Painted Fiber Art with Elizabeth Busch

Excellent class with a superb instructor! Really accomplished a great deal.” – Chris L.

Our last class of the 2016 season was with the wonderful Elizabeth Busch from Maine. She taught The Painted Quilt: Creating Small Works. The first couple of days was spent painting on canvas. Then the remainder of the class was spent on composition. Enjoy the photo tour! IMG 2407
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IMG 2410 Because the first day of the workshop was Halloween, the breakfast special of the day was pumpkin pancakes! Of course, the full breakfast menu was still available with a wide range of choices. IMG 2406
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IMG 2415 Monday night, for dinner, a number of people got in the Halloween spirit and dressed in costume! IMG 2416
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IMG 2417 Thanks to Carol E. we had a bunch of options for those who “forgot” to pack a costume! IMG 2418
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IMG 2423 It was quite the marvelous week and there was even plenty of Fall colors around the grounds to be enjoyed. IMG 2424 It was a satisfying and inspiring year of workshops. We thank everyone who made it possible – students, teachers, and staff. We look forward to another exciting year in 2017. The classes are already filling up and we haven’t even sent out the brochures yet. Keep warm and we’ll see you next year!

Composing Compositions with Cynthia Corbin

Class was life enriching. I am thrilled to have spent time with Cynthia before she retired. This is the best environment in which to create!” – Cheryl K. “Cynthia has the ability to bring out our most creative self. This is a lovely inn. You make sure we are comfortable and well-fed, including afternoon cookies. The workroom/studio is excellent, wonderful light and super chairs.” – Sharon C.

It was a great week with Cynthia Corbin as she taught a 5-day workshop to a full house of students. We even “ordered up” a little snow to the delight of our 3 Californians! The students all said they had an amazingly productive week and I only wish I had had the opportunity to stop in the studio to take more pictures. IMG 2375
Except for the one day of light snow, we had some gorgeous Fall weather and there was still plenty of colorful leaves to enjoy. IMG 2377
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Cynthia gave a nice presentation about her work and inspiration after dinner one of the nights. IMG 2390
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A bit of snow on Wednesday! IMG 2395
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Intrepid Watercolors with Alvaro Castagnet

Alvaro’s demos were very worthwhile. He is a gifted artist. The meals at the inn were extraordinary! It was an excellent experience.” – Nancy

Alvaro Castagnet was here last week teaching a 5 day plain air watercolor workshop. He was here at the right time to catch all the fall colors at the peak! IMG 2341
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Even though one day was on the rainy side, this intrepid group still went out to a local farm to paint for the day and only had to escape to inside a barn for a short period of time. It was a great opportunity for Alvaro to do an interiors demo! 14700851 10154657843746670 8882449106067811472 o On another day the group went down to paint riverside by the Hudson River in the town of Athens. Lots of great subject matter and they also enjoyed discovering the local brewery, Crossroad Brewing Company, for lunch. IMG 3971
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A floor “gallery” of the maestro’s paintings both during the class demos, and well as on location at many of Alvaro’s international travel spots. IMG 2369 A merry and spirited time was always had around the dinner table every night, but the final dinner on Friday night was especially festive. There were toasts, speeches, singing, and dancing. 14692043 10154662354171670 832096763521836365 o Do miss your opportunity to discover this experience next year when Alvaro returns to teach a 3 day workshop in July.

Not-So-Basic-Basics with Skip Lawrence

Skip’s class is always great. He’s a serious teacher with a great sense of humor who guides students to create great art no matter what or how they paint.” – Betsy J.

Skip Lawrence has been teaching at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops every year at the same time in the Fall for decades. If you haven’t taken at least one workshop from Skip, you owe it to yourself to give it try and discover why Skip’s students come back year after year to learn from this master. About half the students from this year’s class signed up for his 2017 workshop before they left. So don’t delay sign up now before you lose the opportunity. IMG 2303
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The crisp autumn air is just starting the color to creep into the leaves around the inn grounds. IMG 2307
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This was the vegetarian dinner option one night – Chili Verde topped with feta and avocado. IMG 2313
IMG 2315 There was a wide range of media used by the students. IMG 2320
IMG 2321 This is also a group that knows how to let loose and have some fun in the after hours studio time! IMG 2322
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Ripping, Tearing, Painting with Elizabeth St Hilaire

I loved the convenience of working on our art about any time. I learned a lot from Elizabeth and enjoyed her teaching style – informative, creative, open-minded, joyful, laid back, approachable. Loved her art, technique, & style!” – Jody B.

What a fun week we all had with Elizabeth St Hilaire here to teach her Paper Painting workshop. Lots of ripping and tearing going on, as well is lots of painting, stamping, printing, and splattering. The workshop began with a slew of techniques for creating unique painted papers to use as the palette of colors for paper paintings. IMG 2272
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Jody came all the way from Colorado to take the workshop with her daughter, Molly. Jody is a cattle rancher, as you might guess from her subject matter! IMG 2280
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IMG 2288 The perfect Fall weather made the back lawns of the inn a great place to take a break and stretch you legs. IMG 2290
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Pumpkin pancakes are back for the Fall as one of the daily specials for breakfast during the week. IMG 2296 If you missed your chance at coming to this years workshop, Elizabeth will be back again in June of 2018!

Negative Painting with Linda Kemp

Linda Kemp was here last week getting her students to let loose their inner “mad scientist.” The medium was acrylics and the subject was negative painting techniques and strategies.

Linda definitely exceeded my expectations! She was well organized, articulate, and made the workshop exciting & challenging!!” – B Wickham

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This is one of Linda’s demo pieces. IMG 2268
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Pastel Landscapes with Richard McKinley

Richard McKinley was here last week for another phenominal workshop. The weather was gorgeous and the group magnificent! Studio time was spent discovering the excitement of underpinnings and value drawings. IMG 2235
IMG 2236 Richard had loads of information and guidance for all the students, as well as plenty of great stories that only a traveling art teacher can have! Here he was regaling the group with some rattlesnake stories from his workshops out west. IMG 2240
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IMG 2230 The class spent a full day at Olana, down by the pond. 14305430 10154547543636670 8254346263895790087 o Enjoying the delivered picnic lunch! 14362484 10154547890806670 989732066509691511 o Richard McKinley is one of our most popular instructors, so about half the class signed up for his 2018 class before they left this year’s class. If you want to get in on the fun in 2018, but sign up fast!

Retreat to the Comfort of Art

Every year at around Labor Day we hold the Artist Retreat, a self-directed retreat welcoming artists working in any media, paint, fiber, or anything else, to come enjoy working in the air conditioned studio, open 24 hours a day. This year we even had a bead mosaic artist stay for the week, but instead of working on her art, she spent the week working on a presentation for her “day job.” She said it was very liberating to be able to focus on her project and not have to worry about meals, or cleaning house, or anything else. She felt totally taken care of. Meanwhile in the studio, we had number of painters enjoying the focused creative time. IMG 2222 This is a cold wax piece in the works by one of the artists who comes every year. He says this place is “his muse” and is always preparing for a show when he comes to the retreat. When he returns the next year, we get the report of all his paintings that have sold that he created at the retreat. IMG 2223 Here we have the work of the first of the “dueling painters”. This woman would go out early in the morning and paint outdoors at some of the wonderful locations in the area. IMG 2225 Then this painter would ask us for a photo of the same location from our extensive files and he would gleefully paint the same scene while remaining in the air conditioned studio with coffee, lunch, and cookie time just a short walk away. IMG 2224 And speaking of food, everyone enjoyed the maple soy salmon on one of the nights. IMG 2232

Stitch Therapy and Luminous Illusions

First we had Rayna Gillman here for a week with her “Freeform Design Spa” where everyone was slicing, dicing, and stitching to let the design magic happen. After that was a quick 3 day workshop with Esterita Austin teaching “Luminous Illusions” – an unique method of transferring a painted image onto organza to then layer together to create your composition. IMG 2205
IMG 2206 The squirrels are busy around the inn! They left this “art installation” – Exploded Pinecone – on the little bridge to the carriage house. IMG 2207 Innovation and invention are in abundance in the workshop – is Esterita and one of her students showing how they turned a folding chair into an painting easel! IMG 2212
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Paint, Fuse, Stitch with Susan Brubaker Knapp

Susan Brubaker Knapp was here last week to teach her popular Paint, Fuse, Stitch workshop. The first process was learning to paint images from photos onto white fabric. IMG 2150
IMG 2151 Some garden inspiration around the inn! It is peak echinacea season at the moment. IMG 2155
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Then next process that Susan taught was raw edge fused appliqué, using a sheet of vinyl to aid in exact placement of each little piece. IMG 2159
IMG 2161 We have finally arrived at the season of beautiful, temperate weather! Just warm enough, with a tiny bit of chill in the evenings. This was taken just after a 5 minute rain storm. IMG 2164
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This was the first painted image by one of the students who said she had never painted before in her life! She credited her success to Susan’s teaching and process! IMG 2168
IMG 2174 Susan brought a whole bunch of her work for the class to see. This is one big stack of talent here. IMG 2182
The final process Susan taught was thread sketching, which is using machine stitching to emulate the look of pencil sketching. In other words, not as heavy stitching as thread painting. IMG 2183 On the last day was a critic of the students work, with each person describing what they liked best about their work and what they thought needed improvement. IMG 2186
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IMG 2195 Since the chill is back in the evening air, we now have in stock some fabulously soft and warm hoody sweatshirts. They come in black, navy, and blue with a contrast color on the inside of the hood. The minute I put them out most of our staff said they wanted one! IMG 2196

Watercolor and Pastel

Two weeks have sped by and now I have two wonderful workshops to post about. The first one was a 5 day watercolor workshop with incomparable Mel Stabin! Mel had them working in the studio and out around the Hudson / Catskill area. IMG 3921
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IMG 3928 Dinner with Mel was always a jolly time. In fact on the final night he had them tapping a rhythm while he sang for them. IMG 2133 Following the week with Mel, Margaret Evans arrived on the scene to teach Pastels Unleash! The weather that week was a bit on the hot side, but Margaret always found some nice shady areas for painting her demo. IMG 3945
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This is Margaret’s watercolor sketch of the Hudson River as viewed from Olana. IMG 2142
Margaret then showed the class how she used that quick sketch a reference for doing a pastel painting back in the studio. IMG 2146
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During a couple of rainy days in the studio a model stopped by for a sitting! This is Troy, Alexis’ dog (and our “emergency back-up dog.”) Troy can be found in the office on most days, in case anyone needs an emergency dog petting experience! IMG 2147 This is Troy up close and personal! IMG 2149 There are two other inn dogs, in case you didn’t know, Hudson, a dalmatian, and Bree, a ridgeback, who mostly get out and about while the class is in session. They have their own room on the 3rd floor of the Main Inn.

Into the Past with David Dunlop

It was another incredible week with David Dunlop taking his students on a trip through time, visiting the vistas and inspiration of the Hudson River artists of the 1800’s, then cruising up through the Luminists, Tonalists, and Impressionists. With each era, David demonstrated their techniques and discussed their methods and tools. The week finished up with the 21st century and talking about new tools, new materials, and new ways of looking at landscapes. If you missed this year’s class, David will be back again in 2018! This is shot at the Rensselaerville Falls in Huyck Preserve. IMG 2114
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Tailgate Party! IMG 2122
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The next several photos were shot at North-South Lake in Haines Fall, NY. IMG 3882
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Pastel Figures with Margaret Dyer

Wonderful experience! Great instructor, great participants, and great setting!” – Pat R.

Margaret Dyer was here teaching her first 5 day pastel figures workshop with us. Margaret has been teaching here for many years and is always a popular instructor, but to this point had always taught in a 3-day format. Everyone enjoy having Margaret for a full week! The class worked with models on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, they worked from photographs taken during a special photo-shoot with the models at the end of class on Monday. IMG 2084 Here is everyone taking their turns shoot photos of the two models in various set ups around the front parlor of the inn. IMG 2079 Here you can see the two models in kimonos posing on the antique furniture. IMG 2080 Now the work begins, first with a background, then sketching in the shapes. IMG 2085
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IMG 2093 The weather was so beautiful (and the studio so full of easels) that we decided to have our “coming attractions” (workshops for the rest of 2016 and also a preview of 2017) presentation on the front porch of the inn after dinner. IMG 2094

Portraits in Watercolor with Ted Nuttall

Ted Nuttall was an excellent instructor. Clear explanations and private attention for each student. I enjoyed every aspect of this class. I learned a lot about art and about watercolor painting.” – Ronnie H

We just finished a wonderful week with watercolor artist, Ted Nuttall, who was teaching his watercolor portraits workshop. IMG 2060
This is one of Ted’s demo paintings. IMG 2061
Ted provided lots of one-on-one time with each student. IMG 2065
This is another of Ted’s paintings. I just love the look in these eyes. IMG 2066
Everyone once in a while it’s a good idea to take a break from painting and let your mind wander while doing a little knitting. IMG 2067
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Conservations at dinner were always lively. Chef Mark is either talking about the menu for the night or counting Scrabble points (more about this later)! IMG 2070
Here is the happy group posed on the back steps to the main inn. IMG 2075
After dinner every night of the workshop, Scrabble was king. Three of the students, plus chef Mark gathered in the parlor or the front dining room to play Scrabble. There was much discussion about “acceptable words.” IMG 2078
I’ll give you one guess who put the word “Barfy” down there. Could be the guy in the chef coat who has the two big dogs who like to eat all the fresh cut grass clumps and then get a little “barfy!” IMG 3874

Field Sketch to Dynamic Studio Paintings with John MacDonald

“John is an excellent instructor, balancing lectures & demonstrations perfectly. Very knowledgeable & experienced.” – Susan K.

John MacDonald was here to teach an intense 3-day workshop covering the process of using photographs, sketches, and plein aire studies to great larger scale painting in the studio. It was a great group and the 3 days passed much too quickly. Luckily John will be returning next year to teach a 5-day workshop in October. A number of this years students signed up for it before they left! IMG 2049
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The dining room set and waiting for the nightly gathering for delicious food and lively conversation. IMG 2059

Sketching and Painting Animals with Joe Weatherly

Joe Weatherly, the renown animal artist from Southern California, returned to teach a workshop for us this past week. The group enjoyed some gorgeous summer weather, great food, and lots of front porch comraderie after class with some cold beers and wine. The first day was spent in the studio learning about basic structure, movement, and gesture. Then for the next two days the group went to the Discovery Zoo in Catskill, NY for a variety of animal subjects. The group also went to the K & K Equestrian Center for some farm animal subjects. The first three paintings below are some of Joe’s demo paintings. Then a couple of animal structure sketches. IMG 2034
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IMG 2038 This year’s dinner menu theme is “Best Of” as suggested by the students who have come to the workshops over the past 11 years. One of the dishes submitted as a favorite was the Lion’s Head Meatball from last year. It is a tender pork meatball Shanghi-style, served with baby bok choy and rice noodles. Freshly made vegetable spring rolls are also served, filled with mushrooms, carrots, and bean sprouts. (We very happy accommodate dietary restrictions. So if there is a particular thing that you do not eat, let us know when you sign up and we will prepare a delicious alternate!) IMG 3797
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Picnicking at the Discovery Zoo. IMG 3816
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At the K & K Equestrian Center. IMG 3830
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Lots of easels, but where are all the painters? IMG 3836 Having a picnic lunch at K & K! Such a beautiful setting. IMG 3838
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Abstraction By Design with Karen Rosasco

It was a joyful week with a misty-eyed ending. Karen Rosasco was here to teach her last workshop on the road. Karen taught her first workshop with us in 2007 and has taught every year since 2009. Karen has been coming to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops as a student since the early 1980s! So it was definitely with misty eyes we bid farewell to Karen on the last day of the workshop. Karen, formerly of New York, is now making her home in Virginia and will still be teaching but only locally to her home and also private lessons out of her home studio. You can learn more about this on Karen’s website. Enjoy this glimpse into the activity and creativity of the 5 days of Karen’s workshop. IMG 1975
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This is the Chili Verde that was served one of the nights as the alternative dish for the vegetarians. Many requested the recipe, so I’ve added it to our recipes page. IMG 2033
The grounds of the inn are looking lovely and the weather was beautiful all week, making the lawns a perfect place for spreading out painting to dry or when experimenting with a particular messing technique! IMG 1988
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Chili Verde Recipe

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Chili Verde

Loved by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike! Also gluten-free! Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 8-oz red or Yukon gold potato, peeled, and cut into 1/3-in cubes
  • 1 8-oz sweet potato, peeled, and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 2 TBS of chopped garlic
  • 2 large cubano peppers, stemmed, seeded: 1 diced and 1 cut into 4 strips
  • 2 TBS dried oregano
  • 1 TBS brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can of hominy with juices (you can substitute 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas with juices)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 7-oz can diced mild green chiles
  • Garnishes, such as crumbled feta cheese and lime wedges

Directions: Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, yams, garlic, and cubanos. Cover and sweat until the onions are tender, stirring often to prevent browning, about 8 minutes. Mix in the oregano, flour, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the hominy (or chickpeas) with the juices and the broth and bring the chili to a simmer. Place the green chiles in a processor. Using tongs, transfer the tips of the cubano peppers from the pot to the processor; blend just until smooth. Scrape the chile sauce into the pot. Cover and simmer the chili 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the potatoes and yams are tender and the chili is reduced to the desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with garnishes. Serves 4 to 6.

Watercolor Landscapes with Don Andrews

Just a brief word of praise for Don’s Watercolor Workshop. He took a different approach in sharing information making the class move fast and was very enjoyable. I came home with ideas and thoughts eager to put to practice.” – Bonnie K.

Have you read “Rough Sketches” by Don Andrews (A very funny book)? If you have, you understand what a fun and informative teacher Don is. He can keep everyone entertained and working hard all day! IMG 1965
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Don presented lots of demos with clear, easy to understand processes to make each artist successful. IMG 1949
IMG 1952 Besides the fun in the workshop, we got a nice shipment of new art supplies and tools for our shop. IMG 1956
IMG 1958 There were also plenty of lovely sights around the inn grounds. It is peony season at the moment. IMG 1945

Interview with Valerie Goodwin: An Architect Creates Complex Art Quilt Maps

Valerie S. Goodwin R.A. is an architect and artist who creates fiber art inspired by realistic and abstract imagery of maps. Her work is noted for its use of color, emphasis, and line and density.


We look forward to welcoming Valerie to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops December 4 to 10, 2016: she will teach The Complex Composition Workshop, using techniques of collage, layering, transparency, and improvisation.

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

I have been teaching architectural design for about 22 years and fiber art workshops for over 10 years. I think both go hand in hand and inform each other. I got interested in quilting through teaching architecture when I read an article about how a faculty member used traditional quilting blocks as a way to start designing a floor plan, in this case it was a Museum for Quilts. Long story short — the idea launched my interest in fiber art.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
My favorite part is that “light bulb” moment! You know when you see that a student appreciates and gets what you are teaching. 

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

First of all my courses stress “design thinking”. I want every student to develop their own work in their own voice. My goal is not to create “mini-me’s”.

Secondly, teach the techniques first, so each student can focus on the design after they have experience with the how-to portion of my workshops. 

I have over 20 years of experience teaching design and conducting critiques. I love to provide feedback and critique! But I do it in a nurturing way. My goal is to help each student clarify their design intent and I try to give my critique through that lens.

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What are you currently working on in your own art?
Lately I have been experimenting with using laser cutting technology in my work. You can read more about it in an upcoming article that I wrote for the SAQA journal. I am still passion about creating fiber art maps but, from a new and exciting perspective.


Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?
My work is in many private collections but I do not currently have gallery representation. This is something I would like to pursue one day when I retire from university teaching and have time to create more work and to promote myself.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Yes, I have work on Artful Homes.

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What is your favorite art quote?

When an architect (artist) is asked what his best building (work of art) is, he (she) usually answers, “The next one.” – Emilio Ambasz

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Describe your studio.
My studio is in a funky artist warehouse district located next to the city’s railroad track and positioned between 2 university districts. It is my oasis, a place where I can get away from it all and just CREATE! An added benefit is that I share it with another artist. It is a great way to bond with another artist and learn from another artistic point of view.

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

In no particular order:

Epilogue Laser Cutter

Misty Fuse

Acrylic Paint + Fabric Medium

Sewing machine


Too Much Fun with Alcohol Inks and Cathy Taylor!

What a prolific group this was in Cathy Taylor’s alcohol inks workshop. In just one day the studio was filled with gorgeous array for color! For the most part people worked free and abstract, but a little representation landscapes also appeared. Meagan’s outfits were just as colorful as her paintings! IMG 1918
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Sara was our overachiever for the class. Luckily she was prepared and brought several portfolio books to store all of her paintings in when they were dry. IMG 1921
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These were some examples of Cathy’s work. IMG 1924
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All Prima Figures with David Shevlino

This past week David Shelving was here to teach a 5-day workshop on Alla Prima Figures. There was a mix of students, some using oils, some using acrylics, and one using water-based oils. IMG 1893
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This week we have a 3-day alcohol inks workshop with Cathy Taylor and next week a studio watercolor workshop with Don Andrews (there is still time to sign up for this workshop!)

Big and Loose with Patti Mollica

Patti was the best – she had a clear plan and was very encouraging to all students” – Karen H.

Patti is an amazing teacher. I learned more than I could have imagined.” – Carolina D.

This class exceeded my expectations! Patti had so much content with related projects to get her point across that it was a fabulous learning experience. And the meals were simply terrific” – Joan P.

What more can I say about Patti Mollica’s recent workshop with us. It was a great group and everyone had a wonderful time! IMG 1816
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IMG 1820 The weather during the week was also lovely and the back lawns were a great place to stretch your legs during breaks from class. IMG 1827
IMG 1833 Here is the joyful crew posing for a class photo on the final day. IMG 1844
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An Interview with Elizabeth Busch: Creator of Art Quilts and Kinetic Sculpture

Elizabeth Busch is an artist who draws, paints, sews, and sculpts space. From her workshop in Maine, Elizabeth works in two mediums: Kinetic Sculpture and Art Quilts.


“My quilts are sewn paintings, acrylic on canvas that is then hand quilted. This part of the process allows me to become physically reacquainted with a piece created at arm’s length on the wall, and to add another visual dimension to it. I believe that the work communicates with many because color and mark making are a universal language.”


Elizabeth Busch will teach a five day Workshop, The Painted Quilt: Creating Small Works at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops October 30 to November 5, 2016.


Elizabeth recently explained her philosophy of art, and teaching.


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

My first workshop was in 1987. The director of the Fiber Department at the Fredricton New Brunswick, Canada, School of Art saw an article about me and my Painted wall quilts in a then new magazine called Threads. She contacted me and asked if I would be interested in teaching a workshop to her fiber majors. I replied: “I’ve never done such a thing…what would I teach?” She said, “How about what you DO?” … and the rest, as they say, is history.


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What is your favorite part about teaching?

There is nothing quite so thrilling as seeing a ‘lightbulb’ go off for a student. I so enjoy meeting new and former class participants, sharing ideas and problem solving with everyone, using my favorite tools and processes. I absolutely love to teach, to watch others learn and grow in such a short period of time!


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

Problem solving with several other people, seeing different results that materialize for everyone, and letting that ‘door open!’ I teach exactly what I do in my own work: it is fun, simple, and freeing. If you liked Kindergarten, I think you’ll like my workshops!


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What are you currently working on in your own art?

I recently finished a large scale Public Art commission for the Maine State Library, Museum and Archives at the state capitol in Augusta, ME. I have supported myself as an artist since 1987, and the major portion of that income is from such commissions. Most of those commissions are my Kinetic Sculpture. I generally teach 4-6 workshops per year and in between do my ‘soul work,’ my own Art Quilts. I am so fortunate to have a balance between my major source of income (Public Art Commissions); teaching workshops (in which I get to travel, meet wonderful people, and share my processes with them), and creating my own Art Quilts.


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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

One of my pieces is now traveling internationally with Quilt National 2015, another is traveling with SAQA Silver. I have 8 new current pieces in my studio that are ready to go somewhere new…I hope! And the Maine Public Art Commission, “Home,” is permanently installed in the atrium of the Maine State Museum. In a few weeks I will be traveling to San Diego as one of three jurors for “Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016.”


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

No. I do not have gallery representation. I did years ago, but find that teaching workshops, creating public art commissions, and exhibiting in shows feeds all of my financial and soul’s needs.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

No, I do not.


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What is your favorite art quote?

“If you don’t like what you’re doing, don’t do it! It won’t work.” –Berenice Abbott, photographer


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Describe your studio.

I have lived for 40 years in an 1856 Maine farmhouse, complete with attached barn and shed. 40 years ago there were chickens, ducks, a horse and a ‘beef critter’ in the barn. My two children, husband and I ‘lived off the land…’ kind of, but not totally. Now, the children are grown and gone, I’ve been divorced for 20 years, and the barn and shed are my glorious studios! I do share the barn studio with an occasional friendly little mole who skitters across the floor when I least expect it.

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

Five can’t do without…unsized cotton duck, Textile paints, my Bernina 960, hand needles and embroidery floss, big work walls…and lots of good lighting!

Paint Splashing, Merriment, and Magic

It seemed like a week-long party during Robert Burridge’s Abstract Acrylic Painting and Collage workshop.

Bob makes it fun – very informative, his color wheel made the process easier to understand. I’m very excited to continue and experience Bob’s class!” – Diane D.

They also worked hard in the studio. Bob started each morning with a short lecture and demo, then assigned a warm up exercise to the students to get them going. After that everyone could work in the their own direction, if they chose. IMG 1762
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Chef Mark got to step out of his chef-ing duds and into his painting gear for a little side trip into abstract painting. He enjoyed working in a series themed around cellos (he has recently taken it once again) and other musical instruments. IMG 1776
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Then there was the Bob and Mark after-dinner entertainment show! Both Bob and Mark come from a tradition of entertainment and magic and they traded off with each other presenting fun close-up magic tricks, to the delight of the audience! IMG 1784
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This is one of Bob’s famous floral demos. IMG 1790 More of Bob’s morning demos. IMG 1791
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Mark with his vintage card trick duck! The duck was his fathers, who was a comedian, vaudeville entertainer, and musician. IMG 1797 More rope tricks by Bob! IMG 1802
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At the final night’s dinner, the student’s presented Bob with a card and gift. IMG 1813 It was sad to see such a happy group leave at the end of the week, but Bob will be back again next year in June. Before Bob left, he and Mark had their heads together quietly scheming about an even more elaborate after-dinner show for next year! Don’t miss it, sign up now.

Interview with Cynthia Corbin: Artist as Quiltmaker

Cynthia Corbin’s art quilts have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and New Zealand. Her work has appeared in many exhibitions, such as Quilt National, Artist As Quiltmaker, Quilts=Art=Quilts, Art Quilt Elements, Speaking In Cloth, Visions, CraftForms, and Fiberart International. She lectures and teaches nationally, applying her passion to the development of each student’s individual voice.


Drawing on her love of both folk art and abstract art, she explores dyeing and painting, intensive machine quilting, and a problem-solving, seat-of-the-pants approach to quilt construction.


Cynthia Corbin first taught at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops in 2015. Her students were so inspired and delighted that most of them immediately re-enrolled for her 2016 Workshop!


Cynthia returns to Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops to teach her Composing Composition five-day Workshop October 23 to 29, 2016  Don’t delay in enrolling if you’d like to work with Cynthia – it’s a great opportunity to catch her on the East Coast, just before she retires from teaching to focus more on Studio work and travel.


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

I taught my first class in 1974—basic beginning traditional hand piecing.  But I didn’t start teaching seriously until 2003.  By that time I felt I had something to teach that was a true reflection of my own experience.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

I love the direct connection with each individual student—finding out who they are and what kind of art they are interested in making.  Fascinating!


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

Hands on, hands on, hands on.  Oh, and supportive feedback.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am experimenting a lot right now.  I have been staring at weather-beaten surfaces for a good long time and that is figuring in my work. 

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

I currently have a piece in Quilt National 15 touring (Weathering Out).

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

I do show work in galleries from time to time.  My best advice is to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities that come from unexpected places—places that perhaps show fiber along with other types of work—like pottery.


What is your favorite art quote?

I have two—First one is from Picasso, “I am always doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it.”

Second is from John Ford, film director, “When in doubt, make a Western”.


Describe your studio.

Not big enough, sometimes messy, once in while it is tidy…the big umbrellas provide sunshade from the sky light.  I am fond of umbrellas….


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

APQS Millennium Long Arm machine (Millie), my Bernina Aurora 440, rotary cutter, cutting mats in all sizes, DESIGN WALL.  Oh, and pins once in a while.

Egg Tempera with Koo Schadler

Koo Schadler is an exceptional instructor, knowledgeable, able to impart and share her talents – and very personable.” – Kappy P.

Koo is brilliant and she’s a brilliant, effective teacher. She solves problems after analyzing and makes the complex easier with a systematized, logical approach.” – Lea B.

Koo Schadler was here last week teaching her very popular egg tempera workshop. IMG 1727 Koo always supplies the fresh eggs for mixing the paints (egg yolks and pigment). IMG 1725
There was a wide variety of subject matter, from the simple to the complex and Koo’s process made it all possible. IMG 1731
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IMG 1745 Koo will be returning again in 2019! Plan ahead.

Interview with Hilde Morin, Fiber Artist: Drama, Dimension and Improvisation

Hilde Morin, a fiber artist, looks for drama in the creation of her art quilts. Drama in the form of color, texture and pattern. 

Hilde finds inspiration in both natural and in architectural scenes, having a particular interest in cities, towns, buildings and weathered structures. In natural scenes, she represents reality by simplifying or suggesting it through either abstract or primitive designs. Her technique includes the creation of a first layer of improvised pieced fabric with the addition of a second layer of texture through extensive thread work and surface design. 


Hilde’s creations are influenced by her multi-cultural background and travels.


We are pleased to welcome Hilde to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this year. She will teach a five-day Fiber Arts class, In and Around Town, October 9 to 15, 2016.

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

I have been teaching for 15 years.  After quitting my corporate job to be more involved with my kids, I joined an open-sew group at a local quilt shop.  We shared projects, discussed works in progress and gave each other ideas and advice.  After a few months I was asked by the storeowner to teach a workshop.  I have enjoyed teaching since then!

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Guide each of my students in translating their ideas into a design that is pleasing to them and also doable.  Demonstrate sewing tips and techniques to use during the construction process.

Challenge my students to do more than what they think they can do. 

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

You will work in a very freeing environment where my guidance, tips and techniques will help you produce work that has your marks and is unique.

I will gently challenge you to do things outside of your comfort zone.

Every piece has its own design and construction challenges.  Sharing how to resolve these in a class setting is very valuable for everyone and we all learn.

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What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am waiting for inspiration to quilt El Vecindario (The neighborhood) which I just finished piecing.  In the meantime I started working on a new piece inspired by a market with food carts in Portland, OR.  So far I have chosen the colors and made a few lines on my design wall.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Two pieces (Where To Stay/Where To Go) are currently being shown at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, OR as part of a group exhibit “A Sense of Place: The Allison Inn.”  My latest piece, Between Light and Shadow just came back from a 2-month long exhibit at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego, CA.

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

My work has been represented in two galleries, Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery in Argentina, and Studio 503 in Hood River, Oregon.  In my opinion, showing professionalism is the most important requirement when dealing with a gallery.  Professionalism in every step: communication, portfolio presentation, work quality, pricing scheme.  Also, making yourself available and having current work to show are very important.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery? 

Not really, but I have sold much work through my website.

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What is your favorite art quote?

I am not sure I have a favorite art quote but instead I will tell you what my favorite principle is: Start by doing small things right.

Describe your studio.

After “surfing” spare rooms and guest rooms for 10 years, I now have a beautiful dedicated studio…my favorite part of the house!  It is divided in two sections, my sewing studio and my teaching studio.  My sewing studio is where everything happens and it is usually quite busy.  My teaching studio is where I teach groups of 6 people and where I keep a gallery of quilts on display for inspiration.  Of course, I spread out through both sections when I don’t have classes scheduled!

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

I am a minimalist and can work with very little.  Other than sewing machine, fabric and thread, these are musts: 

A design wall

A good lamp


A camera 

My computer

Hand-Applique with Sandra Leichner

Oregon appliqué artist, Sandra Leichner, returned to us again this year to teach her 3-day hand-applique workshop. Her demos were full of hints and tips to make each person successful and having fun! IMG 1712 These are some close-ups of some of the magnificent works that Sandra brought with her. Such amazing detail! IMG 1711
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IMG 1713 Some example projects that the students had to choose from for the process of learning the specific techniques that Sandra uses. IMG 1714
IMG 1715 We also had a winner of our Early Bird Drawing in Sandra’s workshop. We had a drawing every year from the pool of students who sign up for a workshop before our workshop season begins. There are 3 possible prizes and Katherine Stevenson won 3rd prize for the year. For the fiber art workshops, the 3rd prize is a $100 gift certificate to Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. The gift certificate can be used to put towards another workshop or for shopping in our supply shop, or it can even be using the buy chocolate from our organic chocolates shop, Life By Chocolate! Such a deal. IMG 1717 Sandra also bought along a good selection of her kits for other appliqué projects for further practice before venturing forth with your own designs. IMG 1720 Outside the studio the Spring flowers are finally starting to put in a show. This tulip is obviously an overachiever! IMG 1721 The next fiber art workshops coming up in our 2016 schedule are with Susan Brubaker Knapp, Rayna Gillman, and Esterita Austin.

An Interview with Rayna Gillman: Mixed Media / Fiber Artist, Author, and Teacher

Rayna Gillman is an internationally known artist and teacher whose work has appeared in galleries and museums across the US. She works spontaneously in mixed media, often using collage and printmaking techniques to add texture to her work.


Rayna brings her intuitive sense of color and design into her work and her classes, infusing her students with a sense of play and encouraging them to use the words “what if?” as they experiment in their own work. She was nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award in 2010 by Professional Quilter Magazine.


Rayna returns to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops to teach the creatively liberating Free-form Design Spa Workshop, August 21 to 27, 2016.


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

I’ve been teaching for 15 years.  I started teaching after I appeared on Alex Anderson’s Simply Quilts program. After the program ran, I got tons of emails asking “do you teach what you do?”  So, I put together some classes and asked my local quilt shop if I could do a beta test for Jump Starting the Art Quilt.  There was a waiting list, so I taught it twice — and the rest is history. I’ve been fortunate to have taught in Canada, the U.K., in South Africa, and coming up – in Switzerland. This past summer I taught in Alaska, invited by a student from my 2013 class here. How lucky I am!

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What is your favorite part about teaching?

Seeing people’s eyes light up when they realize they have created original work and had fun doing it. I also love the energy in a classroom that you can’t get when you work alone.

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My best reward is when students send me photos of quilts they have started in class and I can see the results of what they learned. What a joy! I just received an email from a student who entered a quilt she made after she took my class. It won a ribbon in the art quilt category.  She was thrilled and so was I. Here are a couple of student pieces in-process from my last Hudson River Valley class.

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

They give me me their own reasons because the first thing I ask them is why they are here and what they’d like to walk away with.  In no particular order, the most frequent answers are:

   1) I want to be freed up and learn to relax and have fun while I’m working. 

   2) I want to make my own work, not something based on a pattern.

   3) I love your work and just wanted to take a class with you.


I can’t speak for why anyone wants to take a workshop in general because every teacher is different.  But I could add to the reasons above…

   4) To experiment and learn something new you can take home and apply to your own work.

   5) To absorb the energy of working with other people, to share ideas, and to learn from seeing what others are doing.

   6) To have fun, because if you can’t have fun while you’re working, what’s the point?


What are you currently working on in your own art?

Asking myself “what if?” and playing around with some new ideas.  Right now, too many ideas and not enough time!


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

It just came down from a three-person exhibit in NJ and prior to that, a solo exhibit at Brassworks Gallery, also in NJ.  At the moment, I am in Florida and my work is still in New Jersey.


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

I don’t have gallery representation. The NY metro area is not hospitable to art quilts; they still don’t take us seriously as artists.  There was a dedicated Art Quilt Gallery in Manhattan but unfortunately, it is now closed.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Yes, I sell work from my website.


What is your favorite art quote?

Ask yourself “what if?” and then try it. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t — but you will always learn from it. (I’m quoting myself – LOL).

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Describe your studio.

Hahahahahaha.  I have two studios – my wet studio away from the house and my sewing room at home in New Jersey. They are both a mess. In Florida, my studio is my dining room table. Here it is, as we speak.

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

My reading glasses.

My rotary cutter.

My iPad/ iPhone/digital camera (this counts as one)

My sewing machine, naturally.

My instincts.

** (notice that “ruler” is not on the list)

Kaleidoscopes with Paula Nadelstern

Paula Nadelstern just finished teaching her workshop on recreating the intricate wonder of kaleidoscopes with fabric. Paula brought the manuscript from her latest book, due out any day now, and she read a few excerpts from it and allowed the students to look over the wonderful photographs included in the book, including photos of quilts made by some of the students in this workshop. IMG 1649 This is one of Paula’s quilts that has so far not been published in any book. Mark and I saw Paula at the Houston International Quilt Festival a couple years ago when she was quilting this quilt in the APQS booth using one of their longarm machines. IMG 1651 This workshop had a nice mix of repeat students (some have come to everyone of the workshops that Paula has taught with us since 2006), repeat for our workshops students, but new to Paula, and just totally new to Paula and us. Their was great camaraderie among the whole group. IMG 1642
IMG 1647 As usual, Paula brought along a large selection of her latest fabric designs produced by Benartex. By the end of the workshop most of this was snapped up by the students. IMG 1648 Because Paula is within driving distance of us, she was able to bring lots of her amazing work to show to the class and inspire them. IMG 1655
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IMG 1676 These are some of the fantastic snowflake pieces made by Kaisa Mackie. IMG 1682 The workshop week started out with a bit of snow, but by the end of the week the snow had all melted away and Spring was back on the horizon. IMG 1673 Our next fiber art workshops coming up are with Sandra Leichner, Susan Brubaker Knapp, and Esterita Austin.

Interview with Susan Brubaker Knapp: fiber artist, designer, author, and teacher

Susan Brubaker Knapp started quilting as a hobby which turned into a passion and a business. Susan teaches nationally and internationally, hosts “Quilting Arts TV,” and has produced numerous patterns, two books, and five video workshops.


Susan began with traditional hand quilting and needle turn appliqué, but embraced innovative machine techniques and started making art quilts in 2005. Her quilts have won national as well as local awards, and have been exhibited at national and international venues. Susan has won seven Best of Show awards at three different quilting guilds, with six different quilts.


Her work has been featured in several national magazines, and in the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 Quilting Arts Calendars and the 2012 Quilt Art Engagement Calendar. It has graced the covers of four issues of Quilting Arts magazine.


Susan returns to the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops to teach an exciting five day Workshop, Paint, Fuse, Stitch!, August 14 to 20, 2016.




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

I started teaching about 2005, at a local quilt shop. At the time, I was making mostly traditional quilts, both pieced and needle turn appliquéd. I had left my full time job as a page designer at The Charlotte Observer in 1999 to be at home with my first child, and was working as a freelance graphic designer. I was also designing quilts, and people started asking me to share the patterns. I have experience as a writer, editor, and graphic designer, so I thought, “Why not?” Then shops and guilds started asking me to teach from my patterns. I found that I loved teaching, and before long I was teaching nationally and internationally.


What is your favorite part about teaching? 

It’s a thrill when I can help students find a new technique or skill that they love, and that they can adapt to use in their own work. I have come to realize that a large part of teaching, or of being a good teacher, is helping students get over their artistic or psychological “hangups.”


Many people have little demons in their heads (often echoes of old home economic teachers, art teachers, mothers or grandmothers) telling them that they aren’t doing it right. When they stop listening to those demons and start listening to their own instincts, desires and ideas, they can tap into their innate creativity and make art that comes from the heart.


Learning the skills and techniques is actually a pretty small part of making art. Learning how to tap into your creativity – and facing your fears about doing that – is the most important part. 




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

It might change your life in a big way. In 2006, I took a class with Bonnie McCaffery. To be honest, I took the class primarily as a 6-hour break from my young children! Going in, I had no interest in the subject or technique, but ended up loving the class, and it led to my first major art quilt, which was accepted into a exhibition shown at International Quilt Festival. The last art classes I took were in high school; I have an English undergraduate degree and a journalism masters degree. If you take a workshop with your mind open to the possibilities, you will always learn something, and you will grow artistically. And you never know just where it will take you! 


I take classes whenever I can. I think it is really healthy for your brain to try new things, step out of your comfort zone, and challenge yourself. 




What are you currently working on in your own art?

For the past three years, I’ve been working (off and on, between other pieces) on a large piece (it will probably be 80-90” square) that features all sorts of fish. It is called “We All Swim Together,” and is a wholecloth painted piece, and I think I have about 20 realistic fish painted on it so far. It documents mostly endangered fish species – those that are overfished, or at risk due to climate change or pollution. I have at least six other art quilts in progress and at least that many more in my head. My major techniques right now are wholecloth painting, fusible applique, and thread sketching. I’m also doing a lot of sketching, water color painting, and photography. Photos are the basis of nearly all of my work. 




Where is your art currently being exhibited?  I have work coming back from the “Insects to Elephants” exhibition at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts. And I’ll have two pieces going out to the exhibition “The Art of Native Plants” at The Blowing Rock (NC) Art & History Museum this spring.


What is your favorite art quote?

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” – Francis Bacon

The art I create is my way of celebrating and documenting the deep mysteries of the world that are to be experienced only by close inspection of the miraculous details of nature.




Describe your studio. 

My studio is a 14×14 foot guest room in my 100-year-old home. It houses all my fabric and supplies, plus all my teaching supplies. I’ve outgrown it, and I would love to have a larger studio where I could do messier stuff, and store all my supplies. But it is a dedicated space, and I’m really grateful for that.






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

My Bernina sewing machines

Aurifil 50-weight cotton thread

ProChemical & Dyes transparent acrylic textile paints

Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 (for fusible appliqué).

My website:

Amazing Quilts with Grace Errea

The 2016 workshop season has been begun! We started last week getting the last things squared away and set up for the workshop. The art supply shop was stocked and organized. IMG 1601 Log Cabin Fabrics brought over a tempting array of fabric and notions. IMG 1602
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IMG 1604 Baked a new supply of pumpkin parsley dog biscuits for when we get canine guests. IMG 1592 Then Grace Errea’s class checked in on Wednesday to begin their 4 night / 3 day class retreat!

Everything was wonderful. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first visit. Grace was an excellent instructor. I was able to finish my project, too!” – Joan s.

This is Grace’s latest book. IMG 1612 Everyone eagerly got right to work. Grace provided plenty of demonstrations on her “heat-set” appliqué technique. IMG 1606
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IMG 1616 Outside the studio we had beautiful Spring weather. IMG 1618 Inside we had frogs! These are some of Grace’s pieces that she brought to show to the class. IMG 1622
More of Grace’s. IMG 1625 The cat is taking shape. The clear plastic overlay is used to aid in positioning the pieces. IMG 1626 An orchid coming together. IMG 1627 Hibiscus, too. IMG 1628
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The orchid is finished, ready for placing on a background and stitching. IMG 1632 Class mascot, fast asleep. IMG 1634 Then on the last day, this happened! Winter seemed to finally arrive. It only looked this way first thing in the morning. A couple hours later it was completely gone. But we enjoyed the beautiful serenity of the snow-covered landscape while it was there. IMG 3789
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Interview with Margaret Dyer: Mastering Dynamic Pastels

Award-winning pastel painter Margaret Dyer has lived in Atlanta, GA, since her family moved from New York in 1960. She attended the Atlanta College of Art at the High Museum of Art and furthered her studies under painters Roman Chatov, Kate Fetterolf and Jim Richards.

A Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America, Masters Circle in the International Association of Pastel Societies and award-winner in the American Impressionist Society, Margaret has made her living for over 20 years selling her work and teaching.


One of our most popular and motivating instructors, Margaret returns to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops July 17 to 23, 2016 to teach her Pastel Figures class. Margaret has previously taught three-day Workshops here, so we’re really pleased that this year, students will have the chance to spend a full five days working with live models in the Studio.


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

It’s been so long ago that I can’t count the years. Maybe 15, 20 years ago? I really don’t know. I had been selling my work through galleries and festivals–you can imagine how difficult it can be to make a living strictly on sales–so I decided to try teaching as a way to supplement my income. I was afraid I might not be a good teacher so I signed up to teach a class far out of town. In case I failed miserably, nobody would hear about it. I discovered I loved teaching.


Denise with striped fabric


What is your favorite part about teaching?

I get thrilled when I see the student’s eyes widen in enlightenment. That ‘Aha! I understand!’ moment. I like knowing that I can play a part, however small, in opening new doors for someone.


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

It is a luxury to have total immersion in art for 3 days or more. Learning a new technique can be invaluable. Getting to know the instructor and being a part of a wonderful community of artists.


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What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am currently transitioning from pastels to oils. I too take classes and have found a teacher who is able to unlock what has been stubbornly hidden in me for many years. I am always striving to improve my work.

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

At this moment you can see my work at Sue Stewart Fine Art in Charleston, SC and Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta, GA.


Cumberland island ponies


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

I am represented by Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta, GA; Sue Stewart Fine Art in Charleston, SC; River Gallery in Chattanooga, TN; Allison Sprock Fine Art in Charlotte, NC.

If an artist wants to approach a gallery, I would suggest he or she have a body of work, maybe 6 -10 finished pieces to show the gallery operator. Be bold. Be different. Be consistent. Trust the gallery owners; they know what sells, they know the appropriate prices.


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Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I sell my small works through my blog and I sell my larger works through galleries.


Rosza at Night


What is your favorite art quote?

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” Pablo Picasso


Describe your studio.

Unfortunately my studio at the moment is in my mudroom. I have an easel between my laundry door and my office. I am splattering paint all over the floor and walls. It’s a mess.

But soon I will have a beautiful northern sunlight-filled room with high ceilings. I am converting a detached garage to a studio but it’s only at its beginning stages. I won’t have a real studio for many months. Until then, my studio is my mudroom, and I’m too embarrassed to provide a picture of it!


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

  1. my iPad
  2. my camera
  3. my portable pochade box
  4. a good black pastel or tube of oil paint
  5. my glasses!

An Interview with John MacDonald: Landscape painter and Creative Coach

John MacDonald worked as both a full-time freelance illustrator and landscape painter for nearly twenty years. He won awards from Print Magazine as well as having work appear in the Society of Illustrators annual show. Since the late 2000’s, he has been painting full time. His paintings can be found in private, corporate, and museum collections throughout North America.


Professional memberships have included the Society of Illustrators, the Illustrators Partnership of America, the National Association of Plein Air Painters, the Graphic Artists Guild, and the Oil Painters of America. John is certified through the Creativity Coaching Association as a creativity coach and brings his coaching experience to his workshops.


We are looking forward to John’s return to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops July 6 to 10, 2016, to teach his class From Plein Air to Studio, working with acrylics and oils. This Workshop has 3 full days of hands-on painting and instruction – it should be a spectacular and inspiring time of year to be painting on location in the scenic Catskills!


Slow Water


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

After sporadically teaching for years, in the last five or six years I’ve been scheduling a yearly calendar of workshops, usually limiting it to a half dozen so as to give myself as much painting time as possible. I’ve always enjoyed teaching and it seemed to be a natural extension of my art.

February Dawn Sorelle

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Seeing students grasp a concept, apply it to their paintings, and then seeing their joy as they see the quality of their work leap forward.


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

Workshops give students an uninterrupted period of time in which they can focus solely on their painting. Such times are rare. Our lives are so busy.

We only learn when we’re trying something new. Workshops are an ideal environment–supportive and safe– in which to put ourselves on our edge, try new techniques, make mistakes, and learn.

Art making can be a lonely activity. It’s wonderful being in a group of fellow painters as everyone struggles, learns, and celebrates together.


Evening in the Valley CC


What are you currently working on in your own art?

Lately, I’ve been doing fewer small, plein air paintings and more larger , studio canvases, attempting to inject some of the spontaneity, simplicity, and freshness of plein air work into my larger paintings.


Berkshire Hills Sunset


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Currently, I’m in five galleries:

The Iris Gallery. Boston, MA; Aspen, CO

Warm Springs Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT; Albany, NY; Saratoga Springs, NY

Christopher-Clark Fine Art, San Francisco, CA

Rich Timmons Studio & Gallery. Doylestown, PA


Back Meadow


What hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

Create a body of work that is of your best quality, that is consistent, and of a subject matter that you’re passionate about.

Do your research. Find galleries that sell work similar to yours and in your price range. Study the gallery’s website.

Contact them for submission guidelines. No cold calls.

Be patient. Don’t get discouraged. Finding the right gallery is often a long process.


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Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I don’t sell through online galleries but have begun to offer a few paintings for sale directly from my website. It’s important not to compete with my galleries and so I’ll be selling only small paintings directly.


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What is your favorite art quote?

I have many. Here are three:


“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.” – Christina Rossetti, poet (1830-1894)


”If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.” – Michelangelo, sculptor, painter, architect, and poet (1475-1564) 


“Art enables us to find ourselves and to lose ourselves at the same time.“  – Thomas Merton, monk. (1915-1968)


Describe your studio.

Too small. Now that I’m working larger it’s a bit tight but it’s cozy, warm, and an enjoyable place to spend the day painting.





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

Prussian blue. I love it. If it weren’t unhealthy for me, I’d probably eat it.

Worn and disheveled brushes that give unique and accidental effects.

Frames. I can’t tell if a painting is finished if it’s not in a frame.

My 50% gray palette. It’s so helpful when judging the value of paint mixtures.

Mellow, moody background music and a pot of black tea.

An Interview with Victoria Findlay Wolfe, award winning quilter

Victoria Findlay Wolfe is an award winning quilter, fabric designer, international teacher and lecturer. Meet Victoria in this terrific video.


You can also meet her in person later this year – Victoria will teach a fun three-day class, Lemoyne Star Through Play, November 30 to December 4, 2016 at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops.


Victoria recently shared some thoughts on her art, and teaching.


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

I’ve been teaching for four years. I first taught in Australia at Material Obsession. Kathy Doughty is a friend and asked if I would, so my family and I made it a big trip, and all went and enjoyed Sydney.  I had so much fun, that I came back and started taking bookings in the US.

Family Album

What is your favorite part about teaching? 

I love watching people get the aha! moments! Watching their fear dissipate when showing them how simple all the things they say they would never do, actually are. When that “can do” attitude is found, the momentum then builds in their work, and is contagious to all around them. The power of a group setting is infectious!


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

We all learned to sew in various ways, some things get learned … or not … So I base my classes on very elementary skills that I’ve realized most people never learned, and by the end of class we do the hardest thing…

Learning a basic skill that you’re missing will make your projects so much easier.

Learn a way to look differently at your process. Everyone needs a boot out of their own box once in a while. It’s good to shake up the way you work, to encourage more creativity.

Confidence… Building your repertoire of ways to work, ways to see, ways to sew, enhances your output. 

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What are you currently working on in your own art?

Healing. I’ve been working on quilts that have a deeper message of healing, either about someone, or for myself in response to something, and pushing my own limits creatively.


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

My Color Play is at the Texas Quilt Museum now in the Modern Quilt Exhibit, LaGrange Texas. A couple of quilts will be at QuiltCon in February, A few pieces will be in Gallery EOSS, March 17-April 16th.  My Double Wedding Rings quilts are headed to Australia Quilt Convention, in April. A couple other shows and exhibits will be announced soon.

Big Block Star

Do you sell your work?

I do sell my work, I sell privately, and do several commission pieces each year.  I also donate a lot of quilts to my Community Quilt drive,


Describe your studio.

I have a long rectangle shaped studio with windows on one short end. where my JUKI long arm sits looking out the window. The other three walls are completely covered in cotton batting, so I can work on 10-12 quilts at a time. All my machines and cutting station float in the middle so I can easily get all the way around my space.  It’s wonderful! The studio is one building over from where I live, so I can easily close the door walk back home away from the mess!


I keep one book case full of fabric in my studio. When it’s full, I stop buying fabric… I don’t need any more, and after not buying fabric for one year, actually found myself with four empty cubbies… So if you figure four cubbies of fabric a year for quilts, I’m still set for about  ten years! 

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I also keep an area to display small quilts that are inspirations to me. My Studio is my happy place, of course, so it must be filled with inspiration!

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I’m always working on new various large star variation quilts. The LeMoyne Star class is my favorite to teach, the possibilities are just endless! It is a great design to play, manipulate, and be intuitive with!  My newest one was made out of Double Knit Polyester! haha! Bring old quilt tops that you haven’t finished, or leftover blocks to class, Let’s Play and turn them into new beautiful Star quilts!

An Interview with Christine Ivers: Award-Winning Pastelist

Christine Ivers, the award-winning, nationally recognized pastelist, returns to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach her always popular five-day Pastel Painting class “Paint the Night”, June 12 to 18, 2016.


Christine recently took some time to give us the background on teaching, and creating her art.


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

I’ve been teaching since 2007 after the economic crash that pretty much took away the job that I had worked at for over 40 years. I owned an ad agency and within the course of six months I lost 90% of all my clients due to any number of financial reasons. It was tough, but I was always an illustrator and I was used to giving presentations and I actually taught my four daughters how to work on computers so I thought, “What the heck! The only thing I know how to do is draw!” So, I started to teach and I have loved it ever since. 


What is your favorite part about teaching?

Watching my students succeed in their own artistic journey. That’s the best part! When one of them wins an award or sells a painting or overcomes an obstacle, I’m thrilled. Helping them get to where they want to be is what it’s all about. I believe we all have to make our own path in this life and so I never insist that they paint exactly like me. I encourage them to create in their own way. I am there to help them hone the skills that will make them succeed.


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

Oh Wow! You only want three things?


The ability to immerse one’s self in painting or drawing without distraction from one’s everyday craziness. Most of us get wrapped up in the day-to-day stuff. To spend morning until night creating artwork is just so awesome! It’s the ultimate soul cleansing for an artist. 


Meeting and spending time with other artists from different parts of the country who bring their own richness of art to the table. It is such great fun to not only spend time in the studio with other like minds, but to spend after hours or lunches just talking about art and the creative process. Nothing can beat that! You also learn from other students as well as the instructor. It’s just great fun.


Challenging yourself by putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. Whether it is a studio artist trying plein air painting for the first time or a still life artist attempting to paint a landscape, it is good to push yourself a little or sometimes a lot. You will always walk away with something that you hadn’t thought of before. This, in itself, is a great way to learn.

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What are you currently working on in your own art?

I’m still painting nocturnal cityscapes and traditional landscapes, mostly in pastel, but up until the winter hit I was getting myself outdoors to plein air paint. Of course I always retreat to my studio in the end to get back to my NightScapes. Anyone who knows me knows I love the “dark side.” I’m also starting to write an instructional art book, so that will be keeping me busy also. 


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

I exhibit in NYC at the Salmagundi Club and also at National Arts with different competitive shows. I also have a gallery in Essex, CT where I have a number of my NightScapes on display for the next few months. On occasion I show in a gallery in New Canaan, CT. Because I belong to many art organizations, my work is on display in different parts of the country during the year.

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

I would first advise any artist to gather together a “body of work.” Galleries look for a style that reads consistently across an exhibit. Unless it’s a group show, they look for consistency and proficiency. Most galleries are overloaded with artists seeking representation so have your ducks in order. I also know it helps to have a good word put in by an artist who might already be represented by a gallery you wish to get into.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I do have an online gallery with pricing and information, but if the piece happens to be at a gallery at the time of an inquiry I will direct them to the gallery so they get their commission. I price my pieces pretty much the same whether online or in a brick and mortar store front.


What is your favorite art quote?

“Art is not what you see, it’s what you make others see.”  –Edgar Degas


Describe your studio.

I actually have two studios. What used to be my ad agency is where the natural light is really great. The other is in the basement of my home with the hot water heater, furnace, 1981 refrigerator and a conglomeration of stuff all over the place. Right now I can’t show you the home studio because we just ripped it apart to rearrange things, but I can tell you that at that location I work under an eight foot fluorescent overhead bulb. I guess you can work with any light if you get used to it. The photo is the one in my old ad agency.

Ivers Studio


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

My iPhone6.

I use it to take reference shots and as a black mirror for looking at my work upside down and backwards to check the drawing and composition.


My Music.

Need that all the time. Helps to put me in the Zone.


ArtSpectrum Multimedia Gesso with Pumice

I use this to coat my Gator Boards with a crazy texture that I love. 


A good 1-1/2” house painting brush

This is how I apply the Gesso/Pumice.


3/16” Black Gator Board

This is what I use to put the grounds on. Easy to cut, easy to frame, no need for a back board.


All other supplies I can mix and match whether oil or pastel, but without the five above I’d be lost.

Interview with Don Andrews, Watercolor Artist

Don Andrews is respected by online casino players as an artist. Many online casino players are willing to pay big money for paintings by artist Don Andrews. We are delighted to welcome Don back to the online casino where he draws his inspiration from the Hudson River Valley.

Don Andrews is a nationally known watercolor artist and workshop instructor. He has conducted painting workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Africa for over 30 years.

Don is an active member and past board director of the American Watercolor Society. His paintings have received numerous awards in national watercolor competitions, including three awards from the American Watercolor Society, and two Best of Show awards from the New England Watercolor Society.

We are pleased to welcome Don back to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this summer – he will be teaching a five day Studio Workshop, Watercolor Landscapes, June 5 to 11, 2016.




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

In 1983 I was painting during the day and working at JC Penney at night. That year I was asked to do a demo for the Southern WC Society’s annual exhibition in Asheville, NC. The demo went well and the director of Springmaid Beach Watercolor Workshops who was in attendance, asked me if I would come there to teach.


I’ve been traveling and teaching ever since. I often wonder if I hadn’t agreed to drive 500 miles from my home in Mobile, AL to Asheville for that demo, would I still be working nights at JC Penney?


Maine foggy coast


What is your favorite part about teaching?

There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a student struggle with some aspect of painting and demonstrating a solution that helps them jump that hurdle.


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

You’ll gain a clear understanding of the many uses of light. We’ll demystify color in a logical way, and lose our fear of mud. I will spend one day explaining how we can loosen up to make a more personal watercolor statement and a day showing how figures can be introduced to make landscape paintings come alive.  I’m a firm believer in a no-pressure, fun studio environment.




What are you currently working on in your own art?

My wife Martha and I just moved to Austin TX to be closer to our kids after many years in Alabama. I’m exploring the western landscape with fresh eyes!  (Our kids just had baby Sophie!)


Marc and girls on beach


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Right now I’m not in any galleries as I travel a good bit each year and take my paintings with me. One of these days I will slow down and explore the gallery scene.


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

When I used to be represented in galleries I found it imperative to research each gallery to find a good fit with my work and their clientele.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I do have an online gallery on my website which I occasionally sell from. However, in my experience and from the many artists I have talked to, the online gallery market introduces your work to potential customers but they want to see the painting up close and personal before they buy.


Oregon coast demo


What is your favorite art quote?

Not long after I began my watercolor life, I was fortunate to take a workshop with my mentor, California artist, Robert E Wood who said , “We learn fastest through experimentation!”


Oregon coast 2


Describe your studio.

Martha and I have bought a little land outside Austin, TX and we’re hoping to build there soon. Right now my studio is a small spare bedroom, but aside from carpet on the floor, it works just fine!


Woman in doorway


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

My digital camera and home computer… I’m a studio painter so it’s very convenient to keep a camera on hand, take lots of shots, then adjust them on the computer before printing them out to work from.

I have a large mirror on my studio wall opposite my easel…. A hundred times during the painting, I turn to get a look at the painting reversed in the mirror across the room. It usually points out some design, color or value problem I wasn’t aware of standing so close to the painting.

My sketchbook… Before I start a painting I arrange the subject matter and organize the value plan with a few quick sketches.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser… It’s the best tool to lift dead paint from a watercolor that I’ve ever come across!

Stitched Paintings with Katie Pasquini Masopust

We finished off our 2015 workshop season with a fiber art / painting party in the form of Katie Pasquini Masopust’s Stitched Paintings workshop. Some amazing works were created with this fun process that mixes painting with stitching. Here is a peak into the studio during that workshop. The first step of the process was painting gesso’d canvas to create a “palette” of colors to use in abstract landscapes and still life compositions. IMG 1245
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IMG 1249 All sorts of stamps and recycled materials were available for making marks on the paintings. IMG 1251 Here you see an assembled abstract landscapes coming together made with strips of painted canvas. IMG 1253
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IMG 1256 Throughout the days, Katie would introduce new techniques for adding interest, texture, form and line to the painted canvases. This is a drip technique use to good effect. IMG 1258
Shadows and lines was another fine possibility. IMG 1261 A composition by Cindy Heath. IMG 1263 An amazing landscape by Kathy Nurge. IMG 1264 A great composition by Sherry Shine. IMG 1265 Katie also showed the group how to put together a fun abstract floral still life. This one is also by Sherry Shine. IMG 1266 Here is Katie’s still life arrangement. IMG 1267
IMG 1268 Next Katie brought out the power tools. She showed the group how to construct their own frames for the stitched paintings. IMG 1272
IMG 1276 One the frame was assembled, Katie demonstrated how to attach the stitched painting to the frame. IMG 1277
This pieces was created with a “stack and whack” to create the pieces which were then shuffled to create abstract blocks. It was made by Kim LaPolla. IMG 1279
Manon Boisvert is hard at work creating some amazing abstract compositions. IMG 1280 These are book covers that Katie showed everyone how to make with the painted canvases. IMG 1283 Another thing to do with the painted canvases was to create mini zippered bags for holding stuff! So if you didn’t like the way your painted canvas turned out, Katie showed the group that there were lots of ways to make use of them. IMG 1284On the final day of class every one put all the work on display and we all went around the studio on a tour. This is the work of Sherry Shine. IMG 1286 This is what it looked like to the person standing next to their art work and talking about it. The paparazzi in action! IMG 1288 This is the work of Kim LaPolla. IMG 1290 This is the work of Jane Pinchuck. IMG 1291 A fun landscape by Alison Chandler. IMG 1301 The work of Manon Boisvert. IMG 1306 The work of Kathy Nurge. IMG 1308 The work of Donna Dynes. IMG 1314 The work of Cindy Heath. IMG 1315 Earlier in the year, Katie also taught her Log Cabin Abstracts workshop and Alison also attended that workshop and brought back her finished piece to show to everyone. IMG 1316 It was such a fun workshop that the group formed a “Painting Monday” challenge to motivate everyone to keep on painting! Katie will be back again teaching in 2017 and will teach her fabulous Fractured Landscapes class. Don’t miss it!

An Interview with David Shevlino: Figure Painting in Oil

David Shevlino studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (certificate ’84) and the University of Pennsylvania (BFA ’92).  His work has been featured in national publications and he has exhibited his work and taught workshops throughout the U.S.

We’re looking forward to welcoming David to Greenville – in his first visit to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, David will instruct a dynamic Oil Painting Studio Workshop, Alla Prima Figure Painting May 22 to 28, 2016. David’s wet-into-wet painting techniques focus on clarity, directness and looseness in capturing the subject. 

Erin in a crown


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

I started teaching about 5 years ago.  After the stock market crash I realized that I needed to do something more to earn money.  I turned to teaching after self producing a series of instructional videos and realized that I am good at it.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

Before teaching my career was primarily about exhibiting my work in commercial galleries.  Most of the commercial art world involves people who collect art, but collectors don’t necessarily know much about it or the artistic process.  When I teach, I am surrounded by people who know about painting or who want to learn about painting and its process.  There’s a greater feeling of a shared experience.


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

Taking a workshop is a great way absorb information from a particular instructor. There’s also a sense of camaraderie among the students.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

My current work is mostly about abstracting the figure.


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Gallery 1261 Denver, CO

Quidley & Co, Boston, MA

Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Laguna, CA


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

Do some research about the gallery and make sure they are reputable. Don’t expect miracles.


What is your favorite art quote?

A line is a dot that went for a walk.


Describe your studio.

My studio is behind my house and faces north.  It measures roughly 19 x 24 feet.