Book A Private Retreat

Book A Private Retreat

Providing you with an as-safe-as-we-can-possibly-make-it option to escape.

Feeling the need to getaway with your closest family, friends, or your “quarantine-pod”? We’re pleased to offer an option that gives you exclusive access to our property just for your group! You pick your rooms from our Carriage House Building that best suit the needs of your group. For dining, a contact-less cooked to order breakfast is included as well as afternoon snacks and unlimited coffee & tea. Support our nearby local restaurants and pick up your lunch/dinner or dine out outside with them. By booking a private retreat with us, your group will have access to our 6 acres of private gardens and lawns as well as exclusive use of our 1,000 square foot studio space. Bring your art supplies, yoga mats, musical instruments, tap shoes, or weaving looms and set up for the long weekend.

Spend the full weekend on our rural property with plenty of room to spread out. If you feel the need to stretch your legs a bit further, there is a wonderful park within walking distance as well as many more outdoor spaces within 20-45 minutes in every direction.

3-Night package rates

  • Available for Check-In on Thursday and Check-Out on Sunday
  • Includes three (3) nights of contact-less lodging, breakfast, daily cookie and fruit snack, unlimited coffee and tea, and welcoming wine and cheese spread. Daily choice to change out towels and sheets, without housekeeping entering your room.
  • Minimum of six (6) persons (above the age of 2)
  • Pet-Friendly Options Available ($75 additional flat fee)

$332.70 + Tax / Per Person for Double Occupancy

$416.70 + Tax / Per Person for Single Occupancy

Get starting booking your private retreat here;

Art & Breakfast: Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Lingonberry

I discovered this recipe last year and it has been the favorite breakfast special ever since then. They are light, delicate, and fluffy pancakes and the lingonberry preserves send it over the top!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Lingonberry

Note: It’s best to make the batter at least 30 minutes in advance for the lightest pancakes. You can even make it the night before. IMG 0895 1 1/2 cups of cottage cheese (I use Cabot’s whole milk cottage cheese)
6 large eggs
3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil spray
Garnish: best quality lingonberry preserves & powdered sugar in a shaker

  1. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the flour, until totally blended, and then whisk in the melted butter.
  2. With a rubber spatula, fold in the cottage cheese.
  3. Heat a nonstick griddle over moderately high heat and then coat lightly with vegetable oil spray.
  4. Using a 1/4-cup measure, ladle pancake batter onto the griddle, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes per side, until nicely browned on each side and cooked through.
  5. Serve the pancakes with a nice dollop of lingonberry preserves on top sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Serves 4 – 6, but be warned this is only breakfast special that it is not unusual for people to order a second helping!

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!

Still Life with Trees and Leah Lopez

Leah Lopez, known for her incredible classical still life painting, is here teaching a 3-day workshop on still life. However, the weather was just so perfect today that she could not resist taking the class outside for her morning demo.


Leah is painting the Main Inn side lawn which is surrounded by maple, pine, and birch trees.


It’s not hot enough to go in the pool yet, but it makes a lovely setting for lunch.


The next workshop is a 5-day workshop with the marvelous Frank Francese, a watercolor artist from Colorado. There is still room in this workshop, so if you have an urge to get away to the beautiful Catskills and paint for a week, give us a call!

Yard Show

It was a good week with Fran Skiles’ workshop group and it was over too soon.

On the final day, everyone hung a couple pieces of their work on the lines in back of the studio and a critique and discussion was had.


If you missed out on this class (there was a long waiting list), you’ll have your chance again when Fran comes back in 2013.

Fiber and Paper Collage with Fran Skiles

Fran Skiles is here this week teaching a 5-day workshop on fiber and paper collage. It is a full workshop and everyone hit the ground running! Within a couple hours of starting everyone working furiously!


The first day Fran showed how to use a sewing machine to create line and texture on white or black canvas.


The class is made up an exciting mix of art quilters and mixed media artists!


Fran is obviously inspiring a lot of enthusiasm in the class. No wonder the class filled up very quickly.


Today the class is working on mono-printing on various textured papers. Pictures to follow in the next post!

Was That One Too Many Pieces of Lavender Chocolate?

Kerby Smith arrived to today in preparation for his workshop “Point and Shoot Fabric”, which starts tomorrow. He arrived while we were all up to our necks making, packing, and shipping chocolate orders (trying to be finished by the time everyone arrives tomorrow!)

Kerby is a professional artist photographer and he will be teaching the students how to take great digital photos and then manipulate them in PhotoShop Elements to create unique artistic expressions. He will then show you how to print the images on fabric to use in art quilts or mixed media collages.

This image is an example of what the class will be exploring! I think the lavender chocolate has gone to his head! This is definitely going to be a fun workshop.

Nancy with Bunnies and Fish.jpg

There is still room in the class, so if you are the spur of the moment type there is still time to sign up! The actual class days will be March 28 thru April 1.

Dynamic Smith Duo – Lura and Kerby

We have a dynamic husband and wife team coming to teach back-to-back workshops at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this coming March/April.

First up is Kerby Smith, an award-winning photo artist, who will be teaching Point and Shoot Fabric – March 27 – April 2, 2011. This five-day class shows you how to get the most out of your “point and shoot” digital camera.


You’ll improve your picture taking skills on a photo walkabout led by Kerby Smith. In the classroom you will be given a simple and easy way to process your images for printing on fabric using the inexpensive computer program: Adobe Photoshop Elements. You will get the latest information on which fabrics and printers work the best for making digital fabric.

Right after Kerby’s workshop, is Lura Schwarz Smith’s workshop, Inks, Paints, Pencils, and Fabric – April 3 – 9, 2011.


Working with images of your choice, produce a small art quilt top from your own photographs or drawings while learning to draft distorted traditional blocks, and construct textures with a free-form paperless curved piecing technique.

Experience various paints, inks, materials and ways to play with imagery. Design and composition exercises are explored, as well as the opportunity for in-depth shading and drawing assistance in rendering images on fabric. Samples of digital photographic fabric will be provided, or bring your own, to enhance with art materials. Emphasis is on individual applications of techniques, and the fun of developing your own style.

The benefit of taking both of these workshops is that you get to learn how to incorporate the digital images that you create in Kerby’s class into the art quilt that you create in Lura’s workshop!

As an added bonus, when your sign up for both workshops you get the between night lodging (Saturday, April 2nd) for free AND $100 discount off the tuition of Lura’s workshop.

Fused Animal Figures

We are in the midst of our December retreat and the rabbits are coming together nicely.

We started out by creating the template patterns and enlarging them on the studio printer. (No one wanted to leave the nice warm studio to drive to Kinko’s!)


Then the fabrics were selected and cut to the template pieces and assembled into rabbits!. Linda did a running rabbit.


This is Leonie’s rabbit in process. Leonie is here from Australia!


And here is the rabbit I am working on.


Today we are stitching all of pieces down to finish them off. Linda is already creating the other elements for her overall composition – grass, cattails, and mushrooms – all made from some incredibly luscious hand-dyed fabric by Judy Robertson.

Leonie and I are having too much fun putting together animal figures, so we are going to next move on to squirrels! Leonie said that she loves squirrels.

In between working on her rabbit, Leonie is also working on completing the still life piece that she started in Esterita Austin’s workshop. It is really coming together nicely!


Mark, the chef, has been taking advantage of the small number of people here and is trying out some dishes for next year. So far we’ve enjoyed a Moroccan beef stew and some Lamb Tangine. Both were so, so yummy. We also got to sample a new dessert featuring almonds and philo dough. Very yummy.

Tools and Techniques with Judy Simmons

Judy Simmons, a Fairfield International Invitational Fashion Show designer for many years, recently taught a 5-day workshop for us. An experienced teacher and author, Judy packed the workshop with loads of technique and process information. A sampling of the topics covered were microwave dying, machine needle lace, machine texture, bobbin work, dimensional and off the edge appliqué, creative methods of machine appliqué and using sheer overlays. Surface design techniques include stamping, paint sticks, and Angelina fibers.

This is an example of machine lace.


This picture illustrates some bobbin work using heavy weight metallic thread and the decorative stitches available on most home sewing machines.


Judy presented demonstrations throughout the day, but allowed plenty of time for everyone to practice and play with the techniques.


It was a fun group that not only had loads of fun in the studio, but even had a little hula hooping session after dinner one night!

Nabila, a belly dance instructor, showed everyone how it was done!


Sandee, from Canada, showed great form too.


Sheila, from Oregon, worked on a jacket. The floral fabric is fabric that she designed from a photo of her garden. The picture was sent to Spoonflower, a custom printed fabric company, to turn into yardage. Sheila was thrilled with the resulting fabric.

Using the custom fabric as a start, Sheila then further embellished and painted the fabric using the methods that she learned from Judy.


The weather was beautiful all week. I caught these fabulous pink clouds as sunrise one morning.


Pat Dew’s and Her Rowdy Crew

Pat Dew’s was back again to teach a 5-day watermedia and collage workshop. This years group had an especially good time. The laughing started on the first night at the dinner table and continued right until check out time!

On the second night we had a brief power outage in the town and were prepare to make and serve dinner by candlelight.

But luckily the power was restored just as the salad was being served. Everyone still requested dinner by candlelight, so we left the candles on the table burning and just dimmed the lights. Some marvelous freshly made blueberry pie was the dessert for that night.

In the studio there was a constant buzz of creative excitement as Pat provided lots of demos and the students then took their turn at using the ideas.

This is Roxie Johnson, a digital artist from Hyde Park, NY. Pat asked her to bring in her portfolio of work to the class and Pat herself went home with a couple of Roxie’s pieces.

Pat Dew’s shares a studio with Jada Rowland, a landscape and portrait artist.
Pat talked Jada into stepping out of her normal mode of painting and joining the workshop to tried her hand at abstract work!

Before Pat left she generously gave us a copy of her new DVD – Pat Dews: Let’s Get Started Finishing. It will be in our DVD library, so next time you are here – take a look!

Margaret Dyer and Judi Betts

The end of summer has been a whirlwind of activity, so I’m a little behind in my blog posts.

Margaret Dyer was here at the end of August teach a 3-day workshop on pastel figures. Margaret is always a very popular instructor. She had just taught for us the previous year, but all the students clamored for a repeat so we quickly added Margaret to our 2010 schedule.

This talented group of students worked with both nude and clothed models. Margaret kept them challenged with multiple changes of model poses and painting angles.

The 3-day ended too quickly for us and the students! But not to worry Margaret has already agreed to return in 2012 to teach.

The next class up was with Judi Betts. Judi is such a delight to have here. Her enthusiasm and passion for her art is contagious!

Judi introduced a number of exercises to stretch the students skills with using color in their compositions.

Another fun/challenging exercise was when Judi surprized everyone with a male nude model! Ok, the male in question was our Dalmatian, Hudson.

The last time Judi had taught here, Hudson had been a puppy and was slightly less energetic! This time Judi said he was the wiggliest model she’s every worked with.

But everyone did their best to capture the “essence” of Hudson and some really nice sketches resulted.

I was the model handler and if the students wanted a less wiggling model, they could sketch me instead of Hudson.

If was a fun class and several of the students, who have attended many of our workshops, said that Judi was a really wonderful and generous teacher, in fact they said that she was “Xtraordinary”! (Judi’s website is

Judi Bett’s will also be returning in 2012 to teach another 5-day watercolor workshop.

Maybe we can find a less wiggly male nude model by then!

Another Wonderful Week with Stanley Maltzman

Several week ago was Stanley Maltman’s pastel workshop here at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Stanley is a local artist (from Freehold, NY), but has been getting a lot of national and regional acclaim lately. He has been winning awards and get exhibit invitations left and right. Pretty good for a young 80-something!

Because Stanley has living in this area for such a long time, he knows all of the good painting spots! It was a beautiful weather week and this location on the Catskill Creek was perfect.

Stanley will be teaching a workshop again for us next year – August 7 – 13, 2011, and besides the daily painting instruction, he is going to do an evening presentation on how to frame your pastel paintings.

They Had Joy, They Had Fun . . .

On Thursday, Mel Stabin’s group spent the day in the studio working with two different models.

Mel did a demo in the morning and then the students had the rest of the day to work.

It will be sad to see everyone leave tomorrow morning after breakfast. It was a fun week and the smiles and closeness of this group photo says it all!

Look for Mel to return again in 2012!

Mel Stabin is Back in Town

Mel Stabin is here this week teaching a 5-day watercolor workshop to a full house! And what a fun loving full house it is.

The week was started by Mel taking his group down the street from the inn to paint in his favorite “first day” location.

Besides this former church, there are a number of other interesting old houses on this corner.

Everyone found a shady spot to settle into and went to work, after Mel’s morning demo.

At lunch time I loaded up our garden cart with the sandwiches and salads (a complete salad bar) that some of the students had ordered and carted it down the street.

The hungry crowd immediately swarmed around the cart.

Oil and Water Do Mix Well Together

Well, at least the oil painters and the watercolor painters in Betty Carr’s 5-day workshop did!

They enjoyed a lively time at the dinner table and in the studio.

We had perfect summer weather that week, which of course meant it was time for a barbecue!

Mark prepare beef ribs, slow cooked over mesquite charcoal and then slathered with his own secret BBQ sauce (it includes a hint of chocolate!)

Everyone enjoyed the feast and were appreciative of the warm washcloths handed out after dinner to clean off the yummy BBQ sauce.

Daily Painting with Carol Marine

Just a few weeks ago Carol Marine arrived from Texas to teach a 3-day workshop in creating small still life paintings in oil.

Carol is well know for her daily paintings blog and her work, that she sells on eBay.

Here she is doing an “egg demo” – a small still life featuring just a raw egg on a orange plate.

Carol put everyone through their paces creating quick still life paintings – both as value studies and with color.

There was a lot of fruit in the studio for those three days! Luckily the A/C kept the studio cool and the fruit stayed fresh.

Here is a lovely pear painting . . .

And the model for the painting!

On the third day, Carol explained to everyone how to capture your paintings in digital photos and use PhotoShop to crop them in preparation to posting them on a blog and on eBay.

She also discussed how to start a daily painting blog and set up a store on eBay for your paintings.

It was a marvelous 3 days with this fun loving group with Carol as their ringleader!

We look forward to Carol’s return to teach a 5-day workshop in 2012. If you are even thinking about it, don’t hesitate too long before signing up — we are already getting enrollments for this class and the class size is limited to 16.

Sketching at the Fair – with Lew Lehrman

Lew Lehrman came back for one more time to teach his Travel Sketching workshop.

This time the workshop coincided with a Youth Fair in a near by town.

It was a sweltering day, so the group took refuge under the “Fair Idol” tent. They sketched the sights of the fair while listing to the vocal stylings of the idol-hopefuls.

The fair was a well attended event and had all the requisite fair pleasures – the big white tents,

Food vendors, selling things like Texas Tornado potato chips and lemonade.

Here is Lew helping a mother-daughter team, Elizabeth and Sarah, as they painted their sketches.

Couldn’t be a fair without the kids and their horses.

And flop-eared rabbits.

And what could be better for dinner after spending the day at the fair, but yummy fresh the farm sweet corn.

Paired with Orange/Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs baked over a Portabello Mushroom.

On another night, Lew had the group sketching their dinner. Mark, the chef, did his best to create a dinner with large shapes and clear contrasting colors – like this fresh spinach salad with white mushrooms and red tomatoes.

On dinner sketching night, some of the students contributed to the colorful display, bringing sunflowers and a watermelon purchased from Story’s Farm, where they had spent the afternoon sketching.

Dinner was finished with some White Chocolate ice cream. Mark added the brush of dark chocolate to provide contrast with the white bowl.

Thanks, Lew, for another successful workshop!

Yes, We’re Still Here and Still Having Great Workshops!

I can’t believe it is a month since my last blog post. I guess we’ve just been having too much fun with the workshops.

Now let’s see . . . where did I leave off.

Yes, the wonderful weekend with Larkin Van Horn (she’ll be back in 2012!)

Following Larkin, was another fantastic workshop taught by Rayna Gillman – Deconstructing the Screen.

This is Rayna giving a little trunk show of her own work.

This was a wonderful class made up of both fiber artists, wearable art artists, and print makers. A marvelous convergence of ideas and talent.

If you’re wondering about the pile of white fabric on the tables, it is
the mother lode of machine-made lace. It was donated to us by an inn
guest of ours who was downsizing. The piles use to fill 4 tables, but
now it is down to just 2. It is free for the taking, so if you’re in the
area stop by soon before it is all gone!

The railing on the North Cottage was turned into a drying rack / display!

The rope lines strung between trees in the back of the studio also featured a colorful display every day.

Rayna and Calli talk about screen printing. Calli is the sister of Koo Schadler. Koo teaches an egg tempera class for us. (Koo is coming next year – sign up early as her class always fills quickly.)

Freeform Beaded Medallions with Larkin Van Horn

We welcomed Larkin Van Horn back again to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, this time to teach her workshop on Beaded Medallion quilts.

This was a 3-day workshop, so everyone got right into it right away! Within a short time after arriving everyone had their workspace set up for maximum beading efficiency.

It was interesting to wander around the studio to see how each person organized her beads and supplies.

Larkin started everyone creating small fused compositions that they could embellish with beads. It wasn’t long until everyone had a colorful piece in the works.

They also had a hilarious time around the dinner table. The laughter seemed continuous.

The biggest joke of the weekend was about our new white towels.

During orientation, Mark when on and on about what was not “allowed” to be done to our new fluffy white towels. (He was doing a little embellishing of his own with the towel “rules.”) No painting in your room, no wiping off makeup, no using at the pool, no cleaning shoes, etc. Mark even kidded that we were thinking of having the towels hung in locked plexiglas cases – just to keep the white.

Everyone joked about the towel policy for the next 3 days. (We don’t really have a towel policy.)

Then on the final evening the group presented Mark with a flagrantly misused white washcloth! Everyone had beaded, quilted, and kissed with lipstick a washcloth (one of our old ones, not the new ones).

Now Mark had a visual aid for his orientation on towel use!

The turtle on the washcloth in reference to the snapping turtle in the pool story Mark told people so that they wouldn’t try swimming at night in the dark.

It’s always a fun time with Larkin and we look forward to her return in the future.

Plein Air Fiber Art

I told Carol Soderlund that she was our first plein air fiber art workshop! (We’ve joked about having solar powered sewing machines for more outdoor fiber art workshops!)

The weather was so beautiful that the class spent a good part of the time outside. A clothes line was strung up in back of the studio for drying the created fabrics. It made for a very colorful display.

It’s a good thing that Carol Soderlund is close enough to drive to our location, because she was able to bring a lot of dyes and other supplies for the class.

The class turned out some really fantastic fabrics. This is an example of a discharged commercial fabric.

Here is a closer shot where you can see some of the original fabric design showing through.

This is an example of a potato dextrin resist used prior to dyeing.

This was also potato dextrin used with a paper pattern pressed into the resist and then dyed.

Carol also presented a slide show of fiber artists who use discharged fabrics in their work. It certainly was inspiring.

It was a wonderful workshop and everyone had such a good time and learned a lot. We look forward to the next time that Carol Soderlund teaches here.

Dye Magic with Carol Soderlund

Carol Soderlund has returned to Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach her “Dyeing to Discharge” workshop.

Her students are discovering the possibilities of discharge– the removal of color from dyed cloth. Using both commercial fabrics and cloth dyed specifically for discharge, they are selectively removing and replacing color.

Carol always emphasizes safe studio practices, even though the weather has been so nice that the class is working outdoors most of the time.

Looks like martians have landed!

I think this is our first “plein air” fiber art class. I’m hoping to get pictures of the incredible fabrics the group is creating on the cloths line that we are stringing up between two trees.

The pool is also a big hit with the class, with several folks taking a dip every morning before breakfast. This is the first time that fiber art workshops have been scheduled in the summer.

This is Mark playing “sea monster” with Hudson.

David Dunlop at Olana Again!

On the final day of the workshop, David Dunlop took his group to Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church.

It was an absolutely beautiful day!

This is David giving an individual demo to Judy on painting Van Gogh style.

Everyone like to paint at Olana, not only for the incredible inspiration, but also because there is plenty of shady spots to paint from! This is at the edge of the large pond located near the barns of Olana.

This student set up right at the water’s edge!

The reflections on the water that day were brilliant!

The clouds against the blue, blue sky were mesmerizing.

Painting at John Boyd Thatcher Park

On Wednesday, David Dunlop took his class to John Boyd Thatcher Park, which is long the Helderberg Escarpment, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world – nice views, too!

David got his exercise going from person to person to offer assistance with their painting.

A group of classmates set up on the little bridge over the top of a waterfall.

Each day David covered different art period techniques and showed people how to paint in the style of the past masters.

While I waiting for everyone to finish the lunch I delivered, I took a quick hike down the Indian Ladder Trail.

You descend the first part via staircase and get to admire the view and marvelous rock formations.

Further along is this waterfall. The trail leads under the waterfall, but I didn’t go that far because I didn’t have anything to protect my camera from the spray. This is the same waterfall that the artists were set up at the top.

When I return to the picnic table, everyone was already enjoying their sandwiches.

The class participants weren’t the only ones interested in a good lunch. This little chipmunk perched in this tree next to the table keeping an eye out for stray bread crumbs.

Painting at John Boyd Thatcher Park

On Wednesday, David Dunlop took his class to John Boyd Thatcher Park, which is long the Helderberg Escarpment, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world – nice views, too!

David got his exercise going from person to person to offer assistance with their painting.

A group of classmates set up on the little bridge over the top of a waterfall.

Each day David covered different art period techniques and showed people how to paint in the style of the past masters.

While I waiting for everyone to finish the lunch I delivered, I took a quick hike down the Indian Ladder Trail.

You descend the first part via staircase and get to admire the view and marvelous rock formations.

Further along is this waterfall. The trail leads under the waterfall, but I didn’t go that far because I didn’t have anything to protect my camera from the spray. This is the same waterfall that the artists were set up at the top.

When I return to the picnic table, everyone was already enjoying their sandwiches.

The class participants weren’t the only ones interested in a good lunch. This little chipmunk perched in this tree next to the table keeping an eye out for stray bread crumbs.

On Location with Past Masters – David Dunlop

David Dunlop is here this week to teach the historic methods of plein air painting. He is taking his group to locations that were the favorites of the Hudson River painters like Cole and Church.

Today the class went to the top of Kaaterskill Falls. This is the former site of the Laurel House, a historic resort in the Catskills that operated from 1852 – 1967. The resort is no longer there, but the stunning vistas are! It is a great place to paint.

Too Much Fun with David Daniels – “Mr. Watercolor” Himself!

David Daniels, master of brilliant watercolors, was here teaching a 5 day workshop last week. Everyone was having such a wonderful time that that week just flew by.

I did a chance to pop into the studio to see them at work a couple of times.

This was a studio workshop, so folks worked from sketches and/or photographs. With all of the conveniently located electrical plugs all over the studio, working from photos on a laptop was easy.

Dave brought two of his paints to the workshop. He happened to be taking them, after the workshop, to an exhibit in Oneonta, NY.

He doesn’t mount his paintings under glass, as a lot of watercolorists do. Instead he varnishes them, providing protection to the painting but eliminating the worry of glare from a glass covering. One caveat though is that due to the varnish, his paintings are no longer, technically speaking, watercolors.

The class turned out some great work. I wish I had taken more individual photos!

But not to worry, Dave will be back teaching for us in 2012!

Studio Time with Lorenzo Chavez

Rain could not dampen the spirits of Lorenzo Chavez’s workshop.

Our “order” for sunny days was delayed (until this week when we have a studio workshop), but Lorenzo’s enthusiasm for pastels was caught by the whole group and they laughed and enjoyed themselves thoroughly!

Daily cookie time didn’t hurt, either!

Everyone in the class said that Lorenzo was extremely generous with his time, often spending way beyond class time in the studio helping anyone who needed advice and assistance with their painting

In between sprinkles and downpours, the rain let up long enough for some folks to go outside on our grounds to paint.

Colorado Meets New York – Plein Air Pastel with Lorenzo Chavez

This weekend Lorenzo Chavez came to us from Colorado to teach a plein air pastel and oil workshop. He was at once struck with how GREEN it was in Greenville!

Today he is finding out why it is so green – it is raining. Hopefully the sun will come back out this afternoon, which is usually the case.

Yesterday, however, the group was treated to a magnificent day and spent it at our favorite local farm. The red barns and out-buildings always provide great contrast with the green trees.

Lorenzo did a demo first and then the group went off to find their own subject.

Elizabeth Apgar-Smith – Painting at Olana

Elizabeth Apgar-Smith arrived today to teach a 3-day workshop on landscapes in oil. Elizabeth is a wonderful multi-talented artist who has taught for the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for years.

She most often teaches a pastel workshop, but we decided to mix it up this year and have her teach an oil painting workshop.

It was a beautiful day. Right after breakfast the group immediately set off for Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church, in Hudson.

When Mark delivered lunch he took these photos.

This is Elizabeth (Betsy) giving a demo.

Below are the picnic tables set up for lunch.

This is a view of the house from the back – still very interesting with lots of intricate details.

The house tour is definitely worth taking and they have recently opened some of the upper rooms for the tour.

Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken Thighs

This is a new dish for this year and has been very well received. So, after multiple requests for the recipe, I’m finally getting around to putting it on the blog!

This recipe serves 8


8 bone-in, skin-on large chicken thighs
Kosher salt and black pepper
8 portobello mushrooms
3 medium scallions (green parts only), cut into 3-inch lengths
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs mirin
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1 3/4 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil the top of foil.

Arrange the portobello mushroom caps (stems removed) gill sides up on the prepared cookie sheet. Arrange 2 or 3 scallion pieces on top of the mushrooms, then put a chicken thigh, skin side up, on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast until the edges of the chicken begin to brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thick part of the biggest thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, combine the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

In a small bowl, stir the orange juice and cornstarch; add this mixture to the saucepan. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.

To serve, transfer the chicken, scallions, mushroom to dinner plates, drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Leftover sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and is also great on steak or salmon.

More Experimental Watermedia

They are having so much fun in this class. Mary Alice provided such an array of new mediums and materials for everyone to experiment with.

This collage was created by Beverly G. The cutout features an image of seashells.

Another work in progress that incorporates the skins that Mary Alice taught everyone how to make.

Here is Mary Alice discussing with Valerie and Kathleen some of the collaged images in Gerald Brommer’s book on Collage.

Gerald will be teaching for us again in 2011 – a new class that he has developed on surface structure and surface treatments for watercolor paintings.

In this picture Les looks like he can’t take it any more, but actually he is loving it. Look at all the fun stuff he has ready to work with.

Mary Alice Braukman is Dazzling Her Students

Mary Alice Braukman’s workshop started this past Monday and has been a non-stop stream of new and exciting techniques, materials, and ideas.

On the first day I saw Mary Alice coming out of the studio in the afternoon and she said, “they told me to take a coffee break! I’ve given them so much new information, they can’t take any more at the moment!

But they could take more, and more they got!

Everyone has been working in the studio well past class hours, including Mary Alice.

One of the things they did the first day was to experiment with various surface texture mediums and the effect these surfaces had when painted.

Mary Alice has everyone documenting what they do so that they can remember what they did when back in their own studios.

Today, Thursday, there are some really nice looking pieces coming together. I’ll post picture of these tomorrow.

Realism Through Design with John Salminen

John Salminen is here this week teaching his approach to painting the urban scene in watercolor.

John just returned from SHANGHAI where he received the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Award.

Every one is well into their painting and from the looks of them, it is going great

Three Days with Jim McFarlane

Those 3 day workshops just breeze on by! Jim McFarlane, a wonderful artist and instructor from Pennsylvania, came to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops teach a class for an eager group of students.

He lead them through value studies, painting zones, and color experiments.

The 3 days was over way too soon!

John Salminen is here this week and I’ll be getting some pictures tomorrow! I always like to let everyone settle in before starting to snap shots!

Final Glorious Day with Alvaro Castagnet

On the final day of the workshop with Alvaro Castagnet the group went to Coxsackie (which you get to by driving past Surprize and Climax — I kid you not!). The town has a nice little riverside park and some interesting old buildings.

The day was beautiful – the sun was shining and there was a light breeze.

When I arrived, delivering lunches, everyone was spread out all over the town.

This made Alvaro spend his time walking from one person to the next. (Good way to work off the afternoon cookies!)

There were lots of great shady places to stand while painting, while still taking advantage of the sunny lighting.

Although some preferred the sun!

The artists were the only ones enjoying the day. Nothing like a nice stroll through town and doing a little window shopping!

More Fun with Alvaro and his Fun-Loving Students

The laughter and fun that this group is having is what makes this business all worthwhile to me!

Yesterday, they went to the town of Athens, which is about 20 minutes from our inn. There is a riverside park and an interesting town of quaint old buildings.

Alvaro started the morning with a demo, as he had done each morning.

Alvaro looks happy with the results! (That’s him in the black shirt.)

But Alvaro wasn’t the only one with a big grin.

Here is Sarah and Claude doing their best “Dancing with the Stars” pose. I’ll bet Mark was talking about how he and I met in a Tango class!

Renee, one of a number of students who came from Canada to take the workshop, looks like she is enjoying the sunny Spring weather.

And here is Alvaro flashing his Facebook avatar pose!

The Hudson River Valley Art Workshops is also on Facebook.