An Interview with Joe Weatherly – Animal Artist


Joe Weatherly is an artist specializing in the drawing and painting of animals. His bold and vigorous style captures the drama of his subjects. Conservation of the natural world is something Joe is very passionate about and hopes his art motivates people to protect it and promote its survival.

Joe will be teaching a 5-day workshop for us this Spring, May 4 – 10, 2014. This will be the first time that Joe has taught a workshop for us, but he comes highly recommended. We are already busy lining up the models from local farms, and if we are lucky, maybe an exotic animal or two (besides our crazy dogs!).

Joe Weatherly has published several books; the Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals, Animal Essence the Art of Joe Weatherly, and the Joe Weatherly Sketchbook. We have several of these in our studio library and I’ve enjoyed viewing the rich and captivating images of this paintings and drawings.


Besides teaching, many of Joe’s paintings and drawings hang in private collections in Europe and North America. Some of his art clients include Nickelodeon Animation, Dreamworks Feature Animation, Universal Studios, Art Center, Laguna College of Art and Design, and The Academy of Art in San Francisco.

As the first in our new series of interviews with our artist instructors, I put before Joe a number of questions about his life as an artist.

How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I have been teaching for 16 years. What got me started was I wanted to make some money to travel to Europe so I got the idea to make a flyer and advertise a six week animal drawing class at a local zoo and the class filled. I really started to like teaching animal drawing because of my passion for the subject matter so I made a handout each week on how to draw a particular animal and these built up over time and that is how I got the idea to make my first book, “The Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals”, and ever since then colleges and art institutions have been hiring me to teach.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is being able to demonstrate my ideas and show people how I do it. I enjoy teaching a workshop or class where everyone really wants to be there because there is a common interest and energy that is an inspiration for all involved. I had some really good drawing teachers when I was learning my craft and they helped me solve a lot of problems and had great patience so I like to pass that kind of help on to my students because I know how hard it can be to obtain good information about drawing and painting.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

The three best reasons for taking a workshop are 1.) To obtain a lot of information in a short amount of time on a subject that you have a passion for or a desire to learn about. 2.) To get out of the studio and recharge your batteries and hear new ideas about a subject that you are already familiar with or are working professionally at. 3.) To study with a pro or a particular artist that you admire or want to know more about how they work and what you can learn from them.

What are you currently working on in your own art?

Currently I am working on a body of work consisting of oil paintings with various animals from North America, South America and Southeast Asia. The exotic animal pieces will go to a show in Paris France in 2015.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My work is currently being exhibited at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont.

Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

My work is currently represented in France by Galerie Daniel Maghen. In North America, for the most part, it is sold to private collectors. I am looking to branch out into more gallery representation in the states. My advice to artists looking for gallery representation is to research the galleries first to see if they sell the type of work you make, and if so, send them a small portfolio consisting of 8-10 images that best represent your work along with any sales history or pertinent information.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I don’t sell my work in any online gallery but I do sell from my website.


What is your favorite art quote?

My favorite art quote is by Michelangelo, “Painting is a jealous mistress”.

Describe your studio.

My studio is quite orderley, I’m not a real messy painter. I have a room with a lot of windows and doors so plenty of light gets in. In addition to that I have track lighting above my easel so I can work with strong light throughout the night. I use a large art table made for the Disney Studios a long time ago that lights up from below. This is where I do most of my drawing. For painting I have a pretty big easel and a computer screen that I use for reference along with any drawings or color sketches I make.

Image 1.jpg

Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products

  1. Masonite panels
  2. Cheson 828 and 804 pallet knives
  3. Transparent yellow and red oxide oil paint
  4. Robert Doak “terra rosa” oil paint
  5. Grumbacher sun thickened linseed oil

Thank you Joe for your thoughtful and informative responses. We are looking forward to the workshop in May. There are still some spots available in this class, but don’t wait too long to sign up!


Besides the new feature of interviews with our artist instructors on this blog, we are also interested in highlighting the artists who attend the workshops. If you’ve attended a workshop of ours in the past and would like to be featured, including links to your website and blog, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!

Gloria Loughman’s Multiple Images within a Landscape

Awarding winning art quilter, Gloria Loughman, a very popular teacher from Victoria, Australia, taught to a full house this past November. Gloria is the author of Luminous Landscapes, Quilted Symphony, and her newest book, Radiant Landscapes.


These pics will give you just a taste of this exciting and challenging workshop. As Cheryl Kosarek said, “This class was beyond expectations! Gloria is a world class talented instructor.”

Gloria will be returning to teach for us again in 2015 and a number of folks from this year’s class have already signed up!


International Quilt Market Report – 2013

The International Quilt Market/Festival in Houston, Texas is the largest event of its type, bring in 10s of thousands of attendees from around the world every year. Market is the trade show part where people working in the industry can get a preview and first hand experience with new products, trends, and techniques. It features a wholesale vendor show, business classes and lectures. This is a great conference to get you pumped with excitement and ideas.

Festival is for the general public and it features a retail vendors show (huge!) and also classes and lectures.

One of the highlights for many, including me, is the vast array of exhibits of fiber art, from traditional to art and everything in between.


Below are several examples of pieces in the exhibits. These happen to be by people who will be teaching workshops for us in 2014 or 2015.

This first one is by Jane Sassaman, teaching here next December. Her piece won the The Baby Lock Master Award for Innovative Artistry.


This beautiful rendition of a winter landscape is by Ruth Powers, who will be teaching for us in 2015.


This amazing piece is by David Taylor (the fiber artist from Colorado, not the watercolorist from Australia), who is teach a workshop for us in the summer of 2014.


Next up is a fabulous work by Sheila Frampton-Cooper, who is teaching a workshop for us in 2015.


Finally, a grouping of works by Lenore Crawford who is teach a workshop for us next Fall.


If you are interested in seeing more photos of the exhibits, I have a much longer post on my Crazy By Design blog.

Jean Wells Keenan’s Design Forward

Jean Wells Keenan, founder of the Sisters, Oregon quilt festival, owner of the Stitchin’ Post, and all around fabulous teacher and person, was here at the end of October to teach a 3-day workshop.

A fine time was had by all. “Jean is a fantastic teacher, so kind, knowledgable, down to earth, and approachable. A beautiful artist,” is what Susan Sowers had to say.


And let know forget about the cookies! That’s a 6″ plate, by the way.


The weather was beautiful Fall temperatures and the climatis were still putting on a show.


And speaking of a show, the chocolate shop was prepped for Halloween, presided over by a black crow.


2014 Workshops Schedule – The Complete List

nadelstern_paula_sm2014.jpg Paula Nadelstern

Kaleidoscope Quilts

March 16 – 22, 2014


5 – Day Class

pasquini_katie_sm2014.jpg Katie Pasquini Masopust

Working in a Series

March 23 – 29, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

gillman_rayna_sm2014.jpg Rayna Gillman

Free-Form Design Spa

March 29 – April 1, 2014

All Levels

3 – Day Class

wasilowski_laura_sm2014.jpg Laura Wasilowski

Counching Thread, Hidden Needle

April 3 – 6, 2014

All Levels

3 – Day Class

mcneill_kathy_sm2014.jpg Kathy McNeil

Creating Your Own Landscape

April 6 – 12, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

white_kathyanne_sm2014.jpg Kathyanne White

Digital Printing on Alternative Surfaces Unleashed!

April 27 – May 3, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

weatherly_joe_sm2014.jpg Joe Weatherly

May 4 – 10, 2014

Drawing and Oil Sketch

All Levels

5-Day Outdoor/Studio

dyer_margaret_sm2014.jpg Margaret Dyer

May 15 – 18, 2014

Pastel Figures

All Levels

3-Day Studio

burridge_bob_sm2014c.jpg Robert Burridge

May 18 – 24, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Studio

nelson_elizabeth_sm2014.jpg Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson

May 29 – Jun 1, 2014

Paper Collage

All Levels

3-Day Studio

weigardt_eric_sm2014.jpg Eric Wiegardt

Jun 1 – 7, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Outdoor/Studio

evans_margaret_sm2014.jpg Margaret Evans

Jun 8 – 14, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Outdoors

rosasco_karen_sm2014.jpg Karen Rosasco

Jun 15 – 21, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Studio

rose_howard_sm2014b.jpg Howard Rose

Jun 22 – 28, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Outdoors/Studio

taylor_cathy_sm2014a.jpg Cathy Taylor

Jun 28 – Jul 1, 2014

Mixed Media

All Levels

3-Day Studio

ivers_christine_sm2014.jpg Christine Ivers

Jul 10 – 13, 2014


All Levels

3-Day Studio

flattman_alan_sm2014.jpg Alan Flattmann

Jul 13 – 19, 2014

Pastel or Oil

All Levels

5-Day Outdoors/Studio

dunlop_david_sm2014b.jpg David Dunlop

Jul 20 – 26, 2014

Oil, Watercolor, Acrylic

All Levels

5-Day Outdoors

fiore_peter_sm2014.jpg Peter Fiore

Jul 27 – Aug 2, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Studio

stabin_mel_sm2014c.jpg Mel Stabin

Aug 3 – 9, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Outdoors/Studio

austin_esterita_sm.jpg Esterita Austin

Expressionistic Portraits

August 10 – 16, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

taylor_david_Q_sm2014.jpg David Taylor

Photo to Quilt with Hand Applique

August 17 – 23, 2014


5 – Day Class

olson_barbara_sm2014b.jpg Barbara Olson

Intuitive Images

August 23 – 26, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

lindsay_ann_sm2014.jpg Ann Lindsay

Sep 4 – 7, 2014


All Levels

3-Day Studio

nuttall_ted_sm.jpg Ted Nuttall

Sep 7 – 13, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Studio

mckinley_richard_sm2014.jpg Richard McKinley

Sep 14 – 20, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Outdoors/Studio

macdonald_john_sm2014.jpg John MacDonald

Sep 21 – 27, 2014


Intermediate & Advanced

5-Day Studio/Outdoors

lawrence_skip_sm2014.jpg Skip Lawrence

Sep 28 – Oct 4, 2014



5-Day Studio

bohler_joe_sm2014.jpg Joe Bohler

Oct 5 – 11, 2014


All Levels

5-Day Studio

fall_retreat_sm.jpg Self-Directed Retreat

All media welcome

October 12 – 18, 2014

All Levels

3-night or 6-night option

berg_liz_sm2014.jpg Liz Berg

Creating an Original Art Quilt

October 19 – 25, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

benner_sue_sm2014.jpg Sue Benner

Driven to Abstraction

October 26 – Nov. 1, 2014


5 – Day Class

pignatelli_vikki_sm2014d.jpg Vikki Pignatelli

Creative Curves, Improvisations and Dimension

November 1 – 8, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

crawford_lenore_sm2014b.jpg Lenore Crawford

Impressionistic Fabric Art

November 9 – 15, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

redmond_wen_sm2014.jpg Wen Redmond

3-D Holigraphic Images

December 4 – 7, 2014

All Levels

3 – Day Class

sassaman_jane_sm2014.jpg Jane Sassaman

Abstracting from Nature

December 7 – 13, 2014

All Levels

5 – Day Class

Alvaro Castagnet in Upstate New York

It was another wonderful week of Fall weather for the Alvaro Castagnet workshop full of technique and inspiration. As Alvaro says,

It is important to handle your technique with confidence, because that will give you, as the artist a sense of security. Technique is like a river flowing, it is dynamic and always changing because the more we progress, the more we know, and so our technique gets better.”

The first day was spent painting around the inn grounds.


Dinnertime was always a rousing time with this group. There were chants for more of the great food!


Mark, the chef extraordinaire, was more than happy to oblige. Here he is creating the amazing sauce for the Steak Diane.


And don’t these brioche just make you want to roll over and beg for more?


Alvaro likes to do kitchen paintings, with all the wonderful steam, activity and motion. He got Mark’s permission to come in the kitchen while he worked at take lots of reference photos, something not usually allowed! I can’t wait to see the paintings that may be inspired by the photos.


One another day of the workshop, the class went out to a local farm to paint. You can see what a gorgeous day it was with all the clear blue sky.


Critiques can be tough, but a hug makes it all better.


Alvaro will be returning to teaching another workshop in 2015. Remember to sign up early to get in to his always very popular workshop.

Susan Ogilvie’s Pastel Workshop

Susan Ogilive, the marvelous pastelist from Washington, just finished teaching a 5-day workshop with us. All the students sung Susan’s praises about what a wonderful teacher she is and how much they enjoyed the week with us.

We are still in the midst of some gorgeous Fall weather, and so the class enjoyed painting outside at some local farms and at Olana. Just look at those blue skies in the photos!


A herd of alpacas showed particular interest in pastel paintings as one of the sites.


David Taylor – Breaking New Ground in Watercolor

David Taylor, who recently won three major awards in watercolor and judged in China, just finished teaching a workshop with us.

It was a thumbs up week with a great group of painters and fabulous weather.


The group went to Olana and down by the Hudson River on a couple of days, as well as painted around our grounds.


A picnic lunch was delivered to where ever the group was painting.


There were lots of lively conversations around the dinner table.


On the last night David asked folks to dress up for change and he bought a Crazy By Design quilted tie for the occasion and Jim C. followed suit! David likes the ties I make featuring guitars and has purchased several over the years. Thanks, David – they look great on you!


Portraits in Egg Tempera with Koo Schadler

Master egg tempera artist, Koo Schadler, is here this week teaching a portraiture workshop. Koo’s classes are always very popular.

The paint mixing table is set up in the front of the studio. Koo showed how the paints were created from egg yolks and pigment.


Portraits was the theme, but if you wanted to do a portrait of a pear that was perfectly fine.


The zinnias have been sporting Fall colors all summer, but the trees are just beginning to get tips of color, too.


Jane Dunnewold – The New Complex Cloth

Jane Dunnewold of Art Cloth Studios taught a innovative 5-day workshop for us this passed week. This was the first time that Jane taught a workshop with us, but it certainly won’t be the last! (She is already scheduled to return in 2015.)

Over the course of the week, the class explored dying, stamping, resists, and layering of pattern and texture.

These photos were from the second day of class.


The beautiful sunny days were great for drying out on the lawn in back of the studio and also in the clothes lines strung up on the trees of the forest.


Fran Skiles – Constructed Canvas Mixed Media Workshop

Fran Skiles recently taught a workshop for us. This was one of those great classes that spans the world of fiber artists and mixed media painters. It was a wonderful group and everyone “connected.”

The studio was a hub of activity.


Some people preferred to work large, which caused them to abandon their table for the floor!


Fran was always available for plenty of one-on-one discussion during the class.



It was nice to have sunny days so that work in progress could be hung to dry outside.


Art Supplies – August Update

Our mini art supply shop is growing! Here are the latest new products in stock.


Fabric Dye Sticks

Great for drawing designs on T-shirts and fabrics, these soft and blendable colors are like oil pastels. Heat set with iron for permanency. Non-toxic. The 7-Color Set includes: black, blue, green, red, orange, yellow and white. The 15-Color Set includes all of the colors in the smaller set plus brown, blue green, dark green, gray, ochre, pink, sky blue and yellow orange. We also have a 7 piece set.


Frisket Mask Liquid
Dr. Ph. Martin’s

Dr. Ph. Martin’s formula peels off clean without tearing the paper and seals well on most any surface. It’s AP approved non-toxic and conforms to ASTM Standard D-4236. In a 1 oz. bottle.


No-Run Blue Gel Glue

This fun, no-run blue gel glue is easy to use and ideal for paper, cloth, school and craft projects. It is safe and non-toxic, dries clear and remains flexible. The easy to open twist cap allows you to squeeze out the proper amount. Use a damp cloth to clean up, and if dried, wash with soap and water. In a 4 oz. container.


Pen & Ink Watercolor Books
Art Alternatives

Pen & Ink Watercolor Books will inspire you to embrace the immediacy of watercolor and bathe your sketches in color. Each pocket-sized hard-bound book features 122 lb. cold-pressed, acid-free perforated pages, a bookmark, an expandable inner pocket and an elastic closure.


Ampersand Art

Ideal for use with pastels and acrylics, Pastelbord holds pastels better than pastel paper and can be used wet or dry. To rework an area simply wash with water. Available in colors that provide an excellent under painting.


Regular Gels

These gels are creamy like Heavy Body Acrylic colors and are ideal for extending paint and regulating transparency.


Matte Medium

Gives a matte transparency when mixed with colors.


pH Neutral PVA Adhesive
Lineco/University Products

Made of archival polyvinyl acetate (PVA), this white, neutral pH adhesive is an excellent adhesive for bookbinding, collage or general art work. The adhesive spreads well, and has good open time and lay flat characteristics. Dries acid-free, solvent-free and water-soluble.

Capturing the Moment with Kim English

We just finished another great week with Colorado artist, Kim English. This was all about quick sketch painting to capture the moment.

Two models were used on each of the days, except for Wednesday when the group went to paint at our favorite local farm. The first day was spent in the studio with the models, working on quick sketches to capture gesture and shapes. The second day, the group set up around the pool. First the models were positioned on the second floor porch of the Carriage House and then in various set ups around the pool.


Excellent experience – quick studies of gesture & intense color classes were the BEST!” – Susan P.

Kim will be returning again in 2014 to teach this very popular class.

Brommer’s Stain Papers and Collage

Stained Papers and Collage was the 5-day workshop that was recently taught here by Gerald Brommer.

Loved it! He is such an excellent teacher and a lovely man. Learned so much!” – Toni & Lorraine


The weather was beautiful all week.


Every evening before dinner the gang gathered on the front porch for a little fruit of the vine and lively conversation. Jerry Brommer hosted the wine for the dinner on Monday night, as is his usual, and each night after that another student hosted the wine. A very congenial and generous group!


Jerry will return to us in 2015 to teach another one of his wonderful workshops.

Watercolor Studio workshop with Frank Francese

Colorado-based artist, Frank Francese, recently taught fabulous studio watercolor workshop to a full house.

Exceeded my expectations. I have waited to study with Frank for a long time. I saw him paint a masterpiece in one of his demos” was a comment from Sally S.

It gave me a different perspective to approaching painting. Unique! Now I can paint buildings,” is what Linda M said about the class.


This is the new Frank Francese painting that will soon be hung at our inn, the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn.

Frank will be returning in 2015 to each another 5-day workshop.


Also new at the inn is the expanding product line in our mini art supplies shop. This is just a small start, but we will be adding more as we gather suggestions and feedback from you!


Karen Rosasco Does It Again

Playing to a standing-room-only crowd . . ., well, standing at least, Karen Rosasco enthralled her audience and set their minds spinning with endless possibilities.


Here are some of the comments of the students:

“Fantastic – more than i could absorb!” ** “Karen’s an excellent teacher and I learned techniques that are, and will be, useful in the future.” ** Karen is superb!” ** “I heard that Karen is an experienced teacher and very organized – she was! I learned a lot from her and am signed up already for her class next year.” ** “Karen is a firm yet gentle teacher who sees the systems that add up to powerful art compositions and clearly communicates how to use them.” ** “Karen is an excellent instructor and a joy to know.”


Tony van Hasselt in Natures’s Studio

Mother Nature smiled on Tony van Hasselt’s workshop last week! Even though rain and thunderstorms were predicted for the entire week, the class was able to enjoy painting outdoors on all of their planned days.

The first day, after the morning lecture, Tony took the group out by the pool for a demo.


Mark and David working at keeping the pool sparkling.


Displaying another kind of sparkle is the beautiful Korean Dogwood by the front driveway.


The roses and the climates on the flowering fence provided lots of local color.


And speaking of color, one night yummy chicken jambalaya was on the menu!


On another outing, the class went to the historic town of Rensselaerville. This town is always a favorite with the painting groups because there are so many interesting subjects.


It was a wonderful week and the dinnertime story readings and singing performances made it totally special and memorable.

Leah Lopez Takes It Outside

Leah Lopez, the extraordinary still life oil painter, decided to take advantage of the inspiring landscapes in the Hudson River / Catskill Mountain Region and took the class outside to discover the similarities between still life and landscapes.

The first outing was to Olana,the historic home of Frederick Church. It was a beautiful day and sun hats were quite the thing to sport!


Back in the studio on another of the 5 days of class, students could choose to work on a still life subject or continue to work on their landscapes.


Meanwhile in the kitchen, Mark was preparing dinner – this night’s menu featured Pesto Rack of Lamb.


Everyone likes to gather before dinner for a glass of wine.


On the final night of dinner on Friday, there were plenty of toasts to a wonderful instructor, a marvelous week, and new found friends!


How Sweet It Is with Liz Kenyon

A sweet and colorful week with Liz Kenyon has just completed. Liz was teaching a pastel still life workshop and her favorite subject matter is desserts!

These are just some of the mouth-watering paintings done by the students.


Just as scrumptious was the trays of soft pastels.


Not be out done in the matter of desserts — here is the dessert served on the final night, a Dacquoise. It is a hazelnut meringue with a cream filling.


Meanwhile, outside around the grounds of the inn, the clematis are flowering and everything is becoming green, green, green!


Currently in-house is Leah Lopez, who is teaching a oil painting still life and landscape workshop.


Next up is Painting in Nature’s Studio, an outdoor watercolor workshop with Tony van Hasselt.


July Painting Art Workshops

Experimental Watercolor, Charcoal Figure Drawing, Studio Watercolor, and Watercolor Collage! That’s what we have coming up in July. They are all 5-day/6-night workshop packages, which means plenty of class time, plenty of pool time, and plenty of fun time with your classmates and the instructor.

First up in July is the ever popular Karen Rosasco. She is teaching Experimental Watermedia and Collage, July 7 – 13, 2013. This watermedia exploration and design class focuses on the completion of paintings started in the first two days of experimentation with color, texture and collage. After accumulating a pile of 6 – 10 exciting starts the class will study composition, value, focal point and line work to bring the paintings to a satisfactory finish.

You can see the fun they were having in Karen’s workshop here last year.


Right after Karen’s workshop, is a charcoal figure drawing workshop, July 14 – 20, 2013, with the incomparable Henry Yan, an instructor from the San Francisco School of Art. This workshop will be focused on both short and long pose charcoal drawings from life models. Different techniques mentioned in Henry’s book, Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing, Techniques and Tips, will also be introduced and practiced in class.


Next on the July agenda, is a fabulous studio watercolor workshop with Frank Francese, July 21 – 27, 2013 (Only 3 spots left!) An upbeat and positive workshop designed to generate enthusiasm. Each day’s schedule includes a 45 minute morning and afternoon painting demonstrations, one-on-one instruction, group critiques and ample time for personal painting. Subject matter will range from nature scenes, country scenes, cityscapes, the tropics, and nature’s moods.


This is a painting that Frank did the last time he was here and it is now hanging in our front parlor.


The last chance to come to a workshop this July is the Stained Papers and Collage workshop taught by Gerald Brommer, July 28 – Aug. 3, 2013. A studio course 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 will feature some design exercises which will lead directly into designing with subject matter of your choice. Emphasis will be on exploring ways to create strong, colorful, unique landscape imagery that is truly personal and different.

Gerald Brommer, NWS, AWS, WCWS, RMNWS, has painted and conducted artist workshops around the world and is in great demand as a teacher, consultant, and art juror throughout the United States and abroad. He is noted for his sincerity, genial personality, humor, and masterful ability to guide and inspire artists at all levels of experience.


A well rounded line up!

More great classes are in line for August:

Paul George

New England artist Paul George, a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and an active member of the New England Watercolor Society just taught a 3-day workshop for us this past weekend.

While the weather report kept suggesting that thunder storms were heading our way, they never showed up, so the class was able to enjoy painting outdoors quite a bit. This shot was taken during one of Paul’s morning demos.


The pool was open and inviting, although it is still a bit brisk! However, with a couple of 90 degree days, it is warming up quickly and several folks jumped in for a swim after class.


It is the time for purple flowers in the forest. Its seems like each month a different wild flower is blooming in the forest.


On the final day of the workshop, the class was learning how to add figures into their landscapes/cityscapes.


Peggy G showed me all of the wonderful paintings she worked on during the class. Nice!


Here this week is Liz Kenyon, teaching pastel still life.

Then coming up in the next several weeks are:

June Workshops

The season is heating up and so are the workshops! In June we have something for everyone – watercolor, oil, pastel, and even painting horses and dogs!

First up is a pastel still life class with Liz Kenyon, but sorry folks, this class is full already! Liz’s favorite subject matter is desserts, but even if you’re not in this class you can still admire the desserts by joining in any of the other workshops!

Following Liz’s class is a great class with Leah Lopez – June 10 – 14. Leah is an award-winning artist, originally from New Mexico, but now residing in New York. She has taught a number of workshops for us and always received rave reviews from her students.

This year she is teaching a 5-day oil painting workshop on Still Life and Landscapes.

These are scenes from her workshop with us in 2011. You can see and read more about this class on our workshops blog.


Next up in the schedule is a 5-day workshop with Tony van HasseltPainting in Nature’s Studio – June 24 – 28.

In this class Tony shares his love and knowledge of painting outdoors at inspiring locations in the Hudson River and Catskill area, such as local farms and small riverside towns.

He starts with a logical approach to painting on location and rendering a watercolor in the traditional manner. Then each day you’ll be exposed to more creative and fun possibilities, adding the charm of vignettes and calligraphy. Indoor sessions explore underpainting techniques as well as an introduction to adding incidental figures to the landscape.


Last up in June is an exciting 3-day class with Ellen Gavin where the subject matter is horses and dogs – June 20 – July 1. Ellen ’s equestrian paintings have been widely exhibited, awarded & collected. Her energetic painting style – is reflected in her teaching philosophy.

In this fast paced workshop, learn to fearlessly explore a fresh approach to oil painting. Emphasis on mixing color, value, composition. Horses, figures and dogs will be the main subjects, stressing movement & expression. You can keep the anatomy and avoid getting ‘too tight’. This is primarily a studio workshop, working from photos, though working from life will be discussed.

“Class has exceeded our expectations! Ellen is a fabulous artist and instructor,” was the typical comment from the students in Ellen’s class with us in 2011.


We have more great classes coming up in July, too:

The pool is open and warming up! Great for a refreshing dip after class or during lunch!


Abstracting with Bob Burridge

Bob Burridge was here for his annual party . . . I mean workshop. Although around the dinner table each night it was definitely a party atmosphere, maybe because we have 3 people celebrating their birthdays on different nights.

This is Lil Masten, who has been coming to our workshops for years. She started the birthday celebrations right by buying wine for everyone that night.


Here are the two entertainers – Bob and Mark, during one of their evening “shows!”


The party continued in the studio. This is what one of the students had to say:

“I’ve never laughed so hard at a workshop & had so much fun!! Bob is so knowledgable & wants to share everything he can with his students. I’ve attended many workshops over the last 8 years, I felt that what Bob taught me brought everything I learned previously together & I feel I can start out fresh again. Thanks to a wonderful instructor full of heart, soul, passion and amazing knowledge about art & the meaning of a true artist.” – Mary Fran


Meanwhile outside the studio, the weather was confused. We had 80 degrees the first half of the week and then rain and 40 degrees on the last half of the week! But the lilacs didn’t seem to mind.


Back in the studio, Bob presented many mini demos and lectures each day to keep everyone inspired, thinking, and laughing!


It wasn’t long before the walls of the studio were filled with some amazing and unique works of art.


The pool was “open” but somehow no one was tempted to brave the chilly winds and rain to dive in!


Dinner on the final night was the topper. Everyone loved the Chipotle Chicken and the Tirasmiu dessert, but the final act was a magic show by Bob including turning a napkin into a rabbit and making a salt shaker go right through the table to appear on the underside.


Here is the group that was responsible for this wild week-long party.


Bob will be returning again in May of 2014, so don’t wait to long to sign up because the workshop is sure to fill up quickly, as usual.

Creating an Area of Dominance in Watercolor with Eric Wiegardt

Eric Weigardt, AWS-DF, NWS, just taught a 3-day workshop for us, a change from his usual 5-day (which he’ll be teaching next year). Last year Eric received the highest national honor for a watercolor artist, the prestigious American Watercolor Society’s Gold Medal of Honor, April 20th 2012 in New York City. In American Watercolor Society’s (AWS) 130 year history, only 64 Artists have received this award since its inception in 1948.

Here you can see the students happily working on their assignments.


You can tell that Eric loves to teach!


The class was a studio class, but the weather was so gorgeous that several student decided to work outside.


Eric conducted one of his morning demos outside, too. This is the finished demo painting of the hugh lilac bush that is in front of our cottage building. This painting will soon be hanging in the inn, so stop by and take a look when you are in the area.


The walls of our inn are filled with paintings of instructors who have taught here in the past and will in the future. The “gallery” is open most days and the best time to come is between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

Assemblage and Collage with Mary Alice Braukman

The boxes and boxes started to arrive, so we knew that Mary Alice Braukman would soon here! Mary Alice, with her contact with a number of art material suppliers, also brings lots of free goodies for her classes to enjoy trying out.

This is the batch of stuff that each student received this this class; paints, canvas and other interesting surfaces.


It was a fun week and a very happy group.


Watercolor From Within: Techniques for Painting the Essence of Nature

It was a gorgeous Spring weekend and Barbara Nechis was here teaching a 3-day workshop to a full house.

Barbara is an exceptional instructor along with being an accomplished artist. Her painting style is unique. She has a kind way of teaching and also a great sense of humor,” is what one of her students had to say after the class.

Every afternoon, Barbara conducted a group critique to review what everyone did that day.


Meanwhile, outside Mark and Bob were busy working to get the pool ready to open in a couple of weeks. Even though the pool was not open for swimmers, people enjoyed having their lunch out by the pool.


This is one of the new dishes for this year – a mild chili made with tender braised boneless short ribs. A number of people asked if they could get any leftovers for their lunch the next day – and yes, they did.


Putting it all together in kitchen.


Barbara’s good friend, Mary Alice Braukman, arrived to teach our next workshop and Barbara stayed an extra night just so that they could have dinner together!


Marvelous May Merriment

The weather has turned mild and the grounds of the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, home of the workshops, is busting out all over with buds and flowering bulbs.

The stage is being set for some fun workshops in May with Barbara Nechis, Mary Alice Braukman, Eric Weigardt, Robert Burridge, and Paul George.

Robert Burridge’s class is full and Barbara Nechis’ class has only a couple of spots left, but the others still have a bit more space.

Mary Alice Braukman is once again teaching a 5-day workshop, May 6 – 10, 2013 at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Mary Alice is always a pleasure to have as an instructor and guest. She was the director of the Kanuga Watercolor Workshops for 17 years, so she is definitely experienced in creating a great workshop experience for her students.

About her teaching style, Mary Alice says, “My workshops involve new concepts and ideas. The goal in teaching is to introduce students to creative textural surfaces by experimenting on various papers and combining different media. I hope to inspire each student to make a unique visual personal statement.”

To facilitate that experimentation, Mary Alice, though her connections with various art supply producers, brings to her classes lots of the latest water media materials to play with in the workshop. We always know that Mary Alice is due arrive soon when we start getting boxes and boxes of art supplies arriving by UPS!


Visit Mary Alice Braukman’s website for more information about Mary Alice.

Eric Weigardt, AWS-DF, NWS, will be teaching a 3-day workshop for us for a change from his usual 5-day (which he’ll be teaching next year). So this is the chance for anyone who can’t get away for a 5-day workshop to enjoy Eric’s friendly, humorous, and knowledgable teaching style. The workshop is scheduled for May 17, 18, and 19th.

Last year Eric received the highest national honor for a watercolor artist, the prestigious American Watercolor Society’s Gold Medal of Honor, April 20th 2012 in New York City. In American Watercolor Society’s (AWS) 130 year history, only 64 Artists have received this award since its inception in 1948.


Check out Eric’s website for more about Eric’s many achievements and his books and DVDs.

Paul George, the award winning New England artist, is teaching a 3-day workshop May 31, Jun. 1, and 2.

Paul is signature member of the National Watercolor Society and 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.


This is from Paul’s 2011 workshop with us. Looks like a very happy crowd!


Paul has a great YouTube video in which he talks about the watercolor supplies that he uses.


Thanks for reading our blog!

While we always post pictures from our workshops, I’m looking suggestions and ideas for more blog posts. What are you interested in reading or seeing on our blog? Would you like interviews with the instructors, the students?? More of the meal recipes? How about interviews with art material suppliers?

I’d love to get your feedback!

Hand-Applique with Sandra Leichner

Sandra Leichner, that award-winning, awe inspiring, appliqué artist from Albany, Oregon, was here for a whirlwind 3-day workshop.

This was one dedicated group. We had to practically drag them out of the studio at meal times!

Sandra was a very approachable, friendly, and knowledgable instructor — and dedicated. I always saw her in the studio, even after class hours.

Students could learn Sandra’s techniques using one of Sandra’s designs or they could work on their own.


This is just one of the incredible pieces designed and created by Sandra that she brought to show the class. There was amazing detail throughout.



Every day Sandra would give process demos, working with small groups of the students at a time, so that everyone could be close and see clearly what was being shown.


The following are some examples of the student projects in the works.


On the final day at cookie time, the group gathered in the dining rooms for a class picture.


Everyone loved the class with Sandra. We hope to bring her back in the future to each another workshop.

Here are couple of the comments from the students written our room journals:


Chocolate Beet Cake

One of the most popular desserts of last year was the Chocolate Beet Cake. A dense chocolatey cake that lets you also claim you are eating your vegetables! This cake is the only dessert of last year that we also serving this year – by popular demand.


We’d like you to come to a workshop to enjoy this cake, but if you want to recreate it at home, here is the recipe.

Cake Ingredients:
2 medium beets, trimmed
1/2 Tbs vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup natural cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tap pure vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:
10 Tbs unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 top pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt

PREPARE THE BEETS (can be done a day or two before)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Put the beets on a piece of foil large enough to wrap them. Drizzle with the vegetable oil and turn to coast well. Enclose the beets in the foil and roast until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 1 hour. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with pan spray. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess. (We use cake pans with removable bottoms to make it easy to turn out the cakes.)

Peel and finely grate enough of the beets to make 3/4 cup. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the grated beets and the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and carefully add half of the flour mixture; mix until fully incorporated. Add 1 1/4 cups hot water and the remaining flour mixture, return to medium-low speed and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
Bake the cakes, rotating halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto racks. Let the cakes cool completely.

Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix until combined. Stir in the cream, vanilla and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool slightly. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until soft peaks form and the frosting is completely cool, about 1 hour.

Place one of the cakes on a cake plate and spread a generous 1/2 cup frosting evenly over the top. Top with the second cane and spread a generous 1/2 cup of frosting over it. Frost the sides with the remaining frosting.


More From Katie Pasquini Masopust’s Class

Well, it was amazing how much was accomplished in Katie’s class because they seemed be having just one big on going party! They went out to lunch every other day and shopped — boy, did they shop! Katie always seems to find all the great shopping opportunities in Greenville!

But still, they worked hard in the studio! Here is an example of one of the student pieces in the works. Love the dot rings.


Here, Katie is showing examples of the free-motion quilting that she uses.


More work in the studio.


At the before dinner Happy Hour in the front parlor of the Main Inn.


Such a nice group. We were sad to see them leave. This is the nice card they gave to us and they also gave one to our friendly waitresses who served them all week long — keeping the wine glasses full!


If you missed this year’s class, don’t despair, Katie will be teaching again next year. March 23 – 29, 2014 are the dates and Working In a Series will be the subject, and we already have people signed up.

Painting to Quilt with Katie Pasquini Masopust

The first workshop of the 2013 season has begun! Katie Pasquini Masopust is teaching an eager group her process of taking an abstract watercolor painting and translating it into an art quilt.

The first day was spend painting. This was a very freestyle non-intimidating session of using watercolors and experimenting with methods of creating interesting texture and design.

By the afternoon everyone had a slew of paintings to choose from. Katie worked with each person to find the one magic portion of a painting that would translate well into fabric.

The next step was to trace the design and then get the design enlarged on paper. Thanks to the excellent service at Dataflow in Albany, Katie was able to zip up there at the last minute to get all the copies made and still make it back to the inn just in time for dinner.

It was a good thing that all this was done the first day because that night it started snowing! What’s with this snow — it almost Spring!


While the weather outside was frightful, inside the studio was delightful. Today everyone was hard at work on their designs.


The main inn dining room provides as nice warm place for lunch and shopping.


At cookie break time at 2:30pm, some of the students decide that a little snow shoveling was the perfect thing to work out the kinks of sitting in the studio and an appetite for the warm chocolate chip cookies.


No, they didn’t have to do the entire parking lot and driveway! The snow plow came soon after they finished with the path between the studio and the main inn.

Sweet Potato Ginger Soup

The oohs and ahhs always fill the dining room when we serve the Sweet Potato Ginger Soup!

I just got a request to post the recipe to our blog and we are always happy to do so.

Sweet Potato Ginger Soup


  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 inch chunk (1 ounce) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, and left whole
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 1/2 cups low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Melt the butter in a soup pot over low hear. Cook the onion in the butter, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned, 10 to 13 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and cardamon and cook for another minute. Increase the heat to high and add the jalapeño, sweet potatoes, 4 cups of the broth, and the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

    In a blender, puree the soup in batches until very smooth. Rinse and dry the pot and return the pureed soup to it. Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer over the medium-low heat. Add the lime juice and brown sugar, and season with salt and white pepper to taste.

    To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and add a dollop of the yogurt on top.

    Serves 4 to 6.