Paint, Fuse, Stitch with Susan Brubaker Knapp

It was the last, but certainly not the least workshop for us in 2012! Susan Brubaker Knapp, the extrordinary fiber artist who creates intricate wholecloth painted and thread sketched art and also fused and thread sketched art, was here for the week with an eager group of students.

On the first day, Susan immediate set the class to painting. None of the students had really done any painting before, so this was new, exciting, and a little intimidating — especially after seeing the incredible work of Susan’s that she had brought with her. But with Susan’s enthusiasm and confident guidance everyone was mixing their colors and painting.


Dalia choose a still life with citrus fruits.


Alison did an amazingly detailed job from a photo of orchids.


I choose a simple composition of emerging ferns. (Yes, as a rare treat, I got to participant in this workshop!)


Since the ferns were so simple, I finished in time to start another painted piece of a sheep.


Here is Alison’s whole cloth painting ready for thread sketching.


The next project was to create a fused art quilt, starting from a photograph.

Dalia’s husband is a doctor, so she choose to do a picture of a unique 3-headed stethoscope.


Nili is working on a larger version of the same composition as her painted piece, but this time boldly creating her own color scheme.


I am working from a photo of our Ridgeback, Bree.


Dinnertime was still filled with lively conversation and lots of laughs.


Mark, the chef, used this class to try out some new dishes for next year. One was this delicious chili con carne made with tender beef short ribs and topped with fresh avocado and cilantro. Everyone agreed that it was a winner.


Another “out of the park” home run, was the tiramisu. Between the groans of pleasure, everyone concurred that it was the best tiramisu they had ever had.


Back at the studio the next day, Dalia started adding painted details to her fused image.


Alison’s fused piece is from a photo of an area of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY, where she once worked as landscape assistant. She is doing a marvelous job creating the reflection of the structure and statue in the reflecting pool.


More progress on the image of Bree.


Then back to thread sketching on the final day. Here is my sheep with all his curls sketched on with thread.


Nili was the only one to completely finish a piece – painting, thread sketched, quilted and bound (with facing). Beautiful!


Here is Alison’s piece — looking really great.


All in all, a fabulous class, fabulous classmates, and fabulous instructor. I would highly recommend a class with Susan Brubaker Knapp and we’ll see about getting her back at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for a repeat performance in the future!

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More Fusing Fun with Sue Benner

Sue Benner’s crew were a very productive group! After a few days the studio was chockfull of color and compositions.

Mid-week saw people finishing up with the exercises with squares, rectangles and curvilinear shapes, and then moving on to landscapes and other abstract designs.


Sue brought some very interesting books for discussion in the class.


This was Sue Benner’s sample board where she pinned some of her example projects.


This class had a lot to smile about.


Sue Benner will be back with again in 2014 in the Fall.

Fused Art Quilts with Sue Benner

Sue Benner is here at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this week teaching her workshop called “Composition Quartet: Four Techniques for Fused Quilts.”

Sue is an innovator in her field, creating original dyed and painted fabrics which she combines with recycled textiles to form fields of structured pattern, vivid beauty, and riotous variation. Her work has been juried into Quilt National seven times.

Sue fired up her students and set them off working through her technique exercises. These photos are from just the second day of class! A riot of color and pattern.


It may be December, but the weather thinks it is Spring. The temps have been in the upper 50s for most of the week. Of course, in the studio with 18 irons going it feels like summer! Good thing opening the studio windows cools it down nicely.


Next week is our last class of the season – Susan Brubaker Knapp teaching a workshop called “Paint, Fuse and Thread Sketch”. There is still some room in this workshop, so give us a call to join in the fun. Three of the students from the Sue Benner workshop are staying the extra week to take Susan’s workshop!

Resists and Printmaking with Jane Davila

Jane Davila, a fiber and mixed-media artist, was here a week ago teaching a 3-day workshop on surface design for fiber artists. She is also the editor of Quilting Arts In Stitches and Quilting Arts Surface Explorations emagazines.

Jane came loaded with all sorts of paints, resists, and printmaking tools for the students to play with.


One afternoon was spent making prints with a variety of fruits and vegetables. My favorites were the ones made with an artichoke.


The rubber fish were also quite fun.


This is the portable printing press that Jane brought with her.


It was a fun and enthusiastic class — perfect for heading into our 2 weeks off from workshops. They left us smiling and looking forward to seeing them again.

We have just two more workshops for the year. The first one is a fusing workshop with Sue Benner, Dec. 2 – 8. If you are not already signed up for this one, you’ll have to wait until Sue returns to teach again for us in 2014 because the 2012 class is full.

The final workshop for the year is a 5-day workshop with Susan Brubaker Knapp – Dec. 9 – 15. Jane Davila gave a two thumbs up to Susan as an instructor and as a terribly fun person just to spend time with. Jane said that Susan has a great sense of humor and lots of great stories to tell while also being a very organized instructor.

Susan’s workshop is titled Paint, Fuse, Stitch!

You’ll learn how to:

  • Distill a photographic image into shapes for fused applique.
  • Create a pattern for fused applique
  • Transfer a design to fabric for painting.
  • Paint on fabric, including mixing and blending colors
  • Layer and fuse fabric pieces to build your piece
  • Add detail with thread sketchingFree-motion quilt your piece.

Here are some examples of Susan’s photos that she has turned in to painted, fused and stitched pieces of quilt art.


We’d love to have you join us for this fun workshop! Give us a call at toll-free at 888-665-0044 to sign up.

Cross Currents with Rosalie Dace

Rosalie Dace, the extraordinary quilt artist from South Africa, is here this week teaching her Cross Currents workshop. The focus is on giving your quilts a new energy by discovering the strength of crossed designs.

Throughout the week there have been lots of breakout demonstrations of various design and technique exercises. Those interested in a a particular demonstration can gather around Rosalie, while others continue to work on their compositions.


Here are several of the marvelous works in progress. I can’t wait to see everyone’s design walls tomorrow on the last day of the class.


A little fluffy diversion. This is Murphy who stayed with us for about a week. His “mom and dad” stayed on after the Margaret Dyer workshop, waiting for power to come back to their house in New Jersey after hurricane Sandy. Murphy sat quietly on the back porch each morning during breakfast.


Pastel Figures with Margaret Dyer and Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was still heading up the coast when Margaret Dyer and her students arrived for her 3-day pastel figures workshop. I was constantly monitoring the weather channel and projections for the effect of the storm on our area and it looked like we were going to do alright in our neck of the woods this time. But having weathered Irene last year with a full workshop in house, we were prepared for whatever might happen.

I took this picture of the small creek that runs through our property, as the “before” picture. I was thinking of taking pictures as the creek rose as it did the last time. But we lucked out this time. We only got a bit of wind and rain, so the “before” picture looked exactly the same as an “after” picture would have looked.


In spite of the weather, everyone said Margaret’s class was the best and they can’t wait til she returns in 2014.


For the last dinner of the workshop, the staff decided to have a little Halloween fun and dress up.

I think I had the spookiest costume. Kidding!


Here is Mark, the sorcerer of the kitchen, putting a spell on Kadi.


Our two marvelous waitresses: Kadi, in a 1920’s flapper outfit, and Regina, as a 1980’s girl.


It also happened to be Kadi’s 21st birthday, so Regina bought her a bottle of adult chocolate milk!


Taking wine and beer orders in the front parlor before dinner.


Faces and Places: Fabric Applique with Charlotte Warr Andersen

Charlotte Warr Andersen, author of Faces and Places – Images in Applique and Focus on Features – Life-like Portrayals in Appliqué, is here this week teaching a 5-day workshop on her methods.

Charlotte has the group doing drawing and sketching exercises to learn how to create realistic facial expressions. Light boxes are being used to trace the main lines of the image, but then further refinements are made as the fabric pieces are cut and appliquéd.


This is the start of a portrait of one of the student’s daughter, who is posed in her ballet outfit with her back to the camera.


Linda is working on a portrait of her granddaughter in a lovely patriotic outfit.


This the portrait that Cindy B is working on. Great expression in those eyes.


I’ll take more photos on the final day so that you can see the progress. Everyone is loving the class and Charlotte!

Alvaro’s Passionate Watercolor

You have to be passionate about your painting and about painting outdoors when you take a workshop by Alvaro Castagnet.

The second day of the workshop was bright and sunny — but “brisk” because of the cold wind. It did not deter these passionate painters from spending the day in the Hudson riverside town of Coxsackie. Bundled against the chill, they still found inspiration on this vintage town.


Lunchtime. Is this a group of artists or homeless waifs?


Wednesday brought out the sun again, but this time it was luckily without the wind. A beautiful Fall day at the farm.


The animated conversations continued around the dinner table.


Hmm. Looks like someone opted for a piece of the apple pie from the previous dinner rather than have the decadent chocolate cake being served that evening! Not something I would ever do, but the group loved having options. They especially loved that fact that any leftover dessert (carrot cake, apple pie, chocolate cake, fruit tarts) would be put out the following afternoon for an after workshop snack.


On the final day, which was a rainy day, Alvaro did a charcoal sketch and then a watercolor demo in the front parlor of our inn, the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn. The groups is gathering around here to take pictures of the finished sketch.


This is the sketch. Love how Alvaro has interpreted the space.


The October Glories in our front yard are putting on their Fall color show.


Skip Lawrence and Kenn Backhaus

Skip Lawrence was here the first week in October and I must have blinked because before I knew it the week was over. But I was able to capture a few of their smiling faces around the dinner table.


Next up on the schedule was Kenn Backhaus teaching composition and brushwork in this combination indoor and outdoor workshop.

The party mood was set on the first night with the celebration of Susan’s birthday. For a twist, Susan brought a little gift for everyone in the workshop.


The weather was a bit challenging for outdoor painting this week, but the intrepid too advantage of every sunny moment to capture the glorious Fall colors around the inn.


Warm and toasty in the studio.


There is still a lot of green leaves, but the reds, oranges and yellows are popping out all over.


Reading List

As often happens in the happy hours conversing during breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the subject of good books comes up. In Lorenzo’s workshop, there were so many good book suggestions that the group came up with a list. Here is their list:


Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity

The Cloud Collector’s Handbook

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (Wheaton Literary Series)


Wolf Hall: A Novel

Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel

Waiting for Snow in Havana

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption


The Mask Carver’s Son

The Rhythm of Memory


The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72


Cutting for Stone

The Walk: A Novel (Pocket Readers Guide)

The Carousel

If you are like me, the list of books you want to read is way too long to actually remember, so I’m currently using an iPhone app called Book Crawler. It allows you to keep a list of the books you want read and the list of the books you’ve already read – so you don’t buy the same book twice! It even has the ability to add books to your list by scanning the barcode on the back of a book (handy when browsing at a bookstore).

Field Study to Studio Concepts with Lorenzo Chavez

Lorenzo Chavez, painter of the American West, is here this week teaching a pastel/oil workshop to a fabulous bunch of eager participants.


The first three days were spent on location – at our town park, a local farm, and at Olana.


It’s been perfect picnic weather all week with temps in the 70’s and 80’s, so the class enjoyed lunch delivery to the painting site each noon.


Of course, when group painted around the inn, cookie time meant cake time, too!


Lorenzo’s son, Derek, is here assisting his dad, but also has made himself available to help cart art stuff around for everyone in the workshop. I wonder if he wants a permeant job?


We have a mother and her three grown daughters with us for two weeks, taking both Lorenzo’s workshop and then the workshop with Donna Zagotta (2 spots left in this workshop!). I’ve taken this as a challenge to come up with some new breakfast specials. Today the special was Asparagus & Wild Mushroom Strata. It was a winner!


In case you don’t know, we serve a full short-order menu for breakfast, with a menu that includes various types of eggs, pancakes, & French Toast, as well as a fresh fruit, yogurt, and cereal buffet. Each day there is a special entree available to order.

The New Jersey blueberries a great this year. One of the desserts we do is, of course, fresh blueberry pie with home-made ice cream.


Versatile Pastels with Margaret Evans

It was a whirlwind 3 days with Margaret Evans of Scotland! Margaret usually teaches a 5 day workshop for us every other year, but due to popular demand we just had to fit Margaret in for a workshop this year, too!

The group enjoyed a day at a local farm.


The marvelous painting in the foreground is Margaret’s demo.


A grand time was had around the dinner table – delicious food and lively conversations.


Margaret will be back in 2014 for her usual 5-day workshop. You don’t want to miss it!

Beyond the Photograph – Oil Painting with Peter Fiore

Peter Fiore, best known for painting light and his striking use of color, recently taught a 5-day workshop at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. He held his audience’s rapt attention with his instruction and stories.


He used a large flat screen monitor to display subject photos from his iPad during his demonstrations each day.


The group was very happy with the workshop. Just look at those fabulous smiles!


Peter spent a lot of individual time with each student at their easel.


The conversations continued during lunch, dinner, and breakfast — not to mention cookie time (although I think the talked turned to cookies at cookie time!)


The class also enjoyed doing a little chocolate shopping at our in-house chocolaterie – Life By Chocolate.


We also had a winner in this class! Fran Mehm won the 2nd prize in our Early-Bird Enrollment prize drawing (automatically entered when she signed up for Peter’s class before March of this year.) The second prize was plein aire easel (generously donated by Cheap Joe’s Art Supply).


Although this was a studio class, the grounds of the inn provided plenty of landscape photo opportunity.


Both Peter and his talented sculptor and illustrator wife, Barbara Fiore, has blogged about their experience during this class. Check out their blogs:

Peter Foire: Thoughts on Painting

Barbara Fiore: Life with Peter

Watercolor Workshop with Frank Webb

Frank Webb (AWS, NWS) of Edgewood, Pennsylvania, studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Working as a professional artist since 1947, he has received more than 90 major awards including a Dolphin Fellowship of the American Watercolor Society.

Frank has regular taught at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for decades and it is always a treat to have him here.


We had couple of birthdays during the workshop.


Our sou chef, Nancy, who makes the desserts each day, turned our regular (very popular) chocolate beet cake into a lovely birthday cake!


History in the Making with David Dunlop

David Dunlop, a modern day old master, was teaching another workshop for us this past July. It is always a joy to have David here. His enthusiasm for painting and painting history is contagious!

The week was a trifle hot, as it has been for most of the summer, but the group was able to find painting locations that were surprisingly protected from the heat – in the shade of tree, by the water, or up the mountains.

The first day they all went to Minekill State Park, which is about 45 minutes from our inn, but through some beautiful and inspiring farm country.


It’s always nice when the park has picnic tables in the shade!


This is a shot of one of the many interesting barns I passed on the way back form the park.


Another day was spent at Olana, always a favorite.


David will be returning to teach another wonderful workshop in 2014.

BBQ, Rain, and Digital Printing on Alternative Surfaces

The always fun and amazing Kathyanne White was here the week of the 4th of July to teach a 5-day workshop on digital printing on alternative surfaces. Kathyanne brought an Epson printer and a whole bunch of fun supplies for printing on things like Lutradur, aluminum cans, tyvek, watercolor paper, and more.

She also brought along a number of examples of her work in which she used printed images is a material for her collaged and assembled pieces.


The first 3 days were spent experimenting with the printing – printing the same image on multiple types of surfaces. Each person pinned up their images on their design wall.


The final two days were spent working on using the images in assemblages and collage.

Some folks used sewing to add line and texture to the images, as well as a means to assemble the images.


Here is a piece that will use a tree branch of a means to hang a number of small related pieces.


In the middle of all this workshop creativity, we had a 4th of July BBQ, even though I think half the class was Canadian!

We have tried doing a BBQ in previous years when a workshop has fallen on the 4th, but all agreed that this year was the best. This year the BBQ was moved poolside. This made it much easier to cook and serve everyone, rather than asking people to pick up their food up by the Main Inn and then bring it down to the poolside tables.

Here is Chef “Tex” Mark ready at the grill.


And here are the class members hanging by the pool just waiting for the dinner bell to be sounded.


Regina, Kadi, and Bob (our staff) were also ready to serve up the BBQ feast.


The menu was grill Jamacian chicken, chicken sausages, and brutwurst. Along with fresh corn on the cob, baked beans, and blueberry pie with ice cream for dessert.


Let the feasting begin!


Then silence descended over the pool area as everyone set to enjoying their meal. Nothing could stop this crew from having a marvelous time, not even the “refresher course” of a bit of a 2 minute rain shower! Luckily most people had chosen to sit at a table with an umbrella over it. Those that weren’t so lucky dried off quickly in the sun that came out shining immediately after the shower.


The poolside party continued long after dinner.

Nature – – Jane Sassaman Style

Jane Sassaman, fiber artist, author, fabric designer, and teacher extraordinaire, was here again teaching a workshop for us.

In this class Jane and her students examines a wide variety of artists interpretations of nature. Next the real fun began – they began to manipulate natural forms themselves. Through a series of exercises they experimented with abstraction and exaggeration to capture the essence and energy of each person’s favorite flora photo or drawing.

These photos were taken around the second or third day of the class. You can see how marvelous everyone is doing already.


Inspiration for a future work . . . ?? This is a speedwell plant located just outside the studio.


Jane will be back teaching with us in 2014!

On Location with Richard McKinley

It was another fine workshop with Richard McKinley this year.

It was a particularly warm week, but every location Richard choose had plenty of shade and a breeze, so the heat never seemed unbearable.

One of the locations was Olana.


There is a lovely shaded picnic area on the lower level of the grounds, near the pond. Perfect for taking a break for lunch and cookies!


On the next day the group went to the Riverside Park in Coxsackie, which is right on the shores of the Hudson River.


A number of the artists found inspiration in a large old red building near the park.


After a full day painting, it was great to get back to the inn and get ready for dinner!

Here is Chef Mark seriously preparing the garden salads for dinner . . .


While out in the dining room Richard and gang are laughing up a storm!


A fun time was had by all and if you missed your chance this year, Richard will be back with us again in 2014!

Carol Marine Does It Again

We were so lucky to have Carol Marine return to us to teach another wonderful workshop. However, we had to keep a close eye on anything that wasn’t nailed down and was suitable subject matter for a still life! Plates, bowls, glasses, flatware — it all made it’s way into the studio. No matter — Carol had her crew doing amazing paintings with all this simple stuff.

No, the hamster was NOT something found in the inn dining rooms, but I just love the painting. Our daughter had hamsters like this when she was little. She always named them Hamlet.


I enjoyed strolling around the studio to see all of the Stuff the people brought from home as subjects for their paintings.


Carol was a tireless instructor. She spent a lot of time with each of her “kids”.


On the last day of the 5-day class, the group gathered on porch of the South Cottage (this was Carol room) for a class photo. This was also part of the lesson. Carol was explaining to the class some tips for taking good reference photos outdoors.


What a happy crew! They were such fun to have at the inn.


Watercolor Portraits with Ted Nuttall

The wonderful Ted Nuttall was recently here to teach a 5-day workshop on creating portraits in watercolor using photographs for reference.

Ted is a fabulous figurative artist who’s work has won numerous awards. But even more important to the students, he is a teacher who not only knows how to teach, but how to inspire!


Nothing but smiles in this class!


Ted gave everyone plenty of individual guidance at their easel.


Another reason for smiles during the workshop was the delicious food. This is a new twist on one of last year’s favorites – the Orange-Soy Glazed Chicken on a Portabello Mushroom. This year the chef is using an “airline” cut of chicken, which is mostly a boneless chicken breast.


It is marvelous paired with fresh seasonal corn on the cob, broccoli and sautéed parsnips.

Here is Chef Mark, brushing on the soy glaze and Kadi, one of our waitstaff, sprinkling on the toasted sesames.


Robert Burridge’s Magic Show

Bob Burridge sometimes like to refer to his demos as magic shows — probably because he worked his way through college performing as a magician! Now a days Bob works magic with acrylics and collage!

Always a fun workshop, here is a photo tour of the studio during the class:


Bob will be back again in 2013 at around the same time in May. Don’t delay in signing up for this super popular instructor!

Patchwork Sassaman Style

Jane Sassaman, who is teaching a workshop for us at the end of June, has just authored a fabulous new book, Patchwork Sassaman Style: Recipes for Dazzling Quilts, published by Dragon Threads Ltd.


The book debuts at the same time as a new collection of fabric designs by Jane for FreeSpirit fabric.

Jane has taught her popular Abstracting from Nature workshop for us several times and I have always admired the sense of playful color and whimsical compositions in her detailed art quilts. It is no surprise that her fabric designs have this same wonderful vibrancy and fun. In fact, the whole cloth fabric designs have so much “personality” that one is loathed to cut them up!

Patchwork Sassaman Style is a “cookbook” to guide you through the possibilities of using large scale, bold, colorful prints, such as Jane’s fabric designs, in quilts. Jane calls these bold prints “personality prints” – fabrics with the pizzazz to take center stage in a quilt composition.

Using traditional quilt block patterns as a launching point, Jane explains with easy to understand instructions and illustrations, how to make use of design symmetry and repeats to create unique block patterns with large scale prints.

The book starts with very simple, basic designs and then progresses to more complex designs. Jane presents at least two design variations for each block pattern.

So if you have found yourself unable to resist the siren call of these big, bold, colorful, knock-your-socks-off prints, Jane’s new book, Patchwork Sassaman Style, will inspire you to pull these fabrics off your shelves and put them into a a fabulous new quilt for your wall or for your bed.

To celebrate Jane’s new book and fabric line, a blog tour is scheduled for July. Watch Jane’s website and Dragon Threads’ website for details.

There are still a few spots left for Jane’s 5-day workshop with us, June 24 – 30, 2012. Come to the workshop and you’ll be able to peruse the book in our library!

Karen Rosasco’s Watermedia Party

Karen Rosasco was here last week to teach her 5-day watermedia workshop. By the end of the week everyone was exhausted from the intense workshop, but oh so happy. Several people exclaimed that they had never laughed so long and so loud in their life! Karen was described as an excellent instructor who was challenging, but extremely encouraging. She knows how to approach and guide each student no matter what their level of experience is.

The party atmosphere was in the classroom . . .


. . . and at the dinner table.


Several of the students even suggested that maybe we could convince Karen to do a 7 or 10 day workshop in the future. No one wanted to go home, they were having such a good time.


The class also put together a lovely collage card thanking us for hosting this fabulous workshop. We really appreciate knowing that people had a fabulous time at the workshop and at the inn.


If you don’t want to miss the party next year, remember to sign up early for Karen’s workshop. It is scheduled for July 7 – 13, 2013.

Happy Hour

Linda Long said, “Kim, you have to advertise about the “Happy Hour” during the workshop! The time when everyone gathers in the front parlor before dinner with a glass of wine or a mug of beer is what sold me on coming so often to your workshops!”

So here is what Happy Hour at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops looks like! This was during the Hollis Chatelain workshop and this group knew how to have a good time.


While the students and teacher are having a rousing good time in the parlor, our waitstaff is busy setting the tables for dinner.


We have a wonderful selection of reasonably priced wine and beers on our menu, as well as more pricey ones if you are so inclined. We had one woman at a workshop who had a glass of champagne every night. I think she had the right idea and I now follow her example whenever I get the opportunity to get away for a workshop!

Dye Painting on Fabric with Hollis Chatelain

Hollis Chatelain, one of the featured artists in the movie, “Stitched”, is here teaching a 5-day workshop on her process of using dye paints to paint on fabric.

Yesterday I had the good fortune to catch a revealing of the paintings created by the students in the workshop. Here is a sampling of the marvelous work that everyone is doing — and most people in the class have never done anything like this before!


Spinach Salad with Lemon Dressing

After many requests for the recipe of this popular salad served during the workshops, here it is!

Spinach Salad with Lemon Dressing

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of salad oil (canola or olive oil)
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Whisk together the ingredients and drizzle on top of fresh baby spinach leaves. We add dried cranberries and sliced almonds. Also good are fresh sliced strawberries.


Landscapes in Oil with John MacDonald

We just finished a wonderful week with John MacDonald and all of his students. This was John’s first time teaching for us, but it certainly won’t be his last. He came highly recommended and we now know why. All of the student feedback was extremely positive!

John had expected to have to spend quite a bit of the workshop time painting in the studio, given the typical nature of the weather in May here in upstate NY. However, the weather has been anything but typical! It was beautiful all week long, so the class went outdoors to paint every day and loved it.

Mostly they kept local — within 10 to 15 minutes of the inn, but on Wednesday they all decided to go out to Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church. Olana is located in Hudson, which is about 30 minutes from the inn.


It was a trifle windy when they first arrived at Olana, so most people choose to set up their easels at a lower point of the hill, but there were still a couple of intrepid painters who wanted the full vista effect at the top of the hill next to the house.


This is Linda, who choose to paint the vista that includes the Rip Van Winkle bridge across the Hudson River.


Every time I go up to Olana, I always have to check out their marvelous perennial garden that is just below the main house. With the early Spring we’ve been having, you can see that everything is well on the way.


The gardening staff was in the process of spreading a layer of mulch around the flower beds, which reminds me that I have to order a big load for the gardens at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn!

John MacDonald is schedule to return to teach for us in 2014 during September. You’ll want to sign up early for this class because I’m sure the word will spread from this year’s happy students and it will fill up quickly!

Working with Sheers with Esterita Austin

Teri Austin was back again teaching a workshop for us with her usual enthusiasm! This time the students were exploring/playing with all the fun things you can do with sheer fabrics, whether you are creating something abstract, a still life, a landscape, or a portrait.

Teri brought some fabulous hand-dyed fabrics for sale, as well as paints, brushes, markers, Misty Fuse and more fun stuff.


The first day was spent just experimenting. Teri had a suitcase of tulle that looks like is exploded when she opened it!


The second and third day the students got down to incorporating what they learned about using sheers into their own projects.


It is interesting to see how the advent of iPads and laptops have change the way the students bring their reference material. Now is it all visible and searchable on the digital device, instead of bringing a folder full of printed photos. Their whole photo library could be on their iPad!

Also, now that wi-fi is available allover our property, if a student wanted to search for a detail look at, say how an eye looks close up, they can easily do a Google search.

Sue Andrews decided to a portrait of her dog. Here is it in process . . .


and here it is done (just needs to be put on a background, which she did do before the class was finished).


Great use of those hand-dyed fabrics!

Here is another student started portrait that makes use of sheers for shading.


Alison Chandler brought in a piece (the one on the right) that she started in a Jane Sassaman workshop at HRVAW (Hudson River Valley Art Workshops) a couple of years ago. While playing with creating texture with sheers and Misty Fuse, it suddenly occurred to her that the texture would be great for creating a new piece similar to her other palm tree quilt.


Here is the palm tree a little further on in the development. I can’t wait to see it when it is done.


Alison also brought in her award-winning quilt portrait of her husband on his Harley. She started this piece in one of Teri’s portrait workshops with us a number of years back. She is justifiably proud of this piece. It is even more amazing in person.


Teri Austin will be teaching her 5-day portrait workshop for us again in 2014. Put it on your to do list now!

There were another colorful sights around the inn during this workshop . . .

The forsythia is an amazing yellow at the moment.


And the vegetarian meal choice of Ratatouille was as delicious as it was colorful!


The next fiber art workshop on our schedule is Dye Painting with Hollis Chatelain: April 29 – May 5, 2012. There are still a couple spots in this workshop! Don’t miss your chance.

Chicago School of Fusing – New York Branch

We were finally able to get Laura Wasilowski, of and Chicago School of Fusing fame, to come to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach a workshop.


She came to teach her 3-day workshop, Couching Thread, Hidden Needle! She was spreading the joy of taking your fused quilts from flat to fabulous with hand embroidery. is Laura’s hand-dyed fabrics and threads company and she brought a tempting array for the students to purchase.


The first day of the class was spend on Fusing Basics and creating fabulous fun fused floral fancies for later embellishing with stitching. Here are several examples.


The second day the embroidery threads came out and Laura showed how to use various stitch patterns to embellish and enhance the fused quilts design. She also demonstrated other useful ways to use the colorful threads!


Here are some shots of the student’s work with some very creative use of hand stitching.


The next workshop coming up is with Esterita Austin on April 12 – 15. A 3-day workshop on working with sheer fabrics and mono printing for still life or portraits. Always a wonderful workshop!

Fabric Compositions Coming Together

It’s the 4th day of the Carol Taylor Improvisational Scrap Quilt workshop and the class is still working at a feverish pace! It’s hard to get them to take a break for meals! Although at afternoon cookie time those cookies disappear fast.

Look at these amazing compositions created from all the technique exercises:


This is part of a piece being created by Barbara Plasker. What a marvelous use of the fabrics.


Gail Dwyer has 3 pieces coming together in her design corner.


This is one of several pieces by Karen Fink.


I’ll try to get some more photos tomorrow because I’m sure the midnight oil will be burning in the studio and more work will be coming together.

Next up, class-wise, is a 3-day workshop that is sure to be a rousing good time. How could it not be with the ever enthusiastic Laura Wasilowski! This is a 3-day workshop on using hand stitching and embroidery to take your fused art quilts from flat to fabulous! There is still space in the class and we always welcome spur-of-the-moment/fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants types of people! Join the fun, but if not, stand by for the pictures!

Improv Scrap Quilts with Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor is back again this year repeating her very popular Improvisational Scrap Quilt workshop.

The first two days have been a flurry of activity as the students build components, that they will later use in their quilt compositions, while learning different construction techniques – skinny lines, couching, pieced circles, and a lot more.


This is an example of the exercise piece created when they were learning to couch various types of fancy fibers on a piece of fabric. This will later be cut up into pieces when they start to compose their scrap quilts.


Everyone’s work is looking totally different even though they are using the same techniques.

Carol Taylor thought I coordinated very well with Gail Dwyer’s sets so she said that she just had to take a picture!


Carol bought her mini yarn shop with her, providing lots of eye candy and possibilities for the students to purchase. This is a benefit of Carol being close enough to us to drive in her own van.


As a knitter and a fiber artists, I just love to gaze at the jumbled pile of color and sparkle!

To see pictures of Carol’s past workshops with us check out these posts:

Carol Taylor Improvisational Art Quilts (2011)

Spring Color Outshined in Carol Taylor’s Class (2010)

Carol Taylor Photo Op (2007)

Early Bird Prize Winner Awarded

Every year we hold a drawing from all of the people who sign up early for one of our workshops. For example, for this year you were entered in the drawing if you signed up for a 2012 workshop prior to March 1, 2012. We have two drawings, one for the painting workshops and one for the fiber art workshops. Since you have to attend a workshop to claim your prize, this makes for a great surprise for the lucking winner and we get to see the joy in their face in person!

The second place winner in the fiber art drawing attended the Paula Nadelstern workshop — Susan Parisi. She won a Hudson River Valley Art Workshop tote bag full of fiber art goodies.


It included a spool of Glitter thread by Superior Threads, 2 spools of Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread, 1 spool of 12 wt Aurifil thread, a sticky dot stamper by Elmers, Quilter’s Catalog by Meg Cox, a Hudson River Valley Art Workshop sketchbook, printable inkjet silk sheets by Jacquard, an 18m Olfa Rotary cutter, a 3 piece set of Pilot Frixion erasable fabric pens, a spool of Bottom Line by Superior Threads, a set of Fabrico fabric markers, a novelty tape measure, a package of Misty Fuse, and a Bee’s Knees chocolate bar by Life By Chocolate! These are all products that we carry in our mini shop.

The third prize winner of the fiber art drawing (a $100 gift certificate to our workshops) is in Carol Taylor’s workshop that is happening right now. But, sshhh, she doesn’t know it yet! We will surprise during our Coming Attractions presentation on Thursday night.

Kaleidoscope Quilts with Paula Nadelstern

Our first workshop of the year is underway with Paula Nadelstern, renown fiber artist, teacher, and fabric designer.

I can’t photograph any of her wonderful work that is hanging in the studio at the moment because it is destined for exhibits that prohibit the work from being previous published, including on the internet. But I can show you a picture of a luscious pile of fabrics designed by Paula. Such vibrant colors!


After the first demo of the process Monday morning, everyone dove right into work of creating a kaleidoscope block. Paula circulated around the studio helping anyone who needed it with one-on-one instruction.



Which sometimes attracted a larger audience!


Here are the results of the first block making exercise.


The students have come from all over for this workshop. We have representatives from NY, NJ, CA, CO, RI, OH, VA, Canada and Australia! They are a very happy group.


The weather this week has been perfect – sunny and in the 70s. The group is taking advantage of the weather by enjoying their lunch out on the inn front porch or at the picnic tables by the pool. They are also planning a field trip to the worlds largest kaleidoscope which is just a lovely 45 minute scenic drive. They are planning to stop for lunch on the way in Woodstock, always a fun town to visit.

The Spring crocus are blooming around the inn grounds and tulips and daffodils are not far behind.


Setting Up the Mini Fabric Shop

It is just two days until our 8th workshop season begins with a 5-day workshop with Paula Nadelstern! Londa of Log Cabin Fabric came by this morning to set up her portion of our on-site mini fabric and art supply shop. It is always a feast for the eyes when she brings over the baskets of fabric, threads, and other goodies!


We carry a number of threads, books, inks, and other notions ourselves (year-round).


Even if you are not taking a workshop, if you are in the area, you are welcome to stop by to shop — remember we also have a gourmet chocolate shop at the inn, Life By Chocolate! Our general public shopping hours are between 10am and 5pm, Wednesday through Sunday.

Following the Paula Nadelstern workshop is a 5-day workshop with Carol Taylor: Improvisational Scrap Quilts and then a 3-day workshop with Laura Wasilowski: Couching Thread, Hidden Needle. All of these classes still have some spaces, so come join us if you can!

Related Posts From Past Workshops:

Looking to see more painting supplies in our little shop? What do you think are the must have items? We are limited in space, but want to start including the things that our painting workshops will find the most handy to have available in our shop.

The 2012 Workshop Season is About to Begin

Where has the time gone? 2012 will be our 8th workshop season, although Hudson River Valley Art Workshops has been at this location since the 1980s!

We are enjoying a brief bit of snow, which is due to melt away tomorrow. Today, however, it is gorgeous.


Every year is exciting but as I start to put together everything for the current season, it always seem that THIS year will be the best ever!

This is the line up for 2012:

  • Paula Nadelstern: Mar. 18-24. Kaleidoscope Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Carol Taylor: Mar. 25-31. Improvisational Scrap Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Laura Wasilowski: Mar. 31-Apr. 3. Couching Thread, Hidden Needle, 3-day workshop
  • Esterita Austin: Apr. 12-15. Exploring Sheers, 3-day workshop
  • John MacDonald: Apr. 15-21. Oil Painting, 5-day workshop
  • Susan Shie: Apr. 22-28. Diary Painting for Art Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Hollis Chatelain: Apr. 29-May 5. Dye-Painting on Fabric, 5-day workshop
  • Karen Rosasco: May 6-12, Experimental Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Jean Uhl Spicer: May 17-20, Florals in Watercolor, 3-day workshop
  • Robert Burridge: May 20-26. Acrylic Painting and Collage, 5-day workshop
  • Elizabeth Apgar-Smith: May 31-Jun. 3. Composing from Field Sketches, 3-day workshop
  • Ted Nuttall: Jun. 3-9. Watercolor Portraits from Photos, 5-day workshop
  • Carol Marine: Jun. 10-16. Oil Still Life, 5-day workshop
  • Richard McKinley: Jun. 17-23. Pastel Landscapes, 5-day workshop
  • Jane Sassaman: Jun. 24-30. Abstracting From Nature, 5-day workshop
  • Kathyanne White: Jul. 1-7. Digital Printing on Alternative Surfaces, 5-day workshop
  • Valerie Goodwin: Jul. 12-15. Mixed Media Maps, 3-day workshop
  • David Dunlop: Jul. 15-21. On Location with Past Masters, 5-day workshop
  • Frank Webb: Jul. 22-28. Studio Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Summer Retreat: Jul. 29-Aug. 4. Self-Directed retreat, 3- or 6-nights
  • Mel Stabin: Aug. 5-11. Watercolor Landscapes, 5-day workshop
  • Peter Fiore. Aug. 12-18. Landscape Painting: Beyond the Photograph, 5-day workshop
  • Margaret Evans: Aug. 18-21. The Versatility of Pastel, 3-day workshop
  • Elin Pendleton: Aug. 23-26. Color – Getting it Right!, 3-day workshop
  • Judi Betts: Aug. 26-Sep. 1. Studio Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Lorenzo Chavez: Sep. 9-15. Landscapes in Pastel or Oil, 5-day workshop
  • Donna Zagotta: Sep. 16-22. Adding the You Factor to Your Paintings, 5-day workshop
  • Pat Dews: Sep. 23-29. Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Skip Lawrence: Sep. 30-Oct. 6. Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Kenn Backhaus: Oct. 7-13. Composition and Brushwork in Oil, 5-day workshop
  • Alvaro Castagnet: Oct. 14-20. Landscapes in Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Charotte Warr Andersen: Oct. 21-27. Portraits in Fabric, 5-day workshop
  • Margaret Dyer: Oct. 27-30. Figures in Pastel, 3-day workshop
  • Rosalie Dace: Nov. 4-10. Cross Currents, 5-day workshop
  • Jane Davila: Nov. 10-13. Irresistible Surface Design, 3-day workshop
  • Larkin Van Horn: Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Vessels, Shrines, Reliquaries, 3-day workshop
  • Sue Benner: Dec. 2-8. Techniques for Fused Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Susan Brubaker Knapp. Dec. 9-15. Paint, Fuse, Stitch!, 5-day workshop

Fabulous Fusible Flowers with Melinda Bula

The fun and fabulous Melinda Bula was with us again in 2011 as our last workshop for the year. It was a wonderful group and it was sad to see them leave.

The busy holiday season prevented me from posting photos of the class until now. I hope you had a marvelous holiday season and a Happy New Year, too!

Below is a shot of the table where Melinda’s work is spread on the table and on the board is a piece that she was working on during that class as she showed the process and techniques that she uses.


The ladies in the class were very industrious during class time and had loads of fun and laughter at the dinner table. Who knows what when on in the studio after dinner. LOL!


Someone’s pin cushion looked as colorful as the flowers!