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Welcome to

Art Life School

The #1 Place Online to Grow as an Oil Painter For Part-Timers, Professionals, and everyone in between

Dear Artist, we miss you…

Before all the commitments, before the career, and before putting everyone else first…

You had your art.

But when life got busy (as life does), your art faded into the background.

And after years of prioritizing family, career, and life…

You have a yearning to return to your artistic practice, improve your skills and come back to the canvas…

But it’s been so long since you’ve committed to painting that you feel a little lost…

Are You Stuck in “Creative Limbo”?

That existential longing to get back to your paint brushes, return to your practice, and unleash your creativity ...

without the right place to do it.

The problem is…

  • You know what you want, now that you’re coming back to your art on your own terms, but you just haven’t found the right environment to safely return (you’re always too old, too young, too beginner, too advanced… but it never feels just right.)
  • You’re not interested in the stuffy, boring, paint instructors who silently “teach” by having you just copy their work, but never actually explain the process.
  • And Paint & Sips just don’t really do it for you (sure, the company is great and the wine is a bonus – but they don’t really “cut it” for what you’re looking for.)

So, where do you go to take the first step back into the “real world” of painting?

Where do you get the support and skills you’ve been searching for to find your artistic voice, return to your artistic practice and grow?

How do you go from creative limbo back to creative artist even if it’s been years since you last picked up a paint brush?

As seen in

Photo of Kelli Folsom painting

Hi, I’m Kelli,

Oil painter; Still life queen extraordinaire. 

Artist, teacher, mentor, and the forever student of my own artistic practice. I help women artists build purpose, confidence, and success in their art life and business.

With a lifetime of experience painting, exhibiting, and selling my art, a BFA in Fine Arts and many awards for my work, I’ve been through it all as an artist. 

The highs, lows, and day-to-day emotional rollercoaster that is making a living through art.   

One day I looked around and realized there was a huge gap and lack of resources for women ready to return to their former artistic dreams (or take up oil painting for the first time), in a community that embodies what they once loved about art, but with the resources they actually need. 

No one was providing these women with the respect for their talent and space to re-find their artistic identity, a safe and supportive artist community, and the tools to brush up their skills and then take them to the next level.

So, I created one…

- Germaine de Luca
- Pam Hiatt
“Her gift of teaching is generous and detailed.” Kelli is the most gifted and generous painter I have learned from. She makes a connection with each of us, and is a great cheerleader. I have never felt criticized but encouraged and supported. Her gift of teaching is generous and detailed. Her demos explain the why and how of each brush stroke and her monthly Q&A answers questions anyone poses. Her huge collection of instructional videos supports every level of painting. She is available in her instruction and support, and besides all of this, she is a kind and lovely human.
– Lark Stratton
“Kelli has an amazing gift to teach – she knows exactly what is needed for a student in order to succeed.” Kelli Folsom is unbelievably talented. Kelli creates beautiful and timeless art - it lifts and inspires. Kelli has an amazing gift to teach – she knows exactly what is needed for a student in order to succeed. Her Vital Art Sessions are filled with invaluable information and knowledge- every single lesson. Kelli is a great motivator- she always finds the right words for support and inspiration. I am so grateful I found Kelli. She helped to take my art to the next level in no time. Thank you Kelli!
– Diana Mosesov
“She doesn’t withhold anything and tells you all the information you need to produce the results you are seeking!” Kelli is the ultimate instructor and artist! ... I have taken some other artists online classes and have been unhappy with the way they “withhold” information like giving you the color or color mixture leaving you guessing how they came up with that particular color. Not Kelli! She doesn’t withhold anything and tells you all the information you need to produce the results you are seeking! Plus she is open and honest during Q&A sessions. I have learned so much from her in the year I have been a Vital Art member! I would recommend her and her programs to everyone!!
– Vickie Benton
“You can tell Kelli really cares about her students and truly desires to see them improve.” Kelli Folsom is a fantastic artist and a wonderful teacher! Even though I had many years of painting under my belt before discovering her, there are so many things I have learned from her lessons and her engaging teaching style. You can tell Kelli really cares about her students and truly desires to see them improve. She never hides any "secrets" about painting techniques and her own journey to becoming an artist has given her teaching an authenticity I sometimes don't see in other instructors. Her passion for painting comes through in all her lessons and online videos. I would highly recommend her classes and courses to anyone who is interested in oil painting. Run, don't walk to sign up!
– Jason Walcott
“I'd say Kelli's one of the best - probably the very best - instructor I've seen” I have a lot of art videos and have taken a lot of online art courses, several of which were very expensive. However, I'd say Kelli's one of the best - probably the very best - instructor I've seen. In her demos she seems to be operating from knowledge that she can clearly convey to students, not just hit or miss instinct that might rub off on students. I have the impression she studies widely and deeply and brings back the best of what she finds to her students. Not only are her demos beautiful and easy to follow, she gives knowledge students need to create their own compositions, going into a great deal of hugely helpful information on setting up still lifes, for example. She never talks down or over students' heads. She's personable and responsive to questions. I believe any art student interested in still lifes (though much of what she teaches transfers to other genres) would gain tremendously from her instruction whether the student is a brand new beginner or a fairly advanced artist.
– Kim Brecklein
“...When you take classes from Kelli and become part of her community you get advice, ideas, inspiration, care, a group of like minded artists, instruction, critiques and a giant dose of confidence.” Kelli is sooooooo much more than a person who teaches oil painting, which she does effortlessly by the way, when you take classes from Kelli and become part of her community you get advice, ideas, inspiration, care, a group of like minded artist, instruction, critiques and a giant dose of confidence. I've been part of Kelli's art community since 2018 and could not have imagined the growth, both as an artist and as a person, I would have gained when I signed up for her mentorship. Your missing out if you don't check this fantastic, beautiful, funny, intelligent, interesting, diverse, artist out. Simply the best choice you can make for yourself.
– Rena DiPofi

Dear artist, welcome to...

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A mentorship community for women oil painters ready to get out of “creative limbo” and learn the skills to confidently claim back their creative purpose in a supportive community of like-minded peers.

Perfect for artists of every level;
Whether you’re newer to painting, a dedicated hobbyist or seasoned pro, there’s something for you.

Grow as a painter; Evolve as a person. Grow as a person; Evolve as a painter.

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Students
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Video Lessons
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5-Star Reviews

The Art Life School will give you…

  • Unshakeable confidence in bringing your paintings to life by understanding everything from the principles of oil painting to the processes of expert painters

 

  • Motivation, inspiration, and education from an award-winning artist and master mentor in your corner

 

  • The business knowledge you’ll need to successfully move from part-time painter to professional artist and sell your work (if you choose to!)

 

  • A safe community to support you on your journey to reconnecting with your creative self and returning to the painter within.

But first...

The Art Life School isn’t like any other online courses or artist communities out there.

It is based on my signature Art Life Method that I’ve developed over a lifetime as an artist and 14 years as an art teacher, combining the 3 core principles you need for success as a painter:

The Art Life Method

A Venn diagram showing intersecting circles labeled The Artist identity, the artist toolbox and the artist community

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The Artist Identity

Most artists returning to painting struggle to understand who they are and want to be through their creative expression.

  • Who are you when you stop imitating those who inspire you and step into your own artistic voice and expression?

  • How do you want your art to make people feel and how do you want to communicate that on your canvas?

(Re)Awaken the artist in you as you step into your creative purpose and find your identity as an artist.. 

Through the Art Life School you’ll…

  1. Define what your unique and original artistic voice is by diving deep into your tastes and your style as you evolve as an artist.

  2. Own the “Artist” title as you lean into and believe in your abilities so you can define and claim where you want to go with your painting (whether this means painting as a hobby or moving into a more “professional” career and selling your paintings.)

  3. Walk in your mastery daily as you commit to your art, stay the course and continue to dig deep into your Artist Identity.

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The Artist Toolbox

You can tell a lot by what’s in an artist’s toolbox; you can tell a lot more by how they use it. 

Fill your toolbox with the skills and resources you really need to take your art to the next level and become the painter you’ve always dreamed of being. 

At the Art Life School you’ll…

  1. Learn and practice technical skills to elevate your paintings, push your range and evolve your abilities.  

  2. Develop your own painting process to help you consistently complete pieces and ensure high quality results you love – every time.

  3. Have all the business and marketing resources at your fingertips to take your painting from hobby to pro (if you choose to).

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The Artist Community

There’s something special about belonging to a community of artists… There’s nothing quite like it!

One of the most important factors to evolving and improving as an artist is feedback, guidance and support from a community of like-minded artists and a dedicated mentor who’s committed to your growth.

In the Art Life School you’ll get…

  1. Real, honest, feedback from Kelli, mentors, and peers to help you consistently improve each piece of art you create and reach your goals. 

  2. Belong to a safe community of artists who inspire and ”get you” (as only other artists can) so you can navigate your struggles and safely return to e
    expressing your creativity.

  3. Expert guidance from an award winning painter with a breadth of knowledge and depth of experience to help you navigate your artist identity and skillset as you grow and evolve to the next level.

Just imagine…

  • Reclaiming your artistic practice and giving your life a sense of purpose and fulfillment again, even if you feel like you’ve been too busy to commit to it.
  • Expressing yourself creatively, growing into the artist you always wanted to be in the community you always wanted so you never have to feel like you don’t fit in again.
  • Feeling fully supported by a mentor who has years of experience as an artist, in the art business, while also teaching art (a skill not every “art teacher” has.)

Fellow Artist, I’m here to tell you it’s not too late to return to the canvas.

The Art Life Method has helped students create and sell pieces like these:

Art Life School membership includes:

Over 365 video tutorials covering everything you need to know
to become an expert painter

3 New 30-minute lessons added every month

LIVE access to Kelli’s new & upcoming classes and challenges

Every Painting Masterclass Kelli has ever done (11 and counting!)

Every Art Business Course you’ll ever need to sell your art

Access to all new courses, modules
or masterclasses
Kelli creates

Regular Feedback from the Artist community and Kelli herself

Exclusive rights to sell your own paintings

Discounted rates on all of Kelli’s other products

Monthly implementation challenges and giveaways

Monthly group critique on selected independent paintings

Monthly Live Coaching Call via Zoom to get all your questions answered by Kelli
& overcome any roadblocks or struggles

Art Life School pricing

To be notified when enrollment opens, sign up for the waiting list!

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The Art Life Guarantee

The Art Life Guarantee

After hundreds of students and thousands of pieces of artwork, I know that everything you need is in the Art Life School (and anything you can’t find, I encourage you to ask for! )

Because of the nature of the content inside (and the fact that I give you complete and instant access to everything the moment you join us) and the integrity of the artist community that we work so hard to maintain, there are no refunds available.

However, if you enter the community and find, for some reason, that it’s not the right place for you, I don’t lock you in and you’re free to leave at any time – with no consequences.

Praise for the Art Life School
(formerly VITAL Art Sessions)

“I am not exaggerating when I say I have improved my painting overnight after watching 3 of your videos.”
– Suzanne A
“I am taking Vital Art Sessions and only after a few lessons my paintings improved substantially. Thanks Kelli Folsom 🌹🌹”
– Al Vivianne
“I have learned so much my first month! Thank you, Kelli Folsom Art Studio for the great lessons!”
– Snefrid Sneve
“I love having all of these resources available and being able to use them at my own pace. What a blessing. I love VAS and am so glad that I signed up. Kelli Folsom is such an amazing artist and teacher.”
– Nancy Woods Daniel
“Having access to the lessons has me showing up at my easel daily..... Thank you Kelli for the range of classes....I'm inspired!”
– Mary Jane Murphy
“Thank you so much for the shout out Kelli! Love, love, LOVE Vital Art Sessions. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 1 year member, and don’t plan on leaving. There is always more to learn. ❤️”
– Tara Funk
“You have transformed my art brain” Did this yesterday morning. Kelli Folsom Art Studio , you have transformed my art brain. I have seriously been freed from years of apprehension and dread when starting a painting. "Where do I start? What do I do? Soooo many colors, which is best to use? How do I plan it out?'' You are the first instructor/teacher that has been able to explain and demonstrate all of that to me. I love you for it. I would have never even tried to paint this a year ago. I would have been too intimidated. Look what I did in a couple of hours. Who is this person sitting in my chair? A person who has lost her fear of unknowing, that's who. I loved this tutorial. I will probably try it on a larger scale.
– Julie Perrine
“It’s worth it and more!” #vitalartsessions is the BEST decision I have made to grow as an artist. Back when I was a student in an art college, it was all about experience art and modern art, which are not me. I started painting after raising kids, wearing many hats, helping others succeed (even in corporate world I briefly worked in)... it was time to learn painting! To grow myself and thrive. Kelli offers incredible, generous teaching and a great community of artists. It's open enrollment time (4 times/year). It's worth it and more!!! 💛🎨
– Bobbie Brainerd
“Bringing out the childlike thrill of learning…” This class- and by saying that I mean you, Kelli, are bringing out the childlike thrill of learning how to handle my passion. I feel like I’m in elementary school, where I couldn’t wait to learn more. I am that kid again There’s safety in this group though, that I didn’t have as a kid. Members support one another and are happy for each person's growth and accomplishments. That’s from great leadership. I thank you for all your hard work and selfless commitment to bring the best of you- to share with us!
– Nancy Dorene
“The longer I am a member of Vital, the more I realize the extent of work Kelli and her team do to provide us with such incredible educational, in depth, unique and compassionate training for each of us! Please know that it is appreciated.”
– Joyce Jones
“Kelli Folsom’s way of teaching and demonstrating has really unlocked something for me. I’ve taken other classes where I feel like I’m speaking a different language than the instructor and it’s maddening. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the teacher that talks to YOU. I’m so glad I joined the vital art sessions!”
– Ronda Baucom
“That got me thinking about what a tremendous value Vital Art Sessions is. So much information! I have tons of art videos, most by very famous artists, but Kelli is among the best teachers, maybe the very best. Thank you, Kelli! ”
– Kim Fortner
“All these things helped build my confidence” I gained confidence through understanding the steps to creating a still life painting. Size and placement, desaturation of color, not painting everything you see ( ex.-not including every petal in a flower, not matching every color you see perfectly to name a few examples), leaves (ex.-keeping them flat, not every leaf needs a vein). The list could go on. I feel all these things helped build my confidence. Thank you so much for being so generous in sharing what you know.
– Marty Lambeth
“Knowing I will grow and learn...” I was astounded, intrigued, and then absolutely ecstatic over how you present material, explain in detail why you execute the way you do, and give such great explanations…. I am entering these classes knowing I will grow and learn and be investing in my future as an artist, and that’s exactly what I’d hoped for.
– Marie Morris
“I am changing into a real artist.” Weekly lessons, being in a group of similar minded artists, Kelli’s teaching motivational methods. What I like the most is Kelli’s sense for beauty and that all lessons and paintings are a success for me. I am now dedicating more time for painting with no pressure and also my surrounding noticed that I am changing into a real artist
– Al Vivianne
“There is so much content available to Vital Art members that even if there weren’t any new lessons I could stay busy for a very long time painting and learning! It is a great opportunity to improve your painting skill!”
– rcbasid
“Thank you so much for all your marvelous teaching! I really do feel as if the pace of my progress has sped up exponentially since I started studying with you! For a "late-bloomer" like me, that means everything!!”
– Kara L
“Thank goodness I found you last year! Your course came along just in time and helped me through the pandemic and on my way to be a better artist. Your knowledge, talent and sense of humor got me through. 😘 ”
– riacreatesfineart
“I consider the price a bargain.” The weekly lessons have helped me the most. Watching how you develop a painting from start to finish makes the process less of a mystery. Before your lessons, some of my work was good but I felt I wasn’t in control. Each new painting was so hard I was afraid to begin. Because of your teaching much of that anxiety has subsided and I’m painting more. To top it off, your enthusiasm and humor make the lessons and the Q & A sessions fun. You are a natural born teacher who makes learning exciting. I consider the price a bargain.
– Vana Meyers
““Signing up for this course was the second best decision of my life (marrying Sarah was the first)!“ Kelli Folsom Art Studio Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much! I now have gallery representation at Lake of the Ozarks Fine Art and Galleria! The gallery owner loved two things about my paintings: 1) the effect of light and 2) my loose brush strokes with thick paint! Signing up for this course was the second best decision of my life (marrying Sarah was the first)! I don't know if I'm happier about representation or her comments on my paintings!! I'm on cloud nine today and I am so grateful for you and and this course! I've learned (and continue to learn) so much!
– Doreey Creek

FAQs

What kinds of classes and resources are included?

Well, with 365+ video classes, every art and business masterclass I’ve ever held, 3 new ones being added monthly, FREE front-row seat to Finding Your Artistic Voice in May (a favorite), 4 x 2-day workshops this year (when you join on the annual plan) and the ability to “request” a new topic… there isn’t much I DON’T cover!

Some of the painting masterclasses include:
Oil Painting for Beginners, Improve Your Form and Values, Rural Scenes on the Plains, Taos Series, Fall in Colorado, Simples Scenes, Complete Rose Series, Spring Flowers, Peonies, Summer Flowers, and more!

The art business courses include:
Double Your Painting Sales, Time Management for Artists, Finding Your Artistic Voice

How do I get the most out of my Art Life School membership?

Well, to put it plainly… you paint! 

And you join the artist community that we cultivate in our private Facebook Group that you’ll get access to the moment you join. When you show up to participate, receive feedback, support others, and get feedback you will grow as a painter and evolve as a person. Promise. 

Do I already need to know how to paint to join the Art Life School?

No. There are a ton of resources available that will help you no matter where you’re starting from. 

That being said , the majority of students who have naturally been attracted to the Art Life School are returning to painting. Meaning, at one point in time they were committed to painting and have lost their practice and are looking to return to it. 

How long do I have to commit to the membership when I sign up here today?

For as long as you want to commit to your art. It’s up to you!

Both monthly and annual subscriptions are recurring payments which may be canceled at any time after you sign up with no notice period. You can cancel your payments yourself within the membership portal with one click.

BUT enrollment only opens certain times of the year, so if you want to join us again you’ll have to wait!

Is the price going to go up?

Just as all good painters slowly increase the price of their work as it improves, there’s a good chance that will happen here, too!

So, yes, the price of Art Life School may go up in the future but if you join today you will be locked in at this current price until you cancel.

How often do you add new lessons to the membership?

Pretty much every time I paint (which is very regular!) My own work inspires new lessons and skills that you may find helpful too.

So, I am constantly adding new lessons to the membership to help you improve your skills as a painter. At the moment I add new lessons 3 times per month on a Friday before 9am EST.

AND every time that I host a masterclass or course throughout the year (which I do every time I see the need for one), you will get access to that LIVE or recorded to go through whenever you want to.

What happens after I pay?

You will be emailed a link and login details to the membership portal and get instant access to all the lessons so you can start improving your painting skills immediately.

You will also be sent a link to the Facebook Group so you can join the community and start connecting with other artists.

Can I share the lessons with my friends?

Please don’t unless they are already members themselves. However I would love for you to invite your friends to join you at the Art Life School so you can share your artistic journey with them.

It's not too late to return to your brushes.

Join the hundreds of artists just like you who have (re)ignited their passion for oil painting and created hundreds of pieces, showcased their art, and sold it for profit.

Because you don’t want your art to be the thing you regret.

So, let it be the thing you reclaim.

The canvas is calling.

All you have to do is answer.