Missing the Workshops Already

It always happens — when the last workshop finishes for the year we are always happy to have the time off to relax and work on long put-off projects, but then around the end of the year, we start missing all of the fun and laughs that the workshops bring! So I’m counting down the days until the fun begins again.

The first workshop of 2011 will be with Melanie Testa. This will be a 3-day workshop, March 24 – 27, 2011, on creating your own fabric designs with soy wax and Procison dyes.

Melanie is the author of “Inspired to Quilt, Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery,” Interweave Press, 2009 and graduated with a degree in Textile/Surface Design at The Fashion Institute of Technology.

Today, Melanie’s art explores themes of the human form, birds and nature. The first steps of her process often involve journaling on paper using paints, collage and pen and ink. She then interprets those drawings and paintings using Procion MX dyes on both cotton and silk organza. After creating these whole cloth quilt tops, collage elements are added, the layers are quilted in place and the work is bound and finished to hang on the wall.


Melanie has a wonderful blog where you can follow along with her design and inspiration process.

Gone Squirrely

We are having a blast in the studio and at the dinner table. Laughing, laughing, and laugh. Last night it was over American meanings to Australian slang. 😉

But in the studio we have turned to squirrels — as our subject matter.

The rabbits are mostly done — except for their final composition scene.

Leonie Lister’s is on the left and mine is on the right.


Leonie is well on her way with her squirrel.


While I’m tagging behind, as I was called away to the office way too many times!


In between working on the squirrel, Leonie has be trying to finish or at least get everything attached on her piece that she started in Esterita Austin’s workshop.


Lynda Long is at the stage where she is assembling the final composition. This is a photo just before she started stitching the components together.


There is no snow close by to where Leonie lives in Australia, so when a sudden snow flurry happened the other day, we all rushed out to get pictures before it all disappeared by the afternoon.


Fused Animal Figures

We are in the midst of our December retreat and the rabbits are coming together nicely.

We started out by creating the template patterns and enlarging them on the studio printer. (No one wanted to leave the nice warm studio to drive to Kinko’s!)


Then the fabrics were selected and cut to the template pieces and assembled into rabbits!. Linda did a running rabbit.


This is Leonie’s rabbit in process. Leonie is here from Australia!


And here is the rabbit I am working on.


Today we are stitching all of pieces down to finish them off. Linda is already creating the other elements for her overall composition – grass, cattails, and mushrooms – all made from some incredibly luscious hand-dyed fabric by Judy Robertson.

Leonie and I are having too much fun putting together animal figures, so we are going to next move on to squirrels! Leonie said that she loves squirrels.

In between working on her rabbit, Leonie is also working on completing the still life piece that she started in Esterita Austin’s workshop. It is really coming together nicely!


Mark, the chef, has been taking advantage of the small number of people here and is trying out some dishes for next year. So far we’ve enjoyed a Moroccan beef stew and some Lamb Tangine. Both were so, so yummy. We also got to sample a new dessert featuring almonds and philo dough. Very yummy.

Still Life in Fabric with Esterita Austin

Teri Austin is here teaching a 3-day workshop on creating a still life in fabric – with no sewing involved, just fabric, Misty Fuse, organza and textile paint.

This morning Teri gave a quick demo on painting an image to fuse onto organza. She starts with a line drawing of the object placed under a piece of release paper (shiny side up). Then using Lumiere textile paints from Jaquard, Teri showed how she mixes color to create the values for the painting, and then paints directly on the release paper.


Next, she lays a layer of Misty Fuse on top of the paint and then a layer of organza.


Then the extra release paper is folder over the image (or use another sheet of release paper) and the image is ironed to fuse the painted image to the organza.


The resulting image on the organza is a somewhat transparent image that can be sewn or fused into your still life composition. The image can be further enhanced by more paint or stitched lines.


Looked like a really fun technique. I think I’ll have to get some Lumiere paint and organza in stock!

Tools and Techniques with Judy Simmons

Judy Simmons, a Fairfield International Invitational Fashion Show designer for many years, recently taught a 5-day workshop for us. An experienced teacher and author, Judy packed the workshop with loads of technique and process information. A sampling of the topics covered were microwave dying, machine needle lace, machine texture, bobbin work, dimensional and off the edge appliqué, creative methods of machine appliqué and using sheer overlays. Surface design techniques include stamping, paint sticks, and Angelina fibers.

This is an example of machine lace.


This picture illustrates some bobbin work using heavy weight metallic thread and the decorative stitches available on most home sewing machines.


Judy presented demonstrations throughout the day, but allowed plenty of time for everyone to practice and play with the techniques.


It was a fun group that not only had loads of fun in the studio, but even had a little hula hooping session after dinner one night!

Nabila, a belly dance instructor, showed everyone how it was done!


Sandee, from Canada, showed great form too.


Sheila, from Oregon, worked on a jacket. The floral fabric is fabric that she designed from a photo of her garden. The picture was sent to Spoonflower, a custom printed fabric company, to turn into yardage. Sheila was thrilled with the resulting fabric.

Using the custom fabric as a start, Sheila then further embellished and painted the fabric using the methods that she learned from Judy.


The weather was beautiful all week. I caught these fabulous pink clouds as sunrise one morning.


Bonus December Retreat

Come to our Bonus Retreat in December.

Our Retreats are a time for people to get together and work on their own projects with no set program. If you’re self-motivated and could use time to concentrate without instruction, or if you have a friend you want to spend time with, or you just want a relaxing art vacation, the Retreat package is for you.

Take advantage of this uninterrupted time to finish your holiday projects!

As a bonus for this retreat, Kim LaPolla, workshop director and fiber artist, will be joining you in the studio and will provide informal lessons on how she designs and creates the rabbits for her quilts. Kim will explain how to create a pattern and templates starting with a photo or illustration. Kim uses both a turned-under applique method and a fused method. Other techniques and processes will be covered, such as the crazy-pieced background.

Come join us for this fun week. Enjoy the 24-hour access for the studio, full country breakfast, afternoon cookies and fruit, and delicious 3-course dinner. Also unlimited coffee, tea, and hot chocolate!

Dutch Baby Breakfast Dish

Everyone has been asking for the recipe for the “Dutch Baby”, a breakfast dish that is sort of like a large puffed pancake that is baked in oven. It is one of my favorite dishes and I don’t get to make it that often, mainly because I usually only make it for small groups, as it does take a little longer to prepare and I only have so many small skillets!


So here is the recipe:

Dutch Babies (or German Pancakes)

For four servings,

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • approx. 6 – 8 Tablespoons of butter/margerine

Preheat oven to 425 while you are blending the the egg mixture. Crack the eggs into a blender and whirl at high speed for about a minute. With the motor running, gradually add the milk, and then the flour. Continue whirling for 30 seconds.

Portion the butter into one large oven-safe non-stick skillet (3 – 4 quart size) or 4 small oven safe non-stick skillets (1 quart size) (I use a 8″ teflon oven-safe skillet to make individual servings), then put in the oven to melt. If you are using 4 skillets, divide the butter equally between them. I also spray the pan with non-stick coating to make sure the Dutch Babies don’t stick to the pans, which would spoil the presentation!

When the butter is melted, pour the egg mixture into the skillet/skillets and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. It is done when edges are browned and the center is firm.

Serve immediately. May be served plain, sprinkled with powdered sugar, syrup, lemon wedges, or fruit.


Fiber Revolution Exhibit in Hunter, NY

Fiber Revolution is a group of artists that exhibit their work around the country and recently held a retreat at our inn, the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn.

This year they have an exhibit at the Kaaterskill Fine Art Gallery in Hunter, NY. Hunter is only 40 minutes away from us.

This is one talented group, so you don’t want to miss this exhibit. It is open from Nov. 27, 2010 to Jan. 9, 2011. The opening reception is Saturday, Nov. 27th, from 4 – 6 pm.


Watercolor Portraits with Mary Whyte

Mary Whyte is known for her stunning portraits and she is sharing her process with the students in this workshop.

Today is day 2 of portrait work. The day starts with a quick demo by Mary and then the class spends the rest of the day working on their own portraits while Mary circulates around the class offering guidance and advice as needed.



There are two models in the class room with the students spread out around them. One of the models is one of our waitresses, Megan.


Megan says this is the first time she has ever worn a hat!



The other model for the day was Bonita. This is her first modeling experience but she says she is enjoying it very much!



How quickly the week has passed! Tomorrow is the last day of the workshop. During the first half of the day, everyone will get to choose their favorite subject matter – still life, landscape, or portrait, and work on a painting. Then in the afternoon, the group will gather for a critique.

Watercolor with Mary Whyte

Mary Whyte is here teaching a workshop this week. She will be leading the class through the process of painting still life, landscapes, and portraits.

In case you didn’t see it, Mary was recently featured in a bit on CBS Sunday Morning show about her series of paintings to preserve on paper a vanishing breed of workers. Really worth watching!

Yesterday was spent in the studio working with still life compositions. Today, everyone is outside enjoying the magnificent Fall weather and colors.



This morning they are painting around the Greenville Arms, but this afternoon they will be heading over to a local farm.


The sculpture you see in this photo (the tall “house”) is by a California artist, Lisa Friedman.

Here is Mary giving an individual critique of one of the student’s work from yesterday.


You’ll see how nice the weather is by the short-sleeved t-shirts worn by some. There was a Hudson River Valley Art Workshops t-shirt buying frenzy last night after dinner, including an impromptu fashion parade!



Still Life and Abstract Designs

It’s day 4 of Katie Pasquini Masopust’s workshop and everyone is working feverishly to assemble their designs. Colors and fabrics were selected yesterday and no time was wasted at the breakfast table this morning! Before you could say “Scrambled Eggs with Horseradish Cheddar Cheese” (the daily special), everyone had rushed off to the studio to get cracking!

This piece is by Alison Chandler. She is working totally abstract, as a number of others in the class are as well.


I had taken a picture of Alison ironing some of the pieces in place, but decided not to put it on the blog when Alison said, “Oh, great. Now my husband will want me to do ironing for him!” I understand her sentiment – don’t ask an art quilter to iron clothes!

Jane Strickler is working on a still life of a tea pot.


This is friends, Libby and Pam, hard at work in their corner of the studio.


Katie is showing her technique of using spray starch to get a neat edge turn over on the pieces.


This is Barb Caldwell, who is working on a really nice leaf composition.


Everyone is making great progress and I’ll bet the studio lights will be burning late into the evening for a bunch of folks.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of color happening outside of the studio. The leaves on the trees seem to changing right before my eyes. Within a couple days, I’ll bet the trees one either side of the yellow tree with be changed as well.


Katie Pasquini-Masopust is Here Again

It is always a grand time when Katie is in the house! She is a wonderful teacher, has a great sense of humor, and has a wealth of knowledge that she generously shares with her students. And she just had one of her own works accepted into Quilt National!

This year Katie is teaching “Transforming the Still Life.” She started everyone off drawing a still life design based on white objects. Everyone was suppose to bring in something white and Katie brought a number of things, too, as well as a spray can of white paint to convert anything to the right color!

Once everyone was finished, all of the white object were gathered together to get picture of one large still life set up!



The group also did exercises creating black and white studies of their designs and then played with watercolors to work up some color schemes for their design.

This is Jane Stricker. Love her color exercises!


Here is the design wall of another student.


Besides enjoying the workshop tremendously (several students have already said they are signing up for Katie’s 2011 workshop here before they leave), everyone is having a great time around the dinner table. It is apple time in New York, so this week is sure to see some yummy apple pies for dessert.


Searching with Skip Lawrence

Skip Lawrence always says that in art, the “search is more important than the find”, and in last weeks workshop the class had a grand time searching!

Here are Stan and Rosemary busy with one of their daily challenges.


Skip was constantly circulating through the group to provide individual assistance, as well as preparing for his daily demos.



I love this piece by Peggy Gardner!


Another regular, Ruth Rooks, was busy in her corner creating some wonderful figurative pieces.


Study to Studio with Kenn Backhaus


Kenn Backhaus taught a wonderful workshop just a couple of weeks ago. This was his Study to Studio class.

The week was prime for Fall color — if only the weather would cooperate! And it did finally on Wednesday. It was a glorious, sunny Fall day and Kenn immediately took the group to Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church.


They started out down by the pond and barn buildings, then at lunch time Kenn moved them up to the site of the house.



The views were magnificent!


Here are some student comments about Kenn and the workshop:

Kenn is an outstanding, dedicated teacher. He teaches concept and thought process, as well as many technical things. He have many hours of this time beyond the 9 to 4.

The combination of the Victorian Inn, the wonderful instruction, the meals, and comradery, and the time to work at painting was a little bit of heaven for me.

—– Marla S.

The class surpassed my expectations. Kenn is a patient, understanding teacher who imparts his knowledge freely to the class.

— Sandra K.

Pat Dew’s and Her Rowdy Crew

Pat Dew’s was back again to teach a 5-day watermedia and collage workshop. This years group had an especially good time. The laughing started on the first night at the dinner table and continued right until check out time!

On the second night we had a brief power outage in the town and were prepare to make and serve dinner by candlelight.

But luckily the power was restored just as the salad was being served. Everyone still requested dinner by candlelight, so we left the candles on the table burning and just dimmed the lights. Some marvelous freshly made blueberry pie was the dessert for that night.

In the studio there was a constant buzz of creative excitement as Pat provided lots of demos and the students then took their turn at using the ideas.

This is Roxie Johnson, a digital artist from Hyde Park, NY. Pat asked her to bring in her portfolio of work to the class and Pat herself went home with a couple of Roxie’s pieces.

Pat Dew’s shares a studio with Jada Rowland, a landscape and portrait artist.
Pat talked Jada into stepping out of her normal mode of painting and joining the workshop to tried her hand at abstract work!

Before Pat left she generously gave us a copy of her new DVD – Pat Dews: Let’s Get Started Finishing. It will be in our DVD library, so next time you are here – take a look!

Margaret Dyer and Judi Betts

The end of summer has been a whirlwind of activity, so I’m a little behind in my blog posts.

Margaret Dyer was here at the end of August teach a 3-day workshop on pastel figures. Margaret is always a very popular instructor. She had just taught for us the previous year, but all the students clamored for a repeat so we quickly added Margaret to our 2010 schedule.

This talented group of students worked with both nude and clothed models. Margaret kept them challenged with multiple changes of model poses and painting angles.

The 3-day ended too quickly for us and the students! But not to worry Margaret has already agreed to return in 2012 to teach.

The next class up was with Judi Betts. Judi is such a delight to have here. Her enthusiasm and passion for her art is contagious!

Judi introduced a number of exercises to stretch the students skills with using color in their compositions.

Another fun/challenging exercise was when Judi surprized everyone with a male nude model! Ok, the male in question was our Dalmatian, Hudson.

The last time Judi had taught here, Hudson had been a puppy and was slightly less energetic! This time Judi said he was the wiggliest model she’s every worked with.

But everyone did their best to capture the “essence” of Hudson and some really nice sketches resulted.

I was the model handler and if the students wanted a less wiggling model, they could sketch me instead of Hudson.

If was a fun class and several of the students, who have attended many of our workshops, said that Judi was a really wonderful and generous teacher, in fact they said that she was “Xtraordinary”! (Judi’s website is Xtraordinaryart.com.)

Judi Bett’s will also be returning in 2012 to teach another 5-day watercolor workshop.

Maybe we can find a less wiggly male nude model by then!

Another Wonderful Week with Stanley Maltzman

Several week ago was Stanley Maltman’s pastel workshop here at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Stanley is a local artist (from Freehold, NY), but has been getting a lot of national and regional acclaim lately. He has been winning awards and get exhibit invitations left and right. Pretty good for a young 80-something!

Because Stanley has living in this area for such a long time, he knows all of the good painting spots! It was a beautiful weather week and this location on the Catskill Creek was perfect.

Stanley will be teaching a workshop again for us next year – August 7 – 13, 2011, and besides the daily painting instruction, he is going to do an evening presentation on how to frame your pastel paintings.

They Had Joy, They Had Fun . . .

On Thursday, Mel Stabin’s group spent the day in the studio working with two different models.

Mel did a demo in the morning and then the students had the rest of the day to work.

It will be sad to see everyone leave tomorrow morning after breakfast. It was a fun week and the smiles and closeness of this group photo says it all!

Look for Mel to return again in 2012!

Mel Stabin is Back in Town

Mel Stabin is here this week teaching a 5-day watercolor workshop to a full house! And what a fun loving full house it is.

The week was started by Mel taking his group down the street from the inn to paint in his favorite “first day” location.

Besides this former church, there are a number of other interesting old houses on this corner.

Everyone found a shady spot to settle into and went to work, after Mel’s morning demo.

At lunch time I loaded up our garden cart with the sandwiches and salads (a complete salad bar) that some of the students had ordered and carted it down the street.

The hungry crowd immediately swarmed around the cart.

Oil and Water Do Mix Well Together

Well, at least the oil painters and the watercolor painters in Betty Carr’s 5-day workshop did!

They enjoyed a lively time at the dinner table and in the studio.

We had perfect summer weather that week, which of course meant it was time for a barbecue!

Mark prepare beef ribs, slow cooked over mesquite charcoal and then slathered with his own secret BBQ sauce (it includes a hint of chocolate!)

Everyone enjoyed the feast and were appreciative of the warm washcloths handed out after dinner to clean off the yummy BBQ sauce.

Daily Painting with Carol Marine

Just a few weeks ago Carol Marine arrived from Texas to teach a 3-day workshop in creating small still life paintings in oil.

Carol is well know for her daily paintings blog and her work, that she sells on eBay.

Here she is doing an “egg demo” – a small still life featuring just a raw egg on a orange plate.

Carol put everyone through their paces creating quick still life paintings – both as value studies and with color.

There was a lot of fruit in the studio for those three days! Luckily the A/C kept the studio cool and the fruit stayed fresh.

Here is a lovely pear painting . . .

And the model for the painting!

On the third day, Carol explained to everyone how to capture your paintings in digital photos and use PhotoShop to crop them in preparation to posting them on a blog and on eBay.

She also discussed how to start a daily painting blog and set up a store on eBay for your paintings.

It was a marvelous 3 days with this fun loving group with Carol as their ringleader!

We look forward to Carol’s return to teach a 5-day workshop in 2012. If you are even thinking about it, don’t hesitate too long before signing up — we are already getting enrollments for this class and the class size is limited to 16.

Sketching at the Fair – with Lew Lehrman

Lew Lehrman came back for one more time to teach his Travel Sketching workshop.

This time the workshop coincided with a Youth Fair in a near by town.

It was a sweltering day, so the group took refuge under the “Fair Idol” tent. They sketched the sights of the fair while listing to the vocal stylings of the idol-hopefuls.

The fair was a well attended event and had all the requisite fair pleasures – the big white tents,

Food vendors, selling things like Texas Tornado potato chips and lemonade.

Here is Lew helping a mother-daughter team, Elizabeth and Sarah, as they painted their sketches.

Couldn’t be a fair without the kids and their horses.

And flop-eared rabbits.

And what could be better for dinner after spending the day at the fair, but yummy fresh the farm sweet corn.

Paired with Orange/Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs baked over a Portabello Mushroom.

On another night, Lew had the group sketching their dinner. Mark, the chef, did his best to create a dinner with large shapes and clear contrasting colors – like this fresh spinach salad with white mushrooms and red tomatoes.

On dinner sketching night, some of the students contributed to the colorful display, bringing sunflowers and a watermelon purchased from Story’s Farm, where they had spent the afternoon sketching.

Dinner was finished with some White Chocolate ice cream. Mark added the brush of dark chocolate to provide contrast with the white bowl.

Thanks, Lew, for another successful workshop!

Yes, We’re Still Here and Still Having Great Workshops!

I can’t believe it is a month since my last blog post. I guess we’ve just been having too much fun with the workshops.

Now let’s see . . . where did I leave off.

Yes, the wonderful weekend with Larkin Van Horn (she’ll be back in 2012!)

Following Larkin, was another fantastic workshop taught by Rayna Gillman – Deconstructing the Screen.

This is Rayna giving a little trunk show of her own work.

This was a wonderful class made up of both fiber artists, wearable art artists, and print makers. A marvelous convergence of ideas and talent.

If you’re wondering about the pile of white fabric on the tables, it is
the mother lode of machine-made lace. It was donated to us by an inn
guest of ours who was downsizing. The piles use to fill 4 tables, but
now it is down to just 2. It is free for the taking, so if you’re in the
area stop by soon before it is all gone!

The railing on the North Cottage was turned into a drying rack / display!

The rope lines strung between trees in the back of the studio also featured a colorful display every day.

Rayna and Calli talk about screen printing. Calli is the sister of Koo Schadler. Koo teaches an egg tempera class for us. (Koo is coming next year – sign up early as her class always fills quickly.)

Freeform Beaded Medallions with Larkin Van Horn

We welcomed Larkin Van Horn back again to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, this time to teach her workshop on Beaded Medallion quilts.

This was a 3-day workshop, so everyone got right into it right away! Within a short time after arriving everyone had their workspace set up for maximum beading efficiency.

It was interesting to wander around the studio to see how each person organized her beads and supplies.

Larkin started everyone creating small fused compositions that they could embellish with beads. It wasn’t long until everyone had a colorful piece in the works.

They also had a hilarious time around the dinner table. The laughter seemed continuous.

The biggest joke of the weekend was about our new white towels.

During orientation, Mark when on and on about what was not “allowed” to be done to our new fluffy white towels. (He was doing a little embellishing of his own with the towel “rules.”) No painting in your room, no wiping off makeup, no using at the pool, no cleaning shoes, etc. Mark even kidded that we were thinking of having the towels hung in locked plexiglas cases – just to keep the white.

Everyone joked about the towel policy for the next 3 days. (We don’t really have a towel policy.)

Then on the final evening the group presented Mark with a flagrantly misused white washcloth! Everyone had beaded, quilted, and kissed with lipstick a washcloth (one of our old ones, not the new ones).

Now Mark had a visual aid for his orientation on towel use!

The turtle on the washcloth in reference to the snapping turtle in the pool story Mark told people so that they wouldn’t try swimming at night in the dark.

It’s always a fun time with Larkin and we look forward to her return in the future.

Plein Air Fiber Art

I told Carol Soderlund that she was our first plein air fiber art workshop! (We’ve joked about having solar powered sewing machines for more outdoor fiber art workshops!)

The weather was so beautiful that the class spent a good part of the time outside. A clothes line was strung up in back of the studio for drying the created fabrics. It made for a very colorful display.

It’s a good thing that Carol Soderlund is close enough to drive to our location, because she was able to bring a lot of dyes and other supplies for the class.

The class turned out some really fantastic fabrics. This is an example of a discharged commercial fabric.

Here is a closer shot where you can see some of the original fabric design showing through.

This is an example of a potato dextrin resist used prior to dyeing.

This was also potato dextrin used with a paper pattern pressed into the resist and then dyed.

Carol also presented a slide show of fiber artists who use discharged fabrics in their work. It certainly was inspiring.

It was a wonderful workshop and everyone had such a good time and learned a lot. We look forward to the next time that Carol Soderlund teaches here.

Dye Magic with Carol Soderlund

Carol Soderlund has returned to Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach her “Dyeing to Discharge” workshop.

Her students are discovering the possibilities of discharge– the removal of color from dyed cloth. Using both commercial fabrics and cloth dyed specifically for discharge, they are selectively removing and replacing color.

Carol always emphasizes safe studio practices, even though the weather has been so nice that the class is working outdoors most of the time.

Looks like martians have landed!

I think this is our first “plein air” fiber art class. I’m hoping to get pictures of the incredible fabrics the group is creating on the cloths line that we are stringing up between two trees.

The pool is also a big hit with the class, with several folks taking a dip every morning before breakfast. This is the first time that fiber art workshops have been scheduled in the summer.

This is Mark playing “sea monster” with Hudson.

David Dunlop at Olana Again!

On the final day of the workshop, David Dunlop took his group to Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church.

It was an absolutely beautiful day!

This is David giving an individual demo to Judy on painting Van Gogh style.

Everyone like to paint at Olana, not only for the incredible inspiration, but also because there is plenty of shady spots to paint from! This is at the edge of the large pond located near the barns of Olana.

This student set up right at the water’s edge!

The reflections on the water that day were brilliant!

The clouds against the blue, blue sky were mesmerizing.

Painting at John Boyd Thatcher Park

On Wednesday, David Dunlop took his class to John Boyd Thatcher Park, which is long the Helderberg Escarpment, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world – nice views, too!

David got his exercise going from person to person to offer assistance with their painting.

A group of classmates set up on the little bridge over the top of a waterfall.

Each day David covered different art period techniques and showed people how to paint in the style of the past masters.

While I waiting for everyone to finish the lunch I delivered, I took a quick hike down the Indian Ladder Trail.

You descend the first part via staircase and get to admire the view and marvelous rock formations.

Further along is this waterfall. The trail leads under the waterfall, but I didn’t go that far because I didn’t have anything to protect my camera from the spray. This is the same waterfall that the artists were set up at the top.

When I return to the picnic table, everyone was already enjoying their sandwiches.

The class participants weren’t the only ones interested in a good lunch. This little chipmunk perched in this tree next to the table keeping an eye out for stray bread crumbs.

Painting at John Boyd Thatcher Park

On Wednesday, David Dunlop took his class to John Boyd Thatcher Park, which is long the Helderberg Escarpment, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world – nice views, too!

David got his exercise going from person to person to offer assistance with their painting.

A group of classmates set up on the little bridge over the top of a waterfall.

Each day David covered different art period techniques and showed people how to paint in the style of the past masters.

While I waiting for everyone to finish the lunch I delivered, I took a quick hike down the Indian Ladder Trail.

You descend the first part via staircase and get to admire the view and marvelous rock formations.

Further along is this waterfall. The trail leads under the waterfall, but I didn’t go that far because I didn’t have anything to protect my camera from the spray. This is the same waterfall that the artists were set up at the top.

When I return to the picnic table, everyone was already enjoying their sandwiches.

The class participants weren’t the only ones interested in a good lunch. This little chipmunk perched in this tree next to the table keeping an eye out for stray bread crumbs.

On Location with Past Masters – David Dunlop

David Dunlop is here this week to teach the historic methods of plein air painting. He is taking his group to locations that were the favorites of the Hudson River painters like Cole and Church.

Today the class went to the top of Kaaterskill Falls. This is the former site of the Laurel House, a historic resort in the Catskills that operated from 1852 – 1967. The resort is no longer there, but the stunning vistas are! It is a great place to paint.

Too Much Fun with David Daniels – “Mr. Watercolor” Himself!

David Daniels, master of brilliant watercolors, was here teaching a 5 day workshop last week. Everyone was having such a wonderful time that that week just flew by.

I did a chance to pop into the studio to see them at work a couple of times.

This was a studio workshop, so folks worked from sketches and/or photographs. With all of the conveniently located electrical plugs all over the studio, working from photos on a laptop was easy.

Dave brought two of his paints to the workshop. He happened to be taking them, after the workshop, to an exhibit in Oneonta, NY.

He doesn’t mount his paintings under glass, as a lot of watercolorists do. Instead he varnishes them, providing protection to the painting but eliminating the worry of glare from a glass covering. One caveat though is that due to the varnish, his paintings are no longer, technically speaking, watercolors.

The class turned out some great work. I wish I had taken more individual photos!

But not to worry, Dave will be back teaching for us in 2012!

Studio Time with Lorenzo Chavez

Rain could not dampen the spirits of Lorenzo Chavez’s workshop.

Our “order” for sunny days was delayed (until this week when we have a studio workshop), but Lorenzo’s enthusiasm for pastels was caught by the whole group and they laughed and enjoyed themselves thoroughly!

Daily cookie time didn’t hurt, either!

Everyone in the class said that Lorenzo was extremely generous with his time, often spending way beyond class time in the studio helping anyone who needed advice and assistance with their painting

In between sprinkles and downpours, the rain let up long enough for some folks to go outside on our grounds to paint.

Colorado Meets New York – Plein Air Pastel with Lorenzo Chavez

This weekend Lorenzo Chavez came to us from Colorado to teach a plein air pastel and oil workshop. He was at once struck with how GREEN it was in Greenville!

Today he is finding out why it is so green – it is raining. Hopefully the sun will come back out this afternoon, which is usually the case.

Yesterday, however, the group was treated to a magnificent day and spent it at our favorite local farm. The red barns and out-buildings always provide great contrast with the green trees.

Lorenzo did a demo first and then the group went off to find their own subject.

Elizabeth Apgar-Smith – Painting at Olana

Elizabeth Apgar-Smith arrived today to teach a 3-day workshop on landscapes in oil. Elizabeth is a wonderful multi-talented artist who has taught for the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for years.

She most often teaches a pastel workshop, but we decided to mix it up this year and have her teach an oil painting workshop.

It was a beautiful day. Right after breakfast the group immediately set off for Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church, in Hudson.

When Mark delivered lunch he took these photos.

This is Elizabeth (Betsy) giving a demo.

Below are the picnic tables set up for lunch.

This is a view of the house from the back – still very interesting with lots of intricate details.

The house tour is definitely worth taking and they have recently opened some of the upper rooms for the tour.

Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs

This is a new dish for this year and has been very well received. So, after multiple requests for the recipe, I’m finally getting around to putting it on the blog!

This recipe serves 8


8 bone-in, skin-on large chicken thighs
Kosher salt and black pepper
8 portobello mushrooms
3 medium scallions (green parts only), cut into 3-inch lengths
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs mirin
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1 3/4 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil the top of foil.

Arrange the portobello mushroom caps (stems removed) gill sides up on the prepared cookie sheet. Arrange 2 or 3 scallion pieces on top of the mushrooms, then put a chicken thigh, skin side up, on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast until the edges of the chicken begin to brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thick part of the biggest thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, combine the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

In a small bowl, stir the orange juice and cornstarch; add this mixture to the saucepan. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.

To serve, transfer the chicken, scallions, mushroom to dinner plates, drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Leftover sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and is also great on steak or salmon.

More Experimental Watermedia

They are having so much fun in this class. Mary Alice provided such an array of new mediums and materials for everyone to experiment with.

This collage was created by Beverly G. The cutout features an image of seashells.

Another work in progress that incorporates the skins that Mary Alice taught everyone how to make.

Here is Mary Alice discussing with Valerie and Kathleen some of the collaged images in Gerald Brommer’s book on Collage.

Gerald will be teaching for us again in 2011 – a new class that he has developed on surface structure and surface treatments for watercolor paintings.

In this picture Les looks like he can’t take it any more, but actually he is loving it. Look at all the fun stuff he has ready to work with.

Mary Alice Braukman is Dazzling Her Students

Mary Alice Braukman’s workshop started this past Monday and has been a non-stop stream of new and exciting techniques, materials, and ideas.

On the first day I saw Mary Alice coming out of the studio in the afternoon and she said, “they told me to take a coffee break! I’ve given them so much new information, they can’t take any more at the moment!

But they could take more, and more they got!

Everyone has been working in the studio well past class hours, including Mary Alice.

One of the things they did the first day was to experiment with various surface texture mediums and the effect these surfaces had when painted.

Mary Alice has everyone documenting what they do so that they can remember what they did when back in their own studios.

Today, Thursday, there are some really nice looking pieces coming together. I’ll post picture of these tomorrow.

Realism Through Design with John Salminen

John Salminen is here this week teaching his approach to painting the urban scene in watercolor.

John just returned from SHANGHAI where he received the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Award.

Every one is well into their painting and from the looks of them, it is going great

Three Days with Jim McFarlane

Those 3 day workshops just breeze on by! Jim McFarlane, a wonderful artist and instructor from Pennsylvania, came to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops teach a class for an eager group of students.

He lead them through value studies, painting zones, and color experiments.

The 3 days was over way too soon!

John Salminen is here this week and I’ll be getting some pictures tomorrow! I always like to let everyone settle in before starting to snap shots!