Calendar 2015-10-02T14:07:05-04:00
Greg LaRock-“STUDIO LANDSCAPE PAINTING FROM PHOTOS: Choosing and Editing Images for Success” @ Franciscan Life Process Center
May 29 @ 9:00 am – Jun 1 @ 12:00 am

Please join national, award-winning landscape artist Greg LaRock as we explore the landscape through the studio process! Selecting proper images to paint from is critical to the start of a successful painting. Understanding what makes for a good reference photo and how to edit is the key. In this workshop we will discuss:

• The process of painting the landscape using photo references

• What to look for and what to avoid in your image selection

• Understanding where the camera images fail and how to compensate

• Adjusting you images for better color and cropping

• Building a painting (16×20) in two sessions

My workshops are designed to take you to the next level in painting. They will cover:

• How to organize elements for successful composition

• The importance of shape division, shape balance and focal interests

• The construction of a painting: How to build it from the ground up.

• Achieving depth and atmosphere: What works and what doesn’t.

• Understanding the power of large masses.

• Colors and temperatures and how they relate to your values.

And much more! We will cover the entire painting process from concept to completion. Don’t miss out!


Student Level: Advanced Beginner and up. Students should have a basic understanding of how to set up their easel and work with their materials, plus some paint mixing experience. You should also have a knowledge of perspective and a capable drawing ability.

Objective: To improve your painting approach and provide information to help you understand how to create a more successful painting. If you feel you’ve reached a “plateau” in your work or are having problems with composition, values and simplification, then this workshop can help.

What To Expect: I try to give students a solid foundation to build upon and the tools to improve. This is based in the structure of a painting and understanding how to make things read correctly. I’ll show each student what’s working in their own paintings and where the problem spots are. I’ll point out the fundamentals of good design and proper organization of elements. Although, due to the limited amount of instructional time in a workshop, no one will become a master overnight, nor are there magical shortcuts or equipment. Only with hard work and perseverance, will one be able to meet the individual goals as a painter.


• On location demos: My demos cover the entire painting process from concept to completion. I’ll talk through every step of the process so you will see and understand exactly how I work and think.

• Individual instruction at each student’s easel.

• Group critique at the end plus personal critiques of student’s work brought from home.

• Free goodies for all students.

Robert Liberace-“Exploring Drawing and Painting from the Classic to the Contemporary” @ Franciscan Life Process Center
Jun 13 @ 9:00 am – Jun 15 @ 4:00 pm

This class will explore both the organized and elegant manner of classical drawing, and the dynamic, fresh approach of contemporary alla prima painting. Though each style has a distinctive character, together they provide the artist with a more complete understanding of artistic technique. The first part of the class will focus on drawing methods with an emphasis on form and light. The final days will concentrate on the spirited technique of alla prima, (“wet into wet” application of paint) which will center on color and paint dynamics. Demonstrations will be given each day which will illustrate each approach.

Howard Friedland-Expanding the “Dynamic Range of Your Paintings” @ Franciscan Life Process Center
Jun 19 @ 9:00 am – Jun 22 @ 3:00 pm

Learn how you can design your paintings to be more appealing and compelling, using tried and true secrets of the Masters.

This 4 day studio class will teach you the methods and use of materials to create more Dynamic Paintings.

He will cover:

  • Design and Notan
  • Muted to Chromatic Color
  • Color Harmony
  • Use of Transparent and Opaque Pigments
  • Brush and Palette knife techniques to emulate various textures
  • Strengthening your Focal Point with Detail
  • And other creative problem solving techniques

Howard is a Master Signature Member of Oil Painters of America.

Any questions please call Kathy at (616) 897-7842, ext. 352.


Susan Blackwood-“FIGURES ‘DOING’ + PAINTING MOTION AND TELLING A STORY” @ Franciscan Life Process Center
Jun 19 @ 9:00 am – Jun 22 @ 4:00 pm

Humans move and our lives tell stories. This workshop will help you capture not only the figure, but how best to “Tell the Story” in your paintings. It will cover photographing your subject, arranging the composition, and how to direct the eye for the greatest message. We will discuss motion and creating a sense of movement and emotion through the control and choosing color, edges and values.

Susan Blackwood has a passion for teaching artists. Her combination of enthusiasm, encouragement and knowledge is the hallmark of her teaching. She has been a professional artist and instructor since the early ‘70s.  For 32 years, she was a professional watercolorist. In 2003 she ventured forth into the thick and gooey medium of oils and loves it, too. Her watercolors and oils have been in many national shows and museums, winning top awards. In 2010 she won Best of Show at the American Women Artists National Exhibition. To see more of her paintings and for a more complete biography, go to

Marc Hanson-“Exploring Your Painting Skills in Open Air 1 and 2” (two workshops with a day in between, take them both or take them individually) @ Franciscan Life Process Center
Jul 8 @ 9:00 am – Jul 14 @ 3:00 pm
Session One – July 8-10, Session Two – July 12-14

Marc has agreed to do two three day workshops with a day in between to rest.  We have included a cost for both first, and then listed them separately in the ticket area.  Session One – July 8-10, Session Two – July 12-14.  For those who take both sets of workshops, the second one will be a continuation of the first.  There will be a 10% discount for taking both.

“This workshop is two sets of three days of painting outside in the landscape, for painters of all levels, working in oils, pastels or acrylics.   I work in all three of those mediums on location and in the studio, and am happy to see artists in my workshops with either of the three.

Since we all come to painting with a lot of information and history of our own, it’s not possible for me to know each individual students’ experience and abilities. I’ve designed my workshops so that it doesn’t matter if you’ve been painting for half of your life, or for half of the last month, each student will benefit from the exercises I’ve designed. They will help to strengthen your current abilities, and expose those skills that need strengthening. I work with each individual student at their own level, spend a lot of time with each student at their easel giving individual instruction. I demo everything that I ask you to do.

You’ll leave the workshop having spent either 3 days, or 6 days studying the basic elements of painting… Drawing, Value, Color, Edges and Design… with one other element, possibly the most important one of all… Concept… being explored and discussed at length.  I’ve designed a number of exercises that focus on the importance of Value to Design, Color, and Concept. From there we’ll move into simple Color and Design issues, including how to use all of those, and Edges, to emphasize your Concept, what it is you want to say to the viewer in your painting.

You may not go home with paintings that need framing, but you will go home with a portfolio full of valuable exercises that you can refer back to as you move forward in your own painting process.  All I ask is that you come with an inquisitive and open mind, and the Art Spirit within you.”

The cost of each workshop is $450, or $850 for both.

Tom Lynch-“Watercolor Secrets Revealed by Tom Lynch” @ Franciscan Life Process Center
Jul 17 @ 9:00 am – Jul 20 @ 3:00 pm
Tom’s objective is to show the vast range and flexibility of watercolor.  You will learn new techniques; how to plan for success; build a successful painting; and to put drama, emotion, and conviction into your art.  This award winning artist will show you how to push the limits of color, contrast, and light.  Tom likes to put fun into the process of painting.  He has an organized program, with lots of visuals, that sets a goal for each day and sees that each student has an example and understanding of that day’s lesson.  You will see daily demonstrations with detailed explanations of all the how’s and why’s, followed by plenty of individual attention, and a positive critique session.  Past students have said of his workshops… “Rather than coming out with perfect little copies of what Tom does, I came out with a wealth of watercolor techniques which I can utilize in my painting.” “The best workshop I have ever had”… “Never a dull moment”… “Learned more in one day than I have in years”… “Patient, positive and knowledgeable.”  The cost of this workshop is $480.
Donna Zagotta-Adding the You Factor to Painting 2@Franciscan Life Process Center
Jul 18 @ 9:00 am – Jul 20 @ 4:00 pm
The emphasis of this lively workshop is getting past the “explanation factor” and zeroing in on the most important factor of all in your work – the you factor! You will learn how to create and rely on a personal rather than a rule-based approach to composition and the formal elements – a key ingredient in turning everyday subjects into creative, imaginative, and expressive paintings. Each day’s lesson will focus on an individual aspect for getting there: seeing and personalizing shapes, structuring abstract compositions, putting together creative color schemes, inventing imaginative ways to work with lines, textures, patterns and more. Donna will discuss the importance of choosing a painting medium that works in tandem with your personality and that allows for spontaneity, improvisation, correction, and revision. She will be using watercolor and white gouache in her demonstrations, but students are free to work in any media. Participants should bring reference materials to work on during the week – sketches, still life set-ups, or photos (please only photos you have taken yourself).
Jul 31 @ 9:00 pm – Aug 3 @ 3:00 pm

When you attend one of Helga’s dozen or so workshops that she teaches in a year, you are immersed in creativity and art.  Helga has a way of inspiring the artist in you.  You will never receive the same workshop twice because she is constantly practicing with new techniques, subject matter, and media.  A typical watercolor workshop teaches you how to create realism and then stretches your imagination to take you further into to world of originality with your painting.

Helga’s daily teaching format from 9am to 4pm each day will consist of demonstrations, critique, and most of all individual guidance.  She teaches to all levels of experience.  She enjoys opening the eyes of the beginner, encouraging the intermediate, and exploring the more creative abilities of the advanced student. The cost of this workshop is $295.

For more information please visit Helga’s website

or contact her office manager



Katriel Srebnik-“Painting Costumes and Clothed Figures” @ Franciscan Life Process Center
Aug 1 @ 9:00 am – Aug 3 @ 3:00 pm

“Secrets” used by Classical through contemporary painting Masters are introduced and demonstrated: establishing the composition, light and dark masses, and the proportions and structure of the head and figure; selecting and mixing colors on the palette and the canvas; painting convincing flesh tones; understanding and rendering folds and different materials of clothing in a painterly manner; capturing the effects of light and atmosphere; alla prima brush and palette knife techniques; and helpful studio tips.

The workshop is open to artists of all levels, from beginner to professional. Demonstrations will be in oil. After each demonstration, Srebnik will work with each student individually.

David Sharpe-“Light and Shadow-Painting the Emotional Landscape” @ Franciscan Life Process Center
Aug 12 @ 9:00 am – Aug 16 @ 3:00 pm
We all see  and admire painting that is charged with emotion- from it’s simple design to its  atmospheric play of light and shadow and subtle colour. Paintings that seem effortlessly composed and done. Paintings without a lot of  colour theatrics but subtle shades and shapes of the land.   Over 5 days I’ll show you how I do it and give you the tools and techniques you can apply to deepen your own work emotionally. It takes plein air to a slightly higher plane of ‘less is more’ expression.
Over 5 days we’ll cover:
– the history of what I define as emotional painting by examining and really breaking down what the past masters knew and put down, and look at and evaluate the techniques of  some of the modern masters who in my opinion are doing the best work today and how they do it.
-An understanding of how light works as it hits the earth’s forms throughout the day and a plus- the basics of painting the  elusive night especially the elusive night palette.
-The  huge importance of ‘design’  in your composition- how to invent and visually edit what’s there’ and important tips on what NOT to put in! We’ll look at designing with shadow shapes and light shapes for dramatic effect.
-The importance of value and how it gives life to form. We’ll do  exercises in black and white then colour. Again we’ll  look at how the masters did it and how some do it today.
-Preferring the reserve of a limited palette, we’ll  look at my palette and I’ll show you how I use it in my work. I’ll show you how to guickly ‘rough in’ approximate colour and value to get a sense of your painting.
-We’ll look at the importance of  drawing before you paint and the importance  of the ‘thumbnail’ or the roadmap to better design.
The first 3 days will cover these fundamentals with me doing demos in the morning then after lunch you’ll apply what I’ve shown you to your own work- outside if the weather permits but from your photos if not.
The last 2 days will be me demoing in the mornings going over the principles again and you painting in the afternoon as I do one on ones with you. And one evening will be devoted to painting a nocturne so let’s hope for a moon!
As an added bonus I’ll show you how to use your iPad to make faster and more creative decisions on your work  on the fly in the field. I’ll also contact each student before hand to scope out exactly what you want to improve so I can make sure I’m teaching you  what’s important to you personally.
The cost of this workshop is $525.