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Yarnell Graduates

We celebrate with our Yarnell Certified Artists for having the creative fortitude, heart, and soul to successfully meet and overcome the challenges of becoming the Artists they were meant to be. Each of you are extraordinary in your success and you are a masterpiece of life and an inspiration to others. Congratulations!

Debbie Mattison

Study Series include: Landscape I and II, Yarnell Instructor

As a child and young adult Debbie was a musician, studying flute and piano. After becoming an “empty nester” she found a creative outlet in painting and became more passionate about art. While raising her children she had the opportunity to live in Holland and it was there that Debbie took her first painting class in 1992 and spent most of my time painting landscapes. After returning to the United States, she continued to study with Jerry and in 2013 became a “Yarnell Certified Artist” and in 2016 she became a “Yarnell Certified Instructor”. Studying with Jerry through the “Certified Artist Program” gave her the extra boost that she needed to advance her painting abilities and her confidence to take her art to the next level. As a Certified Instructor she is currently teaching Yarnell National Workshops near Pittsburgh and throughout country.

More recently Debbie became interested in Plein Air painting and has attended the Publisher’s Invitational for Plein air painters. During the summer months she works outdoors as often as possible and enjoys the extra challenges that painting outside poses. Debbie is doing critiques of student paintings and also online lessons using the Zoom platform.


Paul Acosta

Study Series include: Landscape I

I’ve always enjoyed watching artists on TV.  It amazed me how they could take a blank sheet of paper or canvas and create a work of art.  My painting experience started with 'paint by number' sets.  It slowly moved to attempting my own art work.I started watching Jerry on TV around 2009.  I was really impressed by his work.  It wasn’t just art, but fine art.  I wanted to be able to paint like he did.  I bought several of Jerry’s art books and painted a number of his works following the instructions.  Friends and family were impressed with how they came out.I retired from my Accounting position in 2014 and decided to get more involved with my art work.  I attended two semesters of art classes at a local community college.  That gave me confidence that I had some ability.I was looking to improve my skills so I decided to enroll in the Yarnell Certified Program.  I really enjoyed the challenge of painting some of Jerry’s works.  Jerry’s critiques were encouraging and thorough – identifying areas to correct and improve.  I can see great improvement in my art work since participating in the program.


Gail Aitchison

Study Series include: Landscape I & II

I first discovered Jerry on TV in 2003 and was immediately “hooked.” I quickly started painting his instructional videos, attending his workshops in Portland, Oregon, and later, went to Skiatook, Oklahoma for private instruction and group lessons. In 2018 I decided to sign up for the Landscape I course. I found it both challenging and very rewarding, As a former school teacher and art teacher I can honestly say Jerry is the best, the most thorough and patient instructor I have ever met. For anyone wanting to advance their painting skills I would highly recommend Landscape I. I look forward to taking Landscape II as soon as it is up and running! Upon completion of Landscape II I have had opportunities to put the things I learned into other paintings and to share what I have learned with friends. It has been such a rewarding experience to study under Jerry.


Scott Allen

Study Series include: Landscape I

I got into painting quite by accident. Watching TV, I saw Bob Ross and follow his style of painting for a bit. But his style left me wanting more.  Searching around the internet I found Jerry Yarnell. He was perfect for what I was looking for. His web site was open 24/7 and his “how to” paint videos on just about everything in landscaping was there in YSO (Yarnell School Online). Turn on the computer and the school was right there. It does not get any better than that. After a year of enjoying his web site I went to his school in Oklahoma which was a blast meeting all the other artist from around the country. As my skills improved, I started getting serious about painting.   It was time to give his 'Certified Artist' a try. Make no mistake. The pressure was on. Paint one picture, send it in and start on the next one. I loved it. He is a great teacher, and I can't thank him enough. Anyone who is interested in his school feel free to send me an email.


Ellen Amado

Study Series include: Landscape I

Before I retired and took up painting, I was a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing. Once I retired, I wanted to find something that would keep me busy and that would be fun. When in Europe as a teenager with my parents, we visited various museums and since then I have always wanted to learn how to paint. My friend started me out and encouraged me to continue to paint. I found Jerry Yarnell online in my search on how to paint. I was very encouraged when I tried to follow along with the painting lessons on line. After trying several different lessons from the online school, I then decided to take a workshop. One was not enough for me. I have taken many of the workshops now and have worked with Jerry and Debbie both, I have learned so much from both. I have gone out to the studio, and taken classes out there, and met many of the students there that have become friends. I have come a long way in painting in a very short period of time and am very proud to have completed Landscape I. Jerry is very patient and explains things in a way that you can understand. Although Landscape I is challenging, I learned so much from taking the course that has improved my painting skills. Now to put what I have learned into more paintings.


Amelia Bajko

Study Series include: Landscape I

As a child I painted murals on bulletin boards in the hallways and in my classrooms in elementary school. Later on in high school, I illustrated a booklet of short stories and poetry written by my English Literature class. I spent hours drawing portraits of my teen idols from pictures in teen magazines. I did a series of portraits of characters from Dark Shadows, a popular television show when I was in high school. I enrolled after high school in Art Instruction Schools of America, a correspondence art school, to continue my artistic development. I worked on those lessons for many years continuing to grow and develop my skills. Before I got to actually learning to paint however, I decided to pursue a career in accounting. At that point, working and going to college, I had to put art on hold for many years
Having retired in 2008, in the Summer of 2015, my husband and I decided it was time for the trip of our lives. We went to Europe. What an incredible experience. The incredible works of great artists like Botticelli, Titian, Michaelangelo, Renoir, and on and on.... Seeing Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" overwhelmed me to tears.. When we got back, one afternoon in early Spring of 2016, I stumbled across a television program named “God is the Master Artist” from the Yarnell School of Fine Art. I had accepted Christ as my Saviour recently and it seemed the Lord was talking to me. I started taking notes from each program and began my first acrylic painting in April 2016. Painting along with Jerry's video, the first painting seemed to come together much more easily than I imagined. Jerry's teaching methods were the perfect way for me to learn. I asked him to critique two of my original works and afterwards decided to take a more formal approach to my learning. I decided to enroll in Yarnell's School of Fine Art. It has been an incredible experience. When I look at my first painting and compare it to my final one, the change is dramatic. I am so very thankful for the wonderful guidance and direction I have received from Jerry Yarnell. There has been a HUGE change in the quality of my work. I am now looking forward to beginning some paintings that have been developing in my head. My reference library has been growing and I am anxious to begin using it.
Thank you, Thank you to everyone at Yarnell School of Fine Arts. And a very big THANK YOU to you Jerry.
God bless you all!


Bryan Benson

Study Series include: Landscape I

Bryan discovered his passion for painting at ten years of age while he lived in Asheville, NC. When he first saw Jerry’s Yarnell’s TV show about how to paint, he was inspired to follow Jerry and to begin painting and doing everything he could to perfect his painting skills. Once it took days to create a work of art on a canvas; now it merely takes hours. Now that Brian lives in Gaffney, SC, he has worked with two art galleries that have displayed his paintings and even opened his own art gallery (Benson’s Art Gallery) in 2012. Bryan soon decided to take the online painting class with Jerry Yarnell and to begin pursuing his goal of becoming a Yarnell Certified Instructor by first completing the Yarnell Certified Artist Program. Most recently, he has become a painting instructor for two galleries (Cave Art Gallery in Gaffney, SC, and the Westgate Gallery located in the Spartanburg, SC, Mall) and also works with Michael’s Craft Store while simultaneously taking care of two kids. Bryan says his life couldn’t be any better and he owes it all to painting and to Jerry Yarnell. Today Brian is wildly successful promoting and selling his art and has ventured into even more of an impressionistic style. You can find Bryan and his art on the Facebook Marketplace.


Linda C. Casella

Study Series include: Landscape I

I am Australian. I have a Master’s Degree in Professional Accounting and am a CPA Accountant. I have always been drawn to art, but it wasn’t until I bought some of the “Paint Along with Jerry Yarnell” art tutorial books that I was captivated by the way Jerry taught art techniques systematically. I immersed myself into completing many of the projects in his books and later joined “Yarnell School Online.” I was then inspired to enroll in the Yarnell Certified Artist Program and over the past two years Jerry’s guidance, suggestions, technical instruction, and skilled teaching methods have really helped me to enrich my skills and improve my paintings. I recently completed my first art commission for an IT company which felt absolutely great! I hope to continue to take classes with Jerry and continue to develop as an artist.


Mike Cook

Study Series include: Landscape I

I have worked construction for most of my adult life and with a background in drafting have also enjoyed drawing. When my wife went back to school, I needed an activity to keep me out of her hair while she was studying. I decided to try my hand at painting. I began with portraits in pastel, charcoal, then oils Even during the infancy of my new pursuit, my endeavors were rewarded by multiple ribbons earned at the local state fair. Through a mutual friend, I was introduced to Jerry’s school and began landscape classes with acrylics. Over the past two years Jerry has enriched my skills and offered more comprehensive and technical instructions allowing for a more painterly appearance to my work.


Brian Corder

Study Series include: Landscape I

I have worked in the Oil and Gas Industry for 20 years. I obtained a master’s degree from Oklahoma Wesleyan University in 2012. Upon completion of my MBA, I began searching for a creative outlet. It did not take long for me to discover Jerry Yarnell on PBS. I was then lucky enough to realize that Jerry’s Studio is a mere 30 minutes from my house! It has been my pleasure to grow my skills and talent at the Yarnell School of Fine Art. If it were not for Jerry and the other artists and friends I have made at the Studio, I would not have come this far.
My new goal is to become a working artist full time. I have begun taking commissions, entering art shows, and have branched into teaching. I don’t think there is any greater feeling than seeing a student’s smile when they learn something new or complete a painting. “God Bless you all and keep painting!”