Alchemy Studio
Fostering creativity in the arts

Alchemy Studio is an art and teaching studio located in Phoenix, Arizona specializing in historic photographic processes, mixed media, and book arts.
We organize workshops in the arts
both in Arizona and Italy.

Italy WorkshopS

Check out this season’s offerings

Arizona Workshops

Check out what's coming soon at our Arizona location.

Our Work

Learn more about our collaborative work.

Carol Panaro-Smith and James Hajicek with arms wrapped around each other in Italy
About Us

Carol Panaro-Smith & James Hajicek

Together we have spent over 50 years dedicated to and fostering in others an appreciation of artful living. This is evidenced in our own creative work as well as our careers as educators.
In 1999, Alchemy Studio opened its doors as a teaching studio in Arizona offering a variety of classes and workshops in a variety of media.

From 2001 to 2011, we collaborated on a body of work using the process known as photogenic drawing. This collaborative work has been exhibited in several solo exhibitions and is in several major collections.  

In 2007, we began offering art retreats  in Tuscany Italy intersecting the arts including creative writing, photography, mixed media, and yoga.

Our commitment to community building and providing ways for people to connect to each other and their creative process is at the forefront of our mission as artists and teachers.

Our philosophy
"We believe that all aspects of life can be a creative pursuit, the food you put on the table, your living space, and the community you surround yourself with. We love to share our passion and enthusiasm for artful living."

Workshops in Italy

We offer a variety of art immersive experiences in the rural hills of Tuscany, Italy. These 7-10 day retreats include art making, all meals, day trips, and lodging at a stunning 10 bedroom villa equipped with a yoga studio and art studio.

Participants of all levels are welcome to attend our workshops. We love to support diverse communities that foster mutual respect and trust.

Each year we invite fellow artist/educators to teach with us. Kate Breakey, Jace Graf, Keith Carter, Richard Tuschman, Andrea Modica, David Emmit Adams, Claire Warden, Scott Davis and Mary Kay Zeeb, are on our roster of artists that have brought their own unique skills and inspiration to Italy.

The workshops are designed to not only provide a beautiful backdrop to art making but a way in which to connect to the creative force, to find one’s inner voice, and to connect with each other.

Workshops In Arizona

We offer a wide variety of classes and workshops in photographic arts, mixed media, and book arts.
Our offerings are designed for anyone on any level who is is interested in expressing themselves visually.
Get on our mailing list to be the first to know about scheduled events.

Our Work

In 2001, James and Carol began working collaboratively using the process known as photogenic drawing – one of the earliest photographic processes of the nineteenth century, developed by William Henry Fox Talbot. Unique prints are created using botanicals from the earth and sea that are placed in direct contact with hand-coated light sensitive paper.   

These one-of-a-kind prints are available through photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe , and Joseph Bellows in La Jolla, California and at their studio in Arizona.

Collaborative work

What People Say About Our Workshops

“Each and every workshop was extremely interesting, mind-expanding, soul-searching and fun.  Together, they fit together seamlessly – like sewing a personal quilt of inner expression.”

“…all the little and sweet touches throughout the trip made a huge impact and provided a very personal experience: our hand-written names hanging from the door frames to greet us, the chocolate on our night stands to give us sweet dreams, the pre-cut and ready to go materials to allow us to jump right in to the making, our colorful cloth napkins and ribbons to keep us clean, the fresh bread in the mornings and our beautifully prepared meals to keep us nourished, the gentle yoga practice to keep us centered, and most of all the positive and supportive energy that made our space a safe, open, and creative place to play and share with all."  

"My times there were magical, and it's because of Italy, but mostly because of you two. I love the friends I made there, and I also love how happy I was there and am still trying to figure out what it all means. I think part of it was the tremendous love and nurturing, a generosity of spirit, that you two served up in heaping helpings. And there, I wasn't someone's mother or wife; I was just me."

“The food! Home made bread each morning, cherries from the nearby trees, local meats, cheeses, produce, coffee, and wine. You can feel and taste the love that goes into every dish!  The meals from both on and off the property were thought-out perfectly for palate and the heart.”

"Villa San Rocco was heaven on earth; beyond my wildest dreams.  The property and the surroundings were truly lovely.  The perfect amount of space to feel comfortable living together but not crowded.  Each individual area was so unique and perfect for the community activities of yoga, art, dining and relaxation.  The bedrooms were cozy and comfortable and had plenty of room to move around.  It was such an experience to be in that setting with so much history and natural beauty. The conversation of artful living was presented in the most perfect way and gave us the opportunity to carry it forward when returning home. "   

Images courtesy of (left to right/top to bottom) Liz Allen, Steve Lovegrove, Jody Miller, Jace Graf/Liz Allen, Rhonda Lashley Lopez,
Carole Hollander, Cyd Peroni, Deborah Alberty, Barbara Garber, Jody Miller, JoAnn Carney

Contact us

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is financial assistance available for your workshops?

Every year we have several fund raisers to raise money to assist people in attending our workshops. We try to provide opportunities so anyone can make their dreams to attend a workshop possible. If you are interested in applying for financial assistance contact us for more information.

I don't consider myself an artist. Is it necessary to have a background in art to participate in your workshops?

All our workshops are designed in a way that any level of competency is welcomed and encouraged. Workshops are more dynamic when a group of diverse individuals come together. From our experience, " beginner mind" is such a gift to open up new pathways to creative expression.

I love your work and would like to inquire about purchasing a piece or licensing it for a project I'm working on.

Contact us and we can point you in the right direction. We have gallery representation for some of our work and some work is sold from our own studio. We would love to share our work for your project. We have worked with major design firms and individuals wishing to license our images and would love the opportunity to work with you.

I have more questions. How can I contact you?

We're always interested in hearing from you. Just send us an email!

Woman with wings reaching and looking towards a hole in the wall. Artwork by Carol And Jim from Alchemy-Studio

Follow Us on Instagram

Artwork by Carol And Jim from Alchemy-Studio. Links to their instagram page
Artwork by Carol And Jim from Alchemy-Studio
man and women kissing underwater with goggles on. Artwork by Carol And Jim from Alchemy-Studio
Colorful vegetables on a table. This image links to Alchemy-Studio's Instagram. Artwork by Carol And Jim from Alchemy-Studio