Gail G. Slockett

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Peter Fiore Landscape Workshop
March 24 - 26, 2017 (3 days) |
Milford, PA
Peter Fiore's March Landscape Workshop in Milford, PA. was a great experience and I highly recommend attending any of his workshops. Peter is an incredible landscape artist. You can check out his work and information about upcoming workshops at www.peterfiore.com

This was a three day workshop from Friday through Sunday. The first morning Peter did a presentation comparing some of his finished paintings to the reference photos, explaining the decisions he made and why. He taught us how to use references to inform our work rather than be slaves to the photograph. After lunch we all painted. With only seven students we got a lot of attention from Peter. He is a very generous teacher, never hesitating to reveal any of his tips and tricks.

The next day started with a color presentation. Although he covered some basics of color theory most of his lesson was about his use of color, his palette, and tips on brushwork and palette knife application. He uses a copious amount of paint and achieves incredibly rich colors that simply glow.

The rest of the workshop was devoted to painting. It was a great group of very diverse artists that I learned quite a bit from as well. I worked on three studies while others worked on new paintings, and some brought works in progress. Everyone felt the workshop was successful and obviously learned a lot.

Peter's wife Barbara, who is a ceramic artist, (www.barbarafiore.com), helps out at the workshops and they are a truly a lovely couple. I will definitely be going back for another workshop in the future.

I stayed at the Harrington House which is a Bed & Breakfast across the street.. Accommodations and breakfast were top-notch.
Location of: "Peter Fiore Landscape Workshop"
Peter Fiore
Milford Schoolhouse
201 W. Harford Street
Milford PA US
(click map for larger Google Map)
John MacDonald Landscape in Oils
October 8 - 14, 2017 (7 days)
I just came back from a wonderful week of painting with John MacDonald at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops in Greenville, NY. It was a landscape workshop in oils, concentrating on interpreting photo references, rather than copying.

Although John has a distinctive style of painting, and even a very limited palette, he doesn't teach his students to paint like him. He teaches the foundations, (composition, values, color, edges, and details), that are integral to any style. That is the cornerstone of his instruction. He starts off teaching about composition and then moves on to value. He emphasizes doing underpaintings to establish a good value structure. He likes to solve most problems in the underpainting. He then moves on to color, temperature, edges, and lastly details. It is a lot of information and John presents it particularly well. He is very well prepared and does a good job balancing painting time with demonstrations and lectures. He sends out a copious amount of information a few weeks before the workshop. It might seem daunting, but I recommend reading it all...twice.

There were 18 students, which was too many. But John works very hard and never stops teaching, often well after the scheduled time and even sometimes during dinner. At the request of the class he even spent time talking about gallery representation, pricing, and business practices. I learned so much this week I am still processing it. I think my biggest take away was learning how to find what it is that's not working in my painting and how to go about fixing it.

The workshop is geared more to using the photograph as a reference than in plein air painting, but anyone who wanted to paint plein air was encouraged to do so. There was a park about a five minute drive from the studio and John went back and forth all afternoon.

John is taking a sabbatical next year and won't be doing any workshops in 2018. I highly recommend taking one in 2019. He is an exceptional teacher and has a lot of knowledge to impart. He is also a genuinely nice guy who obviously loves what he is doing! Check out his website, www.jmacdonald.com and sign up for his newsletters. They are a workshop in and of themselves.

The Hudson River Valley Art Workshops can be all inclusive or you may attend as a day student. You stay and eat and paint and learn all week with a very fine group of people. I have been to 7 workshops there in the past 7 years and I will be going back next year. The food is good, the service is excellent, and the accommodations are comfortable. The studio is open 24/7 and there is always hot coffee and tea available. My personal favorite is the afternoon cookie break. Check it out at www.artworkshops.com
Location of: "John MacDonald Landscape in Oils"
(click map for larger Google Map)