Mary Whyte – Watercolor Landscapes, Portraits, and Still Life

Yes, Skip Lawrence’s workshop was here before Mary Whyte’s workshop, but horrors of horrors, I didn’t get any pictures! My excuse is that Mark was freshly home after having rotator cuff surgery and needed extra attention — AND our dalmatian Hudson had bladder stones! I had to take him him to the emergency animal hospital twice in one day – one time at 1:00am. The good news is that finally Mark and Hudson are recovering nicely. Both are itching to get back to their regular activities.

In any case, it is always wonderful to have Skip and Diane and the rest of the crew, both regulars and new students, here for their week at the start of Fall. We look forward to it every year. Next year I promise to take a ton of pictures.

Mary Whyte also had a full workshop (next time I think we’ll keep the number down to 18 students! when you add 2 models into the room, it does get a little tight. 😉 and kept busy all day and into the evenings.

Here is the happy group at the dinner table. Mary is the first one on the left.

The first day was spend on still life set ups. The second day on landscapes. On the third and four day, two models were brought in for portraits. On the final day, students had their choice of subject matter.

Mary also included general discussions on topics of interest to the students. In this particular session, they discussed things such as how to get your art “out there” with postcards and other methods.

It must be Fall because the mums are on the front porch. Stanley Maltzman brought a huge white mum plant (his annual tradition) and I put it center stage. I also finally potted the red and white dahlias and they looked great for about 2 days until they were hit with the first frost! Oh, well. I’ll have to dig them up and winter them in the garage. They were beautiful dahlias that I bought at one of the local nurseries, Mosswood Gardens, for Eric Weigardt’s workshop to paint.

John Salminen – From Abstract to Realism

Following Pat Dews was John Salminen, who taught a fabulous watercolor workshop in which he took the students step-by-step from abstracts to realism.

Kathy Salminen, an expert photographer, always comes with John and helps out in class with critiques and answering questions. That’s Kathy in the white shirt.

John and Kathy set up the studio so that each person could set their work on an easel at one end of the studio and then sit with John at the other end of the studio for a critique session whenever they needed.

Here is Kathy help with a critique by pointing out the elements as John talks about them.

The group met each evening before dinner in our front parlor for a bit of beverage and lively conversation.

John is an instructor who give 100% and then some to all the students in his workshops. Everyone was very happy with this workshop. Kathy Salmenin takes a photograph of each student holding their abstract piece and creates a “class photo” sheet that she sends to everyone after the workshop – a great momento and reference! She also takes a class group photo and sends that to everyone, too.

You’ll definitely want to sign up for John’s class the next time he teaches here, which will be May 16 – 22, 2010. Put it on your calendar now.

On the same day that the John Salminen workshop checked out, I hopped on a plane and headed west for a mother-daughter vacation in Seattle and Whitefish, MT. Our first stop was the Pike Street Market. What gorgeous colors!

Back at the inn, as the workshop season winds down, we are preparing for the holiday chocolate season to begin. Check out this festive boxes and, of course, luscious chocolates.

Pat Dews – Another Wonderful Workshop

I know I’m way behind in the posts, but I’m finally finding a break in our busy schedule to start getting caught up.

We’ll start with Pat Dews’ workshop that was back in September. As usual, we loved having the non-stop energy of Pat and the students at the inn for the 6 nights.

Here is Pat giving one of her many demos. Everyone was amazed at the continuous amount of information and techniques that Pat demo’d.

Look at all the wonderful stuff that the class worked with.

More demos from Pat.

To bring you out of the past and into the present, here is a shot of the trees in our “back 40”. This was taken just last week. The trees around the inn are still in all their glory. The maple trees in the front of the inn are just not starting to turn a bright red. The snow storm that hit this region last night totally missed our little corner of Greenville. When I went out at 7:00am with Hudson (our Dalmatian), the sun was out, the temps were already heading up to the 40s, and no snow in sight. I guess I have no excuse not to rake more leaves today! That’s ok, I love to rake leaves – a good thing since we have so many of them. I’m using them to line the pathways in our woods and when that is done I’ll start a monster compost pile near our future organic garden.