ChocoVision Revolation: ChocoVision Delta Tempering Machine

Well, my Delta has been having problems and it may be that the heater keeps overheating for a number of reasons. One is poor design. The other is that I have 120V. The new design that Mike is working on will keep the heater from having these problems.

To continue reading about the ChocoVision tempering machine, go to Life By Chocolate blog.

I should have more pictures from the first Carol Taylor workshop going up pretty soon.

Oh, and Hudson is out to stud. What a good boy! What a beauty dog. Lucky dog!

The 2008 Schedule for Painting and Drawing

Class Descriptions for 2008
The website is coming along but will take a week or two. You may even get your brochures in the mail before I get the website done. This is only the painting and drawing information. For fiber art, please see our fiber art website.

Artist: Stanley Maltzman
Date: March 2 – 8, 2008
Medium: Drawing and Pastel
Location: Outdoors/Studio
Levels: All Levels

Stanley Maltzman is a highly acclaimed landscape artist, author, and educator. He is the author of Drawing Nature and Drawing Trees, and recently, the Art of Stanley Maltzman – Sketches and Studies in Pencil, Pastel, & Watercolor. Recently he was honored to exhibit at the Butler Institute. Stan’s sensitive portrayals of nature reveal an intimacy with the Catskill Mountain landscape attained through over 40 years of observation and work.

This workshop is designed to further enhance your appreciation of the winter landscape. Mornings are spent outdoors, observing, sketching, and making notes, and taking photographs. Afternoons you are shown how to combine these images to make interesting compositions. These lessons are used collectively to show how to make use of the photograph and not have the photograph use you!

Artist: Artist Retreat
Date: March 27 – April 2, 2008
Medium: All
Level: All
Location: Studio/Outdoors

Artist: Sharon Carson
Date: April 3 – 6, 2008
Medium: Oil
Level: All
Location: Studio

Spring Landscape in Oil

Sharon Carson’s award-winning paintings embody dynamic composition, lively brushwork and expressive color.

This indoor workshop will focus on creative interpretation of the Spring landscape. You’ll begin with creative exercises from still life setups, emphasizing the similarities with landscape. Explore how simplifying, exaggerating, creative color, rhythm, shapes and line work can be used to create a more personally expressive painting. You’ll then apply these principles to landscape painting. You’ll develop the confidence to make artistic choices that suit your personal vision.

Bring photographs of the spring landscape for reference. If the weather permits, students have the option of painting on the grounds at the inn.

Sharon Carson’s Bio

Sharon Carson has been painting and teaching for more than 30 years. Sharon works in oils, watercolors, and acrylics. In any medium, Sharon places great importance on creative expression.

Her paintings have been accepted into several juried national shows including those sponsored by The Salmagundi Club, Academic Artists, Knickerbocker Artists, Hudson Valley Artists, the National Academy of Design, and Southern Vermont Arts Center. Her professional affiliations have included Academic Artists, and The Copley Society of Boston, Rockport Art Association, and North Shore Arts Association.

Sharon was one of only a few living Cape Ann artists selected to show their work in the historic exhibition “The Legacy of Cape Ann” held at the Canton Art Institute in Canton, Ohio. “The Legacy of Cape Ann” was a major exhibition for the museum, displaying historic paintings on-loan from several museums and private collections, along with work by invited contemporary artists, to visually represent more than 100 years of painting on Cape Ann.

Sharon’s paintings were included in the exhibition “Winter Comes to Rockport” held at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, Massachusetts. Her winter scenes were shown alongside the museum’s collection of paintings by American master Aldro T. Hibbard (1886-1972). She was also invited to participate in a show at The Copley Society of Boston of member artists who had been featured in “American Artist” magazine. The art association in Old Lyme, Connecticut included her work in its invitational exhibition “Cape Ann Masters.” And the Attleboro Museum displayed one of Sharon’s paintings in its invitational exhibition “New England Impressions, Painting from Life.” Sharon was selected for an artist residency program sponsored by Les Amis de la Grande Vigne in Dinan, France and one of her paintings is now included in the museum’s permanent collection. Her paintings have also been included in invitational or juried shows at Symphony Hall in Boston; Gordon College in Wenham, MA; Boston Design Center; The Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, The Copley Society of Boston, Rockport Art Association and North Shore Art Association.

Sharon was featured in the November 1989 issue of “American Artist” magazine.

In 2004, Sharon and her husband Ed moved to the Berkshire region in western Massachusetts. They now live in Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, a former textile mill that was converted to live/work lofts for artists.

Artist: Eric Wiegardt
Date: May 4 – 10, 2008
Medium: Watercolor/Acrylic
Level: All
Location: Studio/Outdoors

Secrets to Painting Loose

Eric Wiegardt AWS NWS, nationally recognized judge, juror, and award winner, has left an indelible mark on the American art scene with more than 20 years of professional painting and teaching experience. He is the author of the North Light book Watercolor Free & Easy and is featured in many books along with articles in Watercolor Magazine, International Artist Magazine, Watercolor Magic Magazine, and cover artist for The Artist’s Magazine. Eric is a graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

This is a workshop for those who wish to loosen up in watercolor and/or acrylic. Painting techniques and a philosophy of design is applicable in both mediums to encourage bold, loose paintings.

Eric believes most painting problems are the violation of an elementary painting principle. Lectures are designed to be helpful to all levels of expertise, from beginner to the professional. There will be ample time for students to try the concepts presented in a safe environment. Eric does a completed painting demonstration daily. Subject matter may include landscapes, marinescapes, florals, streetscapes, interiors, and still lives. Weather permitting, some plein-air painting may be incorporated.

Artist: James McFarlane
Date: May 17 – 20, 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Level: All
Location: Studio

Draw Well – Paint Loose

James McFarlane, AWS, is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, the Philadelphia Water Color Society, and the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society. His paintings have been honored with numerous awards in local, regional, and national shows. James is a popular and sought after teacher known for presenting clearly defined goals, for putting his students at ease, providing individual instruction and constructive critiques.

In this workshop, James’ goal is to teach you to improve your ability to “see” as an artist. He presents a series of stimulating demos and exercises in composition, the expressive use of color, pigment application and dynamic calligraphic brushwork, all designed to encourage well planned yet spontaneous watercolor paintings. There will be plenty of time for you to put the information into practice in your own original paintings . . . not just recording your subject, but enthusiastically and creatively interpreting it.

Artist: Elizabeth Apgar-Smith
Date: May 29 – June 1, 2008
Medium: Pastel
Level: All
Location: Outdoors

Elizabeth Apgar Smith has earned numerous awards for her impressionistic paintings and her work is featured in many books on painting technique. The towns and farm communities that surround her studio in Schoharie, New York, inspire paintings that shimmer with atmosphere and reflect the nobility of commonplace scenes.

Betsy is a teacher who stresses strong design and creative use of color. Through demonstrations and individual guidance, she helps her students to explore a variety of techniques and achieve stronger personal statements.

Artist: David Dunlop
Date: June 1 – 7, 2008
Medium: Pastel/Oil/Watercolor/Acrylic
Level: All
Location: Outdoors

On Location with Past Masters

Painting on a variety of sites from farms, to mountains streams, lakes and vast Hudson Valley Vistas, David Dunlop explains and demonstrates the techniques and theories of Hudson River School artists like Gifford and Church in oil, Whistler’s techniques in watercolor and pastel, Turner’s methods in watercolor and oil, Impressionist systems as practiced by Monet in oil, and contemporary landscape painting strategies including acrylic painting (David demonstrates a variety of acrylic strategies and products). A different artist or school and their particular approach is presented on different days. This strategy enables you to see how various artists solved the issues of lustrous skies, complex textured foliage, translucent water, credible architecture, and the shaped fabric of forests, fields and rock. Each day begins with a presentation/demonstration, then artists select their own motifs in their preferred medium. David works with artists individually. He wants you to enjoy the pleasures of painting on location. Beginners through advanced painters are welcome.

David also plans to have one or two evening presentations on the history of painting and color.

David A. Dunlop is an artist, faculty member and lecturer at the Silvermine Guild Art Center in Connecticut. He received his MFA from Pratt Institute and conducted painting and Art history courses in Europe and Japan. He is represented by numerous galleries across the United States and his work is in scores of Fortune 500 corporate collections as well as private and public collections. He has lectured on landscape painting at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. Simmons Art has produced a series of his art instructional DVDs.

Artist: Anatoly Dverin
Date: June 8 – 14, 2008
Medium: Oil/Pastel
Level: All Levels
Location: Outdoors

Anatoly Dverin was born in Ukraine, studied in St. Petersburg and earned wide recognition and success before leaving the Soviet Union in 1976, eventually settling in Massachusetts. Since that time, he has amassed numerous awards and created a breathtaking body of work. He is a popular demonstrator at the major pastel societies. He recently published a book of his life and work, Anatoly Dverin – American Impressionist.

Anatoly is fluent in both oil and pastel, producing paintings that transcend his skill as a draftsman and his subtle use of color and texture – abilities honed through a lifetime of devotion and hard work. The Impressionist painters Monet and Pissaro are his greatest influences.

Anatoly works with each student to develop and improve your own individual style. This is an opportunity to learn from a master, eager to share a lifetime of painting experience with warmth and humor.

Artist:David Daniels
Date: June 15 – 21, 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Level: Intermediate & Advanced
Location: Studio

David Daniels is the watercolor instructor for the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, DC and teaches workshops throughout the world. David’s former training as a botanist and biologist are always evident in his work and he enjoys showing the beauty of nature in new and refreshing ways. He firmly believes that here is no trite subject matter, only trite painting.

His interactive approach and humor are often recognized as his strongest teaching tools. The heart of the artist and the spirit of the medium are the two most important components of his teaching. Students are introduced to methods of using multiple glazes over wet into wet passages to achieve an unsurpassed brilliance as well as the use of masking agents to achieve a jewel-like batik effect.

The spontaneity of watercolor should not lead to weak painting because of a lack of planning. David shows how to carefully construct a watercolor using preliminary sketches on tracing paper that eventually get transferred to the watercolor paper. Students work with sketches, photographs and other source material. This process allows for stronger compositions and therefore stronger paintings. Planning does not destroy spontaneity, it allows for opportunity.

Artist: Alvaro Castagnet
Date: June 22 – 28, 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Level: Intermediate & Advanced
Location: Outdoors

Alvaro Castagnet has earned a huge international reputation as an artist and teacher. He believes that mastery of tonal values is the key to volume and depth in watercolor painting.

Alvaro begins class with a philosophical introduction to “what makes a painting,” followed by a simple “one-go” demonstration. As class progresses, techniques such as wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, lost & found edges, and color blending is introduced. By mid-week, the focus is on values, with challenging exercises, demonstrations and critiques of your paintings in progress. This is an opportunity to have fun learning from an energetic and colorful master of expressive watercolor. Please note that a fee of $50 is added to tuition for this class, to offset international travel costs.

Artist: Susan Sarback
Date: July 6 – 12, 2008
Medium: Oil or Pastel
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Location: Outdoors/Studio

Capture Radiant Light & Color

In this workshop you will learn the secrets of seeing and painting based on the light and color of the Impressionists. This landscape workshop focuses on capturing the different qualities of light seen throughout the day. We will work both indoors and outdoors with an emphasis on landscape composition, color, choice of subject,and the skills to capture the outdoor atmosphere.

Susan Sarback, founder of The School of Light & Color, is the author of Capturing Radiant Color in Oils (North Light Books, 1994). She has a Master’s Degree in art and has devoted much of her life to studying light and color, including many years with master colorist Henry Hensche. International Artist magazine named her one of the Master Painters of the world. She has lectured about color at over 100 art schools, universities, and art associations in the United States. Since 1986, she has taught painting workshops and classes throughout the United States and Europe. Articles by or about her have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Artist’s Magazine, American Artist Magazine, Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Magazine, and other publications.

Sarback’s work has been shown in galleries in New York City, San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle, and Santa Fe. Her paintings are in private collections throughout the world, including the Medical Center of the University of California at Davis and the Kaiser Permenante Medical Group in Sacramento. The Cornell Museum of Art and History in Delray Beach, Florida, keeps twelve of her paintings in its permanent collection.

Artist: HongNian Zhang
Date: July 17 – 20, 2008
Medium: Oil Figures
Level: Advanced
Location: Studio

Hong Nian Zhang’s career began in China where he trained at the Central Art Academy, China’s most prestigious art school. He helped create the avant-garde Flashback and Scar movements, evoking an untainted vision of Chinese life. Hong Nian came to America in 1985 to continue his studies, introducing Chinese oil painting to the western world. He is the co-author with Lois Woolley of The Yin/Yang of Painting.

Hong Nian’s paintings glow with subtle atmosphere and drama achieved through combining complementary color schemes and Old Masters glazing techniques. He introduces students to his method starting with still life, then landscape and figure. Hong Nian’s simple approach to beginning a painting leads to compositions that are strong and balanced. His theory of painting is based on an ancient Chinese philosophy: The elements of painting follow the concept of yin-yang, from value to color, from pattern to form.

Back-to-Back Special: When you sign up for both Zhang and Woolley, you get $100 off the combined lodging cost.

Artist: Lois Woolley
Date: July 20 – 26, 2008
Medium: Oil Portraits
Level: Intermediate & Advanced
Location: Studio

Lois Woolley, co-author with HongNian Zhang of The Yin/Yang of Painting, is a well-known portrait artist. A popular instructor at the Woodstock School of Art, she is loved for her warmth and personal attention as well as for her clear, articulate instruction. Lois brings yin and yang to the traditional study of portraiture. In this class you learn to create rich, natural skin tones using a unique palette of complementary colors. An emphasis on traditional elements of portraiture; lighting, form and how to paint the feature, plus how to use setting and composition to convey character make this an innovative workshop.

Back-to-Back Special: When you sign up for both Zhang and Woolley, you get $100 off the combined lodging cost.

Artist: Betty Carr
Date: July 27 – August 2, 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Level: All
Location: Studio/Outdoors

Betty Carr’s energetic style and enthusiasm is apparent in her paintings and her teaching. She is the author of a number of books, the latest being Seeing the Light: An Artist’s Guide.

This workshop covers linear as well as atmospheric perspective, drawing basics and aspects of painting light. How to examine colors, values and temperatures of light and shadow, its luminosity, is demonstrated. Regardless of style, sound design and compositional aspects in using light is discovered in order to direct the eye. You will examine the “how to’s” of massing and organizing darks and lights, value and color relationships, edges, direction and other important design applications in creating dynamic paintings. Carr also demonstrates who to work from field sketches, value studies and a combination of photos. You are encouraged to bring in paintings and drawings for critique for open discussion, and your favorite photos, especially ones saved for that “challenging” painting. Come prepared to have fun!

Artist: Robert Noreika
Date: August 2 – 5, 2008
Medium: Acrylic
Level: All Levels
Location: Outdoors

Nouveau En Plein Aire, with Fluid Acrylics

In this fun outdoor workshop, Robert Noreika teaches you the use of acrylic paint in a “new” fluid way, using the transparency, translucence, and opacity of the medium. With the application of this new loose painting style and innovative technique, the watercolorist can learn how to correct past mistakes and the oil painter can gain new experience in terms of trying acrylics as a useful tool for base or under painting, as well as learning the use of the medium through Robert’s demonstration.

This course is designed to have fun, let go and to really express yourself

Artist: Lewis Barrett Lehrman
Date: August 7 – 13, 2008
Medium: Travel Sketching/Watercolor/Pencil
Level: All
Location: Studio/Outdoors

Sketching & Travel Journaling

Lew Lehrman spent three decades in commercial art before escaping in the mid 1980’s to become a full time watercolorist. In the years since then, he has also been an art instructor, author of 6 books on art, and an avid traveler. Anyone who sees his travel journals marvels at how he captures the sense of place and time.

“Ever wonder why we rarely relive our travels through photos? Perhaps because taking a photo requires so little investment of one’s attention. Even after 30 years, my sketch journals vividly evoke wonderful places and memories of my travels! Artistic journaling slows your pace, as you observe a scene for at least as long as it takes to sketch it. Journaling is solely for pleasure – it doesn’t require that you be an accomplished artist. Regardless of skill level, you’ll be amazed how quickly your drawing and watercolor skills improve – within hours! We’ll visit and sketch some of the Hudson Valley’s most interesting locales. By the end of the workshop, you’ll be a dedicated journaler…and a better painter too!”

Artist: Jean Uhl Spicer
Date: August 14 – 17, 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Level: All
Location: Studio

Jean Uhl Spicer is an award winning artist who studied at the Philadelphia University of the Arts. She first became a greeting card designer and then continued her studies with noted professional watercolorist. She has won 5 gold medals, among many other prestigious awards. Jean has also served as a juror for the annual American Watercolor Society show. Her work has been published in American Artist, Watercolor for the Serious Beginner, and The Best of Flower Painting #2. Jean is the author of Bright & Beautiful Flowers in Watercolor and wrote a chapter for Watercolor Landscapes Techniques of 23 International Artists.

In this fun workshop, you have two days of floral painting in the studio and one day of landscape painting. Jean shows you how to achieve drama and excitement in your paintings by creating a good design, using clean color, and the use of effective lighting. Jean does daily demonstrations and critiques. Bring a good sense of humor and prepare to have fun.

Artist: Mel Stabin
Date: August 17 – 23, 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Level: All
Location: Outdoors

Mel Stabin is an internationally known, award-winning watercolorist who conducts workshops throughout the country and abroad. This workshop reflects the title of his book, Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused. Emphasis is on design principles with the objective of building strong paintings by seeing and thinking simply, painting energetically, and focusing on the “idea” of the painting. Mel paints in a loose, representational style. Design, composition, and color/value relationships are discussed throughout.

This workshop is divided into three days painting landscapes on location and two days painting the clothed figure on location.

Mel demonstrates with a step-by-step simple explanation of solutions to every problem presented by the subject, offers personal instruction, and gives class critiques daily.

Mel makes learning the art of watercolor painting an enjoyable experience. Mel’s friendly, informative manner of teaching creates an easy open dialogue with his students.

Mel Stabin, AWS, NWS is an internationally known teacher, author, and award-winning watercolorist. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Mel studied the art of watercolor with Ed Whitney. For over thirty years Mel was an award-winning art director/creative director for major advertising agencies in New York City. He is a signature member of prestigious art societies including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor West, and The Allied Artists of America.
For twenty years Mel has conducted watercolor workshops with groups on location throughout the country and abroad, and for numerous art societies.
His paintings have been the recipient of national awards including the Elizabeth Callan Medal at the 2004 American Watercolor Society International Exhibition and have been represented in major exhibitions including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, National Academy of Design, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor West, Allied Artists of America, Butler Institute of American Art, North East Watercolor Society, New Jersey Watercolor Society, and Pennsylvania Watercolor Society.
Mel has had sixteen one-man exhibitions of his watercolors. His paintings are in many private and corporate collections. His work can be viewed in the “Featured Artists” section on The New American Gallery website at Mel was a director for the American Watercolor Society’s 2005/2006 exhibitions and was one of the jurors of selection for the American Watercolor Society’s 2006 Annual International Exhibition.
He has written feature articles for American Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor, and Watercolor Magic. Mel is the author of Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused and The Figure In Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused published by Watson-Guptill.

Artist: Mary Alice Braukman
Date: August 24 – 30, 2008
Medium: Watermedia/Collage
Level: All
Location: Studio

Watermedia, Assemblage, Collage & Pours

“As a watermedia artist, my life experiences become filtered in my eye, mind, and heart. They are then transformed into my paintings. My paintings are of a myriad of techniques – I am not afraid of color or texture. I want the viewer to crawl into my work and walk through each step of motion or intensity or serenity.”

This class explores layering of experimental mediums, photo transfers, and collage in depth, striving for results that go beyond obvious techniques and leave people wondering just how you created such a gem. There are daily critiques, both class and individual.

.Mary Alice Braukman’s work is featured in several articles: the 20th Anniversary Issue of American Artist Watercolor Magazine: “20 Great Watercolor Teachers offer Their Best Recommendations” Fall 2006, Summer issue in an article covering water-based painting, “Mary Alice Braukman on Acrylics.” She was also the guest editor and was featured in Watercolor Winter 2001 — Special Issue of Experimental Approaches to Water Media.

Artist: Pat Dews
Date: September 7 – 13, 2008
Medium: Watercolor/Acrylic/Collage
Level: All
Location: Studio

Pat Dews is an award-winning artist who works experimentally using aquamedia and collage. She paints the essence of nature with rocks and water as a recurring theme. She is the author of Creative Discoveries in Watermedia and Creative Composition & Design. Pat describes her workshops as exciting and very intense, with an aim of pushing students to think and paint in more abstract ways.

Pat shows you her thinking process as she works on paintings in progress. She discusses concept, design, value, and technique while taking paintings from start to finish. Her critiques enable you to clearly see the directions your paintings can take, and move you to more exciting outcomes. As the same principles apply regardless of your choice of subject matter, this class is for both abstract and representational artists.

Artist: John Salminen
Date: September 14 – 20, 2008
Medium: Watercolor
Level: All
Location: Studio

John Salminen has won over 125 awards in national and international exhibitions. In 2003, he was a juror for both the NWS and AWS exhibitions. His work is widely published, and he is a popular lecturer and teacher in art venues across the USA.

John’s workshop begins with pure abstraction and concludes with realism. John has developed a non-threatening approach to abstraction, encouraging representational painters to experiment with a different style and challenging experienced abstract painters to expand their possibilities in expressing their creative voices. Having completed a successful abstraction, participants apply the same design concepts to the development of a realistic piece. The workshop includes demos, critiques, and lots of individual help during the painting time.

Artist: William B. (Skip) Lawrence
Date: September 28 – October 4, 2008
Medium: Watermedia
Level: Intermediate & Advanced
Location: Studio

Finding Your Voice In Paint (Second Session – Intermediate to Advanced)

Skip Lawrence, received a B.F.A. degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art and M.A. degree from Towson University. His book, Painting Light and Shadow in Watercolor, was published in 1994. Skip is editor-and-chief of “The Palette Magazine”. Website:

After you have explored all the “how too’s” of painting, you are still stuck with the “why?’ Without a clear declaration of what one wants to say in one’s painting, it can become just an imitation someone else’s work. Skip challenges painters to rewrite the rules their way, to consider their choices and shake up their status quo. Through lecture, demonstration and critique, Skip guides each painter to refine their intention and express it in new and honest ways. No one else but you can say what you want to say in paint—why settle for less? With insight, warmth and humor, Skip brings out the best in each painter.

Artist: Mary Whyte
Date: October 5 – 11, 2008
Medium: Watercolor/Portrait
Level: All
Location: Studio

Mary Whyte’s paintings of the people and places of the South Carolina Low Country are richly narrative. She combines abstract design with sensitive rendering to produce the dynamic portraits she is known for. Mary is also an avid teacher and author of Watercolor for the Serious Beginner. She lives and paints in Charleston, South Carolina, and teaches painting workshops across the country.

In this workshop, you learn fundamental drawing and painting skills, how to mix clean color, create dynamic compositions, correct mistakes, use lighting effectively, and make emotional paintings that endure. Through everyday demonstrations and one-on-one guidance Mary starts you on your way to painting your best works. Subject matter include portrait, still life, and landscape, with the opportunity for you to explore each venue.

Artist: Kenn Backhaus
Date: October 19 – 25, 2008
Medium: Oil
Level: Intermediate & Advanced
Location: Outdoors

Freezing That Moment of Light
Exploring the Foundations of PLEIN Air

Instruction will focus on the difficulty of freezing that moment of light. Developing your knowledge and skills through a better understanding and awareness of how to approach the ever-fleeting moment of light. I’m sure we have all experienced times when we were excited to paint a particular scene and then found out that we were unable to get the proper information quickly down on canvas. Hence, the light has changed and the effect was lost. The Plein Air Artist needs to develop; speed and accuracy. This workshop addresses the use of sound fundamentals and principles, which are essential to the development of plein-aire painting. Students will paint the outdoors, studying and developing a better understanding of such principles as; The Four Divisions of the Landscape, Value verses Color, Proper use of Edges, Understanding Color Temperature, Trusting Your Eyes and most important, The Ten Questions we Should ask Before Painting. Together we will explore the importance of these foundations to better our skills and develop the speed along with the accuracy we need to better our results on the canvas.

Kenn works with you to help further develop your individual style. He identifies your strong and weak points in order to build on your strong points and try to overcome the weak areas. The format of the class is to paint on location with the instructor teaching through lecture and/or demonstration each day. After the demonstration, the participants paint the rest of the day while receiving individual instruction.

Participants will receive:
Student Packet Material
Daily Lecture and Demonstrations
Individual Tutoring

Artist: Artist’s Retreat
Date: October 26 – November 1, 2008
Medium: Any
Level: All
Location: Studio/Outdoors

Next years painting classes

Kim gave me all the pictures and data for next years classes and, even though the brochure is not yet ready for mailing, I’m going to put it up sometime in the next two weeks.

Before I do that, I’ll put the list and some pictures here on the blog.

Keep reading the blog. It’s coming. I’ll also tell you when the website is updated. Stay tuned to this channel in the blogosphere!

My Mother is moving up to Greenville

For those of you who met her, you lovely people are a major deciding factor, besides the fact that Kim and I live here and the beautiful area.

For those of you that have not yet been to Greenville or to the Arms, your loss.

Now, I have to move her from Virginia. Sigh! This is going to be interesting! But fun! 🙂

Park Avenue Autumn Lamb

Well, I’m still eating the left overs on that great lamb. It’s as good, nay, better than before. Though, next Autumn, I’ll be having the quail, the lamb was great.

Our day out: Park Avenue in Autumn

Ooh la la. We went to New York City and Park Avenue Autumn. We started the day going down to Jacques Torres’ place on Hudson Street. (350 Hudson Street.) Mr. Chocolate didn’t disappoint. Though, I must admit, that even for me, that large and yummy hot chocolate hurt me. I had the hot chocolate Wicked which had chilis in it. Yum. However, they need to offer a lactose free version. I didn’t ask for one. My bad. So, I hope they offer it because I was hurting all day. Still, I recommend it. However, I noticed a curious thing, Mr. Torres only had a small selection of molded and dipped chocolates. I’d say they did around 15 or some different chocolates, plus bars, lots of bars, plus some cornflake clusters and dipped Cheerios. Why so few of the fabled confection’s art? Why so pedestrian? And why did they make their own chocolate and yet use other chocolate as well.

In Vienna, you would have seen scores of chocolates and pastries and, well, pretty confections. But in the good ol’ US of A, not so much. Why? I conclude it’s because of us! Yes, us. We need to eat more real chocolates. So, stay away from Godiva and Hershey and start eating real chocolates. Go right now to Life by Chocolate and order some real chocolates and confections. For shame, America.

Then we went to Provence. A lovely little restaurant in the Village. Very nice. Tasty food but, please, wash those scallops a second or third time people. Sigh. It’s the little things that are the most telling. Nice hazelnut mousse. (I peeped into the kitchen. Largish.)

Then we went to the dreaded Grammercy Park Hotel Rose Stool Bar and had a good time. It was nice seeing everyone. A quick quote from my mother, “If they are going to charge so much for their drinks, they should at least give you backs on their chairs. An old lady could get hurt drinking there.” You had to be there.

And then, finally, after catching up on family business and fun, seeing pictures, and sitting on uncomfortable stools at the Grammercy Park Hotel, we went to Park Avenue Autumn which used to be the Park Avenue Cafe.

Well, we were eating very late and had had a large lunch. I had a fois gras. Very nice. Beautifully presented. My mom had a great butternut squash soup. Sweet. I correctly identified granny smith apples in it. Beautiful soup. I think I’ll add the granny smith touch to my soup. Plus they used two different squashes. I only use butternut squash. Kim had great cheese ravioli.

Then, I had a bowl of risotto with white truffles. They kept the rice in with the white truffles and then shaved half a white truffle on top. One dollar, 1 dollar. Forty bucks for a bowl of heaven. OK. It’s a bowl of rice but it’s heavenly rice. Yeah, I did share. Kim loved it. And my mom thought it grand. We were getting full but we all ordered the perfectly braised lamb shank. I’m the only one who almost finished. We had to bring most of my mother’s home. Still good reheated. Kim thought it was perfect. I would have liked a little sauce even if it was the most tender and juice braised lamb shank I have ever had. I guess I’m a sucker for sauce on anything braised. Sure Bruni gave it two stars and Craig Koketsu earned those two stars.

The breads were out of this world. There were two savory breads. A pumpkin quick bread that was more savory than sweet and a sweet Spanish onion bread that was one of the best (savory) breads I have ever eaten. Plus there was a sesame crisp bread. Not bad. Had garlic in it if I’m recalling correctly. Bravo. And that was just the mini-bread review. Richard Leach, the pastry chef, was just warming up.

I wonder, the apply and sage amuses bouche, sweet with some crunchy on it, was that from Mr. Leach’s bag of tricks? Could I make a nougat out of this combination? You betcha. I’d would have liked more sage but that’s just me.

My mother had the raspberry sorbet. Very good. Not quite as good as our peach and Drambuie sorbet of legend but still very two star good. The dessert I had was very elaborate and well worth the eating. I had the banana crêpe with the maple frozen mousse with a banana cake and some sort of banana filling. Nicely decorated with sugar and all topped off with bacon. With crunchy bacon. Very crunchy bacon. Was the bacon freeze dried? Perhaps. It was very lean and very particulate. (Hey, the spell checker liked the word “particulate”.)

I thought the banana cake was a little dry but I ate it separately from the filling. My bad. The flavors were understated and the dessert was big. I think I could have used a team to have helped me eat it. Sigh. I almost finished it.

We looked at the chef’s table square in the kitchen. Nice. The kitchen was huge. Bigger even then the kitchen at that inn we stayed in in Austria. My kitchen, pastry and chocolates, could fit in a corner and not be noticed. Sigh! I want a bigger kitchen. And more gadgets.

With drinks, it came out to $$$. Not too bad. 🙂 Expensive on a poor innkeepers non-existent salary. I can’t wait to try it again when it becomes the Park Avenue Winter. Sigh. We also have to go back to Perilla. I want to see if Robert Curran, the new pastry chef, is shining or not. I’m sure he is.

Gramercy (Grammercy) Park Hotel Rose Bar and Jade Bar

Just a quick note on the Grammercy Park Hotel Bars. First of all, they are nice. The drinks are OK. And the art work is large. (I’m not allowed to say anything bad about the hotel and bar or Kim will kill me.)

Just a simple note of caution if you do go to either the Gramercy Park Hotel Rose Bar or Jade Bar, which, stupidly enough, are right next to each other separated by only a door, do not take a large group there. Definition of a large group is more than 4. If you stay under four people, you might all get chairs with backs. If you go above four (4), some of you will be sitting on these horrible little stools. Even the Jade bar bar has chairs. Most of the chairs in the lounge area are unforgiving stools.

Why? Don’t ask. But we had eight people and we had to move at least once to try and find an area that was comfortable. We were harried and harassed by the management as we became Bedouins in search of comfortable eating. Ojala! Did we find the promised seating? No we did not. However, even after complaining, I was told that look, you can sit on a chair but your beloved family may not. Sob.

So, what did we do? Well, we knuckled under and sat on stools. Sigh. Stools. Such a nice bar and we had to sit on stools. The service was decent and the drinks were wet the only thing missing was the backs on our chairs.

Skip Lawrence Photo Op Supreme

You know, I thought I had better pictures. I seem to remember taking more pictures and pictures of Skip and Diane and a whole host of people but I guess they didn’t come out or something.

Well, you don’t need a blog entry to tell you that this class is not only a master class but also a super fun and magincal class. If you always wanted to take a class with Skip, I’d sign up RIGHT NOW. Already, we have 15 people signed up. And don’t worry if you get on the waiting list only, we may get to you.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy. I know these people did.

And you know, Skip is the reason everyone has so much fun but it could also be the chocolates.

Check them out. Milk and dark chocolate cherry cordials, lavender ganache, jellies, truffles, the whole tea set truffles, hazelnut butter cups, hickory smoked peanut butter cups, caramels, banana saffron caramel. The list goes one.

Anatoly Dverin: Photo Op of a master

And here is El Maestro himself. He painted that of me.

Here we are. What a great painting.

And they had a great time painting in the great outdoors.

And don’t forget the great food they ate.

What a fun time these people had. Ben said he had a fantastic time and was surpised at how good the class and the experience he had at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops was. Everyone LOVED Anatoly. You have to take his class next year. He does oil and pastel.

Created by our chef. What a great painting Anatoly did of me. Isn’t that just perfect? The man’s a genius.

Chocovision: Chocovision Delta Tempering Machine

You and I both know that because I’m talking about the Chocovision Delta tempering machine, and because this blog is so well indexed, that anything I say will come up when someone searches for tempering machines or Chocovision, so I best choose my words with care.

Well, my Delta failed again. It went down in flames. I was ready to pull the plug and not ever use it again and go to a competitor. But I’m stickin’.

The Chocovision team, in the form of Joe Cravino, and Mike the engineer have brought me back in to the fold. They are having problems with their board, and yes, Mike, it is with the board. Remember, we didn’t get the bad readings from the bad set of baffles until after you replaced the board. So, no, it wasn’t JUST a bad set (2) baffles. My worst cracked baffle and the new one that Mike brought were the best working ones. (Remember, I’m also running these baffles though my dishwasher.) And yes, please make these out of polycarbonate and not PVC. Ugh.

Well, to make a long story short, they gave me a Rev X, another Chocovision machine, and they put a new board in my Chocovision Delta. They all seem to be working. More importantly, I’m going to be a tester for them. Sort of off site QA and QE. And for those of you that know me, there is no better QA or QE on the planet than moi. Just ask the directors and managers of QA/Release Engineering that have worked for me.

I remember going to a party, a bugfest, that is a company sponsered testorama at Kim’s company. The QA director, after getting my test results and my beautifully written up, clear, concise bug reports, wanted to hire me. I had to tell him that I already had a job as VP of Engineering. Too bad, kids. So, you know that I will not only put these machines though their paces, the Rev X has the new board in it destined for the Rev Delta, but I’ll also give good bug report.

They’re talking about giving me the chance to test the 25 lb machine. With this kind of customer support, what’s not to love?

Finally, I think this company is on the right road. I’ve found bugs that they’ve fixed and have reported a host of additional bugs that I know Mike is now working on. I’m comfortable. Overall, this is the best game in town. Chocovision is reworking the machine and it will be the premier machine for small batch tempering, 10 to 25 lbs.

So, go out and buy one. That’s what I recommend and tell them that Mark sent you. This is a fantastic tempering machine and for small dipping and small amount of molding etc., there is none better. Eventually, I think their design could scale to 100lbs but right now their niche is a small scale tempering machine for hand work. This doesn’t mean I couldn’t push two hundred pounds of chocolate thought his machine per day, but you have to have a largish melter and some technique for doing that.

You taste my chocolates, look at them, feel that snap and you tell me if my chocolate isn’t properly tempered. Of course it is.

Carol Taylor: new section almost full

Well, the second section of Carol Taylor’s workshop is almost full. As of this writing there are only 3 openings and 1 room left. So, if we have 3 day students or 2 people willing to share and one day student, sign up NOW!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Hope to see you here at the Hudson River Valley (Fiber) Art Workshops where every day is a beautiful day.