Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Mt. Cuba Painting Workshop.

In mid-June I had the pleasure of teaching a Painting Workshop at Mt. Cuba Center, in Delaware.

Set on nearly 600 acres of rolling hills, the former estate of one of the presidents of the Du Pont company is now an incredible arboretum with wonderful formal gardens, meadows, and ponds in the forest.

My group of twelve students (some not in this picture) worked  in oil or watercolor during the week, mediums with which I am very familiar.

We did not have to go very far from the mansion to find subjects. Atmospheric  vistas...

Elegant formal gardens...

And for the more adventurous, the ponds down in the shaded forest.

Here I'm doing a quick watercolor demo from the patio, to show my painting and thinking processes.

Of the three demos I painted, this is my favorite.

A constant challenge for me throughout the week was simply finding students, often hidden from
view on woodland paths, or behind walls and hedges in the gardens. First rule of painting outdoors is: "Find a shady spot."

Here we are taking our lunch break, in the elegant and cool atrium.

By mid-week the students were really into the challenges of painting "En Pleine Air," with the sun
constantly on the move,  and Mother Nature and the Art Spirit providing inspiration...

...and some moments of frustration.

On the final afternoon we gathered most of the week's works together on the patio. I gave an overview
commentary on all that I felt had been accomplished.

Everyone agreed some wonderful art had been created by each of the participants during our week together at Mt. Cuba Center. As a result, we were invited to have a showing in the fall of the paintings.
I will keep you posted as to dates for the reception and exhibition.

On behalf of my talented students I thank Eileen Boyle, Director of Education and Research, and her amazing staff, for making this workshop a reality. In particular these two women, Margaret Shillingford and Cora Sparling. Whether lugging artist's gear or seeing that fresh cuttings from the gardens were available for still-lifes on our one rainy day...thanks for making it all go so smoothly. Thanks also to Cherie Casalnuovo  for setting up the student exhibition in the fall.
See you at the reception! http://www.mtcubacenter.org/


  1. WOW! Looks like it was absolutely gorgeous!

  2. What a beautiful place to work Bill. Sounds like it was a great success! Hope you haven't lost any of them behind trees or down rabbit holes though. When I took students on field work I was constantly counting them.

  3. Amy; we WILL still get out painting!
    As you can see, I'm a bit overloaded with teaching, but soon will have more time.
    And Sheila; happily I did not lose any students in rabbit holes or thickets.
    At least I don't think I did...mmmmm

  4. Hi, William. I used to be Ink & Aquarelle. I no longer have that blog, but I am still in Maine, & today posted some older Maine sketches. I remembered how you love the coast. I do hope you'll stop by to visit my blog. Your class was such a success & sounds like it was fun for all of you! Next week I'll be a student in a watercolor class in Rockland, the class recommended by Carol at Paris Breakfasts. Happy painting, Rita

  5. Nice!
    Glad to see you're well and painting

  6. like yr fav too
    The tree is rt in the middle comme d'habitude

  7. What's happened? you stopped posting your art? I enjoyed them.