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Beginners: Find Your Inner O’Keeffe and Find Yourself – G200433

Workshop ID: G200433
Dates: April 19 - April 24
Price: $595.00 - $1,275.00

This workshop has been cancelled.

Please select another Ghost Ranch offering.

Georgia O’Keeffe was once a beginner herself.

For beginners, amateurs and those looking for a new start for their work, this workshop is based on O’Keeffe’s dictum to “fill a space in a beautiful way.” Choose your medium: pastels, paint, collage. Experience lessons that O’Keeffe got from her most influential teacher (Arthur Wesley Dow) and the lessons she, herself, gave novices, lessons that open up the making of art with a view toward O’Keeffe’s own perspective and practices. Get started or get further guidance from an instructor who worked for O’Keeffe in 1976 and went on to study art and a museum career.
Also offered May 13-17.


Package Price
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Communal Bath$855.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Private Bath$1,275.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Shared Bath$1,265.00
Anna Koster

Anna Koster has enjoyed a full life focused on art. In 1976, she had the opportunity to serve as Georgia O’Keeffe’s weekend companion. She went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree and


Click to download PDF flyer: 2020 Inner OKeeffe Flyer


Click here to download PDF of welcome letter and itinerary: Letter_Beginners-O’Keeffe_April-2020

I look forward to our days together. You will learn about O’Keeffe and her approach to art, get
inspiration from the subjects and landscape that she loved, and create your own works.

Learning Objectives
We will be guided by the approach O’Keeffe learned (from her most influential teacher) to “fill
a space in a beautiful way” as we focus on line, color, and shape — while in the landscape that
inspired O’Keeffe. But you will develop your own creative expression. This course provides an
affirming artistic experience for all skill levels, from the novice to experienced artist who wants
to try something new and want to know about O’Keeffe, her life, and her art.

Itinerary and Topics Covered (please note that this is subject to change)
Sunday, April 19 Check-in begins at 3:00 p.m. at the Welcome Center. Ranch
Orientation at 6:45 p.m. (after dinner); then we meet for introductions and a course overview.

Monday, April 20 9 a.m.–noon in studio for an “O’Keeffe exercise” experimenting
with composition; meet at Welcome Center at 2:45 for 3 p.m. O’Keeffe Landscape Tour (free
with course); 7–8:30 p.m. studio session continues

Tuesday, April 21 Make bag lunch at breakfast; morning and afternoon we have an
off-site trip to O’Keeffe’s “White Place”; evening free (unless there is demand for a session in
the studio)

Wednesday, April 22 9 a.m.–noon in studio; afternoon free; afternoon free; 7–8:30 p.m.
in studio continuing works, get a new project in composition and color and a take-home task

Thursday, April 23 9 a.m.–noon complete works in studio or outside, prepare work for
display, discuss work; afternoon free; evening all-ranch Celebration

Friday, April 24 Clear out room by 10 a.m. (It is OK to stay and hike or relax but
must pay for additional meals and arrange overnight housing.)

General Workshop Hours
Meals served at 8 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. Sessions morning (9 a.m.–noon) and evening (7–8:30
p.m.); afternoons in class or free (1:30-5 p.m.). The studio will be open all hours for those who
want to work during free times.

Materials to Bring with You
• Glue stick
• Please bring a pair of scissors, if you can (If you fly with only carry-on luggage, you can’t)
• Optional: Small sketch pad and pencils or pens
• If you already own art materials that you like to use (paint, colored pencils, etc.), bring those.
If you DON’T, please purchase materials of your choice for this class. If you have no preference,
I suggest:
• A set (20 or more) of water-soluble oil pastels. sells two brands: Cretacolor
AquaStics (set of 20 assorted colors, under $40) and Portfolio brand (water-soluble oil pastels,
student quality, 24 assorted colors, under $10) plus added tax and shipping charges.
• Pad of 9×12-inch, 140-pound, hot-press watercolor paper
• Paint brushes, 2 or 3 medium sizes (not very small nor really large), pointed and/or flat brushes
Also Bring comfortable walking shoes, a brimmed hat, sunscreen, clothes for changeable
weather (warm/cold, sun/rain/snow), and a water bottle.

Materials That Will Be Supplied
Participants need to bring their own basic supplies listed above. I will bring a variety of other
materials for experimentation.

All Skill Levels Welcome

This course is ideal for beginners, amateurs, and artists wanting a fresh approach. Novices will
learn the most. Advanced artists will experience exercises and get information that will help
them understand O’Keeffe and her art.

Optional Reading
There is no required reading. Past participants have said that they would have appreciated an
advance reading list. If you are of like mind, here it is:
• For its accuracy and detail, I like Roxana Robinson’s biography Georgia O’Keeffe, first
published by Harper & Row in 1989. Also Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe by
Laurie Lisle, from Washington Square Press, is respected and is easier to read (fewer details).
• If you want to hear what others who worked for O’Keeffe have to say about their experience,
you could read Weekends with O’Keeffe by C. S. Merrill*, published by La Alameda Press, or
Remembering Miss O’Keeffe by Margaret Wood, published by Museum of New Mexico Press.
*Carol Merrill briefly mentions me twice in her book.
• You can browse online or visit your local library to view illustrated books of O’Keeffe’s art to
get an idea of the range of her work, well beyond flowers and New Mexico landscapes.
• If you have little or no experience drawing, that’s perfectly OK. But if you want to get a head
start before coming to Ghost Ranch, I suggest visiting your local library for a basic book on
drawing for beginners. Avoid books where the authors appear to be showing off their skills
rather than giving easy instructions. The only book that looked OK when I visited the store was
Drawing Nature for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Drawing Landscapes &
Nature by Mark and Mary Willenbrink, published by F&W Publications Inc.

NOTE: No reading is required. This list is only for those who want to do something extra before
or after their week at Ghost Ranch.

About Anna Koster
I have taught art at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (Santa Fe), Nevada Museum of Art (Reno),
Palo Alto (CA) Art Center, and San Jose (CA) Museum of Art. I first taught at Ghost Ranch in
the 1970s, then returned in 2014 to lead annual O’Keeffe-related courses. I have two art
degrees (BA and MFA) and worked at art museums for 35 years, including 15 years at Stanford
University’s Cantor Arts Center.

Learn about me at my website:

My resume is online here.

Visit my Facebook page at Visit our Facebook group “Lessons from Georgia O’Keeffe’s Art, Life, Landscape” at; you can view posts or join the group and share there.

Contact: If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

I look forward to meeting you soon and to our experience together at Ghost Ranch!


Frequently Asked Questions
(Beginners Find Your Inner O’Keeffe, April 19-24, 2020)

Question: What kind of art supplies should I bring?
Answer: Bring the materials that you already own or that you prefer to use. See the welcome letter for details.

Q: Can I buy art supplies at Ghost Ranch?
A: No, the Ghost Ranch shop does not sell art supplies.

Q: How much time each day will be spent in the workshop? Will there be free time?
A: A typical day will include 4.5 hours of organized activity (morning and evenings), with afternoons free. (One or two days may vary due to special activities; see the welcome letter for an itinerary.) Participants can paint/draw/create in their free time or take advantage of the many activities available at Ghost Ranch, including hiking, horse-back riding, viewing archaeology and history exhibits, a variety of tours, and more.

Q: Will we be depicting the same scenes as O’Keeffe and going to places where O’Keeffe painted?
A: Ghost Ranch is the epicenter of the New Mexico landscape that O’Keeffe made famous in her paintings. The subjects of her work surround us at Ghost Ranch. In addition, we will be going offsite to a place she particularly loved: The White Place (as she called it) or Plaza Blanca, as it is more commonly known.

Q: Will we be working outdoors or inside?
A: There will be ample opportunity to sketch, draw, and paint in the open air. One off-site trip to Plaza Blanca (GOK called it the “White Place”) will be a good opportunity to make studies and sketches to use back in the studio and for taking reference photos. Transportation is provided; the walk from the parking lot to the Plaza Blanca canyon is about half a mile. Evenings will be spent in the art studio, which will be available for use at all hours for those who want to use it.

Q: Will we tour Georgia O’Keeffe’s houses during the week?
A: No, that is not part of our workshop. However, individuals can make plans on their own to visit Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu house; arrangements can be made at
Both of Georgia O’Keeffe’s houses are owned by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. If you want to visit, the afternoons of Wednesday and Thursday are open for that or other free-time activities.

Note: Ghost Ranch Foundation and Education Center have no of control Georgia O’Keeffe’s house on the 7 acres carved out from the former dude ranch. That house is called Rancho de los Burros. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum does not offer public tours of Rancho de los Burros. There is a Georgia O’Keeffe Landscape Tour (by van) that stops on the road by Rancho de los Burros. That landscape tour is included as part of our course on Monday, April 20.

Q: Will we visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum as part of the workshop?
A: No. Visiting the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum before (or after) the workshop is recommended if you have the time to do that. It is an hour’s drive to Santa Fe from Ghost Ranch; so if you have a private vehicle with you, it is possible to make an afternoon visit during the workshop. The afternoons of Wednesday and Thursday are open for that or other free-time activities.

Q: Will Anna Koster tell us about Georgia O’Keeffe and share personal stories about her?
A: Yes. In addition to illustrated talks about the famous artist’s life and work, Anna will share personal insights and answer questions about Georgia O’Keeffe.

Q: Can I extend my stay at Ghost Ranch beyond the course?
A: Yes. You can arrange for an additional one- or two-night stay with Ghost Ranch staff: 505-685-1000 or 877-804-4678. If you have your own transportation, you could also stay some hours on the last day of the course after you clear out your room for the 10 am check-out. You’d need to pay for additional meals if you want to eat lunch or dinner at Ghost Ranch on check-out day.

Q: I am flying to New Mexico. How can I get to Ghost Ranch?
A: Most people who fly to NM for Ghost Ranch programs arrive at the Albuquerque airport. Many people use Groome Transportation (formerly Sandia Shuttle) to go back-and-forth from the Albuquerque airport and Santa Fe:
Groome Transportation

Santa Fe also has an airport on the outskirts of town. Lyft and Uber can provide transportation from the Santa Fe airport into town. Ghost Ranch (GR) provides limited shuttle service (on the first and last days of class) between Ghost Ranch and the Sage Inn, 725 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505. The shuttle cost is $35 one way, $70 round trip (spring 2020 prices). Reservations are needed if you want to use this service: Call GR staffer Gina Maestas at 505-685-1017 to reserve a space and confirm pickup times. (Spring 2019 info: On the first day of the course, the pick-up time at Sage Inn is 4 pm. On the last day of the course, the van leaves Ghost Ranch at 9 am.) But check with Gina to be sure of times and cost!

If GR shuttle times don’t work for you, you can look into the expensive ($150 oneway!) White Buffalo Specialty Shuttle service:

Cars can be rented in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Testimonials from previous participants:
“My week with Anna was transformative. I took the class because of her background and
credentials, however what I received was so much more. Her sincere interest in us as artists,
coupled with the majesty of landscape transported me to a place of grounding, confidence and
passion for the power of creativity.” – Susan Thompson, high school principal

“I enjoyed Anna’s class tremendously. Her artistic guidance and all of the opportunities that she
provided during the class gave all of us a comprehensive experience related to the world of art.”
– Jenny Pursell, artist, Juneau, Alaska

“The week at Ghost Ranch was, for me, an extraordinary experience with a truly spiritual
dimension; quite unique: the setting, the company, the artistic endeavor all came together to
make it very special.” – Alice Godfrey, retired physician, Aptos, California

“Ghost Ranch and your class were amazing. I hope you could tell how much I was enjoying the
entire experience. As we all agreed, the people in the class made it even better. The rocks, the
sky, the silence – amazing. Even my iPhone photos are spectacular. For many years, I have been
fascinated by Georgia O’Keeffe. Beyond her art, I think she led an amazing life and was a real
trailblazer. The more I learn about her, the more I want to know. Thank you for helping to fuel
my obsession.” – Bobbi Baumgartner, retired from Stanford University

This workshop has been cancelled.

Please select another Ghost Ranch offering.

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