• Michael James Rocha, Union Tribune Arts & Entertainment Editor [Completed] 

   • Larry Baza, California Arts Council Vice President

   • Shumpei Yamaki, Visiting Potter

   • Mr. Maxx Moses, International Muralist / Fine Artist

One Day Creative Workshops

   • Figure Drawing with Katya Mezhova 

   • Portrait Painting with Kris Finch, 

   • Leathercraft and the Arts with Chris Padilla

   • Fused Glass with Crisinda Lyons

Arts Instruction

   • Creating from Sight with Katya Mezhova [In Progress]

   • Intuitive/ Gestural Abstract Painting with Theresa Vandenberg Donche

   • Learn How to Paint Like a Master with Andrea Rushing [Details Pending]

Other Art Events

   • Artist “Coffee Talk” sessions with Patric Stillman [Professional Development]

   • Studio Art Card Swap moderated by Richard Baer ChauDavis

   • Postcards From The Edge: Workshop and Drop Off with Art of Pride

   • The Great Release II: Make Me An Offer Alley Event

   • Professional Artist Network Happy Hour



Artist Almanac, a series of presentations and workshops with leading local art authorities and art instructors, has been added to The Studio Door’s offerings in Hillcrest for October and November.  

Two leading art authorities – Michael James Rocha (Arts and Entertainment Editor of the San Diego Union Tribune) and Larry Baza (Vice President of the California Arts Council) – will headline The Studio Door’s new forum Artist Almanac, which brings local fine arts into focus through a blend of informative presentations, networking opportunities, creative education and professional advice for artists.

“With no real geographical center for fine arts, navigating San Diego’s art community can be confusing, especially for emerging artists,” said Patric Stillman, owner of The Studio Door.  “With this program, I wanted to supplement the work being done by so many great organizations and individuals by throwing a spotlight on topics and instructors that deserve greater attention.”

For eight weeks, The Studio Door will become the epicenter of exceptional programming offered by well known artists and established arts instructors Kris Finch, Andrea Rushing, Theresa Vandenberg Donche, Chris Padilla, Richard Baer ChauDavis, Crisinda Lyons and Katya Mezhova. Many of whom are teaching regular sessions in various communities across the County.

The Studio Door’s collaborative spirit extends to the main gallery during this period by replacing its regular gallery exhibition with traditional print makers and the best of Feminist Image Group (FIG) in October and November, respectively.  Regular events like Uptown After Dark Jazz nights and Artist Talks will continue throughout the fall.

Artist Almanac will run from October 1 through November 30.  It will return to The Studio Door in the Spring and Fall of 2020.  Complete details on each program and registration links below.


Note: To register select the registration button or mouse over registration text.  It will highlight that it is clickable.  Then click and register on Eventbrite.



Presentation on Advancing California through the Arts and Creativity

Speaker: Larry Baza, California Arts Council • Vice Chair

Saturday, November 9
11 AM – Noon
Free to public; Seating first-come, first serve

Larry Baza will give an overview of California Arts Council’s 19 programs, updates from Sacramento and his passion to represent San Diego at the state level.

With three decades of arts advocacy, Larry Baza has been instrumental in San Diego’s arts community.  Appointed by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins in 2016,  Baza was elected to serve as Vice Chair on the California Arts Council.  He is the immediate past Chair of the San Diego Arts Commission and has been instrumental with a variety of art organizations and businesses including Centro Cultural De La Raza, Sushi Performance and Visual Arts, Fingerhut Gallery, and Community Arts of San Diego. 


Drawing from Life: Figure Drawing Sessions

Instructor: Katya Mezhova

Session 1 – Saturday, October 19  – Register for instruction
Session 2 – Saturday, November 9 – Register for instruction

3 Hour Sessions • 6 – 9 PM
$20 without instruction, $35 with instruction per session

Katya Mezhova will present nude and street clothed models in three short poses followed by a long pose.  Easels, tables and tabourets will be provided first come, first serve.  Artist must bring their own drawing/ painting supplies. No solvent please. Beginners and Intermediate artists welcome.

Katya Mezhova learned her craft from Russian Academic Tradition, which is the way art has been transmitted over the centuries since the Italian Renaissance.  Passionate about live Jazz, She is locally known for her growing body of work documenting musicians in San Diego music scene.  Katya is a regularly exhibiting artist at The Studio Door, where her work is for sale.

Portrait Painting

Instructor: Kris Finch
Sunday, October 20
3 Hour Workshop • 1 – 4 PM – Register for Workshop

Kris Finch shares his approach to painting portraits with effective techniques for realistic portraiture.  Kris will walk artists through various stages of painting while discussing key aspects of portraiture and how the fundamentals of painting apply to painting portraits.

Please note: Space in this class will be limited to 12 students. Materials list provided upon enrollment.

San Diego native Kris Finch studied classical portrait techniques at the Watts Atelier of Arts in Encinitas, California.  His work has been commissioned throughout Southern California and appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The State Journal Register and Artist Portfolio Magazine. For the past decade, he has been teaching local artists at Carlsbad Art Farm, The Athenaeum and Art Academy of San Diego.  Currently, he regularly teaches drawing and painting in Chula Vista.

Fused Glass: The Basics of Fusing

Instructor: Crisinda Lyons

Saturday, October 26 
Four Hour Workshop • 1 PM – 5 PM – Register for workshop
$65 includes materials and tools

Participants will explore basic glass cutting techniques including designing a fused glass project and layering glass.  Each participant will create a decorative platter that will be fired at a later date.

Please note: Space in this class will be limited to 8 students.  

Crisinda Lyons is a fused glass artist who began her creative journey 40 years ago.  The past six years, she has recommitted herself to her artistry and received national attention from Slumpy’s glass art supplier.  Her work is fond in private collections nationally and internationally.

Leathercraft and the Arts: Leather Basics 

Instructor: Chris Padilla

Sunday, October 27
3 Hour Workshop • 1 PM – 4 PM

Join Chris Padilla to make your own 3-pocket leather wallet and leather keychain in this workshop and learn the basics of making long lasting luxury leather goods from high quality vegetable tanned leather. Learn about leather care and leatherworking history while we make our accessories.

Chris Padilla is a leatherworker who manages Artist & Craftsman Supply in Hillcrest.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in Painting & Printmaking as well as Art History, Criticism and Conversation at San Diego State University.  Chris most recently taught at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the To Do – A Mending Project exhibition.


Intuitive/ Gestural Abstract Painting 

Instructor: Theresa Vandenberg Donche

Friday/ Saturday – November 22 + 23
2 Day Workshop • 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM


Intuitive/Gestural abstract painting is a style of painting in which paint is spontaneously and intuitively place, dribbled splashed and smeared onto the canvas. Through prompts, various exercises and short demonstrations, we will explore new ways to create abstract art. The goal is to loosen up and paint free and unconstrained, to be immersed in the process of creating.

Note: 10 student minimum – If class does not meet minimum, participants will receive full refund

Theresa Vandenberg Donche gestural abstraction paintings evokes subliminal feelings about the imagery through depth, line and color relationships. Her work is in corporate collections and is collected nationally and internationally.  Theresa has previously taught at Bravo School of Art, Art Academy of San Diego and Borrego Springs Art Institute.


Life Outside The Studio: Succeeding in Today’s Art World Series

Instructor: Patric Stillman

Saturday, October 12 • Gallery Relationships: Putting your best foot forward
Saturday, October 19 • Creative Opportunities: One size does not fit all
Saturday, October 26 • The Tech Savvy Artist: Using social media for maximum impact

“Coffee Talk” sessions • 10 – 11:30 AM
$5 per session at door; no registration 

Patric Stillman will lead a discussion with participating artists about the necessary skills that an artist needs to succeed in today’s creative marketplace.  Each session promptly starts at 11 AM with a 15 minute presentation and then Patric will guide group discussion on the weekly topic for the rest of the hour.  At 11:00, the group will share their latest creative news and network with each other. Bring your own coffee, ideas, thoughts and questions.

Studio Art Card Swap

Moderated by Richard Baer ChauDavis

Wednesday, October 16
6 PM – 9 PM
$5.00 + Potluck Gathering

Artist Trading Cards (ATC) has become an international movement.  Want to learn about San Diego’s community?  San Diego’s ATC artists are holding a fun evening at The Studio Door; part social, part educational and part creative.  Everyone is welcome! 

• 6 PM – Potluck Social

• 7 PM – Short presentation on the History of ATC with Fred Marinello

• Followed by local artists Jaron Stokes and John Keasler showcasing their own ATC portfolios 

• Breakout sessions: (1) Professional ATC Swap; (2) Patrons can purchase Art Card Editions and Originals (ACEO) direct from participating artists; and (3) Everyone else can hop on Make One-Take One table [Basic supplies will be available but participants are encouraged to bring their own art supplies if they want to add something special to their own creativity].

Bringing your own ATCs to the Swap?  The only official rule for ATCs is the size: 2.5″ x 3.5″

Professional Artist Networking Happy Hour

Hosted by The Studio Door

Wednesday, November 13
6 PM – 8 PM

Casual networking with other emerging, mid-career and established artists at this exclusive gallery evening at The Studio Door.  This event is geared to help local artists build relationships with other artists to create a network of people you can rely on for help and advice.  These are the people who can inspire you and open your eyes to new possibilities for your creative work.  Admission includes one drink ticket. No host bar.

2020 Workshop Highlights:

In January, The Studio Door is partnering with GOLDEN Working Artist Nancy Seiler on a free GOLDEN Lecture Demo: The GOLDEN “A to Z” of Acrylics.  Registration will open late November.

ARTIST ALMANAC will return in April and May.  Details and registration will be announce in February.  If you have an interest in a specific workshop or are an instructor and would like to participate, just email Patric at