Painted Fiber Art with Elizabeth Busch

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

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

Retreat to the Comfort of Art

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Once Upon a Hillside

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

 

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


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Yes, I have work on Artful Homes.


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What is your favorite art quote?

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


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


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

In no particular order:

Epilogue Laser Cutter

Misty Fuse

Acrylic Paint + Fabric Medium

Sewing machine

Computer

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

PurpleAnemoneFullSil500

 

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

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

 

What is your favorite part about teaching? 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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What are you currently working on in your own art?

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

 

WholeOct

 

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

 

What is your favorite art quote?

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

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

 

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Describe your studio. 

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

 

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

My Bernina sewing machines

Aurifil 50-weight cotton thread

ProChemical & Dyes transparent acrylic textile paints

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

My website: www.bluemoonriver.com

Interview with Margaret Dyer: Mastering Dynamic Pastels

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


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

 

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

 

Yellow bucket 8x10

 

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

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

 

Denise with striped fabric

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?

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

 

Sunday morning

 

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

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

 

Model dakota

 

What are you currently working on in your own art?

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

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

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

 

Cumberland island ponies

 

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

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

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

 

Little boy

 

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I sell my small works through my blog margaretdyer.blogspot.com and DailyPaintworks.com. I sell my larger works through galleries.

 

Rosza at Night

 

What is your favorite art quote?

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

 

Describe your studio.

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

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

 

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

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

An Interview with John MacDonald: Landscape painter and Creative Coach

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

 

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

 

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

 

Slow Water

 

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

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

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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.

 

Evening in the Valley CC

 

What are you currently working on in your own art?

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

 

Berkshire Hills Sunset

 

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

Currently, I’m in five galleries:

The Iris Gallery. Boston, MA; Aspen, CO

Warm Springs Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

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

Christopher-Clark Fine Art, San Francisco, CA

Rich Timmons Studio & Gallery. Doylestown, PA

 

Back Meadow

 

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

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

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

Contact them for submission guidelines. No cold calls.

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

 

March Thaw Sheep Hill

 

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.

 

Studio1

 

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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.


Interview with Don Andrews, Watercolor Artist

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.

 

Sicily

 

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.

 

Calif

 

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!

An Interview with David Shevlino: Figure Painting in Oil

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


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

Erin in a crown

 

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

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

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?

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

Jillianwhite

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.

Reaching

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.


Studio

Koo Schadler: Techniques for Exquisite Egg Tempera

One of our most popular instructors, Koo Schadler, returns to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops this Spring. Koo’s Egg Tempera Painting II Workshop will be held April 24 to 30, 2016. This comprehensive five-day workshop, taught by an internationally recognized tempera painter, offers the opportunity for in-depth work in egg tempera: students will spend five full days working on a painting of their own design.


Koo shared some insights on her style of teaching, and her creative process with this unusual and timeless medium.


A Perfect Round

 

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

Shortly after my first solo exhibition a local art center asked me to teach a workshop.  There are not many full time egg tempera artists and even fewer who teach the medium, and they were excited by the possibility of offering a class in tempera.  I had neither considered nor knew anything about teaching – a complete beginner!  But I took to it immediately, learned a lot and loved it.  That was 20 years ago.  In the intervening years I’ve taught workshops (several every year) all over the US and abroad.  It is one of the most rewarding parts of my career. 


KS 12 Girl with Lock and Key


What is your favorite part about teaching?

Taking a workshop requires time and resources, and speaks to a person’s commitment to his or her artwork.  I’m very impressed by this so it’s important that, in return for making the considerable effort to attend a class, a student goes home with clear, practical ways to strengthen their technique and imagery.  My favorite part of teaching is giving students concrete, specific skills and as a consequence seeing immediate improvement in their work. 

 

Peonies and Common Yellowthroat


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

1.  No matter the subject matter or stylistic preferences I’m confident I can help a student improve.  I believe one of my strengths as an instructor is the ability to diagnose and solve problems.  I’m practical in my approach.  I don’t offer vague concepts or clever aphorisms.  I give specific solutions, both technically (how to light subject matter, mix colors, turn a form, etc.) and in design (how to arrange values, colors, shapes, etc., into a compelling image).  I’ve had many students with MFA degrees tell me they learned more at one of my workshops than four years of art school.  I don’t mean that in a boastful way, only to affirm that I teach useful, applicable skills.  If a student is willing and able, I’m confident he or she will leave my workshop a more capable painter.

 

2. A room of a dozen or more painters offers an incredibly diverse range of skills, ideas and perspectives.  I have learned so much from my students!  In addition to what I offer, students invariably are inspired by and learn from one another. 

 

3. Contrary to its reputation, egg tempera is not solely about meticulous, fussy brushwork (although, for those who enjoy fine brushwork, there are plenty of opportunities!)  I teach a wide range of working methods.  Expressionistic, loose painters like the splattering, faux finish demonstration, crafty painters get to work with stencils and rubber stamps, traditionalists learn about under paintings and glazing.  I tailor the curriculum to suit each student’s individual nature and goals.  In short, amidst the challenge of learning a new medium, I make sure everyone has a rewarding and genuinely fun week.   

 

11 5 10 Portraits 0014What are you currently working on in your own art?

Tempera is a relatively slow medium.  Creating enough paintings for a solo exhibition takes time, which means I will spend this entire year working exclusively for a solo show at Arden Gallery scheduled for December 2016.   I currently have two triptychs (three-paneled paintings) on the easel, each with a fairly ambitious and complex composition.  These two pieces should keep me fully occupied for a couple of months, at least.

 

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

This winter I have a silverpoint drawing in a group show at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Eureka, California.  Arden Gallery in Boston, which represents my work on an ongoing basis, is featuring a mini show of my paintings this winter as well.  I have a larger solo show planned at Arden for next December.  

 

Is your work represented in galleries?

The J. Cacciola Gallery in NYC has represented my work for over a decade.  Arden Gallery in Boston has also shown my work for many years.   About once a year I send one or two pieces to a gallery hosting a special event; for example, I’ve participated in M. A. Doran Gallery’s Annual Realism Invitational a few times.  I also often have work in various museum shows, such as a solo exhibition at the Huntington Museum of Art last year, and a piece in the silverpoint drawing show currently at the Morris Graves Museum in California. 

 

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

Before trying to get a gallery, an artist should be sure he or she can produce a consistent body of work, frame it properly, get it photographed, have a sense of how to price it, etc. Don’t go in with amateur skills; a good gallery wants to work with a pro.  Look for galleries where your work fits, both stylistically and pricewise.  Make sure they are reliable and have a good reputation (which you can learn by talking to other painters). Find out the gallery’s submission guidelines and follow them precisely.  Galleries get scores of requests from artists; a good way to stand out is a personal reference (such as a friend who shows there). Once you have a gallery be sure you understand their terms and expectations, and ideally get it in writing (i.e. a signed contract).  In return for promoting and selling your work a gallery takes a commission, often 50%.  A good dealer earns and deserves it.  

 

If you aren’t quite ready to enter the gallery world, a good warm-up act is to organize a show yourself.  It could be either a solo or group show, but if you can produce enough work I suggest going solo – no problematic group dynamics, and then you are responsible for everything: producing a body of work, framing and photography, advertising, pricing, organizing the opening, etc.  Start modestly and pick a local venue such as a café, library or community art center.   A relatively low-stakes solo show is excellent practice to see if you have the interest, ability and discipline to not only produce a body of work, but also attend to the various tasks required to market and sell it. It demonstrates to galleries that you are serious and is a helpful addition to your resume.

 

Black Crested Titmouse and Apples


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

The galleries that represent my work all have a presence online.  I prefer to leave marketing and sales to the galleries so I can spend more time at the easel!

 

What is your favorite art quote?

I have many beloved art quotes, posted all over my studio.  My favorite is by Cennino Cennini, a 14th century painter.  In his treatise “The Craftsman’s Handbook” he wrote,

 

“Begin by adorning yourself with these vestments: love, reverence, obedience, and constancy.”

 

In my experience these traits are precisely what is required to succeed as a painter.  

 

Michelangelo was a poet as well as a sculptor and painter.   Among his many quotable lines, I especially love this one:  “Beauty was given at my birth to serve.”  I too feel in service to the mysterious, demanding, wonderful job of being an artist.


Mexican Jug and Cosmos


My Studio 

My husband Jeff and I spent many years moving from house to house (because for a time he worked in renovation) so in my twenty-year career I’ve had fourteen studios.   They ranged from a 1000 sq. foot warehouse space to a 4’ card table; heated and unheated; with and without water; visual delights to utter eyesores (including two dusty, moldy, spider-filled basements!)  At this point I have a wonderful studio, which undoubtedly helps with my concentration, contentment, and production as an artist.  Still, with sufficient commitment and determination I’ve found it’s possible to paint almost anywhere.  


KS  NH Studio


Right now I actually have two studios.  For eight months of the year we live in New Hampshire.  Jeff designed and built a beautiful studio building as well as the furniture within that keeps the space organized (such as my blue pigment shelf, tailored to various-sized jars).  My NH studio is fully stocked: art supplies and tools of every kind, a large library, copy machine and printer, desk, long work table, a couple of sinks for clean up, shelving to display work in progress.  It’s a great environment and I get a lot done in it.


KS  NH Studio bookshelf

KS  NH Studio painting deskKS  NH Studio shelving to hold work in progress

KS  NH studio pigment shelf begin builtKS  NH Studio Pigment shelf


From December to March we live in a small village in the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, where eight years ago we bought and restored an old adobe fixer-upper.  The property came with a concrete outbuilding that serves as my winter studio.  It is a small, spare room stocked with the bare minimum: a desk and chair, painting supplies, lights – that’s it.  From my perch I look out on a courtyard of flowers (jasmine, gardenias, roses) and citrus trees.  Despite its simplicity, my Mexico studio is also a great environment and I get a lot of work done there too! 


KS  Mexico StudioKS  Mexico Studio  Painting

Grace Errea: Amazing Quilts: No Sewing, No Drawing!

Right at the beginning of our 2016 calendar, fiber artist, designer, quilter and author Grace Errea, will teach her techniques From Inspiration to Amazing Quilt Top at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops. This is a three-day class, March 30 to April 3 – fun, inspiring, and NO SEW!

 

Grace is a self-taught artist and her work illustrates and has been recognized for exceptional primary use of values and secondary use of color. Her focus on value makes it easy for her and her students to create inspiring botanicals, landscape scenes and portraits, in any color.

 

Grace recently shared with us her philosophy on teaching, and art.


Errea Heron


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

It seems like I have been teaching my entire adult working life. My first job, albeit not in textiles or quilting was teaching. I taught programming at IBM where I worked.  Later I spent many years in the management ranks but when you think about it, management is also teaching and coaching.

I started teaching quilting around 2003 on a part time basis.  Once I retired in 2005 I taught quilting and textile art, first in quilt shops, and later and now at Quilt Guilds, Seminars, and Retreats.

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Sharing what I know and am passionate about.  Above all I love seeing students suddenly “GET IT!”  Teaching and being out with students is a means of meeting new people with similar interests, helping them solve textile challenges, and it is also a great way to learn from students some of what they know.

 

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

There are so many of us (and I started as one) who do not know how to draw, have no time to learn, or no patience.  In this workshop one of the things that attendees will learn is how to take a favorite photo and with simple tracing, develop a winning pattern to create an amazing quilt. 


Errea Cats


When looking at their photo students will develop an awareness of shapes and how to find them.  Shapes can be selected by recognizing their value (light and dark).  In this class students will learn my amazing 8-Value Scale which will enable them not only to identify the shapes in the composition but also value-lize them.  This will then allow them to select the fabric in any color rather than having to follow the photo.


Errea Swans

 

Finally, once the pattern is created and they start the construction of their art piece students in this class will learn an amazing and revolutionary new machine appliqué technique that I developed and call “Heat-Set”.  This technique is extremely easy to do, allows total flexibility and control while working with it, the product used stops any fraying that you may have with raw-edge appliqué but the end result still feels like soft and manageable fabric.  This technique is so easy and fast, it takes the drudgery from appliqué and will allow you to focus on the creativity of the art rather than in the method.

 

Errea Landscape

 

What are you currently working on in your own art?

So many things, so little time to do them all!  Inspiration is all around me so I continue to focus on Fauna and Flora quilts depicting nature to encourage the viewers to see the beauty in it.  

 

Errea Poinsetta Macow

 

 

I am experimenting with new ways of doing things, new techniques and easier, more creative ways to do textiles.   I am now beginning to develop my “Negative Appliqué”, not that is a new technique but I am looking to make it easier to do.

 

Errea Mask Vase


 
Pieced method used in both my “Women of Color” and my “Bleeding Heart” quilts shown on the Hudson River Valley Art website. Now I am working on a “Randomly Appliqué” background as seen in my “Columbine “ quilt below.

Errea Columbine
 
Errea Stork

 





Where is your art currently being exhibited?

At this moment I have some of my work exhibited at the Road to California Quilt Show, the Wisconsin Museum of Fiber Arts, a traveling exhibit of “Seasonal Quilts” by SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates).

 

For the latter exhibit I was assigned “SPRING” as my season.  “Family is Coming” shown on the left, was my interpretation of Spring where I live.  But I so enjoyed the-not-so-California dogwood flowers that I remember from New York when I lived there.



























 

Is your work represented in galleries?

No, I sell my pieces directly to buyers or I do commissions for sale.  Here is Jack, one of my commissions.


Errea Ginger Cats

 

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I sell my pieces directly from my online website, Quilt Shows where I participate or by commission work.

 

 What is your favorite art quote?

 

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao-Tzu

Describe your studio.

One of my workspaces is a small 10ft x 12 ft bedroom.  I converted it into my studio.  By the time I put my sewing machine table, my worktable  (large conference room wooden table), ironing station, and all the storage I need for my fabrics, there is really not much room for anything else.

The closet has all my books and my fabrics and it is the whole width of the room.  The doors to the closet are mirrors so; I placed my design wall opposite it.  This way when I am working, I can inspect the growing piece via its reflection in the mirrors.  It is amazing how many little problems can be easily found this way instead of looking at it straight on.

My second workspace is a bedroom that I took over after my younger daughter moved out on her own.  I use it for my computer work both in the communication and business aspect as well as my computer tools that I use to create my patterns.

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

 

1. Freezer paper

2. My “Bernina” sewing machine.  I have two; one for back-up or to use while the other one is being serviced

3. The “Heat-Set” Product I use

4. My Apple desktop and iPad

5. Best quality fabrics.  My favorite is Hoffman of California Batiks and hand dyes

 



Fall Artist Retreat

This year’s Fall Artist Retreat was enjoyed by a great group of artists working in a variety of mediums, from encaustics, to oil painting, to structural collage, to felt, to watercolor, to fabrics, and to pen and ink. The colors of Autumn were just beginning to make an appearance during this week. IMG 1057
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Bree, our ridgeback, didn’t seem to mind sporting a colorful leaf on her head! IMG 1064
This is the painted first bird house created for our flowering fence! Peggy Pepmiller took home one of our blank bird houses during last year’s retreat week and then brought the finished one with her when she took an earlier workshop with us this year. It is now installed on the fence. During this year’s retreat Peggy painted two more bird houses which will be installed on the fence next Spring. We plan to have a birdhouse toper for each post of the fence. IMG 1068
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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.

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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.

Shoreline

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.”

Chamisa in bloom w600 h791

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.

L Chavez Sierra Sunrise 18x14

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.

Spring Pattern

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.

Prairie Homestead Pastel 14x18

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.”

L Chavez Pacific Impression 14x18

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.

 

OUTDOOR STUDIO Canyon de Chelly

 

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.

INDOOR STUDIO

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.

Chavez painting Mesa Verde

 

 

 

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.

TheLastIndiscretion 18x14

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.

 

LEAHLOPEZ EleanorInRed 36x24 2014 sm

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.  

 

AssisiNocturne 8x10 sm

 

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 www.liveauctioneers.com.  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.

Studio600x800

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

An Interview with Frank Francese, Watercolor Artist

Frank Francese is a well-known and well-published artist, and one of the most-requested instructors here at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. Two of Frank’s paintings inspired by his visit to Guatemala in 2014 have recently been honored in national competitions:  One was chosen by the National Watercolor Society to be part of the 2015 traveling exhibition which will be displayed across America.  The second was chosen to be part of the annual American Watercolor Society Exhibition in New York City.


Frank will join us to teach a 5-day Studio Watercolors Workshop this summer, July 12 to 18, 2015.

Ireland Copper Coast

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

I have been teaching for 20+ years, cannot remember the exact date when I started. I chose teaching workshops as a way to make a living in the arts and also be able to paint as much as I would like.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part of teaching is seeing the students’ eyes light up when they understand watercolor painting.

Ireland

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

The three best reasons for anyone to take a workshop are:

Learn new techniques in applying paint to paper.

Understanding the order in which one must use in achieving a competent painting.

Gain confidence in one’s self!

Francese Colorado

What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am currently working as always: to achieve what I see in my mind and putting it on paper. I can never achieve what I see, but I never give up!

Francese Colorado2

Where is your art currently being exhibited?

2014-15 National Watercolor Society 94th International Exhibition: San Pedro, Ca. Painting selected for 2015 Travel Show.

148th American Watercolor Society International Exhibition 2015: New York City, NY.


Amsterdam Train Station

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

I am showing in no galleries. Cannot find a competent gallery to work with! I want to have complete control of my work. I sell where I teach!

I have had a retail page on my web site: www.ffrancese.com for two years. I have had no sales associated with the web page! I am removing it from my web site.
 

What is your favorite art quote?

My favorite quote: Work….work….work!
 

Describe your studio.

My studio is a complete wreck, very cluttered, messy! But, I know where everything is and can find it quickly! I am at home!
 

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

A  mind that will look beyond the obvious….a sketch that will guide you…professional material to paint with: paint, brushes, paper…The ability to accept what comes of your painting; I never like what I paint, only after time do I appreciate the work…A commercial mind…the ability to sell your work!

 

Francese Guatemala

Interview with Liz Kenyon, Pastel Painting Instructor

Liz Kenyon teaches a very popular Pastel class demonstrating techniques for creating the most alluring textures and subjects. She returns to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops at a beautiful time of year, May 31 to June 6, 2015 to teach her Pastel Still Life 5-day Workshop.

 

Pears on Stage

 

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

During a recession in the 1990’s I was compelled to expand my freelance career by applying for a job teaching illustration and graphic design to eighteen year-old artists. The commercial art field was in a downward spiral, the computer was about to change everything, and my students were more interested in graffiti and tattoos than advertising. My job had become challenging and stressful.

 

Things took a different turn in 2000 when I fell in love with soft pastels. I found I was experiencing a whole new world of self expression and personal success. My enthusiasm for the medium produced peer recognition and fulfilling teaching opportunities with artists like myself and I haven’t looked back since.

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Teaching enables me to live with purpose and authenticity. The creative process is not always a bed of roses. I often feel let down as I expect a painting to look better than how it seems to be working out. However, experience tells me it will work out if I just keep moving forward. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, my expectations end up being surpassed — teaching then allows me to share that kind of success with others. I find a little encouragement and some pointers can both guide a beginner and advance a seasoned pastelist. By instructing, I can help in the struggle and share in the victory of the creative process.

 

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

I have trouble going into a workshop without a few goals — it feels like going on a tour without a guide — I might miss things that would make a difference in my life experience. A workshop is like a trip, you should be changed by it and your life enriched:

1) Experience is the best part of doing art and a class needs to enhance that by developing a new attitude and boosting your inner creative dialog.

2) Learning new techniques and improving your work habits comes not only through instruction, but by sharing the space with other artists. 

3) Coming to an awareness of how your art speaks to people — what questions to ask yourself, how to create richer “color” (or a reflection of the world you see).

 

What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am focusing on making art, not just pretty pictures. It is more fulfilling to express a mood; a sense of light; a temperature and a tactile surface quality with the pastel medium. I search for iconic subject matter to draw out a sense of warm familiarity and use the interaction of color and pattern to stimulate interest. For me, exploring the soft edges and illuminating qualities of color is what gives pastel painting its voice.

 

My subject matter at this time is: reflective and familiar ceramic pots, sunlit pitchers, creamy cheesecake, succulent strawberries, pears and apples — fertile forms. In addition: Cirque du soleil atmospheres with French macaroon cookies and intimate teacup moments.

 

Cheezy CakeWhere is your art currently being exhibited?

I prefer one-woman shows, but because of my busy teaching schedule right now, I am primarily donating my work for causes rather than putting together shows. I’ve been featured in fundraising events such as: Scottsdale Artist School, Free Arts for Abused and Homeless Children Auction, and Veteran’s fundraising benefits. In addition, I am usually in the Arizona Pastel Artist’s Association bi-annual juried shows and signature membership exhibitions. Recently, my work has been exhibited in Boulder Colorado by Mary Williams Fine Arts as well as showing in the Scottsdale Exhibition Gallery and Celebration of Fine Art gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.

 

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

Artists looking to show in galleries must first understand their market. Find galleries that carry similar styles to your own work. Enter competitions, both locally and online. Publish regionally and locally online and in print. Maintain a website, no prices, talk it over with prospective clients one-on-one. Blog, do a weekly Facebook update, try a “painting a day” online exhibit. Advertise in art magazines. A learning curve I was surprised to face was being aware of the type of framing that a particular gallery typically uses. Shipping weight can also be an issue. You’ll need patience with gallery sales — clients often need to view work repeatedly before actually purchasing.

 

Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

Yes, please visit: www.LizKenyon.com. I maintain this site regularly with new work, listings of workshops, gallery showings, publications, and awards won. I have not only sold my work to online viewers, but have been asked to teach in workshops across the country by schools who saw my workshops and classes described online.

 

What is your favorite art quote?

“Are you making art or are you making pretty pictures?”

 

Describe your studio.

I live and work in an historic, mid 20th century glass-fronted condo in central Phoenix. The largest wall of my living room/studio is devoted entirely to glass — floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall. It’s just me and the light. And, because I live surrounded by my work, I am always just a few feet away from being able to grab a stick of pastel and work at my own pace and time. The complex is a draw to artists who enjoy living in the valley, so I often have chats with neighbors and friends, discussing goals and artistic values. My life is very fulfilling.

 

LizKenyon in HomeStudio

LizKenyon working spaces

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

— A 4 x 6 inch mid-toned grey paper rectangle with a 3/8 inch circle cut out of the center. I hold

this up to determine the actual temperature and value of a color I’m viewing.

— A large size color wheel.

— “Perfect Color Choices for the Artist” by Michael Wilcox has numerous value and hue color

comparison charts especially finding neutrals.

— 3-4 three-inch metal clamps to attach reference images to my working surface.

 

 

Read more of our recent Instructor interviews:

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

 

Musing about the Artist Retreat

Another fun and productive artist retreat week came to a close last Saturday. We enjoyed seeing the “regulars” as well as meeting several new artists. Some folks came for the full 6 nights and some for 3 nights.

John Skrabalak is one of our regulars and calls the retreat his muse. He completed at least 10 canvases this week! Last year his retreat paintings all went to a one-man show in which several of the pieces sold.

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As is was a smallish group this year, everyone was able to take full advantage of the space in the studio to spread out around multiple tables.

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Colleen was amazingly productive, too, even though she was here for only three days. She worked on multiple pieces at the same time. Colleen originally discover us when her medium was fiber/fabric, but then she discovered a collage technique that allowed her to still work with the layering of color but at a much faster pace!

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Colleen’s friend Dawn also painted some fabulous abstract collages in grays. I loved these!

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Meanwhile, outside we had unusually warm weather and bright sunny skies, perfect for walks around the “back forty” to work off the chocolate chip and snicker doodle cookies enjoyed during cookie break time!

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Going Beyond Your Boundaries in Watercolor with Mel Stabin

Another fun workshop week with Mel Stabin has just come to a close. Mel has been coming to teach workshops at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops more years than I want to count!

This year he taught a workshop titled “Pushing the Envelope in Watercolor: Express Yourself.” It was all about challenging yourself and go beyond your boundaries in watercolor! Mel wanted to encourage his students to experience the magical, spontaneous, and transparent qualities of watercolor and help them discover that watercolor is at its best when it is set free.

The class spent about equal time painting outdoors on location and in the studio.

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The final day was spent in the studio where Mel did a demo on figures and how to incorporate them in your landscapes. This was Mel’s demo painting.

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Painting and learning all day can be exhausting but this group knew how to relax. Every evening they’d gather on the front porch of the inn for some beers or wine, and some great conversation.

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This is one of the dishes served for dinner during the workshop – a savory Thai braised beef served on top of long rice noodles. The fragrance of the lemongrass, coconut milk, and spices emanating from the kitchen has people licking their lips in anticipation.

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And speaking of licking lips, this is Link who came with Suzy and got more attention and hellos than anyone else in the workshop.

Maybe he is thinking of the home-made pumpkin dog biscuit he found in his room upon his arrival!

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If you missed this class, Mel is scheduled to return again in 2016! Don’t miss it.

Portraits in Egg Tempera with Koo Schadler

Master egg tempera artist, Koo Schadler, is here this week teaching a portraiture workshop. Koo’s classes are always very popular.

The paint mixing table is set up in the front of the studio. Koo showed how the paints were created from egg yolks and pigment.

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Portraits was the theme, but if you wanted to do a portrait of a pear that was perfectly fine.

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The zinnias have been sporting Fall colors all summer, but the trees are just beginning to get tips of color, too.

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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.

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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

Wiegardt and a Free-For-All

Eric Wiegardt was here for a week to teach an outdoor watercolor workshop designed to help you “break the niggling detail habbit.” Mother Nature had other designs, however, feeling that our area somehow needed more water! (We don’t!)

But no matter, Eric kept everyone happy and working hard in the studio.

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By the time we had a sunny day on Friday, no one wanted to go outside the studio. Instead, they brought a little outside to the inside by picking up several bouquets of flowers to set up in vases around the studio.

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Eric will be back teaching for us again in 2013.

Following Eric was our Fall Retreat. We had a wonderful, fun loving group this year with a bunch of regulars and several new folks.

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The retreat is a free time for people to work on their art, just relax around the inn, or explore the area. This year most people came for the full 6 nights, but we also offer a 3-night option. Of course, all the people who came just for the 3-nights all wished that they had come for 6!

Next year the retreat week is going to be in the summer — to give people the added bonus of also being able to enjoy the 50 foot outdoor swimming pool at the inn.

Bonus December Retreat

Come to our Bonus Retreat in December.

Our Retreats are a time for people to get together and work on their own projects with no set program. If you’re self-motivated and could use time to concentrate without instruction, or if you have a friend you want to spend time with, or you just want a relaxing art vacation, the Retreat package is for you.

Take advantage of this uninterrupted time to finish your holiday projects!

As a bonus for this retreat, Kim LaPolla, workshop director and fiber artist, will be joining you in the studio and will provide informal lessons on how she designs and creates the rabbits for her quilts. Kim will explain how to create a pattern and templates starting with a photo or illustration. Kim uses both a turned-under applique method and a fused method. Other techniques and processes will be covered, such as the crazy-pieced background.

Come join us for this fun week. Enjoy the 24-hour access for the studio, full country breakfast, afternoon cookies and fruit, and delicious 3-course dinner. Also unlimited coffee, tea, and hot chocolate!