© 2014 by Kirah Van Sickle

Wilmington, NC  910.233.7507

Website managed by HedgyDesigns™

 kirah van sickle : the workshops 

Kirah's teaching techniques are inclusive, allowing all to reach that "can-do" state, and they are measured, covering a great amount of information in segments that can be comfortably absorbed. 

                                                                 -Sandra (former student)


Kirah offers a variety of educational opportunities. As a certified Golden Artist-Educator, Marabu USA Artist-Educator, and Silver Brush Educator, Kirah has tremendous insight and experience with materials, and professional history in both traditional and contemporary processes. She teaches acrylics, watercolors, oils, pastel, mixed media, monoprinting (gelli arts), and creates custom programming for the individual or small groups. 

• private consultation

• private custom in-studio technical/creative exercises

• private workshops customized for art organizations and non-profit entities

• studio courses through museums/associations, regional and international

• college adjunct art appreciation and studio courses


Paint Like the Masters Workshop: Wayne Thiebaud

March 27 - March 28, 2020

Friday - Saturday 10:00 - 4:00 PM 

Museum School at Cameron Art Museum

CAM member: $132; Non-member: $165

Adult: All Levels

Please call to confirm availability 910.395-5999

Known for his colorful, contemporary paintings of cakes, pastries and objects that evoke 20th century Americana, Wayne Thiebaud provides inspiration and a framework for building color confidence and capturing light. We'll focus on still life straight out of the Thiebaud playbook. Several small painting studies will be completed. For all levels and painting mediums. 

Positively Plein Air: Nature's Sketchbook

May 5 - 26, 2020

Tuesdays 12:30 - 3:30 pm (4-wk class)

Cameron Art Museum - Various locations in Wilmington area

CAM member: $132; Non-member: $165 

Adult: All Levels 


For the beginner or advanced artist, focus on sketchbook techniques and mediums for quick and confident capture of nature's richness. With instructor demos, handouts and techniques, students have plenty of time to find inspiration to build watercolor and drawing skills and create quick studies. 

Adventures in Color

May 7 - 28, 2020

Thursdays 6 - 9 pm (4-wk class)

Cameron Art Museum - Pancoe Studio

CAM member: $132; Non-member: $165 

Adult: All Levels 


Let's experiment with color relationships to build rich, dynamic paintings. With an understanding of basic color theory, we will look at advanced approaches to palette choices, gaining confidence in paint mixing to build our own personal color voice. 

Plein Air Color & Composition: The Landscape

Friday, May 1, 2020

9 - 4 pm (one-day intensive)

Cameron Art Museum - Pancoe Studio

CAM member: $88; Non-member: $110 

Adult: All Levels 


This plein air intensive provides a template for dynamic landscape compositional design and improves color confidence in mixing greens and natural tones and mutes. The result is loose, quick studies with punch and depth! The CAM grounds will be our landscape home base. We will meet at the Pancoe patio. 




42nd Annual Artist Week at Sea View Inn

(Two Spots Available!)

April 17-24, 2020

Sea View Inn, Pawley's Island, SC

All Levels


It’s time to put the Spring Artists’ Workshop at Sea View Inn on your calendar. The annual workshop continues its 42nd year of combining great painting locations with gorgeous spring weather. The charming shabby chic inn serves three meals a day of low country cooking by Myrtle and Vertrella, adding to the ambience of a most enjoyable workshop.

Kirah takes the artists to a new location each day, having scouted out delightful spots for plein air painting at area plantations, Brookgreen Gardens, and historic cottages on the island. The week is informal and relaxed. Students are encouraged to do as much or as little as they desire. The groups are small enough to get individual attention. All levels are welcome as long as you feel comfortable painting outside. If not, you can work on your own at the inn, or avail yourself of her instruction that focuses on values, color, and the principles of design. Kirah has a natural positive approach to helping individuals achieve their personal goals. She encourages exploring mark-making and improving visual acuity. She always includes handouts and historical context, and will demo in watercolor and acrylic. Kirah is well versed in all painting mediums and happy to work with you in your preferred process. The group winds down by discussing each day’s paintings before supper. Evenings may include videos or slides of other artists’ work. We also reserve a time for painting the wait staff/models.

The Great Alaska Art Adventure

August 26 - September 6, 2020

All Levels

Join Kirah for this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime adventure through Alaska. This 12 day land + sea itinerary on MS Westerdam - Holland America Line starts in Anchorage and ends in Vancouver with 3 nights at Denali National Park. Sketching, photography, mixed media painting and journal play, lots of excursions with plenty of wildlife and landscape inspiration.  Max 15 artists/unlimited companion spots.  More info, email Kirah at kirahart@yahoo.com or Karen Thomas at AAA Travel at klthomas@aaacarolinas.com.


Caves of Painted Dreams (France)

September 11-20, 2020

Dordogne Valley, France

All Levels


"What gives this art its power is that it makes us dream."  -Jean Clottes 


Dreams, Symbolism and Art in the Painted Caves of France with Carol Aalbers, PhD and Kirah Van Sickle.  Explore archetypal images in the caves, in our dreams, and in the beautiful landscape and villages of the Dordogne Valley, France. The painted caves of southwestern France are the perfect metaphor for the internal journey to the unconscious we experience each night in dreams. Relying upon art as a visual language of symbol and metaphor - the language of humans since the first dawning of consciousness, we will explore multiple forms of artistic expression in the context of connecting to our prehistoric artist ancestors. 

Fee: $3,050 Per Person Double Room; $3,775 Private Room

Fees include all breakfasts, all lunches at outstanding restaurants, and 3 dinners prepared at the B&B, all site admissions and tour guide services. Dinner other nights is a pot-luck of local market finds hosted each night by a different room.  Email kirahart@yahoo.com to be added to wait list.


More info, visit Caves of Painted Dreams

Looking Ahead to 2021...


Positively Plein Air: French Alps


June16-23 2021

Annecy, France

Beginner to Advanced Welcome!


Let’s immerse ourselves in the flavors and colors of the French Alps.

Join Kirah Van Sickle for a French adventure in watercolor, oil and acrylic painting. With the Alps as our inspiration, we will explore a myriad of journal sketching and alla prima painting techniques.

With an approach based on fundamentals of values, composition and color, Kirah will introduce students to exercises and techniques that build brush confidence and achieve bold, fresh and loose results. Students will gain a better understanding of color temperature, limited palette and the dramatic impact in building contrast and dynamic landscape compositions. Both rural and urban subjects will be addressed, using the notan to establish value planes, and color mixing savy.

Kirah will combine instructor demonstrations, extensive reference material and personal guidance directed to the individual artist’s goals and process. Let’s enjoy exploring the amazing sights and flavors…and all that color that is France!

More info: French Alps with Kirah