The Artist's AtelierThe Artist's AtelierOur Art Program & Class SchedulesWhat Students SayAbout Maria SmithContact Us!

The Artist's Atelier - Maria Smith, director

Welcome to The Artist's Atelier website - and thank you for visiting!
What is The Artist's Atelier?
The Artist's Atelier is an art school founded in 2003 by Maria J. Smith.  Located in Twin Falls, Idaho, the Atelier provides high quality art instruction for you and other serious artists who wish to achieve excellence in oil painting.
The Artist's Atelier is dedicated to preserving and teaching the traditional methods of the Old Masters which, through intensive study and training, leads to mastery in oil painting regardless of your choice of subject matter or painting style.  In this art school you'll learn to properly use the time-honored  techniques of the Masters - and then to apply them to your personal style of painting which will develop naturally - in accordance with your increasing level of understanding.
While the study of art offered through the public education system might fulfill artists' creative expressions, it often isn't until later that art students realize they are limited by a frustrating lack of skills and ability to express themselves well - that is, to paint well.

The thinking skills, artistic seeing skills, intuitive understanding, and the mastery of the craft of oil painting that are required in order to produce high quality art are, by their very nature, not subjects conducive to the public school teaching methods.  Consequently, the current demand for, and the growing renaissance of, beauty and realism in art has led many serious artists to search for a way to fill that void in their art education.

The ARTIST'S ATELIER answers this need with a focus on basic thinking and seeing skills for artists and, of course, knowledge and understanding about the craft of oil painting.  
You can learn to paint beautifully, regardless of the subject, in the style of classical, representational or contemporary realism. You, too, can receive the time-honored training the Masters enjoyed!
Historically, the training of artists has taken place in the small atelier schools of European practicing artists.  Now the Artist's Atelier, under the guidance of Maria J. Smith, offers YOU the same traditional 19th Century French Atelier-style system of training that produced so many great artists during that era - artists as diverse in style and subject matter as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassat, Edgar degas, Thomas Eakins, Vincent van Gogh, Winslow Homer. Whistler, Bouguereau, Picasso, Monet and many more.  I am sure you get the idea of the quality of this remarkable course.

If you wish to achieve excellence in oil painting, this is the Program for you!
You may be surprised, but talent is not high on the list of requirements for this Program.  Rather, dedication, commitment and staying power are the most important.  You are also expected to bring to this Program an open mind and a steadfast desire to learn.
Classes are small so that  you can receive close supervision and plenty of individual attention from the instructor, Maria Smith.  This ensures you are free to learn at your own pace, allowing you to achieve a level of proficiency in seeing as an artist that will successfully prepare you for the challenges inherent in oil painting - in painting well.
Since solid drawing skills (drawing=seeing skills!) are the basis for all good art, our Atelier studies begin with the traditional 19th century "Charles Bargue Cours de Dessin" (drawing course).  Therefore, in order to obtain a proper foundation for training in oil painting, this Course is a pre-requisite for all students, regardless of current skill level, who wish to take the 19th Century Oil Painting Program.
Please note that this traditional course of study can be applied to the earliest lessons of a beginner or fill a void in the education of a professional artist.

Drawing well is difficult as best, but painting well is much more difficult!
The objective of this well-constructed 19th Century Atelier Training Program is to produce highly skilled artists who can call upon their ability to create meaningful art of lasting beauty.  Skill liberates you to grow as an artist, while the lack of it is paralyzing.  This Program seeks to develop sensitivity and taste and to connect you to the depth and purpose of great art.
Jason Hicks as Albrecht Durer
Jason Hicks as Albrecht Durer
24x18  Oil on Canvas
by Maria J. Smith 

Classes at the Artist's Atelier are small (no more than 6 students) to facilitate intensive one-on-one instruction tailored to your particular needs at the time.  We do NOT engage in "one-size-fits-all"  instruction!  Or in "paint-along" programs!   Rather, as a student, you will work on your own project and learn at your pace and in your own way.  You'll enjoy a pleasant, positive  atmosphere where the joy of learning and your interest in creating art is shared by all. 

The objective here at the Artist's Atelier is for you to develop momentum for personal and artistic growth, and acquire the ability to draw and paint complex forms in space - beautifully - in the realm of classical, traditional, representational or contemporary realism.

Our course of instruction offers classes on an ongoing basis and is suitable for serious beginners to advanced painters, as well as for aspiring professionals.  Because instruction is very much personalized, this means you can start any time - yes, this means start now.

To find out the details on our outstanding art program, please go to the next page.

Next Page