Saturday, May 2, 2009

PLEIN AIR PAINTING WORKSHOP on Mount Desert Island, Maine


Thomas Cole and Frederic Church First popularized Mount Desert in the mid-1800s. Their works inspired families from New York and Philadelphia to make the journey by steamer to "rusticate" and enjoy the untouched beauty of Mount Desert Island. Artists will be painting outside in a group for approximately 3-5 hours a day. Sites will vary from the spectacular summit of Cadillac Mountain to the rugged shores and quiet lakes and ponds of Acadia National Park. The group will focus on plein air painting techniques and strategies. Participants will stay in the Abraham Somes III house built in 1800. Daily critiques, individual instruction, and demonstrations will be provided. Alexandra Tyng and Diana Ansley will lead the group.

Tuition is $500.
Lodging and lunch is $575.

For further information on the lodging, travel arrangements, and the daily schedule, or to enroll, contact organizer Diana Ansley at 703-960-0612 or at

Painting at Valley Green

Valley Green is a spot on the Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. The creek flows through a steep wooded gorge, and Valley Green Inn is an old, historic inn where travelers stopped to refresh themselves while traveling the dirt road along the creek. Now this road has become a popular trail for walking, riding bicycles and horses.

A few weeks ago, I went there to paint with my artist friends Alyce Grunt and Garth Herrick. It was a spectacular mornng. I have rarely seen the sky such a deep blue. Spring had not yet sprung, but the tips of the maple trees were slightly reddish. I love the winter color of the woods in Pennsylvania so I was glad of the chance to try and capture the subtle colors. We had a great couple of hours in which I produced this oil sketch of the creek valley and stone bridge, then we went out for lunch in Manayunk.