June of 2019 was my first opportunity to teach at Madeline Island and although I had heard good things I was still waiting to see for myself. I found the food to be extraordinary; the staff to be beyond friendly and professional; the classroom to be spacious, well lit, and comfortable; and the campus, island, and scenery to be totally inspiring. I understand when folks mention that this is a little bit more spendy of a place to take a workshop, and I think that is true; so I just wanted to mention that from a first hand experience the amenities are well worth it.
Have you ever been curious to know what exciting places an artist is painting at and what alluring destinations they are teaching at? I have - that's a big part of the romance of being an artist, I'm always following other artists online and dreaming of painting with them in inspiring places. I remember my first destination workshop like it was yesterday. Excited doesn't quite describe it, giddy is more like it. The anticipation was as enjoyable as the actual experience of it all, and as a sophomore in high school this was my first major trip away from home, even though it was only a five hour drive. Looking back on it as a memory, it was particularly special because my dad and I were taking the trip together. My dad, you see, is an artist as well and is my main mentor. Our workshop was in Grand Marais, up the incredibly rugged and awesomely scenic north shore of Lake Superior. I'll treasure that experience for the rest of my life. Going out to eat, seeing new and amazing things, and simply losing oneself in their art, and just losing oneself in general. I once read that "Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find yourself", and that is my favorite part of taking a workshop or going on vacation, experiencing that sense of wonder and finding yourself again. What a gift. If you think you could use a trip of your own, then I would like to invite you to come paint with me on Madeline Island this June.
While this is a studio workshop, there will be opportunities to paint plein air too. I'm bringing my plein air setup and plan to head out and capture some of the amazing beauty this island has to offer. My wife Mallory and I spent some time on our honeymoon on Madeline Island, and there are several places I'm looking forward to painting in person. Class gets over around 430, leaving ample time to get out and explore the island each night, especially during those long days of sunlight in June!
Learn shortcuts that will allow you to make leaps in your understanding of this visual language and how to avoid many of the common pitfalls of painting, such as inaccurate perspective, mixing colors poorly, and getting restrained by the details of a scene. Many helpful drawing and painting tips will be covered as they present themselves during the week. You will be amazed at how fast you can grow when you stop trying to paint “things” but rather focus your energy on communicating in the visual language of painting.