Illuminate your Path, Realize your Goals
Online Private Teaching and Mentoring

What is illuminize?

It’s having a professional artist on hand to answer your questions.

We begin by looking at your art, your work habits and your desires as an artist. We then work together to light up a reasonable path for you to follow to grow, improve and develop confidence in your work. If you choose, we will also illuminate your career path, establishing realistic goals to sell your work and/or increase your sales.

How it Works:

Before we begin the Mentoring process I will send you a questionnaire. Your answers will provide me with insight into your priorities and goals. We will then set up a mutually agreed upon time to Skype. I will work with you by a combination of Skype, email and preferably Facebook online chatting (in real time). If you aren’t a Facebook person, we can work around this, but it’s a great way to get questions answered immediately. If you are interested in illuminize Mentoring email me here.

You can come to me with questions of any sort regarding the artistic process. Every artist is treated individually. Here are just a few topics that can be covered:

Help with your paintings and drawings – honest and compassionate discussion of your work. Students email me images that we can then discuss and review via Skype or email depending on what you choose.

Creative blocks and subject matter questions – What to work on next, finding “inspiration,” developing a body of work.

Technical Paint information – my strength is Oil paint and Acrylic, however, I can help in other mediums as well.

Working from Photographs – the best techniques to keep your paintings loose and not “tight” or “Photorealistic.”

Help on developing your “voice” – I encourage all students to find their own way in painting; I will never impose my “style” on you.

The Business of Art – Pricing, selling, Open Studios, “gallery approaching,” – career development from an artist who’s “been there, done that.”

Introductory Pricing:

(All invoicing will be through PayPal)

“illuminize Initial Session”

  • $175 USD/1 hour Skype Session

Includes review of up to 4 of your paintings or drawings along with the answers in your questionnaire. If you do not need paintings reviewed, we can just discuss your questions and objectives. At the end of the hour I will give you direction and goals to work towards over the next month.

Options for Ongoing Mentoring:

“illuminize Mentoring”
(Available only after Initial illuminize Session is completed)
$175 USD/month Includes:

  • One 1 hour Skype session per month
  • 4- 5 emails per month (average one a week) to answer any ongoing questions. Emails may include review/discussion of ongoing works in progress.
  • Weekly Facebook chatting (direct access to me in “real time”)

“illuminize CheckPoints”
(Available only after Initial illuminize Session is completed)

  • $95 USD/1 hour Individual Skype Session

Sessions can be scheduled at each individual’s pace. You choose what you would like to discuss. You send one email of images and/or questions beforehand, for me to review during the Skype session.

Booking an illuminize session is simple. 

Just send me a quick email to get started! Use the form below to ask further questions or to book a session.


Besides painting, my number one goal is to encourage and inspire others to create, no matter the medium. The internet has enabled me to work with artists around the globe, not only in the US, but also China, Australia, the Netherlands, Europe, and most recently Africa.




Melinda has been a true inspiration and such a wonderful teacher and mentor, full of empathy, for nearly a year now… And we have only met online!  It truly feels like Melinda just as well could have been sitting in my home, sipping a cup of tea or coffee and not in fact, being in another continent guiding me as I needed.

Lone Søderberg – Kobenhavn, Denmark

Melinda has helped me take significant steps towards producing a cohesive body of work that reflects my true artistic style… She has been incredibly responsive and always provides useful, actionable suggestions that really work and help to bring a painting into a cohesive whole.

Tara Leaver – Hove, United Kingdom

A good mentor is your sounding board, a trusted and knowledgeable guide, someone you feel accountable to when you want to procrastinate, someone who can help keep you on track and focused on your goals, someone at your back so you’re not out there all alone. It has made all the difference to have Melinda Cootsona as my mentor.

Claudia Brooks – Maryland, US


Listen here to Melinda's interview with Antrese Woods. We discuss surviving criticism and staying positive; participating in Open Studios; self-doubt and showing up; and the importance for many artists of finding a mentor or supportive group of like minded artists.


Copyright © 2018 MELINDA COOTSONA