The Beginner's Workshop Team and Mentors are all experienced Graphics Artists. They are familiar with each project and are here to assist you in completing your projects. Your mentor will be with you throughout your Beginner's Workshop experience to guide and answer questions. Rememberóthere are NO stupid questions! If you have a problem that cannot be resolved through your mentor, please send a message to Merlene. We are here for YOU!

The Beginner's Workshop was conceived by MaryLou White back in 2002 to help those new to graphics learn to use PhotoImpact. She gathered several other talented PI lovers and on February 8, 2003 the BW opened for business and was promptly swamped with people wanting to learn. A waiting list had to be implemented until they could catch up. All the while MaryLou, along with the rest of the crew, was busy working behind the scenes adding new projects and refining others to make this the best graphics course available. And best of all, it was and still is completely FREE.

Sadly ULEAD, creators of PhotoImpact, was purchased by COREL (along with JASC PaintShop Pro) and was discontinued with the release of PI X3. There won't be another version ever. The BW continued teaching though, because it's still an awesome Graphics program.

In June of 2013, MaryLou suggested a Beginner's Workshop for PaintShop Pro to several of the PhotoImpact Beginner Workshop mentors. Everyone thought it was a great idea, thus, the PaintShop Pro Beginners Workshop was born. All of the tutorials were written specifically for this workshop and are not available to the general public. They were written, tested, edited, and tested again by a small, but dedicated group of graphic artists. The goal was to open the workshop in February, 2014.

Below are quick introductions to the team involved in the development of the Workshop. Some are the authors of your project tutorials, some are Testers or Editors of those tutorials. Without any one of them this workshop would not exist.

MaryLou White

Hi! I'm MaryLou and I reside in Sacramento, California. I spent almost my life using a computer starting back in the 60's as a programmer analyst. Somewhere around 2000, I started the PIRC Forum which was, and still is very successful. In 2002, I started a Beginners Workshop for PhotoImpact users (with lots of help). My urge to teach prompted me to write an on-line HTML course which I taught for 5 years. I have written many tutorials for both PhotoImpact and PaintShop Pro. While my specific interest isn't in making graphics, I like to teach others how to use a given program so they can show off their creative side.

In January, 2013, I realized that we all had many beautiful graphics and nothing to do with them. That's when I started the PIRC eCard site where our artists can share their work with the world. But sadly interest in creating ecards and sending them waned and the site was discontinued. With the demise of PhotoImnpact, many of our PIRC members started using PaintShop Pro. In June of 2013, I once again, started another Beginners Workshop (with lots of help again), but this time, for PSP It took a lot of work by some very dedicated people but we did it!

My motto has always been, "Find a need, and fill it." and that's just what I've spent my life doing!

If you are interested in knowing more about me, please check out my website here. We no longer teach PSP there, now it's all about Afinity Design and Afinity Photo.

Leenie, AKA Merlene

My name is Leenie, I use the name Gold Acres on the Internet. It's a pun on my last name and where I live in the gold producing area of northeastern Nevada. I love computers and learning new software programs. Shortly after getting my first computer in 1999 a friend asked me to fix an animation that didn't work correctly. I struggled through a badly written tutorial for PaintShop Pro. By the time I fixed her animation I could make them in my sleep, and I was hooked on graphics. Because of my friend I eventually created my first website and began to write tutorials.

In 2001 I found PhotoImpact while looking for a program to create and maintain web pages. I thought I would have no difficulty with it, but soon went searching for help. I joined a group called PI Newbies and by the end of that year was a moderator and writing conversion tutorials from PSP to PI. I met MaryLou and joined in the first Beginner's Workshop project becoming a Mentor as we opened our doors on February 8th, 2003.

Mentoring has been a very rewarding activity for me. It's wonderful to see someone who knows nothing about graphics grow to become a budding graphics artist. Because of the loss of PhotoImpact, I was happy to join the new Beginner's Workshop Project for PaintShop Pro. It's kind of like going back to my roots.

Besides mentoring and managing the Beginner's Workshop, I am a Calendar artist. I have been making and sharing Desktop Calendars since 2001. These are graphic wallpapers that contain a calendar. I also breed Pomeranians. If you are interested in knowing more about me, please check out my website here.


Carol has been our Guidance Mentor, helping new mentors learn the ropes as well as a term as Assistant Manager going back to the early days with the PhotoImpact Workshop. It was hoped that she would be here in that capacity now, but fate has decided that it wasn't to be so. Carol was with us in the creation process and you will do the tutorial she wrote for us, but she herself won't be there to see your results. In October 2013 she became very ill and has now passed away.


Hi, I'm Lin. I live in the high desert in California, way out in the boonies. It can take me several hours to "run" to the store. I've had a computer since I went back to college in my late 40s, around 1993 I believe. I'm terrible on dates, so don't hold me to that.

I am both a traditional artist and a digital graphic artist. I majored in art at CSUN in the San Fernando Valley and I taught digital painting with PhotoImpact at Visual Arts Academy (VAA) on-line for about 4 years.

I somehow got hold of PI many years ago and was hunting for a place to learn to use it and found PI Beginners Workshop. I took that and loved it so much I became a mentor in June of 2005. In late 2012 I realized that since PI was never going to be released again, and since great strides are being made in graphic programs I needed to learn to use PSP.

I've taken lots of classes to learn PSP, in fact, I'm still taking some just to keep Learning new things. When Leenie said they were going to start a BW for PSP I jumped at the chance to be a part of making it the best place to learn PSP online. I look forward to mentoring and being an assistant manager in the new BW.


My name is Maureen and I am married, have a son and daughter, six grandsons and two great grandsons, all of whom are the love of my life. We live on the beautiful Sunshine coast of Queensland. I can often be seen down at the beaches walking my beautiful little Maltese, Molly who is my delightful little furbaby.

My life with computers began in the early 1980's to the present. The technical world is moving at a very fast pace and sometimes hard to keep up, but I try.

Although I have taken many graphics and art classes, I am mostly self taught. I did art at college in my younger years, but that was oh so long ago. Long before we had anything digitised!

My journey in the digital arts world began when I received a version of CorelDraw back in the 1990's. It all seemed so very, very complicated. Later I found PhotoImpact and WOW, was it good and oh so easy to use. I joined the PIRC group online then went to the Beginner's Workshop. I eventually become a Mentor for a few years. I had a thirst for learning more about digital art and took a number of online classes. Later, I became an Instructor for an online school teaching Corel Painter, my first love after PaintShop Pro. I also use lots of other software in my search to learn more. I find digital painting relaxing and rewarding. I have been a PaintShop Pro Beta Tester with Corel for a number of years and find it really interesting to be at the forefront of the software during development and testing.

Being part of the Special Projects team writing tutorials for the new PaintShop Pro Beginner's Workshop has been rewarding, yet quite stressful at times. I'm sure Mentees will learn a lot from these tutorials. I had thought of a PaintShop Pro Beginner's Workshop a couple of years ago and so happy it has now come to fruition.

I am a member of the PIRC Bulletin Board where I am an Administrator and also a Moderator for the Paint It and PaintShop Pro forums, they keep me busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Helping people and passing on what I learn to others gives me a lot of pleasure, and it's always nice to see others learning too.


Hello. My name is Nicky. I got my first computer in 2001 and I received an email with pretty stationery and that got me going... I self taught myself the rudiments of PSP and then I discovered PhotoImpact and MaryLou's tutorials . I have not stopped since as there is always something to learn. PIRC covers so many subjects, that you will want to join the group as soon as you graduate from BW.

You will discover while doing this course how much fun it is to learn and create. The team has worked very hard to put together the best tutorials for you to learn from. I have enjoyed testing the tutorials and expanding my knowledge of PSP.

Your mentor is here for you, ask away when something is not clear. There are no "dumb" questions. And above all , enjoy yourself!


My name is San and I live in Australia and have been working with computers for the last 13 years.

My first involvement with graphics was when I was shown a Photo Impact program once I saw what it did I had to buy it. Loved the program ever since did the Photo Impact Beginners Workshop. Doing Pixel Art is one of my favourite past times on the Computer. One day hoping I will be able to do digital painting.

I am now using PaintShop Pro more and more after doing some classes and still learning as there is always so much to learn in a graphics program. I was lucky enough to be asked to write and test tutorials for the new Beginners Workshop for PaintShop Pro .

I have been a Volunteer for the last ten years teaching seniors the basic of computers and a little bit of graphics is very rewarding.

My next challenge is to be a Mentor in the BW which I am looking forward to.


Hi all, I'm Hillie. How I got involved with the PSP BW forum was through proofreading the tutorials you will be doing. I volunteered and "got the job". So if you see any mistakes, it's my fault. Just kidding! I notified them of mistakes, they had to obey ;-)

I live in the beautiful Darling Downs region of South East Queensland, Australia, married with two sons, two daughters and two grandsons. I'm a musician (piano, keyboard, guitar, organ) and I also love to paint and draw (traditional - started as a child - and digital) and have exhibited. My favourite subject is horses. There's something about their free spirit that speaks to mine.

I started on the tech track back in the early 1990s and was hooked. My interests are art, photography, music, video creation, reading, writing, gaming (PC and PlayStation, mainly adventure and RPG), fantasy & animated movies, anything computer, and best of all - taking in the beauty of nature.

I found MaryLou and friends on the original PIRC forum in 2001. Best thing I ever did was get involved contributing and learning PI, starting with v4. It became an addiction. I'm still moderating and enjoy the interaction with people and helping them and their helping me. It's a mutual thing. The internet has opened up a world of creativity and learning, and as a bonus a bunch of great friends.

Our mentors are Anita, Leenie, Lin, Linda, San, Sharon, Tom, Toni & Tricia . Below you can read a short Bio of each of them. All of them have been involved in the Workshop, Some were part of the creation process, some mentored in the PhotoImpact Workshop and some joined us after graduation.


My name is Anita. I am married to Tom, also a Mentor, and I live in eastern Iowa, the prettier part of the state. I am the mother of three (plus one surrogate daughter), grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of three. Iíve devoted my life to my family and volunteer work, working outside the home occasionally to help the family finances. Iíve been a pharmacy technician, accounting clerk, cashier, data input technician and even an apple picker. The job I really enjoyed for about 20 years was caregiver to several of my grandchildren. My hobbies are too numerous to list here. The main ones are gardening, photography, genealogy, sewing, reading, visual arts and now computer art. Now that Tom has retired together we donate about 20 hours a week and sometimes more to volunteer work at a local hospital.

Tom had some previous experience with computer graphic work. He discovered the Beginners Workshop and convinced me to give it a try, too. When I began, all I knew how to do, first in Jasc 9 and then Corel, was to export scanned documents and pictures to another file on our computer. I literally knew nothing about the "artsy" side of Corel PSP. I found the lessons hard going at first but stuck with it. After completing the workshop under the really good guidance of my mentor, Linda, I started using what I learned in other online tutorials. Then I came back to PSP and started the graduate challenges and creating work for "Show and Tell." I enjoy sneaking little things into my posts, like a tube of my sonís tanker truck. (He sure gets around).Then someone posted a link to a tutorial for trolls and the rest is history. I love creating the little people.

I hope to expand my creative abilities through computer graphics using what I learned in the workshop lessons. Iím ready to help others learn how to use their computers more creatively, too, and have fun at the same time. One of my mottoes is, "You never know what you can do, if you never give it a try."


My name is Linda, When I was a junior in high school, my class attended a science fair. I looked at a couple of exhibits, but I don't recall what they were. The third was a computer built from an analog phone. You could dial in two numbers and the computer would add them together. It was the first computer I had ever seen and it was love at first sight!

That love affair has lasted more than half a century. During that time I have worked as a programmer analyst, a software developer, and an IT engineer. In the early 90's, I learned how to write HTML. In my spare time, I built a reporting website for my employer. Web development got quickly added to my job responsibilities. Despite developing websites, I never got into graphics. My employer wanted quick access to data, not fancy designs.

When a sudden illness left me confined to my bed, I began to look for things to occupy my mind. That's when I discovered PSP and Animation Workshop. They really helped me get through a difficult time. As I started to recuperate, I had to focus most of my energy on regaining physical abilities. Believe me, it takes a lot longer to learn to walk the second time around!

Today, I keep busy home schooling my 14 year old granddaughter and enjoy gardening, cooking and computer games. I recently joined BW to refresh my PSP skills and learn how to use a more recent version. I truly enjoyed the process and am delighted to have the opportunity to help others learn PSP.


Hi! Iím Sharon Ė from ďGodís CountryĒ aka the great state of Texas. I live in the region commonly called the " South Plains" between Lubbock and Amarillo where we do experience all four seasons in the same day. Weíve had sunshine, thunderstorms with tornadoes, and snow in less than 24 hours numerous times during my lifetime! Since I was divorced and my kids were " adults" , when my dad was sick I came back to my childhood home to help Mother (now 84) with his care. After he passed away (í97), she did not want to be alone, so I have stayed with her. Both of us are in extremely good health except for back problems Ö no meds for either of us.

I have just become a Mentor with Beginnerís Workshop Ė having graduated (completing the 90 tutorials) just two weeks ago. I am deeply honored to be asked to participate with this awesome group of mentors to assist others in learning how to make the most of their PaintShop Pro program(s).

Since 12/31/2012 at 12:00 PM I have been enjoying the "life of leisure" after retiring from our local hospital. My "Countdown to Retirement" began with 900+ days so I was ready to walk out the door and not look back. During the spring/summer/fall months, I play outside as much as possible working in the flower and veggie gardens Ė ending each day at my computer. I love sunsets and flowers and wildlife, so a lot of my graphic work contains my personal photos. Iíve always said you could just throw me out in the middle of a valley with a gently flowing stream, lots of trees and flowers surrounded by mountains and lots of Godís little creatures; the ability to blast my Southern Gospel Music so loud it can be heard in the next county and a high-speed internet connection, and I would be in heaven! (Yes, my other great interest is music. I play the accordion, have been the pianist and organist at three churches; participated in All-State choir many years ago; sing bass (literally) and for quite some time sang with a ladies trio/quartet.)

I have tinkered with computer graphics since I purchased my first computer about 17 years ago. That computer was built for me by a personal friend, and his wife included Jasc PSP 6 on it. Believe me, computer graphics is a lot more fun than billing/collecting Medicaid! I was fortunate enough to be able do lot of graphic work for the hospital Business Office while I was still employedÖalbeit the "hunt and peck" variety. My 17-year-old grandson really peaked my interest in graphics when he and his brother were visiting, and I was trying to edit some of our Christmas photos. He would say "try this"Ö"ry that"Öand I learned one of his computer classes at school included Adobe Photoshop. His hints usually worked! (But, he does like my PSP better!)

Although I traveled the world-wide-web attempting to find tutorials for specific things I wanted to do (like curved text), I was never satisfied with the "essons" I found. That isÖnot until I joined a Facebook group and stumbled upon a link to The Beginnerís Workshop. I signed up immediately, and I have had no regrets of any kind!

The Beginnerís Workshop tutorials are the best that I have found! And, thereís no doubt, they are the easiest to follow as long as they are followed step-by-step. I found the problems I encountered were created by my misreading or not following the instructions explicitly!

Enjoy your journey through Beginnerís Workshop! You will be amazed at your hidden talents that you will find then displayed for all of us to enjoy!


Hi, my name is Tom. To begin with, there are a couple distinct features that separate me from the other members of this group. One is that the hair on the top of my head is a lot shorter, and the other is that I have a lot more hair under my nose. My walking gait is no-doubt much different too, but all that aside, my purpose here is exactly the same as theirs Ö to help whoever I can learn to use Paint Shop Pro.

I served in the US Air Force during Vietnam, and after leaving the military, I worked for a few years in our cityís Forestry Department before going back to school. I then worked as a software engineer for 45 years, until I retired in late 2016. I began using Paint Shop Pro when it was owned by Jasc Software, as version 9. What I knew about PSP then was pretty much self-taught, or gleaned from a few brief tutorials I found online. I used what I knew to repaint aircraft for Microsoftís Flight Simulator, and eventually was approached by a number of individuals to create paint jobs for them. The most notable were two Bell 47 helicopters from the 1950's Whirlybirds television show, '75 Bravo' and '38 Bravo' that I created for the Bell 47 Helicopter Association. Images showing these two choppers appeared in a magazine article I wrote in the June 2004 issue of Computer Pilot magazine. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think Iíd write a magazine article.

I eventually fell away from doing the repaints (work trumps all) and didnít do much with PSP after that, but I did manage to stay current with the updates, and am current up through 2018. After I retired, I wanted to get back up to speed using Paint Shop Pro, and thatís when I found the Beginner's Workshop. I had a lot of fun completing the projects, and talked my wife into taking the training. She is now a graduate, and even though she has more hobbies than she can count, she occasionally takes on a challenge in the graduate area.

I really enjoy helping others to learn, and I look forward to helping my mentees in their journey through the projects in our workshop to gain a better knowledge of Paint Shop Pro, so that they can fully use it for their graphic needs.


My name is Toni and I live in the beautiful city of Cape Town in SAÖthe land of braais, rugby and sunny skies. A braai is like a BBQ, only better. And if you donít believe me, google "Top 5 Reasons Why a South African Braai Trumps an American Barbecue" ;)

Anyway, back to me. I love messing about on the PC with graphics, but compared to the other mentors here Iím a rookie. Iím an audit manager by day and have come to realize that Iím in the wrong profession. That must be one of THE most uncreative professions in the world. I think Iím a creative spirit which is why I love my PSP.

My interest in graphics started when I used to mess about making graphics for a Facebook bingo group. Yup, Bingo Blitz used to be an obsession with me, but now Iím more of a Candy Crush Saga addict. I donít know which is worse. I love interacting with people and have met some wonderful people online. Iím also a passionate Sharks and Springbok rugby supporter. Go Sharks!!! And go Bokke!!! Iím a dog-person and love this funny quote "I like dogs better than people. They give you unconditional love. They either lick your face or bite you, but you always know where they're coming from. With people, you never know which ones will bite...". I promise I wonít bite :P

OK, enough about me. I hope you enjoy The Beginnerís Workshop as much as I do and Iím looking forward to helping you


Hi, my name is Tricia and I live in central Tennessee. I have one teenage daughter, a step-son in elementary school, three crazy cats, and a fiancť in my household. By day Iím a quality auditor for an international 3rd party logistics company but my true love is web design and development.

I started teaching myself HTML one day in 2001 because I thought it would be fun. I quickly learned that I could create my own graphics with Photoshop and ImageReady so that my websites didnít look like everyone elseís. Later I started using PaintShop Pro so I could learn with my mom. I participated for years in a PSP group but as life got busier I did less and less, then the group shutdown.

Recently I decided to get back into PSP and used the 90 projects here to get an introduction to the newer versions of PSP and brush up my skills. I really enjoyed the projects and the community, and am excited to mentor others looking to learn.

Of course as things go, some mentors have had to leave us due to real-life issues. Two have recently tried to leave the fold, but we weren't willing to just let them go. So they are still with us as Mentors Emeritus. Both still pop in and visit with the Mentors and with you. They still like to review your work and may even post an item or two of their own in the Show & Tell forum. Below are their bios.


Hello, my name is Susan and I live in Ontario, Canada. I became involved with Beginner's Workshop in 2004, first by completing the workshop with PhotoImpact and then mentoring for the past 8 years.

I had originally wanted a program to make 'cookie-cutter' frames for my photographs and quickly learned there was so much more to learn. Once I started the workshop I was addicted. Sharing the knowledge I had gained through mentoring has been very rewarding in many ways and I am looking forward to continuing with Paint Shop Pro. The team has put together a fantastic group of tutorials and by the time you are finished Beginner's Workshop you will have an excellent knowledge of the program, and will have produced some wonderful graphics. We aim to make the learning process enjoyable and are here with you every step of the way.

A bit about me....I'm a wife, a mother and a grandmother who has recently retired after 34 years in the financial industry. My passions are photography (wild life and landscapes) and I've recently started writing short stories to go along with my photos. Be forewarned, I am a giraffe-a-holic too


My name is Teejay, I am the loose cannon here. The nutter in the bunch...we all know there is always one...well hello I am it. I never take the easy road ... I throw myself into all and everything I do and I laugh a lot. Nothing is ever too much. I believe in fun if it isn't fun DON'T DO IT !

I know we have to follow rules...that's the way of the get these basics of PSP under your belt and then you will be able to bend those rules to your needs...that's where the fun really starts hot-ing up...As you have probably gathered I am a PSP addict. I love this little program..Personally I think it knocks the socks of ALL the rest ... It can do all and everything and more than the top brands and you are going to become its master... How utterly exciting is that...?

I will do my best to help where I can... And try not to infect you with nutty-itus.....but you never know. I look forward to meeting and working with you and I will try my very best to make this journey into PSP, exciting .easy and fun... Be seeing you....

Teejay has now retired from Mentoring to work on her Vectors full time. However she does stop in from time to time and visit. Don't be surprised to see her respond to a post with something outrageous.

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