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Plein Air Painting with Matt Fenton at Benjamin Banneker State Park

  • 20 May 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  • 300 Oella Ave. Catonsville, MD 21234 (Benjamin Banneker Historical Park)
  • 8


Registration is closed

Plein Air Painting 

with Matt Fenton

Saturday May 20th 2023
from 10 AM to 4:00 PM

at Benjamin Banneker Historical Park

300 Oella Avenue

Catonsville, MD 21228

Member Registration Opens February 24th 2023 10:00 a.m.

Member Fee: $65

Non-Member Registration Opens March 10th 2023 at 10:00

Non-Member Fee: $95

Not a Member? Consider joining.

Consider becoming an Associate Member for $30/year. To pay the member fee you must first become a member then register for Matt Fenton's class. This can be done easily online at the BWS website.

FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION OR TO BECOME A MEMBER VISIT: and go to Public Events to register for the class under upcoming events. To become a member go to the members Info section then Join us section.

Registration Deadline:  

May 5th 2023, unless the program is full prior to this date. 

Raindate: May 27th 2023

Plein Air Watercolor Workshop with Matt Fenton

We are pleased to have artist Matt Fenton conduct this watercolor Plein air workshop. Hhas exhibited throughout Maryland, as well as in New York and other mid-Atlantic states. Matt is a Signature member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society. He paints with impressionist brushwork ihis Plein air work both in oil as well as watercolor. 

On May20 he will conduct a workshop focusing on plein air painting in watercolor at the Benjamin Banneker Historic Site located between Catonsville and Ellicott City.

Participants will learn how Matt approaches plein air painting from choosing a scene for good composition, planning the painting, and when to stop. A few tools to use for good composition will be discussed, including rule of thirds, the Golden Ratio and use of roads, fields rows, and/or other linear features to lead the viewer’s eyes into the picture’s focal point.

Matt says a little preparation is recommended. After identifying the subject, draw one or two thumbnails to observe the composition before beginning to paint. Then begin drawing the main shapes in pencil directly on the watercolor paper before applying colors, which are difficult to lift or remove.

"As artists we aim to capture the spirit and atmosphere of the subject. As Plein air artists, our subject is part of the landscape that we choose to paint. We are most successful when we simplify by paying attention to the overall composition, adding detail sparingly to enhance the composition."

Matt Fenton - Bio 

Matthew Fenton, who goes by Matt, is a Plein air landscape artist based in Maryland. His work can be defined as impressionistic realism. You can find his website at  Matt Fenton

As a retired civil engineer and the son of a portrait artist, Matt has lived his life oriented toward the visual. He is just as inspired by painting cityscapes, bridges, historic sites and railroad scenes, as he is by painting water scenes and pastoral landscapes. Matt continually strives to grow as an artist. His favorite media are oil and watercolor.   

Matt has taught plein air and landscape painting as a CCBC adjunct professor in Baltimore County’s Adult Enrichment program. He enjoys bringing to his students his love and joy of painting the outdoor environment, and takes pleasure in applying his experience and education to help solve common problems and issues encountered by artists.

Recommended Materials

Paints: Brands: Use artist's quality paints from Winsor & Newton. The pigments or colors listed below are staining. Other brands such as Daniel Smith or Holbein, etc. are equally good. If possible avoid student grade paints like Winsor Newton’s Cotman, Sakura Koi, etc.


Winsor Yellow, Raw Sienna, Opera Rose, Winsor Red, Hookers Green, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Violet, Winsor Blue (Red Shade),  Winsor Blue (Blue Shade), Paynes Gray, (I occasionally use China White and Pro White - opaque white for occasional touch up or to make snow effect with an old toothbrush)

Palette: A medium size portable palette that has sufficient mixing area.

Paper: Arches Cold Press, 140 pound watercolor blocks or watercolor paper mounted on boards. Gesso boards for watercolor are also acceptable

Easel: Portable outdoor easel suitable for watercolor

Towels: Cloth rag or paper towels (Bounty or blue shop towels)

Brushes: Bring your own watercolor brushes, or buy the following: sable or synthetic round #’s 2 & 6, 1/4-inch and 1-inch flat. A 2-inch wash brush is optional.

Pencils: HB, 2H Pencil sharpener, White eraser

Miscellaneous: full Water container, Sketch journal, old toothbrush

Optional: Drafting lead holder Leads, HB, 2H, 4H or higher Drafting lead sharpener, sponge, ‘Magic Eraser’ sponge, portable outdoor chair or stool, camping table tor paints, old toothbrush, masking tape, Tissues, and Umbrella to either put into the ground or on your easel to protect you from the sun.

Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, your lunch and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow artists!


  • The price for the workshop is $65 for BWS members (Signature Artists and Associates) and $95 for non-BWS members.
  • The class size is limited to 21 people, and the workshop cannot be split with another person.
  • Please pay online if possible; The payment system allows the use of your Credit Cards. Otherwise, checks should be made out to Baltimore Watercolor Society and mailed to Dana Kleinsteuber at the address below. Please enter the name of the workshop on your check.


The workshop will take place at

 at Benjamin Banneker Historical Park
300 Oella Avenue
Catonsville, MD 21228

  • Confirmation of your registration will be sent upon receipt of your check or online payment. Checks must be received within 5 days of registration to be considered as registered.

FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION VISIT: and go to Public Events. 

Remember that these workshops fill up very quickly. When filled, you can register on the waiting list.


  • BWS maintains a workshop waiting list. When openings occur, BWS fills the openings from the waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • BWS adds names to the waiting list according to the date and time 
  • You can join the waiting list if a workshop is filled.
  • You can't join a waiting list before registration opens.
    • BWS makes decisions and incurs fixed costs based on the number of initial registrants. Cancellations can affect these costs even if there is a waiting list. In addition, cancellations incur processing fees and other costs paid by BWS as well as requiring extra time and organizational effort. Refunds for extenuating circumstances are at the discretion of the event coordinator.

    •  From registration date to 60 days prior to the event = 90%   refund

    •  59 days to 21days prior = 75% refund 

    •  20 days to 8 days prior = 50% refund 

    •  7 days = no refund

    • Check this website for changes, updates and new information.
    • Questions and requests to be added to the waiting list can be directed to Dana Kleinsteuber (BWS Program Chair) at

  • In the event of inclement weather, a rain date is set for May27th. If BWS cancels the workshop and the rain date, then all paid registrants will receive a full refund.
  • Check this website for changes, updates and new information.

Please direct questions to our Program Chair
Dana Kleinsteuber at

or by phone (410 ) 917-7935 cell phone

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