Coffee with Joan graphic

Coffee With Joan 6/17/2021

Coffee With Joan

Joan Sullivan is a Artist, Historian & Author. She is a classically trained artist who discovered a love of history through painting who produced “Picture the Past,” a monthly show featuring local ranches and other areas of historical interest which aired locally for over 10 years. Find out more at

June 16, 2021

For Rent, Painted on location in Pismo with the Thursday Painters 2017 Watercolor by Joan Sullivan

I am pleased to know the Thursday Painters continue to paint on location around the County. The ongoing Thursday Painters art class, also known as Plein Air Artists, set up at various locations to paint on Thursdays.

I created the classes through the San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay Recreation departments in 1973 to gather and paint on ranches throughout the county. Over the years the art class painted on over 50 ranches and coastal sites of interest. Several ranches were visited numerous times. The Froom Ranch on Los Osos Valley Road in San Luis Obispo was one of the most popular because Bill Froom, the rancher, enjoyed having the artists on his ranch. He was very proud of the ranch his father bought in the 1800s, and gave tours to Poly students for many years.

The Location Painting Class was a six weeks long sign-up. Students, mostly seniors, were handed a map with locations and dates for each class. I chose the locations by contacting the ranch ahead of time and setting up the class in compliance with the ranchers’ request. Initially I would help students set up and critique their work as time allowed. The class met at 10 a.m. We stopped for lunch and shared the work in progress. At 1 p.m. We returned to work finishing up at 4 p.m.

At home in the evening I made notes of the day’s experience that included interviewing the rancher and touring the ranch that day. My book Rounding Up The Ranches was published in 2015 after I assembled the notes I kept over the years.

If you are a plein air artist and would like to join the Thursday Painters, meet at 9 a.m. to paint and noon for lunch critique. Bring a folding chair to sit on, water and food. For details call or email Joan Faubert-Suttle at or Debby Veldkamp 801-3617 or Mike Grahek (805) 481-8621.

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