials and taking photos.

Students may return to the hotel at their leisure. Some may choose to peruse Santa Barbara’s Tuesday farmers’ market. Filled with the seasonal bounty of the region, it is a treat for the senses.

Day 4

In the morning, the energetic may join us for an optional walk/hike on the Inspiration Point trail. Afterward the group will meet at Mission Santa Barbara, Queen of the Missions, and it’s adjacent rose garden. There, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch among the roses (a game of croquet on the sprawling lawn is optional).

We will convene later in the day for art class followed by a wine and truffle tasting by local artisan makers.



Day 5

The day begins with a trip to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden nestled in the coastal foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains. There, we will walk through a dewy redwood grove, a scented chapparal forrest, and a mountain meadow awash with golden poppies and blue-violet lupines.

The afternoon is free to lunch and explore in downtown Santa Barbara before returning to the mixed media workshop studio for art class.

Day 6

On our mixed media workshop in Santa Barbara final day, a short walk will bring us to one of the California coast’s most renown historic buildings. Our tour there will conclude with a spectacular view across the city to the waterfront. There will be time in the studio to finish up your travel journals before meeting for a convivial show-and-tell aperitivo.

We celebrate our last evening together with a very special dinner in the company of fellow artists and friends.


Day 7

Our mixed media workshop in Santa Barbara will come to a close after a delicious breakfast shared together. Then we bid farewell to our art walk studio until the next time we meet again.

A full week of leisurely sightseeing and cultivating creativity

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