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I have always appreciated the distance that many people travel to class.  I want to make sure that each artist is receiving what they are looking for- and then some.

Clearly, many students are searching for experienced individual instruction.  Others want to advance their artistic expertise with new techniques, inspirations and surfaces to work on.

And then there are those who just want that three hours a week of "me time", where they can be surrounded by their art buddies, doing what they love best- creating art.

We instructors are committed to meeting artists right where they are, understanding their artistic goals, stretching their skills and celebrating each individual style.


When I discovered the colored pencil in 1990, it was just beginning to gain recognition as a respectable medium. I was a young mom with three small children and one big dog, so it was quite appealing to me that my art supplies would not spill or need to be immediately put away after each use.


For many years, my focus was on portraiture, and I had steady commission work.  My art was technically realistic, and I worked hard to get every feature, value, and texture perfect.


That is no longer my main focus.  The challenge of a new technique, an unusual substrate, or a particular discipline is what intrigues me now. 


Just as the Colored Pencil has "grown up" in the world of fine art, I find that I am also maturing in my creativity.  The appeal of the colored pencil medium for me has evolved over the years from convenience, to technical mastery, to creative experimentation. 





Michiyo has always loved art and exploring different ways to express herself. In 2010, after seeing some of Andria Burchett’s artwork in Geneva, Michiyo began studying colored pencils with Andria and is now a Beech Tree Studio instructor at her home in Montgomery, Illinois. Michiyo is very excited by the opportunity to help her students learn more about colored pencil drawing and how to communicate through that medium.

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Growing up and attending school in Japan gave Michiyo many opportunities to study different types of art. In addition to studying pencil drawing, Michiyo also studied Japanese Calligraphy. When Michiyo came to the United States, she continued to expand her artistic horizons by initially studying oil painting and eventually colored pencil art.  She has enjoyed the opportunity to learn different mediums and share them with her students.