July 13, 2023 @ 9:00 am – July 15, 2023 @ 4:00 pm
Amarillo Art Institute
3701 Plains Blvd
TX 79102
Micah Enger

How to be Bold & Spontaneous with Soft Pastels
with Mike Mahon
Amarillo, TX • 9:00am-4:00pm, July 13-15, 2023
 Workshop sponsored by the Amarillo Art Institute

Registration – $425.00

Self Portrait in Oil by Mike Mahon

Mike Mahon

Mike has been a professional artist for over 50 years and has been teaching painting workshops for the last 20 years. Pastel is his favorite medium, especially for landscapes. He has won many awards for his work including many best-of-shows and has taught and exhibited in various museums and art organizations from Florida to California. His work is recognized for its strong sense of design and dynamic and painterly use of color and value. He is the inventor of the unique pastel handling system, Mike Mahon’s Pastel Porter™.
Samples of his work and testimonials can be viewed on his website at http://www.mmahon.com. Painting demonstrations in pastel and oil can be viewed on his Youtube channel by clicking HERE.

To register for this workshop, please click HERE.

Teaching Approach

Chama Escarpment by Mike Mahon – Best of Show, Santa Fe, Plein Air Festival National Show

Mike has had great success using Paint-Alongs to teach his pastel process. The more controlled step-by-step procedure of a paint-along is very encouraging to those who want to master the seemingly contradictory qualities of control and spontaneity. You will learn how to think in Aesthetic Categories which form the foundation of all forms of art.


Timeless San Miguel-Landscape-Paintings-Pastel

Timeless San Miguel by Mike Mahon

Workshop Schedule 1st Day
and Paint-Along Procedure

He will begin with a thorough introductory PowerPoint presentation explaining the painting principles and procedures necessary for successful painting. After a question and answer session and review of everyone’s equipment, Mike will lead you in a workshop Paint-Along.

pastel Demonstration by Mike Mahon

Pastel Landscape Demonstration by Mike Mahon

In the PaintAlong sessions, Mike will supply landscape pictures to paint for each student that are identical to the ones he is using. Mike will demonstrate his step-by-step painting process, stopping at each step to allow students to reproduce what they have just seen him paint. He has found that this is the fastest and most effective way to build confidence while learning his painting method.


Schedule – 2nd & 3rd Days

On the second day, Mike will briefly review the material he has taught and introduce specific instructions on measuring techniques, scene selection, and value studies. He will do another paint-along demonstration. After lunch artists will begin work on scenes from their own photo references. On the 3rd day everyone will continue working on paintings done from their own source material. Mike will work with each artist to determine how to choose the best photo and how to crop it. At the end of the 3rd day, there will be a comprehensive class critique of all the work produced during the workshop. Many artists consider this one of the most useful sessions of the workshop experience.

Throughout this process, you will discover how to paint with pastels in several techniques, and perspective will greatly increase and you will learn how to edit what you paint to the most essential elements for the most successful painting.


A Systematic Painting Process 

Alpenglow Rainbow pastel by Mike Mahon

You will also be introduced to Mike’s “Aesthetic Categories” ©, a 7-step systematic approach to painting based on classical principles of art which are logical, learnable, and memorable. Also know as the Divine SETUP, this systematic process will free you to be more spontaneous, while still in control of your painting. You will learn the necessary steps and the order in which they must be used to accomplish a good painting.

Video Instruction & Review

Along with Mike’s main lecture, his demonstration paintings and paint-alongs will be videoed and made available to workshop participants. These videos will be your way of reliving and reviewing the learning experience you receive at this workshop for years to come.

12x12 Pastel Reachin' for Sky Mike Mahon

Reaching for Sky-12×12 Pastel by Mike Mahon 

Registration Information

A To register for this workshop please click here

Click here to view Mike’s time-lapse video of a landscape painting demonstration.




This painting video, produced at the Pastel Society of Southern California, in Redondo Beach, CA, has been compressed to only 17 minutes, but it includes Mike’s audio commentary explaining his painting process, along with helpful painting tips. You may view the video whenever and as often as you like.

After seeing the video, click here to subscribe to Mike’s YouTube channel if you would like to see more videos as he produces them.

Your success is Mike’s goal!
“Success is where preparation meets opportunity.”
Pastel painting is a pleasurable experience. However, it has unique challenges that can be overcome by proper preparation!


     “…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.” [capitalization emphasis is not mine]
Martha Wofford, PhD., Dalhart, TX
     “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, TX
     “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.

Mike’s Signature Memberships

As a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, Pastel Society of New Mexico and the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, Mike is the perfect instructor to advance your painting skills in producing landscape paintings.

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