Charcoal Figure Drawing with Henry Yan

Henry Yan, an instructor at the Academy of Art Collage in San Francisco, California, was here for the first time to teach a charcoal figure drawing workshop based on his book, Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing, Techniques, and Tips.

Henry’s instruction was excellent” and “Best workshop I’ve taken” were common comments from everyone.

Henry did daily demos and continued to do additional drawings during the sessions so that anyone who wanted to watch how he worked could continue to do so.


The weather was a “bit” warm last week, so everyone enjoyed the evenings when the temps dropped back down into the 60s and 70s. Sitting out on the front porch of the inn was a favorite thing to do after dinner.


The meals have been exquisite” — including this marvelously light and creamy blueberry/orange tart, seen here being assembled in the kitchen before dinner.


It was a good week and we look forward to Henry’s return in 2013!

Fabric Portraits with Esterita Austin

Esterita Austin taught 2 back-to-back workshops here last week. The idea was to start with still life in the 2-day workshop and then progress to a portrait in the following 3-day workshop. Well, that whole premiss was scraped on the first day! Everyone decided that they wanted to jump right in to portraits, including the one woman who signed up for just the 2-day workshop.

As a result, there were some fabulous portrait pieces created by all!

This is Esterita demonstrating how to use textile paint to create shadows that then bring features forward. She is using the amazing portrait piece created by Janet in just two days.


This is the start of the self-portrait by Kris M. of Austin, TX.


And here is the finished piece. Amazing because this was Kris’ very first workshop!


Teri spent a lot of time circulating the studio with individual guidance when ever it was requested.


Don’t you just love the hair on Jo’s self-portrait!


Cindy, from CA, was only there for 2 days of the 3-day workshop, but created this fabulous portrait that really captures her contagious laugh! She said she plans to use it for her FaceBook picture.


This is the portrait of Alison C’s husband that she started a couple years ago in another of Esterita’s classes at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops and this time she finished it!


The full piece has the entire motorcycle in it, which you can see in the first picture in this blog post.

Fond Memories of the Queen

Nancy Eha, the “Queen of Beading,” was here for what seemed like an all too brief 3-day workshop.

Fabulous class. Nancy is an excellent teacher and her style adapts well to having a classroom of students with various skill levels. I bead a lot and I was never bored,” is what Cheryl K. had to say about the workshop.

Each day was filled with demonstrations of unique beading techniques, such as 3-D beaded patterns and organic beading stitches including sticky lollipops, beaded coils, and easy beaded cabochon settings.


It was marvelous to walk through the studio and see all of beading patterns filling each persons beading sampler in such a variety of lovely hues of beads.


It was a very lively and fun loving group and the laughter never stopped, both in the studio, around the dinner table in the evening and at pool-side lunches in the afternoon.

On the last day of the workshop, Nancy arranged a coronation ceremony and each student was granted beading princess status!


Horses and Dogs with Ellen Gavin

Class has exceeded our expectations! Ellen is a fabulous artist and instructor.” That was the type of comment we got from everyone in the workshop with Ellen Gavin – Painterly Oils of Horses and Dogs. The conversations around the dinner table were always animated and with lots of laughter. Ellen has a great sense of humor!

I enjoyed watching Ellen’s demos myself.


This is the result of demo on the second day of class.


These two pastel paintings are by Barbara Leonardi, who said to me after the first day, “I had no idea I even liked horses!” She had stayed over for Ellen’s class after being in the Paul Leveille portrait class just because it followed.


This is a painting in progress by Andrea Agresta. It’s not finished but I love her style.


Here is Andrea working on another of her expressive dog portraits.


It was a very productive class and everyone worked on multiple paintings per day. Here are several more snapshots of the participants work.