Painting Demonstrations & Workshops:

I enjoy giving painting demonstrations and workshops to varied groups, sharing the tools and techniques I have picked up along my own artistic journey.  I believe there is a creative spirit within each of us, standing ready to be freed and expressed in ways uniquely natural to each of us.

photo of painting demonstration given by Mary Jane Volkmann

painting demonstration in Florida, USA

Painting demonstrations afford opportunities for discussion as well as a bit of story-telling!

photo of Mary Jane Volkmann giving a painting demonstration at a workshop

outdoor painting workshop

students painting outdoors at a plein air painting workshop in N. Carolina

plein air painting workshop

Before each workshop I teach I like to correspond with the participants to get a sense of where they are in their creative process and where they would like to be so I can more effectively personalize the workshop for them.  Feel free to use this link if you are interested in a painting workshop. We can either plan a new workshop or you can check my events page to see which workshops I am currently offering.

 photo of a workshop participant painting the interior of a shop in Murphy, N. Carolina   painter in Germany trying different plein air painting techniques  viewing and sketching the same subject from different angles at a workshop in Floridapainting interiors in N. Carolina        trying different techniques in Germany        sketching compositions in Florida

Some years ago, I was asked by the National Art Gallery of Namibia to travel to a remote region in the north of the country to train teachers so they could help their students submit paintings for a national competition. These teachers were not artists or trained in the arts. When I arrived and met the teachers (who had traveled from far away to attend the workshop) I found that other than paper and glue they had no materials in their classrooms with which to paint and draw and no budget to purchase any. We grabbed some cardboard boxes from a local shop and went on an exploratory walk through the bush, collecting anything and everything we could find that could make a mark, a color, or be used in a collage painting. With these materials we explored the teaching of art with whatever is on hand.

a scavenger hunt for material with which to draw, paint and collage at a workshop taught by Mary Jane Volkmann in Namibia, Africa

gathering materials in the bush

picture of teacher creating a painting from found materials

teacher creating with found materials








The teachers, although at first very shy about trying to create art themselves, tried their hands at creating collage paintings with what they had gathered from the field and tested. They were delighted to see what they could actually do! After discussing imaginative means of helping their students create art in the absence of classroom materials, they left the workshop excited with possibilities.


pictures of paintings the Namibian teachers created during a workshop taught by Mary Jane Volkmann

paintings created by novice art teachers from materials they found in the bush



I am often requested to give lectures about my experiences in Africa. I have been the “Storyteller’s Voice” for Black History month in the Alachua County Library District and have given presentations to students, professors, professional organizations and other special interest associations.   These lectures cover a variety of topics and in addition to stories may include samples of my African and other paintings, slides, native artifacts, and recordings of traditional African music.

the interior of a Swazi home during a visit to the women and children by Mary Jane Volkmann

inside a Swazi home

Mary Jane and Walter Volkmann traveling in Bushmanland, Namibia, Africa

traveling in Bushmanland, Namibia








“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
— Edgar Degas