The Urban Art Retreat


Join me for five days of painting at Fort Mason with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop.

May 22-26, 2017 


Have you always wanted to paint abstracts but didn't know where to start?

Maybe you are a seasoned painter looking for fresh inspiration. 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced painter, you will be engaged and inspired by The Urban Art Retreat. 

Using the City of San Francisco as our inspiration, we will work in the studio at Fort Mason.  Our focus will be abstracting from the urban environment around us. I will cover color mixing, composition and go deep into acrylic technique.  Tools, textures and experimental technique will be covered as well.  You will learn how to hone your abstract "eye", enabling you to compose paintings that are rich in content and vibrant in technique. 

You are encouraged to be loose and bold in your approach. 

In addition, I will share with you my methods of presentation and framing that will save you literally hundreds of dollars and hours of time.

You will receive printed notes covering materials and techniques. 

Class meets from 10-5 every day with a one hour break for lunch. Wednesday afternoon is free time. Stay and paint or go sightseeing!

Each day starts with a painting demonstration and warm up technique with Tesia.

Day One:

  • What is Abstraction?
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Plan your intention
  • Onsite composition
  • Small warm up paintings

Day Two and Three

  • Small studies and painting from onsite comps 
  • Monochromatic Study
  • Larger format abstracts

Day Four and Five

  • Adding in Mixed Media
  • Wrapping up larger abstracts
  • Demonstration on varnishing and finishing paintings
  • Discussion of archival properties, presentation, storage and shipping.
golden paint jars.jpg

What's included

Four and a half days of instruction from 10 am to 5 pm each day with a one hour break for lunch.  Wednesday afternoon is free. Stay in the studio and paint (uninstructed) or go sightseeing.

All paints, mediums and gels are provided. 

Students are responsible for their own supports to work on (canvas, paper, masonite, etc). See suggested materials at the bottom of this page. Limit sizes to no larger than 24" x 36".

Students are responsible for their own lodging, transportation, meals and extracurricular activities. 

Students are also responsible for shipping or transport of their finished paintings.

$250.00 non-refundable deposit to holds your spot! There are 24 spots available on a first- come, first-served basis.

Please review my Class Policies page for information on cancellations and refunds. You will receive a complete list of materials, maps and other information upon registration.

Tuition $595.00

Deposit $250.00 to reserve your spot


Planning your trip

San Francisco has a wealth of lodging available. Plan ahead of time though!  There is ample public transport from every part of The City.

Follow this link for great information on planning your trip! 

Find an inexpensive hotel at Trivago!

Airports: San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), Oakland (OAK) and Sacramento (SMF)

We are a foodie town!  Plan to have lunch or dinner at least once at the amazing, multi-award winning, Green's Restaurant, right at Fort Mason. I love this place so much I held my wedding reception there! Have dinner and watch the sun set on the Golden Gate Bridge. Not bad, eh?

Plan to stay an extra day to visit the San Francisco International Art Fair, starting on May 25, 2016 at Fort Mason.Spend Thursday evening at the SFMOMA (it's open late). Get tickets beforehand.

On your free Wednesday afternoon, jump on a sightseeing bus or catch a cable car to Chinatown for a late lunch! Visit the SF Tourist website for more info. Or stay in the studio and paint - it's up to you.

Bring your dancing shoes and prepare to boogie! Spend Friday night at the Deyoung Museum with drinks, music, dancing and art! Did I mention that this is a party town, too?  


What students say:

"Tesia is a terrific, natural-born teacher. She inspires and guides with both humor and warmth." Claudia -Murrieta, CA

"I’m so excited to have yet another big go at learning from you. I so treasure your knowledge, exuberance & fun teaching style." Jeanie - Oakland, CA

"Tesia loves what she does - and it shows. Her positive attitude and encouragement are priceless. I love it when she teaches different techniques - it sometimes feels like magic and Tesia is the best "magician" in town."  Hagit, Lafayette

Questions? Email me!