One day

with a great teacher

is better than 1,000 days of diligent study.

- Japanese Proverb

Are you looking to

accelerate your

art practice?

Have you always wanted
to work with amazing
art instructors who:

  • “Get you” and understand the challenges you face at every stage of your artistic journey
  • Help you discover or refine your artistic voice
  • Help you clarify your concepts and bring your vision to life

Paula Roland making an encaustic monotype

Be the first to hear about our

upcoming classes!

Paula Roland making an encaustic monotype

The Catalyst Art Lab

team of 5 instructors, Helen Dannelly, Jeff Hirst, Lisa Pressman, Paula Roland, and Susan Stover, bring over 100 combined years of teaching to help empower and accelerate your creative journey.

The Catalyst Art Lab

is your one stop resource for a wide range of courses in a variety of mediums, and the ideal place for artists at all levels to develop technically and conceptually.

Paula Roland making an encaustic monotype

With encaustic, oil and cold wax, painting, drawing, printmaking, fiber, and sculpture, we have classes that will inspire your artwork and transform your studio practice.

Our internationally renowned artist instructors are recognized experts in their fields and are highly sought after mentors and teachers.

Our internationally renowned artist instructors are recognized experts in their fields and are highly sought after mentors and teachers. Now you can work with them from the convenience of your own studio.

For beginners to established professional artists, we have something for every stage of your creative and professional development.

As artists, we move seamlessly between mediums and are ready to help you find the best ways to express your vision.

As artists, we move seamlessly between mediums and are ready to help you find the best ways to express your vision.

Get started today.

Be the first to learn more about our courses & mentoring programs.

Not sure where to get started?

we can help

Reach out to us at

[email protected]

Get to know

the Catalyst Art Lab instructors

Helen Dannelly

Helen Dannelly

Moving easily between drawing, painting and sculpture, Helen has developed unconventional ways of mixing mediums that create emotionally evocative pieces.

Helen expands the way you see foundational compositional elements. For example, lines move off the paper and take form as you begin to move beyond the limits of 2D versus 3D and see the limitless potential of the materials.

Have you wondered about the potential for using molds in your work? Helen is our resident mold master. Her mold making classes incorporate application to encaustic and acrylic, casting found objects, and life-casting.

Because of her extensive knowledge and understanding of different mediums, she can help you solve your technical challenges easily.

You will find Helen to be an extremely knowledgeable, inspiring and generous instructor.

Jeff Hirst

Transformation is central to Jeff’s work and teaching, how students move from one place, one idea to another. He is the MacGyver of artists always thinking outside of the box combining high and low tech solutions in executing his work. You will find his perspective opens up new ways of seeing your practice and approaching your work and is ideal for mixed media artists.

He has a knack for guiding you in amplifying your ideas. He sees process as a way of discovery. You will find that his exploratory method of teaching leads to better discovery, expands your creativity and hones your critical thinking skills.

Jeff finds that the intersection of sculpture, printmaking and painting is where magic can happen. You will delight at how he demystifies technically complex mediums extracting key components that combine well with other techniques and mediums to create complex and engaging layered surfaces.

Jeff Hirst
Lisa Pressman

Lisa Pressman

Lisa’s teaching style is process-oriented. Get ready to get messy as you have fun exploring her intuitive and improvisational approach.

While Lisa is known for encaustic, she considers herself a “media-ologist.” Combining and flowing between various mediums, she layers and excavates the rich surfaces of her pieces revealing the history of ideas, images, and mediums contained within.

You will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the various mediums in her classes as you explore each one’s potential while developing your own visual language.

Lisa nurtures you as an artist, honoring your artistic vision while also giving you detailed formal assessments of your work that are critical to your growth as an artist.

Paula Roland

Paula has expanded and elevated encaustic monotypes, creating collages, mixed media pieces, and large-scale installations that use light to illuminate and activate the complex layers of her work.

She has a mastery of wax and how it permeates the surface, knowing how things will appear on both sides. She takes this sensibility into the classroom. She creates a dynamic environment that encourages you to see beyond the surface, resulting in an understanding that what you do in one layer or on one side effects other areas creating echoes of marks and gestures. 

Paula’s demonstrations and exercises encourage you to tap into your intuitive side as you learn from doing, from exploring the potential of the medium. Her classes emphasize hands-on exploration that liberates your intuitive creativity.

Paula is not only good at showing but telling. Her explanations of techniques, what she is doing will leave you with satisfying “aha” moments as the concepts come together for you.

Paula is passionate about teaching. She encourages you to rethink how you use materials and their potential.

Paula Roland
Susan Stover

Susan Stover

Susan's paintings and sculptures explore themes of cultural identity and storytelling. Having studied different cultural aesthetic traditions from around the world, she is attentive to the strong historical, social, and cultural references of certain mediums and techniques. Susan’s work simultaneously references and exploits these elements.

She brings this depth of art historical and cultural knowledge to her work and teaching. Combining art historical information and a rich understanding of the processes, techniques, and histories of the various mediums enhances her teaching and helps you to consider these elements as you conceptually frame your art practice.

Excavating the ideas that inform your work is an important element of Susan’s teaching. She helps you focus on the “why” of your work while you master technical skills. Take advantage of her extensive technical background.

Susan’s insightful suggestions will help you open up new ways of seeing things. As a teacher, she delights in these moments of awakening in her students.

She is eager to help you discover and use the best materials to express your ideas. You will marvel at how easily Susan moves between mediums integrating 2D and 3D elements in her work, and you will find inspiration in how you too can incorporate that agility into your own practice.

Catalyst Art Lab

Membership Community

We created the membership community in response to students who wanted to:

  • Stay connected after a class
  • Go deeper with the content
  • Stay motivated
  • Have ongoing access and conversations with us, the instructors
  • Access to more professional development
  • Be part of a community of passionate artists 

So in addition to our course offerings, you can also join the Catalyst Art Lab membership community. 

This members only online subscription community is hosted on a private platform. Discover what the Catalyst Art Lab membership has to offer you.


Susan Stover is an outstanding teacher and artist. She is highly organized and has all materials available. I accomplished and learned a great deal without any loss of time. I would highly recommend anything she teaches."

~ Linda O. ~

“What I love about Paula Roland's workshops, in addition to her vast technical expertise and experience as an educator, is her unique ability to cultivate an open creative space that is supportive of both independent exploration and collaboration. I find that she attracts high caliber artists and it is great to share time with them in Paula's comfortable studio.”

~ Deborah B. ~

“Thank you, Helen Dannelly, for a wonderful class. I wasn’t sure about the Zoom format at first, but you made it easy to follow. Thanks for recording the sessions. It is so nice to have them as reference! Even though I love the face-to-face interaction with other makers in a learning environment, this worked! I’m looking forward to seeing completed work from everyone next month.”

~ Leandra S. ~

"Lisa Pressman is a model of what a teacher can bring to the table for students. I have seen her teach, and I’m in awe of her ability to bring out the best. It also says a great deal that other teachers take her workshops. No one–no one–who takes a few workshops and then turns around to teach could come close to what a seasoned, generous and brilliant teacher like Lisa has to offer. Why would any student want to settle for less?"

~Joanne Mattera ~

"I am a painter and collagist working primarily in encaustic. I also have a background in printmaking. Jeff Hirst's workshop dealing with encaustic collagraphs and silk screening on encaustic was one of the most exciting workshops I have ever taken! Jeff is an even-tempered, patient person who puts all his students at ease. No one leaves his workshop feeling inadequate, but rather feeling empowered. Beneath his calm persona, is an artist of incredible intensity and talent. I highly recommend signing up with Jeff.

I was so inspired that I sought Jeff out to take more classes with him outside the workshop. Jeff has so much to offer that "picking his brains" is definitely beneficial!"

~ Caryl S ~

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