Peter Seltzer PSA-MP, HFH, Finding Myself

Classes have a maximum of 12 students. Working in the glorious Victorian building of The National Arts Club that was once the residence of Governor Tilden, Monday through Saturday, students have the opportunity of selecting classes year-round in all genres: portrait, figure, still life, florals, landscape, cityscape, and preliminary drawing for pastels. It is the only art school devoted exclusively to the medium of pastel.

 Coming: PSA School for Pastel catalog 2024.

Day Time Genre Instructor
Monday 1:30PM – 4:30PM
Finding Your Freedom Through Observation, Exploration and Joy (Zoom)
Adrian Giuliani PSA
Tuesday (click here for supply list) 5:30PM – 8:30PM Beginner to Advanced Pastel Landscape, Figure & Still Life (Zoom) Janet A. Cook PSA-MP
Wednesday 9:30PM – 12:30PM Landscape, Cityscapes and Interiors (Plein Air & Studio) Wennie Huang PSA
Wednesday 1:30PM – 4:30PM Flowers, Faces and Fabric in Pastel (Zoom & Studio) Wennie Huang PSA
Thursday  1PM – 4PM Color & Composition (Zoom & Studio) Maceo Mitchell PSA-MP
Thursday  5PM-7:30PM Drawing the Figure and Portrait Nancy Johnson

Registration Process:

Please email the PSA office with your request to register stating the instructor and program to ensure there is a spot open for you.

After registration via email, you will be instructed to pay via the PayPal button on the website by choosing the “other” option. Registration and full payment must be made two business days prior to the program’s start day.

PSA will process registration requests in the order they are received, emailing a confirmation soon after. 

Fees: 6 Classes $160; Single Class $40 (subject to change without notice). Classes are ongoing and year-round.


View the PSA School for Pastel catalog here.

Class descriptions:


Letting Loose : Abstracting Still Lifes and Interiors

Halla Shafey PSA, PS, IAPS(MC)

Sundays, January 7 – February 11

10 am – 3 pm (ET) Tuition: $700 Members, $775 Non – Members

Max 15

Purpose of the Course:

Letting loose is emancipating for the soul and our creative practice. It infuses our work with freshness and vivacity. This course is about learning how to free your creative vision and process to discover exciting and captivating still lifes and interiors while omitting the details of realism. The emphasis will be on how to see, feel and interpret abstractly in ways that are expressive and individual. Through a methodical step-by-step approach, artists are guided on how to see the world abstractly in terms of shapes, lines and colors. Exploration and experimentation with new approaches and techniques will yield various interpretations of photo references, some your own, others provided, leading to the creation of abstracted still lifes and interiors.  Artists will then produce abstracted still lifes from set-ups in their own studios.  As a next step, they will create their own words depending solely on memory, and imagination. Finally, artists will produce abstracted conceptual still lifes/interiors that convey messages and contain individual symbolism.


Transcending The Subject (Zoom)

Loriann Signori PSA

Friday, January 12, 26, February 2, 16, March 1, 15

1 pm – 4 pm (ET) Tuition: $700 Members, $775 Non-Members

Max 12

Why this class?

This course is not technique driven – it’s concept driven. You will be guided to think differently about your approach to subject and picture-making.

Transcending Subject: Entering the Aesthetic Dimension

The most important question representational painters can ask themselves is: “What are my paintings about?”

No matter the medium, painters are often ruled by the “things”we call the subject. Yet, the subject is only a vehicle.  How do we transcend the subject and make our paintings about something greater?  In this class, we will open the door to a new way of seeing and experiencing “subject.” When we focus on aesthetic considerations — such as shape, pattern, color, abstraction, luminosity, or mark-making— these become the primary catalysts of the painting.

By shifting your perspective toward these aesthetics — along with the all-important point of view or “vision” — you’ll learn to transcend subject and tell a different kind of story in your paintings. Most importantly, you will find ways to own the material.

The class is a combination of demonstrations, exercises, individual critiques, and group discussions, all of which take place during class time. In addition, there will be interviews with artists who are in different stages of transcending the subject. Personal practice and assignments will be done during your own studio time. The format is biweekly, thus allowing you time to digest and absorb each lesson. Each day will be recorded and available the next day (continuing for two months after the class ends.) This class will assist in developing a state of mind that is your tool kit for a new type of visual inquiry, rooted in curiosity, risk, visual playfulness, and technical skill. Teaching is the hardest work I’ve ever done, next to painting. It keeps me learning, questioning.

Drawing the Figure and Portrait (Studio)

Nancy Johnson

Thursdays, 5 pm – 7:30 pm

January 11 – February 15 Tuition: $40 per class or $160 for six classes

Model fee per class: $7

Learn how to express your creativity through the practice of Portrait and Figure Drawing. Using various techniques in both graphite and charcoal, while working from a live model, students will learn how to use gesture, line, and careful attention toproportion to create portrait and figure drawings. This course will focus on achieving accuracy, both in likeness for the portrait and in capturing the figure in space.

The 6-week class will explore expressive approaches using various techniques in both charcoal and graphite. This will include (2) two-week Portrait Drawing sessions, alternating with (2) two-week Figure Drawing sessions. Students will first learn how to draw the proportions of the pose and progress to completion of advanced drawings through shading.

The first 2 classes will study 3 classic vantage points utilized in portraiture: frontal, three-quarter, and profile. Followed by 2 weeks of students learning how to draw the figure through the practice of gesture, contour, and measuring in order to achieve a three-dimensional drawing of a figure in space. The next two weeks will be devoted to the completion of a single Portrait.  Finally, the last two weeks will be devoted to the completion of a Figure Drawing of a single pose.