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

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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Picture Piecing with Ruth Powers

Ruth Powers was here to teach a 5-day workshop on Picture Piecing – that’s starting with a photo for inspiration and learning to break it down into easy piece-able sections.

This is a close up of one of Ruth’s award-winning quilts.

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This is the start to a piece being created by Corinne Levy of a couple of maple of leaves.

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Then here is the finished piece!

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After finishing the pricing, Corinne was practicing some free-motion stitching.

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Here are couple more closes of two more of Ruth’s marvelous work.

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Everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the studio and being able to continue working (or chatting) after hours.

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At the first dinner for the workshop, Ruth surprised us when she presented us with a pieced picture of our Dalmatian, Hudson! She said that she use a photo of Hudson that she found on our website. Thank you so much, Ruth!

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David Taylor – Photo to Quilt with Hand Applique

We just had a fun and engaging week with David Taylor, the fiber artist form Steamboat Springs, Colorado (not David Taylor the fabulous watercolorist from Australia who will be teaching here next year! Although they both like and buy my Crazy Ties.)

I have long admired David’s award-winning work, having seen it all over the internet and also some of the major shows, so it was a pleasure to finally meet him and have him here to teach a workshop.

Everyone brought a great photo to work from, each different than the others. David had everyone start with the eyes. It was sort of erie to walk through the studio that first day and see all those eyes peering at you.

Joyce L was working on a cute portrait of fox. I love her fabric palette spread out around her.

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Corinne had a wonderful picture of a blue-footed booby bird!

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Sandy’s focus was flora rather than fauna, with this bright yellow flower.

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Helene had a picture of one of her dogs.

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And Korinna was working on a cat. Korinna was our longest distance winner in this class, having come from Germany!

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These next couple of pictures show the progress after a couple of days.

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Every day David provided demos and discussions about the various steps of his process.

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The remaining pictures were taken on the final day. You can see that some people made more progress than others, but the reason is different than you might think. David told me, rolling his eyes, that everyone was having so much fun chatting, laughing and telling stories that they weren’t spending enough time focused on their work! The class even went on a field trip to a local quilt fabric shop, Log Cabin Fabrics, during class time one afternoon.

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David brought several of his art quilts with him, of course, and everyone oohed and aahed and had him hold them up for pictures.

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Here is the paparazzi!

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This is the quilting on the back of David’s bird quilt. Simplily amazing.

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One of the demos on the last day was how David puts on the binding on his finished pieces. He thinks of the binding as framing his finished work.

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It was a good week all around with good food and good weather to round out the experience. We hope to have David back again in the future!

Drawing on the Wild Side with Joe Weatherly

Last week the wonderful Joe Weatherly from Southern California taught a 5-day animal drawing and oil sketching workshop. The group had a grand time and learned a lot about animal anatomy and drawing moving subjects. They were able to go to the Discovery Zoo and Balliwick Ranch in Catskill and have the complete run of the place, getting up close to the animals without anyone getting in the way.

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As the zoo was not yet ready with their food concessions, we were able to bring in a picnic lunch to the zoo grounds.

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After two days at the zoo, for change of scenery and animals, the group went to K & K Equesterian Center, which is just 10 minutes from the inn. They found friendly people and friendly animals!

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Here is Joe, having just finished a demo of one of the many horses.

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It was great week and everyone in the class was clamoring for us to bring Joe back again for another workshop, so we did! Joe will be returning June 27 – July 1, 2016. Mark your calendars!

An Interview with Joe Weatherly – Animal Artist


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

What is your favorite part about teaching?

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

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

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

What are you currently working on in your own art?

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

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

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

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

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

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

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


What is your favorite art quote?

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

Describe your studio.

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

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

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

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


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