Abstracting Nature with Jane Sassaman

The weather outside is frightful, but inside the studio it’s so delightful!

Everyone is making great progress on their designs in Jane Sassaman’s workshop. Each is very quite unique and fabulous. Here are some photos of the works in progress.

This piece by Stephanie is going to be a wonderful sea dragon. An amazing looking creature.

Here is Dalia’s work in progress. Dalia came all the way from Israel to take a class from Jane (as well visit relatives in the States).

This wonderful frog is Alexandra’s design. That’s Jane, who is pinning up a strip of paper to help visualize the best thickness for the border.

Lila is enjoying a sunny spot by the window in the studio while working on her floral design.

I’ll be posting more progress pics tomorrow!

Skip Lawrence Does It Again

Skip Lawrence has been teaching an annual workshop at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for over a decade. His workshop is always one of the highlights of the year. The year wouldn’t seem complete without it!

This class is an experience you don’t want to miss. Skip’s 2010 workshop is filling up fast, so don’t wait too long if you want to get in on this fun and inspiring workshop.

Aussies and Scots

We enjoyed visits from David and Diana Taylor of Australia and Margaret Evans of Scotland during their workshops this past August.

Here is David and Diana at the dinner table. David is showing off his Crazy Tie that he purchased from me (www.CrazyByDesign.com) the last time he was here. He wanted to get another one that was similar, but unfortunately I didn’t have any left with a musical theme. David plays the guitar. I promised that I would have more ties when he comes back in 2011!

Everyone had a great time in the workshop, as usual, and the group painted at some of the near by farms and small towns.

Margaret Evans taught her work a week later and we “welcomed” her with some typical Scottish weather – overcast and sprinkling! But it was never raining hard enough to prevent this group of painters from going outside to paint.

They spend one day at Olana, the former home of Frederick Church, in Hudson.

The sun came out at lunchtime and everyone enjoyed catching some rays.

Margaret Evans will also be back in 2011.

A Winter Wonderland Once Again

We had our first real snow just the other day. The weather websites steadfastly refused to change their prediction for most day of no more than half an inch of snow – all the while the snow kept falling. We ended up with about 3 inches.

When I saw that the snow was not going to let up, I ran out to get some pictures. I just love it went the snow sticks to all of the tree branches.

The picture above is looking down our driveway towards the parking lot and carriage house (across the creek).

I posted a lot more of these pictures on our inn blog, in case you love the snow as much as I do!

Currently at inn is our last workshop of the year – Jane Sassaman, who is teaching her Abstracting Nature workshop. They are enjoying the snow, too – especially since it is expected to clear up by the weekend!

I’m going to try to catch up on the posts for our other workshops this year and then it is on to the exciting new year!

Fantastic Fused Flower Fun with Melinda Bula

Melinda Bula arrived late Sunday night (or was that early Monday morning!) to lead her eager students in the techniques for creating fantastic large scale flower quilts.

Today is only the 3rd day of class and already some amazing progress is being made.

Here is a sampling of the work that is being creating in this class.

They are going to start the thread work today, so stay tuned for more pictures!

Peggi Kroll-Roberts – Oil Painting Workshop

Peggi Kroll-Roberts came all the way from California to teach a 3-day workshop for us in September. The focus was the figure and they worked with live models.

The weather was beautiful so the class worked outside around the inn.

This is Peggi, in the black blouse and white hat, offering assistance to one of the students.

The models, Megan and Vera, did a great job making it look easier than it was holding those poses.

Impressionist Watercolor with Tony Van Hasselt

The time has flown by, but back in September the incomparable Tony Van Hasselt taught a workshop for us once again. It was a great group and everyone had a wonderful time.

Here is a shot of the happy crew around the dinner table.

The town of Athens was a popular painting location. It is right on the Hudson River and has a view of the Athens Lighthouse.

Here is Tony sporting his element of design t-shirt.

Tony’s lovely wife, Jan, came along with him this year.

More Katie Pasquini Masopust Pictures!

The class is making amazing progress. Here are the latest snapshots of the work.

This is Susan and her mom, Rose (who looks like she could be her sister!) Susan is working on image of the truck and Rose is doing an abstract.

Here are Debbie and Carolyn focused on their projects!

Here is Jackie’s great Coney Island piece. Don’t you just love it!

And in this corner you see Jackie, Katie, Sue and Evelyn – a cluster of color and excitement!

And if that color wasn’t enough, the trees on our property have finally decided it was time to put on their annual Fall show – just for Katie!

You can see more photos of the trees and busy squirrels on our inn blog for Greenville Arms 1889 Inn.

Abstract Art Quilts with Katie Pasquini Masopust

I’m woefully behind in blogging, so I’m starting with the current and will then jump backwards!

Katie Pasquini Masopust is here this week teaching her Abstract Art Quilts class. This class filled up very quickly and it is easy to see why.

The class started out with a series of exercises to create small abstract studies that could potentially be used to create a larger art quilt. Then they covered their tables with white kraft paper and the paints came out! Color themes/shapes were experimented with – the purpose being to finding one to use with the chosen abstract design.

Next a small design/pattern was drawn/traced onto clear acetate. These were then taken to the nearest Kinko’s (or two – the first one ran out of paper rolls) and enlarged to around 4′ x 4′.

All of this in the first 2 days!

Here are a couple of pictures where you can see the enlarged patterns pinned to the design boards.

There are some really incredibly complex designs going on in this class and it is amazing to see how quickly they are coming together. I’ll have to get more pictures this afternoon of the progress.

The weather has been absolutely fabulous this week and the Fall colors are stunning. The trees on our grounds seem to want to be the last ones holding on to their leaves. The 3 large maple trees in our front yard are taking turns changing color. So we have one in full glowing orange color, one with red-tinged leaves, and one just thinking about changing color.

There is still room in the wonderfully talented and entertaining Elizabeth Barton’s workshop that starts next week. So don’t delay if you are still thinking about it! 😉

Capturing the Moment with Kim English

We had a beautiful week here in Greenville while Kim English taught his oil painting class for Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Kim is all about “capturing the moment” – fast one-go-paintings. He used models on all days, except on Wednesday when the group went out to our favorite local farm to paint. The models were set up as “couples” in the landscape around the inn.

This is around the pool (unfortunately closed this year).

That’s Kim in the black tshirt.

One positive thing about the pool being closed is the great reflections from the dark pool tarp! It was like being next to a natural pond.

During the last two days of the workshop, with a different set of models, the group spent time on the front side lawn of the inn.

Lots of shade for the artists, but sharp bright light on the models.

Kim was a tireless instructor and kept moving around the group to offer advice and guidance.

Kim had the models do 5 minute poses, everyone painting like crazy and then at the end of 5 minutes, you’d wipe your painting off and then start again. Theresa Q described it as Etch-A-Sketch painting! The idea was to learn to capture the feeling and essence of the scene in a matter of moments.

A very rewarding time was had by all and I’m happy to report that just today I confirmed with Kim that he will be back teaching for us in August 14 – 20, 2011. Mark your calendars, his class this year filled up fast!

Meanwhile back the inn, Mark was busy making mocha marshmallow chocolates to fill a new 9 piece boxed set of Halloween chocolates for Life By Chocolates! Plenty of “trimmings” for sample tastes were available to the students. That kept them energized!

Pastels with Richard McKinley

Richard McKinley flew in from Oregon and played to a full house at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn. He kept his audience engaged with both his wonderful stories from his life as a traveling art instructor and his knowledge as a master pastelist.

The weather was great and the group had the opportunity to paint at a number of scenic venues. These photos are from one of their days at a local farm.

This is the picnic lunch that we deliver to the painting sites for everyone who orders one.

This farm is one of the favorite places to paint because there is such a variety of subject matter – buildings, vistas, cows, hay bales, old farm equipment, chickens, and more. Plus it doesn’t hurt that there are lots of shady trees to set up under!

Here is Richard explaining to Tanya one of my favorite analogies that I overheard that week. He said that the artist is the cinematographer of their art. It is up to the artist to direct the viewer to the element of interest in the painting. They are in charge of the lighting, the focus, and colors to attract attention.

Richard kept the group hopping all week. They even had evening assignments.

It was a tired but happy group by the end of the week.

We will try to get Richard back here again as soon as possible, but he is a busy man!

I can only imagine the stories he has added to his repertoire from his first experience with the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops!

Landscapes in Oil with Howard Rose

Howard Rose, a fun instructor from Roslyn, NY, was here couple of weeks ago to teach a 5 day workshop. Everyone always has lots of laughs while learning a lot.

While he was here, Howard showed us a new video that he has been working on. In it he demonstrates how to mix all the colors of the color wheel, plus several grays, burnt sienna, and burnt umber from just three primary colors. It was quite interesting and will definitely be a useful video reference for anyone learning or wanted to improve their color mixing. Great job, Howard!

Gerald Brommer’s Stained Paper and Collage workshop

It was a beautiful week in August for Jerry Brommer’s class here at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Even though this was a studio class, everyone appreciated the wonderful weather.

I had a lot of fun checking out what the class was doing each day. They were creating such fabulous surface textures.

Almost had to put on a sun filter on my camera to take this picture of Glenn in his neon shirt. Love this man’s love of color!

The students in this year’s class took advantage for the extra table space to really spread out all of their working materials.

Plenty of animated discussions were enjoyed around the dinner table.

Jerry’s wife, Georgia, also came for the week.

Someone mentioned cake during the week, so of course, chef and chocolatier, Mark had to find a method of combining cake with lots of chocolate. The result was a tower of moist yellow cake with dark chocolate raspberry ganache filling and topping – not to mention the dollop of whip cream on top!

A sweet ending to a sweet week. Even sweeter is the news that Jerry Brommer will be back in 2011 on July 31 – August 6 to teach another workshop for us. His legions of fans were clamoring for a new workshop from their fav instructor and Jerry knows how to deliver! In 2011 he will be teaching a brand new workshop – Unique Surfaces for Watermedia. Don’t miss it!

Another Memorable Workshop with Stanley Maltzman

In the last week of July, Stanley Maltman, master pastelist and all around great guy, taught his outdoor drawing and pastel workshop to a group of happy artists.

Here is Stanley and Jerry on one of the beautiful days that the class went out to the Huyck Preserve in Rennselaerville.

This is a view looking over Lincoln Pond.

There were lots of great spots to paint in this park.

Susan Story, Stanley’s daughter and a wonderful pastelist herself, joined the group on most days.

Jane R., a great fan of Stanley’s, always had a big smile on her face.

Everyone who ordered a box lunch enjoyed having it delivered to wherever they were painting that day — and I enjoyed getting out of the office for a while to deliver it to them!

Stanley Maltzman will be back again next year, August 15 – 21, 2010.

More Pics from Koo Schadler Workshop

Can it really be more than a month since I last posted? Gads, where does the time go!

We have had a busy month, but I plan to catch up on the workshop pictures today because we still have 12 great workshops coming up this year and I want to get a chance to talk about them before they happen.

Now, to pick up where I left off — Koo Schadler’s egg tempera class. Here are some pictures that Mark took on towards the end of the week.

Can you tell which are the original images and which are the copies?

Koo’s class filled up quickly this year, so start planning in advance! Koo will be back at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops August 21 – 27, 2011.

While the class was busy in the studio, Mark, the man behind Life By Chocolate, was busy creating some fabulous new chocolate confections for Halloween.

Starting at the top left corner and zig zagging down to the lower right corner we have: Hot Chocolate (a handmade cinnamon marshmallow), Orange Cinnamon Ganache, Hazelnut Marzipan, Pumpkin Caramel Ganache, Smoke Bite (smoked peanut butter), Grand Marnier Apricot Cordial, Pumpkin Pie Caramel, Solid Dark Chocolate Pumpkin, Mocha Marshmallow.

This delectable selection is already available on the Life By Chocolate website and should soon be appearing at the stores carrying our chocolates (the list of stores is on our website, too).

Creamy Artichoke Soup

I made Creamy Artichoke Soup for dinner on Wednesday and everyone wanted the recipe, so here it is. It’s based on a recipe that I found on the Food Network site, but I’ve changed it a little bit.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Vidalia onions, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 (8-ounce) package of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 dried bay leaves

Heat olive oil in a heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic and stir. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the artichokes, stock, salt, pepper, and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. When done remove the bay leaves.

Using a blender, puree the soup in batches.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and enjoy.

I sometimes serve this soup with a small dollop of greek yogurt and chives added to the center of the bowl just before serving.

Egg Tempera with Koo Schadler

Today is the final day of the 5-day workshop with Koo Schadler. Koo is an exceptional artist and instructor in egg tempera. She has written a highly regarded book on the subject and is a wealth of information about all the technical details of painting with this media of the Renaissance masters.

Koo arrived early on Sunday before the students started to arrive so that she could set up the studio. She arranged and covered the tables with paper, and then hung up examples of egg tempera painting all over the walls.

This was a full class and everyone was eager to get started.

These pictures were taken on Wednesday, but you can see how much progress people are making with this very detail oriented work. This is Barbara Willner. She is using a fabulous tabletop painting easel that Koo sold to those interested.

Here is Koo offering advice to Skia Laurence.

Another view of the class busily working in the studio. I think many burned the midnight oil during this workshop – taking full advantage of the 24-hour access to the studio.

Here is a great sheep painting by Toni Savchuck. It is based on a photograph that Toni took at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

Toni’s mother came along with Toni as a non-participant in the workshop, but Toni says that her mom is having the time of her life hanging out at the inn and visiting with old friends in the area.

If you missed your chance to get into this fine workshop at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, don’t worry Koo will be back again in 2011.

Frank Webb’s Wonderful Workshop

Last week just flew by and it was almost gone before I had a moment to take some pictures! Frank Webb was here at theHudson River Valley Art Workshops teaching his 5-day class on watercolor. Everyone enjoyed working in the studio, but several took advantage of the option of going outside to collect some field sketches and value drawings.

Here is Frank and his lovely wife Barbara (one of the nicest couples you’d ever want to meet) in the inn dining rooms on the last night.

One of the dessert highlights of the week was the freshly made cherry pie. Mark used Rainier cherries and almond slices in the filling.

The made-from-scratch crust includes homemade marizpan. Yumm. Can’t you just about taste it!

Frank Webb’s Wonderful Workshop

Last week flew by so quickly I barely had time to snap a few quick pictures of Frank Webb. Frank was here at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops teaching a 5-day watercolor workshop.

Here is Frank, with his wife Barbara (one of the nicest couples you’d ever want to meet) at the last dinner for the workshop. Everyone was gathering around to get some pictures.

One of the dessert highlights of the week was the freshly made cherry pie! Mark used fresh Rainier cherries and sliced almonds in the filling.

And then the made-from-scratch crust included homemade Marzipan. Yumm. Can’t you just taste it!

Watermedia and Collage with Karen Rosasco

Another week just up and went before I had the chance to blink my eyes! Guess that means I’m having too much fun!

We had a wonderful group of artists here this week studying with Karen Rosasco. They were creating some amazing work and everyone is disappointed that the week is over and Karen won’t be teaching here next year. But not to worry, we’ll have Karen back as soon as possible.

Here are some shots that I took during the workshop.

Below is some work done by Denise Schober. She is a fiber artist and even brought her sewing machine to this class to add a little thread work to the collages. She also impressing people with her embossed batting techniques and Angelina fiber.

Here are Les and Lil, a couple of frequent workshop participants. It’s always great to see them again.

There is Karen (in the pink) giving a little one-on-one critique with Lisa C., who came to the workshop as part of a mother-daughter vacation.

Some really creative and expressive work!

It has been a busy week and I didn’t get to get out to the art studio as often as I would have liked, hence, the shortage of pictures.

If you weren’t here you missed a tremendous workshop! But if you like working with collage and watermedia, why don’t you sign up for Gerald Brommer’s workshop?!

Gerald Brommer has been teaching art for decades and had written more than 30 books on art. He will be teaching his “Stained Paper and Collage” workshop starting August 2 – 8, 2009. Usually his workshops fill up fast to the max of 20 students, but this year the workshop promises to be a bit smaller — which is good news for his students!! More individual instruction and more pampering at the inn!

So why don’t you join us? It’s a great opportunity to study with a master. All levels are welcome.

Figure in Pastel with Margaret Dyer

Can’t believe that it has already been a week since the Margaret Dyer workshop check out of our inn! Obviously, I’m behind in my blogging. 😉

This was the first time that Margaret taught at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, but it certainly won’t be the last. Everyone in the class had wonderful things to say about Margaret, both as an artist and a teacher.

Margaret did a demo the first morning, but after that the class got right to working.

There were 2 models for the class each day and Margaret set a 2 hour limit for each pose.

This group really liked to celebrate at dinner time and enjoyed many laughs together!

Definitely a happy group!

We can’t wait to have Margaret back again. It will potentially be next year, but if not then in 2011! Don’t miss it!

More Portraits with Paul Leveille

Everyone has such a great time in a workshop with Paul Leveille. If you are interested in portraits, whether you have never tried them or are an experienced painter, Paul is the teacher for you!

Here are more snapshots from this week’s workshop.

This is Paul and Chick. I love the lighting in the photograph.

This is Gus, a good friend of Paul’s, who came along just to observe the class, but enjoyed a little sketching himself when he wasn’t sitting in as a model in the evenings.

This is the result of Paul’s watercolor painting demo on Wednesday.

Here is the rogue’s gallery — especially that one in the center! 😉

When the class wasn’t painting, they were enjoying the fine cooking of Chef Mark. Here he is preparing his Italian Breaded Chicken.

He also makes fresh bread every evening. A real treat!

Look at all those smiling faces. The week went by too quickly.

Today the 3-day pastel workshop with Margaret Dyer checks in. This class is full, but the one after this with Karen Rosasco still has a couple of spot open. Check it out on our website.

Portrait Workshop with Paul Leveille

Paul Leveille has returned once again to Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach his amazing class in painting expressive portraits. He is fluent in oil, watercolor and pastel and does a demo in each.

This is the portrait from his pastel demo on Monday.

Our model that day was Rudy V from Rhinebeck, who is an artist himself, besides being a professional artist’s model.

The next afternoon, Paul did a demo in oil. This time the model was none other than chef Mark, who was in a Texas BBQ sort of mood, so he wore his chocolatier whites but with his black Stetson. This may seem unusual to some, but you have to remember that Mark lived 9 years in Texas and that means sometimes the hat and boots appear in his outfits from time to time.

Here is Paul as he is about to get started.

First he used charcoal to sketch the basic shapes and to establish the position of the features in portrait.

Then Paul does his portrait dancing magic and suddenly the portrait is just about done!

The subject and artist are happy with the results. Paul even got the Life By Chocolate logo on the jacket.

There was a reason for the BBQ frame of mind. In between sitting for the demo, Mark was BBQ’ing some huge beef ribs with his special homemade BBQ sauce. Here he is about to put the ribs on the grill.

Look at the size of those ribs!

This is Mark giving his best Texas sneer. I told him to either smile when I took his picture or give me a good cowboy sneer. He choose the sneer!

The 4+ hours slow-cooking on the grill yielded these mouth-watering ribs.

Mark gave the largest rib to Paul and when Paul saw the size he said, “This could feed my entire family!”

Yesterday, Wednesday, the class had another model. This time it was Heather W. from our town.

Here are some snaps of the students hard at work. Paul did a demo in watercolor that evening, but I haven’t taken a picture yet. I’ll do that today.

This is Jaieur B, who is from Hong Kong and is staying for the Margaret Dyer workshop, too.

This is Ann C. from Naples, FL, who is a frequent participant at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops.

Here you can see Heather, Chick (in the middle) and Len.

Here is a closer view of Chick and Len’s portraits.

Today more portrait fun is on the schedule. This time they will have two different models, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Stained Paper and Collage Workshop with Gerald Brommer

How can you beat a 5-day workshop with Gerald Brommer? Jerry has been teaching workshops for more than 30 years and has written a multitude of books on art, including Emotional Content: How to Create Paintings That Communicate and Watercolor and Collage Workshop: Make Better Paintings Through Mastery of Collage Techniques.

Not only is Jerry a fabulous artist and wonderful teacher who encourages and inspires, but he is a genuine nice guy! He always buys the wine for the first night of dinner.

The dates of the workshop are August 2 – 8, 2009. This year Jerry is teaching his Stained Papers and Collage workshop. This studio course is designed to take you in new directions, using either acrylics or watercolors, combined with collage. You will learn how to abstract natural landscape resources in order to create vivid, exciting images.

This unique workshop features some design exercises which lead directly into designing with subject matter of your choice. Emphasis is on exploring ways to create strong, colorful, unique landscape imagery that is truly personal and different.

Don’t wait too long to sign up for this great class. Jerry’s classes usually fill up pretty quickly!

Call us at 888-665-0044 to sign up or ask questions!

Watercolor Workshop with Judi Wagner

It was a wonderful week with Judi Wagner, master impressionistic watercolorist, and co-author of several books on painting, including The Watercolor Fix-It Book.

Judi loves to paint “in the wind and the weeds” but the weather during the week behaved only a couple of times. However, as Sharon L said, “what rain? I was so busy I didn’t even notice!”

It was hard to move this group away from the dinner table on most nights. Judi kept everyone entertained with her ready stream of thought provoking questions and stories.

Alan L., one of the students in the workshop who came all the way from California, was joined mid-week by his daughter, Amy, who was also from CA. They stayed an extra night after the workshops to have the chance to explore our area together. A great pre-father’s day thing to do. Both had a wonderful time.

Expressive Portraits with Paul Leveille

Paul Leveille is returning to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshop June 21 – 27, 2009 to teach his fabulous Expressive Portraits workshop. He does a demo each of the first 3 nights – one in oil, another in pastel, and another in watercolor. He demos are really performances that you don’t want to miss!

Here are some snapshots from his 2007 workshop demos.

You’ll work with a different model each day and learn Paul’s step-by-step approach to capturing the expression of your subject.

There is still some room in this workshop, but don’t delay! The class dates are coming up soon.

Pastel Landscapes with Susan Ogilvie

Susan Ogilvie was here last week to teach a pastel workshop. Susan has been here a number of times and it is always great to have her back.

Susan arrived a day early to scope out a couple of great farms as painting locations. Here is Susan snapping a portrait of one of the farm residence!

The class usually spent the morning in the studio preparing their pastel surfaces using Susan’s technique. This is Donna S. with Susan.

Donna struggled with her paintings on one of the days, but you can see by this mile-wide grin, she had a fabulous time in the class.

This group really had a lot of fun at the dinner table, telling stories and laughing a lot. It was hard to get them to leave at the end of the evening so that the tables could be set for breakfast!

The week went by too fast. Everyone had great things to say about Susan and her teaching methods. “Her teaching skills are great – emphasizing the basics – a lot of individual attention to encourage you to experiment,” said Judy B.

Susan is sure to be back at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach again, so when her name show up on our schedule – sign up quick!

New Guide to Girlfriend Getaways

I just received our copy of the new book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Girlfriend Getaways by Lisa Kasanicky and Hudson River Valley Art Workshops is written up on pages 148 – 150!

I had spoked with Lisa, the founder of ArizonaSpaGirl.com, more than a year ago when she interviewed me for information about our workshop program. I was really excited about this book because it can be hard to find good girlfriend getaways AND mother-daughter getaways places.

So I finally have the book in my hands and can’t wait to start planning my next getaway! It has spa getaways, historical getaways, wilderness adventures, festival getaways, mystical experiences, and lots more. And best of all painting and art quilt getaways! Get your copy now. 😉

Plein Air Watercolor with Paul George

Paul George, a wonderful watercolor artist and teacher from Gloucester, MA was here this week to teach a 5-day workshop.

The weather was beautiful all week even though the forecasters kept predicting rain.

On the first day, the group stayed close to the inn, just in case of rain. Here is Lorraine painting out near our carriage house.

This is the demo painting the Paul did in the morning. It shows the back of the carriage house.

A good time was had by all after class at the dinner table, too. Here is Chef Mark showing off his freshly made Feather Bread. The bread for our dinners is always made fresh that day and is usually coming out hot from the oven right to the dinner table. Yum!

On another note, we have added a couple of new items to our wine and beer menu for this year. We now have a couple of the award winning beers from the North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California – Red Seal Ale and Blue Star wheat beer. I use to frequent the north coast in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area and remembered this brewery fondly, so I’m happy to now have some of their beers on our menu.

Also added to the menu is Woodchuck Draft Cider from Vermont. We currently have the Granny Smith version and will soon be adding the Amber cider. You may not know it but our parent company is called Woodchuck Ventures, Inc., so when I found a product called woodchuck, I just had to check it out. I found six pack at a store in Albany and brought it home for testing! Well, it definitely passed the test. Delicious and refreshing – and has a cute woodchuck on the label!

We have quite an extensive wine and beer (and now cider) menu at the inn – over 100 items. And now for the even better news – I’ve reduced the prices on just about all of the items on the menu! Cheers!

Classical Still Life taught by Leah Lopez

The Leah Lopez workshop is drawing to a close this afternoon, but it has been a marvelous 3 days. All of the students are raving about Leah and what a wonderful artist and instructor she is! Some of the students were experienced still life artists but said that the insight and tips that Leah provided were a real break through for them.

The class arrived on Thursday and the studio quickly became the still life artist enclave! Each student composed, with the assistance of Leah, the particular still life set up that they wanted to paint. A number of fruits and vegetables were “borrowed” from our kitchen for the set ups, as well as the variety of vases, tea kettles, and such in our still life object collection. A bit of the greenery of the gardens also made it’s way into some set ups.

This is what Leslie G was working on the first day.

Next to Leslie was Patricia G, with another classical still life set up.

Here is Leah, standing, offering advice to Mary P with her composition.

This is Jeff O, working with the same set up that Leah used for her morning demo.

Mark took more pictures this after on the final day of the workshop and I’ll post them tomorrow.

More Fun with Acrylics in Robert Burridge Workshop

The week with Bob Burridge seemed to fly past. This big happy group painted until they dropped each day, but still laughed and had a grand time around the dinner table.

Here’s Bob showing his art director talents as he tries to get everyone to smile and look good for the class picture.

He did a great job. Look at the results!

More shots of happy “campers”. This is Gloria, part of a mother-daughter team.

This is Bob taking picture of some of his students work in back of the studio/carriage house. Nice lighting.

More enjoyable times at the dinner table.

And this is the man himself.

If you didn’t get into this class you missed a good one. But don’t worry, Bob will be back! He is scheduled to return in 2011, May 22 – 28th. Mark your calendars now and sign up early.

Another Award for Stanley Maltzman

Stanley Maltzman, a highly acclaimed landscape artist, author, and educator, plus a really nice guy who brings us flowers every holiday, is one of our instructors at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops.

He was just notified that the painting that we used in this year’s workshop brochure won an award at the Fifth Annual Northeast National Pastel Exhibition 2009 that will be on exhibit at the Art Center of Old Forge in Old Forge, NY.

The exhibit runs from June 13 – July 12, 2009.

Stanley will be teaching a 5-day workshop for us July 26 – August 1, 2009. He will be teaching drawing and pastel.

He is the author ofDrawing Nature and Drawing Trees. (Unfortunately, these books are out of print and in high demand on ebay!) Learn direct from the source!

Art is the business of seeing and Stan has designed his drawing class to encourage you to learn to see. Class is structured to help you discover the drama taking place, to approach the subject with inspiration and craftsmanship and to enjoy working outdoors. Over the course of the week Stan demonstrates techniques using drawing media such as charcoal, graphite, conte, pastel, and pastel pencil. Teaching themes include composition, improvised and planned drawing, and capturing the mood of the moment.

Stanley provides individual demonstrations and one-on-one instruction daily while painting on location.

Loosen Up and Paint Like Crazy with Robert Burridge

What a guy! Bob Burridge is here teaching a full workshop of eager and happy students. I wish I could join in the fun.

Bob gives demos throughout the day. Love his use of color and sense of play.

Bob set up his command center in the back corner of the studio. He said that the lighting in the studio and from the windows was terrific!

Here is a shot of one of the student’s work tables. Such color and expression.

Today is day 3 of the workshops so there will be more pictures to come. But tonight is my night for cooking dinner, so I’ll be busy, as usual!

But speaking of food — look at these great cream puffs that Mark and Brian made for cookie time yesterday.

The cream had a slight hint of rose water. Yummy. I think they should have been topped with chocolate! But that’s just my idea.

Tempting the Muse with Laura Cater-Woods

Laura Cater-Woods arrived from Montana on Sunday with her dog buddy, Beau, and her studio assistant, Becky. The workshop retreat began on Monday when all the students arrived for the wine and cheese reception, followed by dinner.

It has been a busy week for me in the office and today was the first time I had the opportunity to slip into the studio to take pictures. I caught them in the middle of doing a critique.

They are looking at the work that Josie McD. has been doing in class. Josie is working in watercolor and acrylics, instead of fiber for this workshop.

Here are some small thread work studies.

I believe that this is dyed/painted paper. I wasn’t there for this, so I’m not sure. Dang! I’m missing all the good stuff. 😉

This is a whole cloth piece that has been layered and stitched first, and then painted. Very nice effect.

Laura has the group collecting tea bags for some as yet unshown technique! Very curious. Tea and cookies in the afternoon has helped to boost the collection.

This is something that Debbie DiG. is working on. She is hoping to incorporate word/text into her landscape.

And here is Beau, classroom mascot and all around good dog. I can’t imagine our wild hounds lose in a studio full of fabric, especially Hudson!

Everyone is really enjoying the class and lively conversation at the dinner table continues long after the last bite of dessert is gone.

(Dessert update: Monday is was hand-made chocolates. Tuesday was Peanut Butter Pie with Oreo Crust and Blackberry sauce. Wednesday was Peppermint Brownie Pie. Tonight will be Apple Tart!)

More Merry Minchin Moments

Sadly it is the final day of the Ted Minchin workshop here at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. The week always goes by so quickly.

Today Ted is having them work with layers.

I absolutely love this painting by Julie G.!

This is the sister duo in the workshop – Ann and Ellen. Ann is of Green Brothers Coffee fame (married to one of the brother’s). She brought us a bag of Peaberry coffee beans. My favorite.

“Sir” Ted Minchin is Here Teaching Watermedia

Edward Minchin (aka Sir Ted) is here at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops teaching abstract to semi-realism with watermedia.

Everyone in the class is having a blast. Ted is a very encouraging teacher and also has a million funny stories!

Everyone is all smiles in this group. Here you see Susan, Julie, and Renee, all from Canada. That’s Ted in the blue shirt!

Here is Ted using a sheet of plexi-glass over a students painting to suggest some improvements.

Every morning Ted brings out a new set of his paintings to display on the wall shelf in the studio. All of the paintings you see in this photo were painted on Yupo paper.

This is Julie, also from Canada. Canada was well represented in this workshop!

Still two more full days of workshop happening and I’ll be taking more pictures this afternoon.

The next workshop coming up is a fiber art workshop with Laura Cater-Woods. She is driving here this time (from Billings, Montana) and tells me that she is bring LOTs of goodies for the class to play with.

Lyrical Watercolor with Barbara Nechis

Barbara Nechis, a marvelous watercolor artist and instructor from Calistoga, California, is here at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops teaching a 3-day workshop.

Here is Barbara during a class critique on the second day.

While lots of fun is going on in the studio during the workshop, conversations around the dinner table can get quite lively! This is one of the great things about taking a workshop at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops.

Our all-in-one location allows and encourages the whole group to bond and inspire each other.

Barbara is always so cheerful!

The group is here for one more day (Sunday) and then our next workshop, with Ted Minchin, checks in Sunday afternoon.

There is still room in Ted’s workshop, so don’t delay, give us a call to sign up now. He has a lifetime of funny stories to tell that you don’t want to miss – not to mention that he is a terrific instructor!

Rose Water, Saffron Pistachio Ice Cream

I just love rose water ice cream and I love pistachio ice cream and, well, everyone loves my banana saffron ice cream and their equivalent caramels. So, what better combination than rose water, saffron pistachio ice cream.

To my saffron ice cream base I add, before I put it into the machine, 1/8 cup of rose water and 3 cups of chopped pistachio. I use the Cuisinart to do a very course chop on the pistachios.

Saffron Ice cream base

1 qt heavy cream
1 qt 1/2 and 1/2
1 1/2 cup sugar (normally I use only 1 cup but felt that this should be a little sweeter.)
3 tea spoons saffron
2 table spoons vanilla paste (normally in my ice cream I only use 1 bean equiv. This is 2 bean equiv.)
10 egg yolks

1/8 cup rose water
3 cups chopped, toasted but unsalted pistachios. (Do not use salted. I use raw pistachio and then lightly toast at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes.)

Combine the heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2, sugar, saffron and vanilla into a heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil. Take off the heat. Let steep at least 5 minutes, 10 is better. In this recipe, I use the vanilla paste, 2 T, which is the same as 2 beans. You can use 2 beans or you can use 2 t of vanilla extract. If you use the extract, put it in after you make the custard.

Reheat the mixture and after tempering the egg yolks, add into the base in a thin stream. Stir until either 170-180F or until the custard allows you to put a clean line through it on the wooden spoon. I use a spoon not a whisk. You do not want to put air into the ice cream. Stir all the time.

Strain into a bowl or a metal measuring cup. I strain because I don’t want to have saffron threads in my ice cream, just the taste. If you have not done the custard properly, straining will also take out any scrambled eggs. If you don’t want to, don’t strain, you’ll have threads in your ice cream which may not be a bad thing.

Put the ice cream into an ice bath. Now, if you have a great ice cream machine like mine, it takes hot ice cream into and churns until done, put in the rose water now and make your ice cream. If you don’t have a great ice cream machine and the ice cream has to be cold, then wait till the ice cream is cold from the bath, put in the rose water and then churn. Add pistachio as you churn. I add the pistachio almost immediately. I let it churn for about 30 seconds before I add the chopped pistachios.

It’s that simple. I made 3 batches, two with pistachio and one without, that is a saffron rose water ice cream sans nuts. Yummy. Now you can make this at home and pretend you are attending an art workshop or a fiber art workshop at the Greenville Arms.

Watercolor Workshop with Paul George

Paul George, a popular New England watercolor artist, will be back again at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, May 31 – June 6, 2009. There is still room in this workshop, so won’t you join this enjoyable and inspiring workshop. Check out our website for more details and enrollment rates.

Paul has a BS from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He studied at the MFA school in Boston. Paul is signature member of the National Watercolor Society. He is also an active member of the New England Watercolor Society,Cape Cod AA, North Shore AA and former Vice President of the Rockport Art Association.

Paul’s painting “Winterblues” was accepted by the American Watercolor Society for their 133rd exhibition at the Salmagudi Club in NY City.

He has also won the Winsor & Newton Award for Excellence in Watercolor at the National Watercolor Society. He has won many awards including the Gold Medal from the New England Watercolor Society. His work is in collections throughout the United States and Europe. Now a professional artist, Paul resides in Ipswich, MA. He has been teaching oil and watercolor workshops in Cape Ann Ma, Monhegan Is. ME, and Florida since 1996. His work can be seen at The George Gallery in Gloucester, MA.

Paul was teaching a 3-day workshop at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops in 2007. Here he is working with Lorraine and Karen in our studio. Lorraine and Karen thought that 3-days was too short a time with Paul George in 2007, so they will both be back this year for his 5-day workshop!