Facilitators & Staff

“The Painting Experience empowers people to find a more courageous and meaningful participation in their lives through process arts.”

The Institute For Art and Living (The Painting Experience) is a 501(c)3 California nonprofit arts educational organization that has been conducting classes and workshops in the creative arts for nearly four decades. Our headquarters is the San Francisco Bay Area, although our programs carry us throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. Since its founding in 1976, The Painting Experience has touched the lives of thousands of people by enabling them to explore the creative process in an atmosphere that is non-competitive and non-judgmental. Our seminars provide the opportunity to create art in a respectful, supportive and stimulating environment. Below, you’ll find an introduction to our senior Painting Experience teachers and our support staff. (You can learn about other Painting Experience instructors by visiting our Affiliates page.)

Stewart Cubley

Founder

For over four decades, Stewart Cubley has pioneered a way of integrative and creative living through the practice of process painting. His method is one of respectful questioning, inviting you to extend yourself into new areas of thought and feeling. Stewart has the ability to meet you where you are and to ask the right question at the right time. He is a down-to-earth teacher whose personal interactions allow you to see yourself differently in ways that can be life changing. Stewart travels throughout the world, teaching his unique approach to thousands of people at personal growth centers such as the Esalen Institute and Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. He has brought his work to multinational corporations, programs in prisons and countless other public forums. Stewart is the co-author of Life, Paint & Passion, Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression, (Tarcher/Putnam). He and his wife, Shae Irving, live in Fairfax, California and part of the year on their homestead near Denali Park, Alaska.

A photo of Stewart Cubley, founder of The Painting Experience
A photo of Stewart Cubley, founder of The Painting Experience

Stewart Cubley

Founder

Stewart works through a respectful questioning process that invites you to extend yourself into new areas of thought and feeling. He has the ability to meet you where you are and to ask the right question at the right time. Stewart is a down-to-earth teacher whose personal interactions allow you to see yourself differently in ways that can be life-changing. For more than three decades, he has traveled throughout the world, teaching his unique approach to thousands of people at personal growth centers such as the Esalen Insitute and Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. He has brought his work to multinational corporations, programs in prisons and countless other public forums. Stewart is the co-author of Life, Paint & Passion, Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression, (Tarcher/Putnam). He lives in Fairfax, California and part of the year on his homestead near Denali Park, Alaska.

Annie Rousseau

Senior Facilitator (website)

Annie Rousseau is an expressive arts educator and consultant. Her purpose is to empower authentic expression in individuals through creative expression and the power of witnessing. She has over 20 years experience as a facilitator and trainer, and is trained in expressive arts, psychology, fine arts, Hakomi counseling, coaching and creative business planning. Her company, Circle Tree Studios, in Courtenay, B.C. offers workshops and retreats, as well as online offerings using the arts to transform your life and your business. Annie is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) and is working towards becoming a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator (REACE).

A photo of Annie Rosseau, senior Painting Experience facilitator
A photo of Annie Rosseau, senior Painting Experience facilitator

Annie Rousseau

Senior Facilitator (website)

Annie Rousseau is an expressive arts educator and consultant. Her purpose is to empower authentic expression in individuals through creative expression and the power of witnessing. She has over 20 years experience as a facilitator and trainer, and is trained in expressive arts, psychology, fine arts, Hakomi counseling, coaching and creative business planning. Her company, Circle Tree Studios, in Courtenay, B.C. offers workshops and retreats, as well as online offerings using the arts to transform your life and your business. Annie is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) and is working towards becoming a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator (REACE).

Annie Danberg

Senior Facilitator (website)

Annie brings a long history of self-exploration using process art, depth psychotherapy, dreamwork and spiritual practice to her role as process painting facilitator. Annie first discovered the curative powers of art-making during childhood, where painting and drawing became her solace in the midst of physical and emotional pain. She continued to paint as a young adult, only to find it lacked the aliveness and joy she experienced as a child. In seeking a way of painting that felt resonant with her longing for untamed expression, Annie attended a Painting Experience class with Stewart in 1999. After several years of study she became a process painting facilitator. Annie is an art therapist and registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern. She facilitates classes and workshops that use art-making as a vehicle for achieving psychological insight, spiritual growth and creative freedom for people of all artistic ability. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Annie.D_250
A photo of Annie Danberg, senior Painting Experience teacher

Annie Danberg

Senior Facilitator (website)

Annie brings a long history of self-exploration using process art, depth psychotherapy, dreamwork and spiritual practice to her role as process painting facilitator. Annie first discovered the curative powers of art-making during childhood, where painting and drawing became her solace in the midst of physical and emotional pain. She continued to paint as a young adult, only to find it lacked the aliveness and joy she experienced as a child. In seeking a way of painting that felt resonant with her longing for untamed expression, Annie attended a Painting Experience class with Stewart in 1999. After several years of study she became a process painting facilitator. Annie is an art therapist and registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern. She facilitates classes and workshops that use art-making as a vehicle for achieving psychological insight, spiritual growth and creative freedom for people of all artistic ability. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Betsy Vingle

Facilitator

Born and raised in South Florida, Betsy was known as an artist until she enrolled in “art school.” After a rough start at the University of Georgia majoring in painting and drawing, she did an about-face and changed her major to biochemistry and nutrition. She became a chiropractor and had a very successful practice in Fort Lauderdale for ten years before having a daughter and seeking for a slower pace in the mountains of North Carolina. Betsy first experienced the Painting Experience at a workshop held in Asheville in 1999 and it was there she realized why she had abandoned her art and her creativity: She had connected art with the vulnerability of her first year in school and no longer felt secure in her self-expression. The weekend workshop gave her a completely safe environment to re-establish the connection, and she was hooked. Betsy currently lives outside of Asheville, practices chiropractic, conducts painting classes at her studio in Brevard and co-facilitates workshops with The Painting Experience.

A photo of Betsy Vingle, one of our Painting Experience teachers
A photo of Betsy Vingle, one of our Painting Experience teachers

Betsy Vingle

Facilitator

Born and raised in South Florida, Betsy was known as an artist until she enrolled in “art school.” After a rough start at the University of Georgia majoring in painting and drawing, she did an about-face and changed her major to biochemistry and nutrition. She became a chiropractor and had a very successful practice in Fort Lauderdale for ten years before having a daughter and seeking for a slower pace in the mountains of North Carolina. Betsy first experienced the Painting Experience at a workshop held in Asheville in 1999 and it was there she realized why she had abandoned her art and her creativity: She had connected art with the vulnerability of her first year in school and no longer felt secure in her self-expression. The weekend workshop gave her a completely safe environment to re-establish the connection, and she was hooked. Betsy currently lives outside of Asheville, practices chiropractic, conducts painting classes at her studio in Brevard and co-facilitates workshops with The Painting Experience.

Matt Belay

Facilitator

Raised on a farm in southwestern Virginia, Matt developed many skills and practical understandings at an early age. During and after university at Virgina Tech, he traveled extensively throughout the world for both work and personal study, widening his perspective of art, culture and diversity. While pursuing his degree in landscape architecture at Virginia Tech, he supported and organized many art programs and creative workshops in his community and beyond. These workshops included many of the Mountain Lake Workshops in which groups collaborated with artist such as M.C. Richards and Merce Cunningham. For a number of years, Matt worked as operations manager for Hui Ho’olana retreat center in Molokai, Hawaii, which is where he first connected with The Painting Experience. Matt now lives in his hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia, where he works as a personal organizer through his business Simplify and does all manner of construction projects on his own rural property and in the surrounding community. His primary interest is in continuing to live in a community setting and supporting his own and others’ personal growth by facilitating The Painting Experience locally and throughout the world.

A photo of Matt Belay, one of our Painting Experience teachers
A photo of Matt Belay, one of our Painting Experience teachers

Matt Belay

Facilitator

Raised on a farm in southwestern Virginia, Matt developed many skills and practical understandings at an early age. During and after university at Virgina Tech, he traveled extensively throughout the world for both work and personal study, widening his perspective of art, culture and diversity. While pursuing his degree in landscape architecture at Virginia Tech, he supported and organized many art programs and creative workshops in his community and beyond. These workshops included many of the Mountain Lake Workshops in which groups collaborated with artist such as M.C. Richards and Merce Cunningham. For a number of years, Matt worked as operations manager for Hui Ho’olana retreat center in Molokai, Hawaii, which is where he first connected with The Painting Experience. Matt now lives in his hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia, where he works as a personal organizer through his business Simplify and does all manner of construction projects on his own rural property and in the surrounding community. His primary interest is in continuing to live in a community setting and supporting his own and others’ personal growth by facilitating The Painting Experience locally and throughout the world.

Shae Irving

Social Media Coordinator, Communications Consultant (websiteShae is a wordsmith with more than two decades’ experience working in print and online. She has written and edited books, essays, poetry, software manuals and hundreds of online articles spanning a wide range of topics—and she keeps several blogs. Shae was grateful to discover The Painting Experience in 2001, finding that process work fuels inspiration and creates a necessary resting place for the parts of the brain that love to think and talk. Shae created our Facebook page in 2008 and has been the social media voice for The Painting Experience ever since; you can also hear her introducing each episode of our monthly podcast. She edits the blog on this website and helps with other communication projects, always keeping the mission of The Painting Experience close to her heart.

A photo of Shae Irving, communications consultant and social media coordinator for The Painting Experience
A photo of Shae Irving, communications consultant and social media coordinator for The Painting Experience

Shae Irving

Social Media Coordinator, Communications Consultant (website) Shae is a wordsmith with more than two decades’ experience working in print and online. She has written and edited books, essays, poetry, software manuals and hundreds of online articles spanning a wide range of topics—and she keeps two blogs. Shae was grateful to discover The Painting Experience in 2001, finding that process work fuels inspiration and creates a necessary resting place for the parts of the brain that love to think and talk. Shae created our Facebook page in 2008 and has been the social media voice for The Painting Experience ever since; you can also hear her introducing each episode of our monthly podcast. She edits the blog on this website and helps with other communication projects, always keeping the mission of The Painting Experience close to her heart.

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