Learning to See Program Description

Focus on the Masters’ Learning To See Outreach is an award-winning, in-school, cross-curricular program with an emphasis on critical thinking, innovation and diversity. Each lesson is inspired by the artwork and life stories of extraordinary artists in our community. This framework provides our youth with present day role models who have exceled in pursuit of their passions. LTS is founded in the disciplines of creativity, observation, construction and reflection, nurturing visual literacy and each student’s confidence in his or her own unique expression. Each lesson provides real world applications to math, science, history and language arts. With an emphasis on experiential learning, the students reap the rewards of creativity and concentrated endeavor. These learning techniques benefit the student beyond the art class and enhance their capacity to learn. Their confidence builds as they are supported in their explorations by our artist/instructors.



Our standard 8-week in-the-classroom residency is $600 (including instructor and supplies).
You can “Adopt A Classroom” for $600.00. Click HERE to Donate

Four week and single lessons are also available. Our lessons are cross-curricular and support the California content standards. Many of them can be tailored and grouped to work with a particular unit of study, i.e. zoology, social studies, history, language arts, sciences, etc. They are adaptable to a wide range of grade levels from elementary through secondary grades and beyond, including community groups and programs. Programs are supported in a variety of ways, including school and PTA funds, grants, or personal donations from an individual or group of parents/grandparents.

Our program is taught by professional artists who have extensive educational experience. We feel that this criterion helps to guide the student with a deeper understanding of the art making process.

For more information, or to arrange a residency in your neighborhood, call 805.653.2501 or email Education@FocusontheMasters.com.

Learning to See Youth Outreach Lesson Plan

LTS offers a variety of lessons inspired by extraordinary Ventura County artists.  All lessons are adaptable to varying age and learning.  The following is a sample of how our cross-curricular lesson plans are integrated with these Focus on the Masters documented artists

Drawing with Light: Solar Prints
Artist:Horace Bristol, Life magazine photographer
Medium: Photography
Subject matter: migrant farm workers in California during the Dust Bowl
Learning to See lesson: solar prints
Cross-curricular applications: American history, literature (The Grapes of Wrath) chemistry, photojournalism
Visit Bristol’s website for more information.

Eye on the Edges: Contour Line Drawing
Artist: Lindsay Scott, world renowned wildlife artist
Medium: painting and drawing
Subject matter: wildlife
Learning to See lesson: contour line drawing
Cross-curricular applications: wildlife biology, habitats, scientific observation, environmental conservation, humane and character education
Visit her Scott’s website for more information.

Transforming Planes: 2D/3D Assemblage
Artist: Bob Privitt, sculptor/assemblage artist, retired Pepperdine University professor
Medium: Transforming Planes lesson
Subject matter: symbolism, physics/balance/tension
Learning to See lesson: 2D/3D assemblage with mixed media
Cross-curricular applications: physics, geometry, narrative writing, recycling
To learn more about Bob Privitt, visit his website.

Painting to Music with Rhythm and Color
Artist: Miguel del Aguila, Grammy-nominated, internationally renowned composer
Medium: orchestral instruments
Subject matter: Latin and World music influenced classical music
Learning to See lesson: painting to music with watercolor and pastels
Cross-curricular applications: mathematical patterns and sequencing, narrative writing
To learn more about Miguel del Aguila, visit his website.

Coloring from Nature
Artist: David Leffel, master still life artist and former Art Students League professor
Medium: painting
Subject matter: still life
Learning to See lesson: still life drawing colored using leaves, flowers, dirt, charcoal, etc.
Cross-curricular applications: science, chemistry
Additional lessons: composition, chiaroscuro/light and shadow, pigment and color
To learn more about David Leffel, visit his website.


Your donations support the programs that are at the heart of the FOTM’s mission…

 to document and archive extraordinary artists and their work through photographic portraits, audio and video interviews and biographical research that encompass each artist’s experiences, artistic reflections and development; and 2) to present this work to a broad public through extensive education outreach to all ages – including at-risk youth through our Learning to See Youth Outreach program, Art & The Creative Spirit Enrichment Program for Seniors, a public monthly Artist Spotlight Series, exhibitions, publications, website and an extensive resource library.


Ventura County Community Foundation
Hilton Foundation
Passion Flowers
Reed Foundation for the Arts
Museum of Ventura County
Dennis Mitchell at i Cappelli Salon
Ventura Breeze
California Arts Council