Workshop Report: Painterly Landscapes & Portraits with Alain Picard

Workshop Report: Painterly Landscapes & Portraits with Alain Picard

Pastel and oil painter Alain Picard joined us for the first time in April 2019 for a wonderful workshop on landscapes and portraits. Here’s what his student’s had to say;

Such a pleasant person to learn from and be around. Very giving of his time, energy, and talent. Lots of individual attention for all levels. He worked very hard all week and was such fun to be with all that time. I am so glad that I attended and it helped all aspects of my art.”

I thought Alain was a fantastic instructor who was able to both instruct the whole group as well as offer individualized and personalize instruction.”

Alain is a wonderful teacher. He gave clear & interesting examples & instructions & answered all our questions. His Demos were great! He was pleasant & very helpful always. I hope he returns to give more workshops in future. Especially plein air & portraits.”

Pastels were new to me, and I feel that I have a very good foundation for continuing my exploration of this medium. The workshop also highlighted areas that I need to work on for all art mediums (watercolor, oil, and pastel), and I received much individual attention in these areas. I never felt ‘left behind’. Alain expanded all of us wonderfully.”

Five Questions for Artist Larisa Aukon

This week we’re highlighting another of our three-day workshops during 2018, this time with painter Larisa Aukon. Larisa’s workshop on the Power of Landscape will run from May 30-June 3, 2018.

Learn more about Larisa and her approach to art through our short five question interview with her.

Q: When did art first enter your life?
LA: I’ve had art around me as long as I can remember.

Q: Do you have certain themes in your work or subjects that reappear?
LA: Flowers is one of the subjects that come and go and then come back again.

Q: If you could give only one piece of advice to a beginning artist, what would it be?
LA: Beginners often are too hard on themselves and do not have enough patience. My advice would be to paint as often as you can and be more patient with themselves.

Q: What drives you to produce new art?
LA: Inspiration. New ideas. But there is also an element of studio routine and discipline, I just have to be in the studio every day and work.

Q: What show, project, or event are you most looking forward to in 2018?
LA: My annual solo show in Scottsdale, in Paul Scott Gallery is in January 2018 and I am looking forward to showing all my new work together. Teaching the workshop in the Hudson Valley is an event I am looking forward to and also I was invited to teach a plein air painting workshop at La Romita School of Art in Umbria, Italy – I am very excited to teach there and looking forward to this workshop too!

Learn more about Larisa’s Power of Landscape Workshop with us here.
Find out more about Paula on her website and give her a follow over on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter.

Workshop Report: Studio Painter’s Guide to Success with Plein Air & Still Life with Leah Lopez

It was a week of all varieties of weather for Leah Lopez’s indoor/outdoor workshop guiding studio painters through both plein air and still life painting. The week concluded with two beautiful days of painting on Fredrick Church’s historic Olana.

As always, we’ll share a few of the images we captured here on our blog, but encourage you to also check out the full gallery on our Facebook page. You can also scroll back in our Instagram feed to see what we captured during the class.

And of course, our video for the week, found on our YouTube channel!

Five Questions for Artist Christine Camilleri

This spring, we look forward to welcoming British Columbia based artist Christine Camilleri for a five-day studio workshop from April 29-May 5, 2017. Christine’s workshop will focus both on color and composition. In advance of her workshop, Christine took a moment to help us get to know her a little better!

Q: What’s been your most unexpected source of inspiration?
CC: I am inspired by many unexpected things: an unusual perspective, a story line, an abstract design that makes me think of something to work up, a shock of color where I didn’t expect it. I always want to challenge myself and my viewers.

Q: How has teaching impacted your personal art practice? And vice versa, how does your approach to your personal art impact your teaching style?
CC: I took a workshop once where the instructor said, “Every time you pick up a pastel or a brush loaded with a particular color you should be able to tell anyone what you’re using that for”. That was a breakthrough moment for me: before hearing this I was experimenting (producing “mud”) and adding marks without intent. I then challenged myself to have a ready response and to understand that if I didn’t have one, then I, and the painting, were losing direction. I take that thinking into my painting classes to share with my students. 

Q: What’s one tip you have or trick you use for keeping your studio space organized?
CC: In order to stay creative and focused I clean out my studio once or twice a year. I don’t mean wash the floors and dust. I mean I throw out old ideas, sketches and half finished paintings. I find I have to be ruthless. It clears my mind and helps me to see where I am going. I don’t want to fill my visual space with things that are half done or forgotten pulling me back to “finish” them one day, some day. I also keep my mediums separate and work on one medium for weeks at a time. Oils in one corner, pastels on a big table, acrylics on another table. Some paintings lend themselves to a certain medium and that way they are accessible at a moment’s inspiration.

Q: Who are your art heros? Who do you admire and why?
CC: I enjoy artists who exert competence, color mastery and story telling ability: these include but are not limited to Howard Terpning, Charlie Russell, Richard Schmid, Sheila Reiman, Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Jeanie Dobie, and Skip Lawrence.

Q: What exciting projects are you working on right now or big dream projects you would love to begin exploring?
CC: Bison have become a fascinating focus and I am drawn to wide, open landscapes like the prairies they once roamed. I am planning a series of paintings inspired by the last of the intact prairie areas in Canada and the US and hope to capture what these may have looked like before settlement. 

Learn more about Christine’s Let’s Boss Around Color & Composition Can Be Fun workshop here
Find out more about Christine on her website!

Workshop Report: Capturing the Moment with Kim English

It was a beautiful week in early August to have artist Kim English and a troop of outdoor painters working to perfect their quick sketching techniques with oil paints. As always, we’ll share a few of the images we captured here on our blog, but encourage you to also check out the full gallery on our Facebook page. You can also scroll back in our Instagram feed to see what we captured during the class.

And of course, our video for the week, found on our YouTube channel!

Workshop Report: Expressive Portraits with Paul Leveille

Portrait artist Paul Leveille joined us last month for a week of painting in pastel, oil, and watercolor. Paul provided three demos, one for each medium, before spending the rest of the week providing individual instruction to the students. Here’s a few things we heard from the students after the workshop;

“Paul was wonderful! I learned so much….great instructor. The inn made everything just perfect! Excellent experience!”

“Paul is s very professional, talented teacher as well as artist. I was very impressed!”

As always, we’ll share a few of the images we captured here on our blog, but encourage you to also check out the full gallery on our Facebook page. You can also scroll back in our Instagram feed to see what we captured during the class.

Have you heard, we’ve also launched a YouTube page to share our videos with those of you who aren’t so into Facebook! We hope you enjoy this look into experiencing one of our workshops!

Workshop Report: Loosen Up & Get Painterly with Patti Mollica

Seventeen students filled our studio for a week of learning from one of our most popular instructors, Patti Mollica. Patti guided them through a variety of timed and structured exercises – including one which limited their brush strokes – to study both color and value in acrylic and oil paints.

As always, we’ll share a few of the images we captured here on our blog, but encourage you to also check out the full gallery on our Facebook page. You can also scroll back in our Instagram feed to see what we captured during the class and watch the video in our Facebook Video Library.

Workshop Report: Expanding Your Vision with Oil & Cold Wax

On March 19th, we kicked off our 2017 season by welcoming abstract artist Lisa Pressman and nine students for a week of oil and cold wax painting. This fun loving group were some of the most prolific artists we’ve had in our studio – each day completing numerous, gorgeous, abstract pieces using the techniques taught by Lisa.

We’ll share a few of the images we captured here on our blog, but encourage you to also check out the full gallery on our Facebook page. You can also scroll back in our Instagram feed to see what we captured during the class.

Also, before we get started with a few more photos – make sure to keep checking back on our Facebook page for a class video that we’ll post within the next week!

Five Questions for Abstract Artist Lisa Pressman

Starting off our 2017 season is abstract artist, Lisa Pressman. Her March 19-25 workshop will focus on using oil and cold wax as well as other materials to discover new ways of moving paint. You can read more about her workshop here.
We also still have a few spots available, so give us a call at (518) 966-5219 or email us at to get started reserving your spot!

In preparation, Lisa was kind enough to take a few moments to answer five short questions for us about her work and life as an artist.

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
LP: Process, materials, research, metaphors, observation of light, shadows, architecture, and the natural world.

Q: What are you most proud of in regards to your art?
LP: That my work can evoke mystery, emotion, and change.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them?
LP: Right now my biggest challenge is time in the studio. I always have numerous works in progress so when I get in the studio I can just get working.

Q: What advice has influenced you?
LP: “You are not making bombs just get in there and make.” – Jake Grossberg, a Professor from Bard College.

Q: Is there something you are currently working on, or excited about starting that you can tell us about? 
LP: I have a new series beginning in the studio that seems to be both personal and political.

You can find more details about Lisa’s work on her website and also follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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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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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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!)

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!


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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


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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 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. 

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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.


Capturing the Moment in Oil with Kim English

Another intense painting workshop with Kim English. He really put the students to the test, changing the model’s poses every twenty minutes or so. Most of the days were spend on the grounds of the Greenville Arms, on the back lawn by the studio, on the front lawn by the main inn, or around the pool, but mid-week the class went out to a local farm for more interesting structures and variety.

Excellent teacher, very generous with time and info and willing to answer questions. Please see if Kim can come every year!” “Loved the models and all the locations.” “Fantastic meals! What a chef! Too many cookies and desserts! Ha!

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Here is just a small sampling of the many quick sketch paintings. The walls of the whole studio were filled with paintings such as these. IMG 1007
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While class time was intense, this group knew how to unwind at the end of the day, often gathering the parlor for wine, beer, and laughs. IMG 3527
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IMG 3542 If you missed getting into this year’s class, Kim English will be back in 2017.

Patti Mollica Teaches Them How to Get Big and Bold

Lots of paint was flying around the studio during Patti Mollica’s 5-day workshop, big gobs of it. Well, not actually flying around, but being lavishly applied to board in wonderfully colorful compositions. IMG 3243 Every day Patti had the class focusing on a different stepping stone to good paintings – value, brush work, and color mixing. IMG 3240 Before long the studio was filled with vibrant little paintings. IMG 3244 Patti had people work on specific image exercises each day, but participants still had plenty of time to work on images of their choice. IMG 3245
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Outside the studio the huge and ancient lilac bush was putting on it’s own color display. IMG 3250 The pool is open and beautifully clear, but, yeah, still a bit cold! IMG 3251
IMG 3252 Chef Mark is stirring up some great dishes this year. This one looks like the yummy Beef and Broccoli stir-fry. (Alternative dishes for special dietary requirements are always available with advance notice.) IMG 3238
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IMG 3260 It was an amazing and fun workshop. If you are one of the many who didn’t get in this year, Patti will be returning in 2017, so sign up early!

Landscapes with Lorenzo Chavez

Lorenzo Chavez, one of the West’s premium pastelists, taught a lively 5-day workshop here last week, during some outstanding Spring (seemed like Summer) weather.

The first day the group headed up to the Greenville Town Park.

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The following day Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church, was the destination.

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Besides the gorgeous views, my favorite part of Olana is the perennial garden. It’s looking good so far. Can’t way to see it in full bloom.

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We always strive to provide great food for the workshops and are happy to work with dietary restrictions. This was the alternate meal for a couple of folks who were vegetarians, a three cheese pasta with artichoke hearts and sautéed zucchini sticks. Yum!

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On Thursday the group stayed local to the inn again, and went over to the Greenville Cemetery. The builder of our historic inn, William Vanderbilt, is buried in this cemetery.

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Picnic time in the cemetery!

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Just look at this display of art by the students in this class. I wish I could have gotten a close up of each painting. The growth and improvement from day one to day five was amazing and clearly noticeable – a testament to Lorenzo as a teacher! Every one was talk “reunion” when Lorenzo returns in 2017.

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Here is the happy crew on the festive Friday night dinner!

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Still Life to Landscapes with Leah Lopez

The 2015 season of workshops at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops has begun. The first workshop was a wonderful 5-day workshop taught by Leah Lopez, “Still Life to Landscapes.”

Below is an unfinished painting that was part of a demo presented by Leah on the first day.

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Everyone set up their workspace and got right to work.

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This class really enjoyed the dinner cuisine and showed up early and eager for dinner each night. Charles N., who had come along to while his wife took the workshop, said, “My wife will want to come back for a workshop, but I’ll want to come back for the food. You really should tell people about the wonderful food.”

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One of the starters for this year is a Xiaolong Bao, a Shanghai-style soup dumpling! Yum.

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On one of the next days, Leah challenged the group with 15 minute exercise painting landscape impressions.

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Jayne was seriously intent on her still life painting!

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Below is another of the dishes, Red Cooked Chicken, another Shanghai-style dish. The chicken was so tender and flavorful, and just fell off the bones.

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Here is chef Mark, dishing up a helping of Yongchow Fried Rice with Roasted Pork, Shrimp, Peas, that is then topped with tender slices of skirt steak.

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One of my favorites of this year are the Cha Siu Bao, Pork Buns. They are made fresh in our kitchen the day that they are served. I could make a meal of just these!

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Saturday was check out day, but some of the folks stuck around to enjoy the annual St Patrick’s Day parade that marches right past the front of the inn. It had snowed a couple of inches the night before, but with a little delay in the start time of the parade, by the time it did start most of the new snow had already melted!

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An interview with Lorenzo Chavez: Prominent Landscape Painter in Pastels and Oils

Lorenzo Chavez’ suggestive renderings and fluent technique have earned him numerous awards and many devoted collectors throughout the United States, and he is considered by many to be the West’s premier pastel painter.


Lorenzo returns to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops from May 3 to 9, 2015 to teach a Studio and plein air Workshop, Field Study to Studio Concepts, in pastels and oils.


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

I first starting teaching Plein Air Workshops in 1993 when I was recommended by one of my artistic heroes, Ned Jacob, to a gallery in Aspen, Colorado that was doing workshops. The workshops were during the summer months in the Colorado Rockies. I am still good friends with one of the students I met there. He said I was shaking when I did my first demos. I probably was. He continues to take my workshops, but now he says, “You’re like an old pro at teaching workshops.”

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What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is the people I meet and their love of painting and passion for learning. That is inspiring.


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

The 3 best reasons I would tell someone to take a workshop are:

How great it feels to do something that is an investment in yourself.

The interesting people you will meet and possible new friendships of like-minded folks.

To paint out of our comfort zones can be a bit scary, but once we do it is immensely rewarding.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I recently returned to an earlier passion of drawing and painting the figure.  I find it a great and stimulating challenge which continues to make me a better overall artist. I am working on some figures that are based on the Pueblo Cultures of New Mexico. What fun, and how inspiring it has been.


Of course, I absolutely love painting the landscape and I am working on some studio and plein air paintings that will be part of a series of exhibitions for the Plein Air Painters of America (an organization devoted to the advancement of plein air painting).


Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Six great galleries currently represent my work on a full time basis and I am involved in group exhibitions such as the Maynard Dixon Country Exhibition, the Legacy Gallery, Rims to Ruins Exhibition to benefit the Mesa Verde National Park Foundation, and several others.

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

In the workshops I have taught over the years, I have met a number of artists that want additional mentoring. The topic of getting into a gallery recently came up with a couple students. I told them it is important to visit the galleries you’re interested in. Make a list of five, or so, galleries you would love to have your art associated with and in areas you would love to travel and paint. Get to know the folks who run these galleries.  Be visible and friendly; one never knows where it leads.

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Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Most good galleries have an online presence. Remember, selling artwork is a team effort and a business partnership between yourself and the gallery.  Work with them, be honest, and lead collectors to your galleries.

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What is your favorite art quote?

My favorite art quote is by Robert Henri. “The object is not to make art but to be in that wonderful state of mind where art is inevitable.”

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Describe your studio.

For a landscape painter everything starts with being inspired by the great outdoors. The main focus of my workshops has been the study of plein air landscapes.  That is where the magic happens. I teach concepts that help to clarify the landscape language, such as understanding the color of natural light, value planes, atmospheric perspective and how to simplify the landscape and create a compelling design from nature’s variety.  My primary studio is a plein air set up under the wide-open sky.


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Once indoors, we have unlimited time to play with the artistic elements to create even more captivating art from our studies from nature and imagination.  My two indoor studios are both at our current home in Colorado.  One is devoted to oil painting where I use a large Hughes easel.  The pastel studio has an older upright easel I purchased years ago and has become a good friend.  Close to the easel is an antique desk holding numerous pastels at the ready.


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

Buy the best quality equipment; it pays off in the long run.  Tools of the trade I depend on are: a sketch book, pastels/oils, outdoor easels, sun block, a great pair of walking shoes and a good hat.  However, the most important tool is the knowledge of how to construct a painting.

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Read more of our recent Instructor interviews:

An Interview with Leah Lopez, Award-Winning Artist and Instructor


An Interview with Frank Francese, Watercolor Artist


An Interview with David Daniels: Artist in Watercolor + more


An interview with Judy Coates Perez, mixed media textile artist.


Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor


Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching


An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter


An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist


An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist


An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt


Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing




An Interview with Leah Lopez, Award-Winning Artist and Instructor

Leah Lopez’ dynamic, evocative art has been exhibited in many prestigious national shows. She teaches drawing and painting at the New York Academy of Art, and at her Union Square Studio. We are thrilled that Leah will return to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops to teach a Workshop in oil and acrylic, Still Life to Landscape, March 15 to 21, 2105.

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

I’ve been teaching over 15 years.  I was offered a great teaching position and really enjoyed it.  I continued to teach through the years wherever I went, and discovered that there is always more to share and so many ways to help students develop their own personal artistic goals.  Eventually, it made the most sense to open an atelier style school, in my studio, enabling my to truly share my personal experience and help others to develop their own unique work.  It is an enriching experience for both mentor and student.


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What is your favorite part about teaching?

Seeing another person really let go and begin to create art. 


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

The Three-I’s are the best reasons: workshops are an Intensive, Inspiring and Interactive learning experience.

  1. You leave feeling like you’ve been bathed in exactly what was needed to return back to your studio with renewed gusto.
  2. Experience an infusion of inspiration that comes from working side-by-side with a successful, professional artist/ skilled teacher and a group of enthusiastic individuals all aspiring to be the best artists they can be.
  3. Camaraderie and life-long connections are made at workshops.  In a relaxed environment you can interact with others by sharing your love and appreciation of art and learn from their perspectives, as well. 

What are you currently working on in your own art?

I like to work on a variety of things at once, while maintaining a harmonious thread so that what I learn in one piece can help in the development of another.  My painting subjects are still life, landscape, cityscape, and figurative – all often revealing a hint of allegory.  Composition is the thing that always ties them together.  More than subject matter, I’m primarily focused on Composition and the fascinating uses of color, texture, value, and edges.  

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Throughout the year I exhibit nationally.  I have gallery representation in Portland, ME, Carmel, Pasadena and Oklahoma City.  I exhibit frequently in New York.  As a member of esteemed organizations like American Women Artists, my artwork travels across the states to new galleries and museums every 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?

Yes and a very good topic.  A few hints to get started are

Do your research…

Get organized and be prepared

Plan to make an impression

Follow through professionally and develop a mutually beneficial alliance.

If it turns out that it isn’t a good fit, don’t waste valuable time, find the right fit.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Occasionally, my work is a part of an online auction or exhibition.  The next auction is the Salmagundi Club’s “Spring Auction” at  The auction schedule is:

Friday, March 13, 2015, 8:00 PM

Friday, March 20, 2015, 8:00 PM

Friday, March 27,2015, 8:00 PM


What is your favorite art quote?

“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde


Describe your studio.

People say, when they enter my studio, they feel as though they’ve been transported to a distant place and time or an old world master’s studio.  I absolutely love it.  I don’t like to leave at night, and toss around the idea of sleeping over just so I can awake and immediately start painting and catch every minute of the light.  It has a high ceiling and a big wall-to-wall skylight window that faces north, from Union Square toward the Empire State building.  It’s up on the 11th floor so unless I decide to leave I almost forget there is a bustling city outside.  The wooden floors are a dark walnut.  My walls are a warm olive grey and my paintings hanging about.  I have floor-to-ceiling thick black drapes which I use to control the amount and direction of the North-light that washes in, which creates atmosphere that cannot be duplicated artificially, and has long been sought by artists and photographers alike.


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

Flake white

Old Masters Maroger Medium

Italian Wax Medium

Rosemary & Co. Ivory flats and filbert brushes

Real hog’s hair filbert bristle brushes




Read more of our recent Instructor interviews:


An Interview with Frank Francese, Watercolor Artist

An Interview with David Daniels: Artist in Watercolor + more

An interview with Judy Coates Perez, mixed media textile artist.

Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor

Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching

An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter

An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist

An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist

An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt

Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing

Patti Mollica discusses creating her art, and teaching

Patti Mollica will be back at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this spring to teach her enormously popular Workshop in oils and acrylics, Loosen Up and Get Painterly May 17 – 23, 2015.


Patti is a very successful artist and instructor, and we recently asked for her insights about her work and teaching.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?
I teach a painting method of “loosening up”. So many people get caught up painting small details at the expense of a bigger, more gestural approach. My method teaches them a step-by-step approach for painting with more confidence and “swagger”.

What is your favorite part about teaching? Three things: Watching people get excited about breaking new ground with their work, hearing their testimonials that I’ve helped them achieve certain goals, and meeting new people and forming friendships. It’s very rewarding!

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What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?
Workshops are a targeted way of learning a lot of information in a short amount of time. They are very goal oriented, and having lots of personal time with the instructor, who can coach the student when they get “stuck” is key. 

What are you currently working on in your own art? Staying loose, experimenting with different color schemes, abstraction exercises and incorporating collage elements into some work.  

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Where is your art currently being exhibited? Simie Maryles Gallery in Provincetown, Nancy Dodds Gallery in Carmel, and I sell a lot of work on my blog and website.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery? I have a presence on Daily Paintworks and sell work there as well.

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What is your favorite art quote? “The art of painting will survive and thrive because it is easy to do and difficult to do well.” (Robert Genn, 2012)

Describe your studio. It’s my sanctuary – where all my artistic ideas come to life, in full color! 

Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products. Sketch pad, Charcoal, Paint, Brushes, canvas… the basics.

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Some of our recent Instructor interviews:


An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter

An Interview with Barbara Nechis, Watercolor Artist


An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist


An Interview with Natalya Aikens: Computer + Stitch = Art Quilt


Ruth Powers: Designing and Sewing for Picture Piecing

An Interview with Kim English, Oil Painter

Kim English, one of the most popular instructors at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, will return August 2 to 8, 2015, to teach a lively ‘Capturing the Moment in Oil’ Workshop, featuring the clothed figure in the landscape.

Kim is an award-winning painter, so we were interested in his views both on creating art, and instructing students.

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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?
I’ve been at this for over 30 years. When I was in Art School, the founder of the school, Phil Steele, asked me to help student teach. That started things for me back then.

What is your favorite part about teaching?
My favorite part of teaching is helping someone not to be afraid.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?
It takes a lot of courage to take a workshop. If you can, you’ll not only meet some interesting people, but you’ll see how other people solve problems in ways that maybe you haven’t thought of yet.

Also, you might help somebody else.

But I guess the main reason would be that art can be a very solitary profession, so there’s nothing like being with a group of painters all working out problems together.

What are you currently working on in your own art?
Currently, I’ve been working with lights. We have a lot of models at our studio up here in the mountains, so we have been experimenting with different lighting situations.

Where is your art currently being exhibited?
I show my work in galleries mostly, Tree’s Place in Orleans, MA and Anglin Smith in Charleston, as well as a couple of museums.

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Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?
When I have to do business with a gallery, I try not to be too sensitive. They see your work in a very different way than you do.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?
Most of my galleries have an online presence.

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What is your favorite art quote?
One of my teachers, Jim Valone, once said that he didn’t like dumb paintings. Paintings that didn’t speak.

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Describe your studio.
We live up in the Colorado mountains at about 8500 feet. We have a house about a mile from where we live. That’s our studio. There are two buildings on three acres. I work in one, my wife Nura, who is a sculptor, works in the other. There is a common room that we have our painting sessions in. We invite other artists up, have a model, food and drink, and generally have a good time. We usually even get some painting done.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.
I have learned to trust my hands. What’s in them is secondary.

Oil Painting Landscapes with John MacDonald

John was incredible! Energetic and caring that we become better artists. I attended an art academy for 4 years and John’s the best teacher I’ve ever had.” Melanie Stackhouse

John MacDonald recently taught a 5-day painting workshop. This full class enjoyed painting outside just about every day. They were also the first class of the season to paint at the newly opened Long View Park in New Baltimore. The park had lovely views of rolling fields surrounded by forest that was just starting to change to Autumn colors.

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On the one day that rain threatened, the group painted around the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, home of the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, just in case they needed to sprint back inside if rain actually started falling. Luckily, it stayed beautiful all day.

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Some people choose to work inside for part of the day to focus on completing paintings that they started on previous days.

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John was always available for some one-on-one instruction and must have logged several miles just at the inn with the group spread out all over the 6 acres!

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If you didn’t make it into this class, John MacDonald will be back in 2016 with another workshop!

Transforming Reference Photos with Peter Fiore

Peter Fiore was recently here teaching “Beyond the Photograph,” a workshop about using photography as reference material for oil paintings. He discussed how to interpret light, key your paintings, control color, and create solid value structures.

This was the second time that Peter has taught a workshop with us and each time by the time the week is over, we can’t wait to schedule him for a return!

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Peter’s wife, Barbara, was also here and caught us as we were about to take our dogs out for a walk. Barbara is also a marvelous ceramic scupture artist. I just love the whimsical figures she creates.

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We kept everyone happy and well fed. This is a shot of one of the dinner dishes, Gai Yang, a Thai BBQ chicken served with mango slices on top of sticky coconut rice.

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Landscapes in Pastel or Oil with Alan Flattmann

We had beautiful weather for the Alan Flattmann workshop a couple of weeks ago. The class had a wonderful time and very enjoyable time out at a local farm.

Alan’s group was split just about 50/50 with pastel painters and oil painters.

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It was a busy week in the office, as I was getting the 2015 workshop information up on our websites. So I only got out to take pictures on the one day. If anyone else in the class has photos to share, I love to add them to our blog.

Interview with Oil Painter, Howard Rose

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

I have been teaching for over 15 years. I got started when I was in a painting class and everyone kept on asking me questions on how to improve their paintings.
I always felt good if I helped some student get one step better, bring their painting up a notch, and solve a difficult stumbling block for them.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

I always see how important and serious most painters and students are about their paintings. I see each student putting their heart and soul into each of their paintings and if I can guide them into a better and more successful painting, they truly appreciate it as well as I do.

What are the best reasons for taking a workshop from you?

Over the past 15 years, of teaching and critiquing art shows, I always say I have the ability of taking their painting UP a Notch. I never let a student start a painting without a good design. They can work for weeks on a painting but without a good design, It will never be a good and successful painting. I have designed very logical steps to start and complete an oil Painting. My mantra for my all my students is… Slow and Accurate. Be accurate with each step along the way…. color application, design, perspective, calligraphy etc. Doing it slow and accurate will assure the student in creating a successful painting.Image 6

What are you working on in your own art?

I have joined a web site called Daily Paintworks. I create a small painting every other day and post in onto this site…. working on 6 x 6 and 6 x 8 inch paintings is very exciting.
All of the knowledge that I have learned has to be applied for a large as well very small painting. Its exciting to create a good painting in a couple of hours and see in on an auction where potential buyers will buy my painting.

Where is your art currently exhibited?

I have a gallery in Southampton ( Chrysalis Gallery) and I have a yearly show every June or July… I will have one of these on July 4th. I also exhibit my work at a gallery in Weston , Ct and a beautiful Gallery in Manhasset , Long Island called Tripani art gallery.Image 5

What hints would you give for getting gallery representation:

An artist has to have a theme in their work… Landscapes, or seascapes, still lifes, floral etc. You can of course vary it, but you should be known for a particular theme.
You should be proud of your work. Know that it is good art and know that you can produce paintings on a regular basis. If you know that you need to be in a gallery, find a gallery that you love. walk in , look around and start getting acqainted with the sales people. Ask questions and drop a hint that you paint and if you wanted to show your work to someone in the gallery, how would I go about it?

Do you set your work in any online gallery?

Daily Paintworks… I do small paintings and create about 4 a week. The paintings go on auction.

What is your favorite art quote?

My Mantra for my students is To create a successful painting you must think… SLOW AND ACCURATE! Take each step and make it accurate, Perspective, design, accurate color, thought out harmony and rich paint application.

Describe your studio:

I have a wonderful studio in Syosset, Long Island New York, above the American Legon center. I have room for 12 easels where I run classes and do my painting. Its very bright, and quiet.

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

  • clean and new brushes
  • Kings blue from williams burg
  • Gessoboard panels
  • Bounty towels
  • good lighting


More Recent Instructor Interviews:


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!

Capturing the Moment with Kim English

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

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


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

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

Leah Lopez Takes It Outside

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

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


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


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


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


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


June Workshops

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


Skip Lawrence and Kenn Backhaus

Skip Lawrence was here the first week in October and I must have blinked because before I knew it the week was over. But I was able to capture a few of their smiling faces around the dinner table.


Next up on the schedule was Kenn Backhaus teaching composition and brushwork in this combination indoor and outdoor workshop.

The party mood was set on the first night with the celebration of Susan’s birthday. For a twist, Susan brought a little gift for everyone in the workshop.


The weather was a bit challenging for outdoor painting this week, but the intrepid too advantage of every sunny moment to capture the glorious Fall colors around the inn.


Warm and toasty in the studio.


There is still a lot of green leaves, but the reds, oranges and yellows are popping out all over.


Field Study to Studio Concepts with Lorenzo Chavez

Lorenzo Chavez, painter of the American West, is here this week teaching a pastel/oil workshop to a fabulous bunch of eager participants.


The first three days were spent on location – at our town park, a local farm, and at Olana.


It’s been perfect picnic weather all week with temps in the 70’s and 80’s, so the class enjoyed lunch delivery to the painting site each noon.


Of course, when group painted around the inn, cookie time meant cake time, too!


Lorenzo’s son, Derek, is here assisting his dad, but also has made himself available to help cart art stuff around for everyone in the workshop. I wonder if he wants a permeant job?


We have a mother and her three grown daughters with us for two weeks, taking both Lorenzo’s workshop and then the workshop with Donna Zagotta (2 spots left in this workshop!). I’ve taken this as a challenge to come up with some new breakfast specials. Today the special was Asparagus & Wild Mushroom Strata. It was a winner!


In case you don’t know, we serve a full short-order menu for breakfast, with a menu that includes various types of eggs, pancakes, & French Toast, as well as a fresh fruit, yogurt, and cereal buffet. Each day there is a special entree available to order.

The New Jersey blueberries a great this year. One of the desserts we do is, of course, fresh blueberry pie with home-made ice cream.


Beyond the Photograph – Oil Painting with Peter Fiore

Peter Fiore, best known for painting light and his striking use of color, recently taught a 5-day workshop at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. He held his audience’s rapt attention with his instruction and stories.


He used a large flat screen monitor to display subject photos from his iPad during his demonstrations each day.


The group was very happy with the workshop. Just look at those fabulous smiles!


Peter spent a lot of individual time with each student at their easel.


The conversations continued during lunch, dinner, and breakfast — not to mention cookie time (although I think the talked turned to cookies at cookie time!)


The class also enjoyed doing a little chocolate shopping at our in-house chocolaterie – Life By Chocolate.


We also had a winner in this class! Fran Mehm won the 2nd prize in our Early-Bird Enrollment prize drawing (automatically entered when she signed up for Peter’s class before March of this year.) The second prize was plein aire easel (generously donated by Cheap Joe’s Art Supply).


Although this was a studio class, the grounds of the inn provided plenty of landscape photo opportunity.


Both Peter and his talented sculptor and illustrator wife, Barbara Fiore, has blogged about their experience during this class. Check out their blogs:

Peter Foire: Thoughts on Painting

Barbara Fiore: Life with Peter

Carol Marine Does It Again

We were so lucky to have Carol Marine return to us to teach another wonderful workshop. However, we had to keep a close eye on anything that wasn’t nailed down and was suitable subject matter for a still life! Plates, bowls, glasses, flatware — it all made it’s way into the studio. No matter — Carol had her crew doing amazing paintings with all this simple stuff.

No, the hamster was NOT something found in the inn dining rooms, but I just love the painting. Our daughter had hamsters like this when she was little. She always named them Hamlet.


I enjoyed strolling around the studio to see all of the Stuff the people brought from home as subjects for their paintings.


Carol was a tireless instructor. She spent a lot of time with each of her “kids”.


On the last day of the 5-day class, the group gathered on porch of the South Cottage (this was Carol room) for a class photo. This was also part of the lesson. Carol was explaining to the class some tips for taking good reference photos outdoors.


What a happy crew! They were such fun to have at the inn.


Landscapes in Oil with John MacDonald

We just finished a wonderful week with John MacDonald and all of his students. This was John’s first time teaching for us, but it certainly won’t be his last. He came highly recommended and we now know why. All of the student feedback was extremely positive!

John had expected to have to spend quite a bit of the workshop time painting in the studio, given the typical nature of the weather in May here in upstate NY. However, the weather has been anything but typical! It was beautiful all week long, so the class went outdoors to paint every day and loved it.

Mostly they kept local — within 10 to 15 minutes of the inn, but on Wednesday they all decided to go out to Olana, the historic home of Frederick Church. Olana is located in Hudson, which is about 30 minutes from the inn.


It was a trifle windy when they first arrived at Olana, so most people choose to set up their easels at a lower point of the hill, but there were still a couple of intrepid painters who wanted the full vista effect at the top of the hill next to the house.


This is Linda, who choose to paint the vista that includes the Rip Van Winkle bridge across the Hudson River.


Every time I go up to Olana, I always have to check out their marvelous perennial garden that is just below the main house. With the early Spring we’ve been having, you can see that everything is well on the way.


The gardening staff was in the process of spreading a layer of mulch around the flower beds, which reminds me that I have to order a big load for the gardens at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn!

John MacDonald is schedule to return to teach for us in 2014 during September. You’ll want to sign up early for this class because I’m sure the word will spread from this year’s happy students and it will fill up quickly!

The 2012 Workshop Season is About to Begin

Where has the time gone? 2012 will be our 8th workshop season, although Hudson River Valley Art Workshops has been at this location since the 1980s!

We are enjoying a brief bit of snow, which is due to melt away tomorrow. Today, however, it is gorgeous.


Every year is exciting but as I start to put together everything for the current season, it always seem that THIS year will be the best ever!

This is the line up for 2012:

  • Paula Nadelstern: Mar. 18-24. Kaleidoscope Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Carol Taylor: Mar. 25-31. Improvisational Scrap Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Laura Wasilowski: Mar. 31-Apr. 3. Couching Thread, Hidden Needle, 3-day workshop
  • Esterita Austin: Apr. 12-15. Exploring Sheers, 3-day workshop
  • John MacDonald: Apr. 15-21. Oil Painting, 5-day workshop
  • Susan Shie: Apr. 22-28. Diary Painting for Art Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Hollis Chatelain: Apr. 29-May 5. Dye-Painting on Fabric, 5-day workshop
  • Karen Rosasco: May 6-12, Experimental Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Jean Uhl Spicer: May 17-20, Florals in Watercolor, 3-day workshop
  • Robert Burridge: May 20-26. Acrylic Painting and Collage, 5-day workshop
  • Elizabeth Apgar-Smith: May 31-Jun. 3. Composing from Field Sketches, 3-day workshop
  • Ted Nuttall: Jun. 3-9. Watercolor Portraits from Photos, 5-day workshop
  • Carol Marine: Jun. 10-16. Oil Still Life, 5-day workshop
  • Richard McKinley: Jun. 17-23. Pastel Landscapes, 5-day workshop
  • Jane Sassaman: Jun. 24-30. Abstracting From Nature, 5-day workshop
  • Kathyanne White: Jul. 1-7. Digital Printing on Alternative Surfaces, 5-day workshop
  • Valerie Goodwin: Jul. 12-15. Mixed Media Maps, 3-day workshop
  • David Dunlop: Jul. 15-21. On Location with Past Masters, 5-day workshop
  • Frank Webb: Jul. 22-28. Studio Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Summer Retreat: Jul. 29-Aug. 4. Self-Directed retreat, 3- or 6-nights
  • Mel Stabin: Aug. 5-11. Watercolor Landscapes, 5-day workshop
  • Peter Fiore. Aug. 12-18. Landscape Painting: Beyond the Photograph, 5-day workshop
  • Margaret Evans: Aug. 18-21. The Versatility of Pastel, 3-day workshop
  • Elin Pendleton: Aug. 23-26. Color – Getting it Right!, 3-day workshop
  • Judi Betts: Aug. 26-Sep. 1. Studio Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Lorenzo Chavez: Sep. 9-15. Landscapes in Pastel or Oil, 5-day workshop
  • Donna Zagotta: Sep. 16-22. Adding the You Factor to Your Paintings, 5-day workshop
  • Pat Dews: Sep. 23-29. Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Skip Lawrence: Sep. 30-Oct. 6. Watermedia, 5-day workshop
  • Kenn Backhaus: Oct. 7-13. Composition and Brushwork in Oil, 5-day workshop
  • Alvaro Castagnet: Oct. 14-20. Landscapes in Watercolor, 5-day workshop
  • Charotte Warr Andersen: Oct. 21-27. Portraits in Fabric, 5-day workshop
  • Margaret Dyer: Oct. 27-30. Figures in Pastel, 3-day workshop
  • Rosalie Dace: Nov. 4-10. Cross Currents, 5-day workshop
  • Jane Davila: Nov. 10-13. Irresistible Surface Design, 3-day workshop
  • Larkin Van Horn: Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Vessels, Shrines, Reliquaries, 3-day workshop
  • Sue Benner: Dec. 2-8. Techniques for Fused Quilts, 5-day workshop
  • Susan Brubaker Knapp. Dec. 9-15. Paint, Fuse, Stitch!, 5-day workshop

Painting By The Pool with Kim English

Around the pool is always a very popular place to paint. There is shade if you want it or you can bask in the sun while thinking of a dip in the pool after class!


Notice that Kim went around to the students in bare feet! I guess he was enjoying the nice green green grass we get in Greenville!


Bjorn set up his easel right at the edge of the pool. I kept watching to see if I could catch a picture of him falling in the pool as he stepped back to look at his painting. Didn’t happen!


On another afternoon the class set up a colorful clothesline scene with the two models on the lawn in back of the studio.


Linda found another shady spot to stand while painting — in the open garage/storage building next to the studio!


Everyone in the class commented about what a wonderful group it was and how it felt like hanging out with old friends. Here are some folks gathering in the dining rooms before dinner.


Quick-Sketch Oil Painting with Kim Enlish

Kim English, the master of the quick-sketch oil painting from Colorado, is here this week teaching a 5 day workshop to a full class.

The first day Kim had the class doing 5 minute paintings with a model in the studio (it was a rainy day). Once the 5 minutes was up, you wiped off your sketch and started a new one with the next pose. Some people just about had heart attacks with the required speed, amount of paint and turp! But there was method to this madness. The next day the pose time was extended to 20 minutes and suddenly this seemed like a long and leisurely amount of time to paint.

And best of all the sun came out mid-day and the class was able to move outside with the two models and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Today the group went out to our favorite local farm. It was a gorgeous day!


Lots of beautiful paintings and beautiful smiles!


Horses and Dogs with Ellen Gavin

Class has exceeded our expectations! Ellen is a fabulous artist and instructor.” That was the type of comment we got from everyone in the workshop with Ellen Gavin – Painterly Oils of Horses and Dogs. The conversations around the dinner table were always animated and with lots of laughter. Ellen has a great sense of humor!

I enjoyed watching Ellen’s demos myself.


This is the result of demo on the second day of class.


These two pastel paintings are by Barbara Leonardi, who said to me after the first day, “I had no idea I even liked horses!” She had stayed over for Ellen’s class after being in the Paul Leveille portrait class just because it followed.


This is a painting in progress by Andrea Agresta. It’s not finished but I love her style.


Here is Andrea working on another of her expressive dog portraits.


It was a very productive class and everyone worked on multiple paintings per day. Here are several more snapshots of the participants work.