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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!

Shirley Davey

Study Series include: Landscape I

I have been an artist for over twenty years. I am mainly self-taught; however, I took portraiture courses from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have also taken instructions on the Flemish Technique used by the Old Masters and use this technique when painting portraits and horses. I like to challenge myself to learn and grow as an artist, and thus a new genre I chose was landscape painting. I was inspired to do so as I live and am surrounded by breathtaking scenery in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in the East Kootenays, Canada. I find creativity easy, and I am also a published author of “The Liar Birds.”


Mark Earlam

Study Series include: Landscape I

Drawing has always been an important thing for me from a young age, but I lost touch with it when working life started. A couple of years ago I came across one of Jerry's books by chance while browsing on Amazon. I painted several of Jerry's great painting tutorials from the books and loved them all. After some more research I found the YSO online school and signed up immediately. The videos took the learning to another level and I knew this is what I wanted to spend my time doing.
Once I had a sound idea of the basics I wanted to challenge myself. The YCAP certificate was the prefect opportunity to do this. It was certainly a challenge and I learnt more with this program than I could have ever hoped.
I love nature and being outside, hiking whenever I get the chance. This gives me inspiration to paint the things I see when I am at home. I try to paint the memories to capture the feeling of being there again. I cannot really remember what it was like to not be thinking about painting all the time.


Carolyn Espeseth

Study Series include: Landscape I

I enjoyed my classes and appreciated Jerry's critiques. It was important to me to have the opportunity to take the classes online.


Dennis Harpool

Study Series include: Landscape I

I spend the majority of my days working in a scientific, technical and regulated world. Painting is an escape. I always had a desire to paint but never took the time to develop that desire. Now that I have taken the time, I find the process allows me to immerse myself into any scene I want to create. I live in Mesa, Arizona, am married and have 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren, and 2 English Mastiffs. One day I am going to take a stab at painting these dogs.


Merlyn Luhr

Study Series include: Landscape I

I spend winters in Sun City West, Arizona and summers in Olympia, Washington.I am a active member of the Sun City West art club "SWAC" with judged art shows. I started out with oils in the 70s, stopped for work, "retired," started again with oils, moved to Genesis heat set oils "nontoxic" and acrylic with Jerry.


Linda McGlathery

Study Series include: Landscape I

I have been painting for a long time, but with Jerry’s help, I have improved so much in knowledge and techniques. Loved the certified program, and look forward to further experiences. Grew up in West Texas and have been drawing and painting from an early age. Took art classes through public school and 1 year of college. Married a Minister and lived in all areas of Texas and eastern New Mexico. Have 3 children, 4 grandchildren and 1 great grandson. We now live in San Antonio area and I enjoy my painting. Have sold quite a few paintings and give credit to Jerry for the encouragement and knowledge he shares with his students. He is an inspiration!


Ronald L. Phelps

Study Series include: Landscape I

When I realized that Jerry was located in Oklahoma I decided I would see about going to the studio. Success. After a year I wanted to become more competent and signed up for the YCAP program and was delighted with the learning opportunity of working so closely with Jerry. I have gone monthly for two days together for over 4 years and have learned so much and am pleased, proud, blown-over by the progress I have made and continue to make. I encourage everyone to go through the process of each step and learn how to do, re-do, start over and make corrections along the way. If you have other questions please feel free to contact me ronphelps@cox.net, I am also on FaceBook in the YSO page.


Mike Strickland

Study Series include: Landscape I and II

Never underestimate the influence of a talented teacher! In the 6th grade, Mike’s teacher, Mrs. Wiley, helped Mike discover a talent for art and also encouraged him in his academic subjects. He has continued to pursue art in various forms ever since as time permitted. A career in engineering and engineering management limited the time he had available, but he still painted and drew as often as possible.

In the 1990s he switched to acrylic painting due to an allergy to the solvents used in oil painting. Then in the early 2000s, he discovered Jerry Yarnell and began taking annual workshops with Jerry to learn how to better use acrylic paint. Mike retired in 2013 and began taking annual trips from his home in Atlanta to Jerry’s studio in Skiatook for private lessons. Retirement is now allowing him to paint essentially full time.

When Jerry started the Yarnell Certified Artist program, Mike was among the first to sign up because of the opportunity for personal guidance from Jerry. Jerry’s guidance through the program supplemented by Jerry’s videos on Yarnell School Online is an outstanding way to improve one’s art. The only way to improve this training would be to live close enough to Skiatook for full time in-person study with Jerry, so Mike has continued his tradition of yearly trips to Skiatook..


Myrle Tanner

Study Series include: Landscape I

I have always loved learning. With rearing four children and pursuing a full-time career in Human Resources, I didn’t get around to trying painting until 2009, well into my retirement. A simple 2-hour watercolor class in a group setting turned me on. I live in Monticello, Utah, which is near the Four Corners area, within 100 miles of Monument Valley, Arches National Park, and Canyonlands, which provide endless opportunities for painting magnificent landscapes. I tried watercolors and oils and acrylics, and I created some very gratifying (though far from professional) paintings. Then I discovered Jerry Yarnell’s televised programs, followed by the Yarnell School and the certification program. I LOVE the way Jerry paints, and I LOVE the way he teaches. In critiquing my painting submissions in Landscape I, he would comment, “I hate to be picky, but…” I learned and improved from every suggestion and criticism he offered. I paint for fun and relaxation, and look forward to further improvement as I work through the Landscape II Certification program. It's never too late to le arn something new and exciting. I started late, but my painting truly enriches my life.


Debbie Willey

Study Series include: Landscape I

Debbie Willey's passion and commitment to the fine arts is evident in her enthusiastic and tenacious drive for lifelong learning while she studied with Jerry Yarnell.  After observing Jerry on Paint This with Jerry Yarnell for over 10 years, it was her devotion to her own students that enabled her to finally take a class at Jerry's studio.  God led her to Jerry's studio in the hills of Skiatook, where Mz. Donna and Jerry embraced her with a trust and encouragement she had never experienced.  Debbie has earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts, along with her teaching certificate; she has a masters, post graduate work and studied with numerous other artists.  But nothing compares to the time with Mz.Donna and Jerry.  

Debbie continues to teach Art privately, in workshops, conferences and in public/private school systems.  Teaching and creativity are her gifts from God,  to which she gives Him all the glory. After teaching art to children and adults for over 30 years, Debbie changed her teaching style and technique after experiencing first hand Jerry's tried and true Master Artist techniques, to create a learning culture that is conducive to any level of artistic learning. Debbie has served as the Chair of the Art Department for a private school, taught college art classes, private classes, sold numerous paintings and illustrated several books; she is available for teaching or contract work.  In the future it is Debbie's dream to obtain another advanced  certification from Jerry Yarnell.