Sketching to Capture the Essence

Plein Air workshop with Peggy Wilson

9am-5pm, Friday, September 13, 2019

In this workshop students will practice several sketching methods using a variety of materials. Instructor Peggy Wilson uses a basic foundation plan to help organize your thoughts and actions before you start your plein air painting. Peggy will share tips she has gathered from some of the best instructors and Plein Air painters she has met and had the opportunity to paint with. The first half of the day will be spent at Salina Art Center and the second half at Rolling Hills Zoo.

Your workshop registration fee includes 8 hours of professional instruction, Zoo admission, and invitation to the Zoo’s membership picnic on Friday evening.

In addition, all participants are encouraged to participate in Art Gone Wild on Saturday, September 14. During this one day explosion of art in the park, Plein Air artists will be set up on Zoo grounds where they will be drawing their inspiration from the diverse beauty around them. Registration for Art Gone Wild is $20 and includes Zoo admission, breakfast, lunch and opportunity to share your work in the winter exhibition in the Earl Bane Gallery at Rolling Hills Zoo.


$10 for the workshop led by Peggy Wilson.

+ $20 for Art Gone Wild (optional)

What to bring?

You may have a bag of sketching supplies you keep by the door ready to grab as you leave the house! If you don’t already have that bag, bring sketching supplies you know you are comfortable with. They can be in a bag, a backpack or a sack. In addition please bring the following, in case it’s not in your bag already.


  • A sketchbook with paper that can handle wet media.

  • A black pen that is similar to a uniball Signo. Micro 207 is a dandy.

  • A white gel pen. Signo makes a really good one, but any brand will work. I use 0.38mm and 0.5mm in both white and black pens.

  • Fountain pens if you have them!

  • A medium for color, such as a small Watercolor kit (preferably). Colored pencils will work. Colors? Think zoo animals.

  • Waterbrush or a brush to sketch with plus a jar for water.

  • Pencil, mechanical it fine. Medium soft lead.

  • Eraser

Who is Peggy Wilson?

Peggy obtained her BFA, MFA and K-12 teaching certification which began a teaching career in public education. She was one of the original staff in 2001 to introduce the International Baccalaureate program at North Kansas City High School. Retiring in 2009, she taught adjunct classes for the Kansas City Art Institute. With a passion for learning, she has continued taking workshops with contemporary artists such as Phil Starke, Shawn Cornell, Kim Casebeer, Deborah Joy Grosser, Kevin Macpherson, Joshua Been, Jason Sacran, John Lasater, Alvaro Castagnet, and other masters. In 2014 Peggy was juried in as a member of Oil Painters of America. Currently her mediums of choice are watercolor, ink and gouache.

In 2010 Peggy and three friends established the Kansas City Plein Air Painters Association (KCPAPA) as a venue to promote and encourage the art of painting outdoors. She organized paintouts and schedules workshops for the group. In 2012 KCPAPA merged with Missouri Valley Impressionist Society (MVIS). In 2017 she and 2 friends began the process to create a chapter for the international Urban Sketchers Organization. Within 7 months they were part of the organization. Urban Sketchers Kansas City chapter currently has over 500 members.

She participates in plein air events in Missouri, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa and Illinois. Painting both in plein air and in the studio, she is inspired by how the light or lack of light, describes the subject.

"Capturing the light in the ordinary and simple things of nature is an endless challenge."

Thank you

This project is a partnership between Salina Art Center and Rolling Hills Zoo. This project was funded in part by the Horizons Grant Program of the Salina Arts and Humanities Foundation. Funding is provided by Horizons, a private donor group.

SAH-Horizons 2011.JPG