Mike Mahon

Mike Mahon

Southwest Art

Mike Mahon holds art workshops throughout the year in the Santa Fe and New Mexico region as well as other select locations around the country. His signature DiVine SETUP™ program teaches universal art principles in order to train his students to think and paint in Aesthetic Categories. His systematic painting and critiquing process helps artists to remember his step by step painting instructions  and process to work through any problems or blocks. This gives them the confidence to get from blank canvas to a finished piece, no matter the medium. Mike Mahon is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America (PSA), and the the Pastel Society of New Mexico (PSNM) and the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico (PAPNM). 



Mike’s workshops include demonstrations of his distinctive painting procedure while providing opportunities for one-on-one assistance. His three to five day workshops primarily cover either “Mastering the Painting Process,” “Portrait Painting,” or “Plein Air Painting” with a focus on expression through acrylic, pastels or oils. Painting step by step demonstration videos are available on Mike’s Blog. Other demonstrations and teaching videos in oil and pastel are available on his Youtube channel at the following: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzDk_VCOpwU_4W3y6ud4nzA

Skill Level

Whether you’re a retiree or art novice, looking to start or hone your technique, or a seasoned pro or art teacher looking to expand your skills, Mahon’s workshops combine classic painting principles with his unique style and approach, providing the groundwork for beginners and a challenge for experienced artists. Using demonstrations and lectures, combined with PowerPoint presentations and group and one-on-one painting assignments, participants are sure to walk away with a better understanding and enhanced artistic process.


Mahon focuses on teaching the delicate balance between control and spontaneity to achieve that painterly, realistic impressionism for which he is famous. His unique step by step painting process produces consistency and confidence. Whether you are attending for a landscape workshop or looking to improve your portrait skills, the experience gained from attending one of his workshops will help you express yourself more clearly and confidently. Step by step for beginners is especially important in order to learn how a painting is built in layers.



“The most valuable things I learned in this portrait workshop were the discipline of measurement, going from discipline of measuring to a beautiful painterly looseness.
*Excellent teaching style
*Laid back, but disciplined
*Lots of good practice and excellent demonstrations which made a good balance.”
Carol Snelson, Amarillo, Texas


“I’ve read and heard other methods (for portraits) but yours made more sense to me. It was also good to get a clear picture of how measuring is done from life. I really like the mix- demonstrations, lectures, practice and application. You have a good balance and practical information.”
Carol Knight, Amarillo, Texas


“Being a novice, the step-by-step process has given me a solid foundation on which to build any work in any medium that I may choose. I have learned more this week than I have in all the other workshops I have taken this year – combined!”
Joy Russo, Hot Springs, Ark.


“The workshop was very well organized! Demos were short & for a purpose. I liked how the basic concepts were covered in the DiVine Setup – it was basic information for the beginner, yet enough content & detail for the more advanced artist …. I would definitely recommend your workshop to artists, both beginners & advanced.”
Candy Mayer, El Paso, Texas



“Mike, you have a great teaching persona. I think you have given me some great insights in to how my students feel! And I think I’ve learned some good things to pass on to my students!”
Deb Wheeler, art teacher, Andrews, Texas


“I enjoyed your workshop so very much and I sincerely hope to take some more in the near future. They are wonderful and I really learned so much. You are a wonderful instructor.”
Eleanor Leeper, art teacher, Andrews, Texas


“Good blend of basic art theory and practical tips. Very Supportive environment, but you did not cut us any slack on technique/problem-solving: Rigorous on principles”
Casey Church, Austin, Texas

“You are one of the hardest working artists I’ve ever known, bar none. Not only did you spend every minute talking us through the fine points of scaling art to fit a canvas, but you did two paintings of your own AND spent time with each of us, from the oil neophyte to the more advanced oil painters in the group. All of us were most appreciative of your tact, attention to detail, and desire for us to do the best paintings we were capable of producing in 3 days…


…You don’t pull your punches. If a painting has elements that are not well done, you say so, and work with the artist to make improvements. I have been distressed in past workshops or in critique meetings when no real critique was provided, other than the false critique of gushy flattery… Thank you for your encouragement and your expertise. I greatly admire your painting AND teaching skills.”
Martha Wofford, Ph. D. Dalhart, Texas

“It’s much more technical and theory intensive (than other workshops). I learned a lot. Just wish I’d had this when I was younger. I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to improve their painting skills. It was such a privilege to attend this workshop. I received excellent instruction in group form plus lots of individual help.
Excellent teacher-plus Cynthia is so helpful with everything. Mike & Cynthia are so warm and friendly that the class was a lot of fun.”
Joyce Ming, Lamar, Colorado.

Mike's Home/Studio

6961 Golden Mesa, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507

Call Mike

Home/Studio: 505-473-1098 Cell: 505-795-4639
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