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Monday, August 15, 2016
This wonderful life
Corea, ME pine, by Lynne Vokatis.
In the week of a workshop, I form intense bonds with new people and see old friends again. I have learned to not take the future for granted. We will never have this exact experience again. The mix of people, the experience, the weather and our goals will be different next year. It will be beautiful, yes, but it won’t be the same.
Hence, I always cry when I say goodbye.
Looking back on the week, there were three important lessons:
There is an order of operations for painting. Learn that, and you will make life infinitely easier on yourself. (More on that tomorrow.)
To paint boldly, you need to stop mixing with your brush. That is what your palette knife is for.
Eventually everyone needs to pee in the woods.
That last item is usually a shock for city dwellers, but most of America’s beauty spots don’t have Starbucks on the corner. And it really isn’t that hard to miss your shoes.
All last week I pondered whether I wanted to bring my workshop back to Schoodic Institute for an unprecedented third year. In the end I realized a simple fact: I love to teach there, my students love to paint there, and their families love to go there with them.
A fogbow over Frenchman Bay
Schoodic has some of the best vistas in all of Maine, which is saying a mouthful. Unlike the Mt. Desert part of Acadia National Park, there are no crowds. There are fishing, biking, hiking, and innumerable touristy things to entertain the non-painting fellow travelers.
In 1935, the Navy opened a radio listening post at Schoodic Point to replace the old Otter Cliffs station. Acadia was the best spot along the Atlantic for this because of its isolation and its unobstructed ocean path from Europe. Those same factors make for brilliant painting. Long, long breakers roll in from the open sea and crash on high rock bluffs.
Since the station was closed in 2002, the US government has transformed the site into a research and training center for the National Park Service. You can’t just drop by and stay the night. The only people who can stay there are participants in an educational program and their traveling parties.
They provide our meals so we don’t have to worry about preparing food when we’d rather be painting. At $1600 a week including room, board, access to the park and instruction, it’s a great deal.
Schoodic Institute waits among the pines and spruces for us to return next year.
So I finally wised up and did the contract part of my 2017 workshop before I left on Friday. It’s scheduled for August 6-11, 2017. Why should you care now? Because you’ll get an early bird discount of $100 if you sign up before January 1 (or a $50 returning-student discount if you’ve taken another of my workshops). That means you can ask for the workshop for Christmas.
Fog at Birch Harbor. The weather was generally fantastic all week.
Now the boilerplate: the 5-day workshop is just $1600, including your private room with shared bath, meals, snacks, and instruction. Accommodations for non-painting partners and guests are also available. Your deposit of $900 holds your space. Refunds are available up to 60 days prior to start, less a $50 administration fee.
Email me to let me know you’re interested, or for more information. I look forward to seeing you!