Five opportunities to study with me

And for my workshops, there are early-bird discounts available!

Four Ducks, by Carol L. Douglas. There are so many ways to paint water!

“There’s no phone reception out on the ocean,” I casually mentioned to my electrical-engineer husband. He immediately outlined a low-cost plan to extend coverage offshore. I looked at him in wonder. “Please don’t. That’s the best thing about sailing!”

I leave this evening for my last workshop of the season, aboard schooner American Eagle. (As many times as I see her, I still have a crush on that boat.) I’ve had so many inquiries about upcoming classes and workshops that I pulled them all together for you before leaving.
How to paint water: I’m speaking to the Waterville Art Society on Thursday, October 3 on how to paint water. The meeting starts at 6 PM at Chace Community Forum, 150 Main Street, Waterville, ME. For more information, email here.
Dennis Pollock, right before he went for a swim during our weekly painting class. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Johnson.)
Our next mid-coast Maine painting classes start on Tuesday, October 22. These classes meet on Tuesday mornings from 10-1, and this session runs six weeks, from October 22 to November 26.
This is primarily a plein air class.  Autumn is a fantastic time to paint in mid-coast Maine, as it stays warmer here longer than inland. When weather permits, we paint at locations in the Rockport-Rockland-Camden area. When the weather turns, we meet in my studio at 394 Commercial Street, Rockport. For more information, see here, or register here. (If you’re a returning student, you can just email me.)
Painting aboard schooner American Eagle with Diane Fulkerson, Mary Ellen Pedersen, and Lynne Twentyman.
I’ll be teaching two watercolor sketch workshops aboard the historic schooner American Eagle next year. The first is during the opening run of the Maine windjammer fleet and includes the Gam, the annual fleet raft-up. That’s June 7-11. The second, from September 20-24, is timed for the coast’s peak foliage season.
All materials—and they’re professional grade—are included, and if you want, you can help with the sailing too. More information is here.
Rebecca Bense and me, at Sea & Sky on Schoodic Point. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Johnson.)
Last, but certainly not least, is my annual Sea & Sky workshop at Schoodic Institute. It’s an opportunity to study painting in America’s oldest national park, surrounded by breathtaking nature, but insulated from the ‘madding crowds’.
This workshop is five days long and includes all meals and accommodations. This year we’ve added a commuter option as well. This workshop was waitlisted last year, and for good reason—it’s a fun and informative time, open to students in oils, pastels, watercolor, gouache or acrylic. More information can be found here.
Ellen Trayer and Lynne Twentyman, painting on a deserted island.
All of my workshops include an Early-Bird discountfor those of you signing up before January 1. (Workshops, of course, make great Christmas gifts for the painters in your life.) If you have any questions, you can email me.
I won’t be able to answer until next week, of course, because in a few hours I’m throwing my rope-soled shoes and duffle-bag in the car and heading down to the harbor. That also means no blog on Friday. Fair winds and following seas to you, and I’ll see you on Monday.

I hate wasting money

If you’re like me, you can’t handle one more project right now, but my early bird discount expires on January 1.
Becky Bense among the rocks at Schoodic Point.
Several people have told me they’re registering for next summer’s Sea & Sky workshop but haven’t sent their deposit. It will cost you $100 more if you wait until after January 1 to register.
I was once a student, too. I clearly remember my frustration with too much theory and not enough technique. I resolved then that I’d do my best to send my students away with tangible technical help.

Students tell me that I’m the first teacher who’s ever given them a consistent system for putting paint on canvas in a way that’s bright, clean and clear. There are some basic steps in making paintings. They’ve worked for centuries. I do my best to teach them through my blog, but it’s really better to see for yourself.

You’ll see the giant lobsterman of Prospect Harbor.
I know painters at all levels. It’s sometimes frustrating to see them stuck for months or even years on the same painting problems. That’s especially true when I know the problems are easily corrected. Take the question of muddy, grey, paint. 90% of the time, it’s caused by how you lay down the underpainting, not your paint mixing.
What helps me break through problems like these is radical change, something that shakes up my routine enough for new ideas to sneak in.
And paint at this untouched Maine harbor.
Coming to Schoodic is as radical a change as you’re likely to get. You’re out of your environment, in one of the earth’s great beauty spots. You eat, laugh, and play with like-minded fellow painters. And you learn. I implore my students: “You don’t have to do this forever; just give it one week.” Usually, they incorporate those changes into their ‘forever.’
In a world of incredible atmospherics.
Here are the most common questions I hear:
How do I get there?Fly into Bangor or Portland, ME, rent a car, and drive over to Acadia National Park. It’s simple. Or, you can carpool.
I’m not very experienced. Is this workshop for me? Yes. We take such a small group that everyone gets individual attention. We meet you where you’re at.
Where are we staying? At the Schoodic Education and Research Center. You don’t just book a room there; you have to be part of an educational program.
Michael and Ellen practice their loafing skills at Blueberry Hill.
Can I bring my spouse?Please do. A non-painting partner sharing the same room is $475. That includes all meals, including our lobster feast. There’s lots to do in the area–hiking, biking, photography, birdwatching, fishing, or just quiet meditative time in nature. Sometimes non-painting spouses just like to hang out with the class, too. That’s fine with me.
Pastels are a beautiful medium for the Maine coast. And, yes, I should have been wearing gloves. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Schellenberg)
What mediums can I bring? Oils, acrylics, watercolor, pastel. And of course your drawing supplies.
Is that a good price? Even at $1600, my workshop is a fantastic deal, since it includes your meals, accommodations instruction and insider knowledge of the Schoodic Peninsula. Next year, the price is going up, since my costs rose this year.
But the Early Bird discount makes it a ridiculous bargain. So, if you’re planning on signing up, send me a check and the registration form, pronto, and save yourself $100.