Facilitators and Staff
The Painting Experience teachers and support staff are here to facilitate your journey into a creative process as individual as you are.
Click on a photo to read more.
Stewart Cubley, Founder and Director
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 the Omega Institute. 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.
Annie Rousseau, Senior Facilitator & Trainer (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).
Shae Irving, Communications Manager (website)
Shae is a professional wordsmith with more than two decades’ experience working in print and online. Since graduating from U.C. Berkeley with degrees in Rhetoric and Law, she has 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 has been the social media voice for The Painting Experience since 2008. She curates the blog on this website and provides organizational and communications support to Stewart and the facilitators, always endeavoring to keep the mission of The Painting Experience close to her heart.
Sheena Uritz, Administrative Coordinator
Sheena grew up immersed in the arts and has a deep connection to the creative process as a healing, contemplative and spiritual path. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Portland State University and a graduate degree from Prescott College in Counseling/Psychology with an emphasis in Expressive Art Therapy. Her professional path has ranged from work in nonprofit management to mental health counseling. Sheena was inspired by her husband, who is a cancer survivor, to work for many years in support of cancer patients and their families. She also has a passion for supporting organizations that promote self-expression and well-being. Sheena lives in Southern Oregon and loves spending time with her family, especially her young son. She values time spent in nature and with her animals as well as dancing, writing, practicing yoga, meditation and painting.
Matt Belay, Senior 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 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.
Betsy Vingle, Senior 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.
Aziza Balle, Senior Facilitator (website)
I was first introduced to process painting in 2007 and since then it has been an essential part of my life. As an elementary and high school counselor I was used to offering art therapeutically with kids, as a means of centering and exploration. With process painting I came to more deeply appreciate and value the experience of creating. This way of painting is a great teacher: I’m offered a gazillion opportunities to align with a dimension of myself that is not the critical one, the judge or controlling one, the one who wants and wants and wants. Instead, I learn to move and flow with the “is-ness” of my being, embracing my energy and feelings and respecting the unknown. This method of self-exploration enriches all aspects of my living and I delight in sharing it with others.
As an employee with The Painting Experience, I’m engaged with facilitating process painting workshops and classes both in person and online, co-facilitating our Process Circles, posting to our Instagram page and overseeing our Process Arts Community Slack channel. These tasks allow me a phenomenal opportunity to engage with process painters in valuable and imaginative ways that enhance both my experience process painting and facilitating others.
Lydia Marshall, Facilitator (website)
I have a B.A. in studio arts and a M.A. in architecture. I discovered The Painting Experience in 2007 after decades of practicing residential architecture. I was transported by its immediacy, delighted by the opportunity to play freely, and deeply moved by its power to engage the inner life. I believe that process painting is an antidote for rigidity and an opportunity to nourish our creative spirit. Through my life’s work I’ve learned that no one is devoid of creative impulse, but we are often shy or afraid to give our desires life and form. As a facilitator, I am honored to be present with others as they discover their inner images, energies, and stories — and I bring a deep love and respect for the artist that lives in each of us.
Anne Pechovnik, Facilitator (website)
I have been facilitating individuals and assisting and leading creativity workshops in my home studio since 2012. I am a certified SoulCollage Facilitator and a facilitator with Stewart Cubley of The Painting Experience. As a nurse, I have a background in human development and psychology. I also bring a lifetime of experience as a mother and partner for over 20 years. I have practiced and taught mindfulness for a decade as a Zen practitioner. I experience art as a spiritual practice, a necessary part of an integrated life. Through process painting, SoulCollage and visual journaling, I touch into previously unconscious, unrecognized aspects of my life. I see ways that I fall short of my best and identify untapped resources. These practices afford not just insight but opportunities to exercise new and underdeveloped ways of being.
Molly Siddoway King, Facilitator (website)
I arrived at process painting via a circuitous route as an elementary school teacher, outward bound instructor and course director, yoga teacher and recently retired psychotherapist. I attended my first Painting Experience workshop in 2006 and kept coming back. When not process painting, I enjoy writing, reading, drawing, practicing yoga, meditating and being out in the natural world. I am particularly interested in the kinship between process painting, introspection and mindfulness practice. These three practices share similar priorities of focused attention, watching our thoughts and the ways in which we get in our own way. For each of us, the experience of process painting is unique. For me, the practice of quiet, deep listening is profound. Add to that an intention to take time to create every day, and the doors of possibility are thrown wide open. Process painting enlivens me and overflows joyously through sharing it with others.
Zainab Zoeb, Social Media Manager
Zainab is a process painter and a facilitator of process-oriented expression. Previously a design graduate from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, her work and interests over time have taken the form of self-inquiry through art. Her painting workshops share this gift of compassionate inquiry with anyone who feels called to explore.