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.