Plein Air

 Workshops 2017

 Workshops are all taught by different teachers, register for each one separately. Please meet at the site (GPSable address included) and bring your own easel, tables, chairs, and painting materials. If you do not have your own equipment, you can stop at Wallkill River School during business hours and borrow any equipment you may need. Come 15 minutes early so you can be set up and ready for the workshop. LOST? Call (845) 728-4001 for instant help.

Plein Air with Shawn Dell Joyce

Plein air pastel with Shawn Dell Joyce

Learn the basic tenets of plein air painting, and the intricacies of pastel. Start with blocking in basic shapes, refining shapes and colors, then polishing the finished piece. Spring workshop focuses on plein air basics, geared toward someone who wants to paint outside, and has an idea of what media then want to work in. Workshop starts out with a brief presentation at 9:30am then a demo. Painting time with individual attention during the day, and lunch and snacks provided, restrooms on site. Meet at Benedict Town Park in Montgomery. Google or call (845) 457-2787 for directions.

Shawn Dell Joyce is the founder of the Wallkill River School of Art, and an award-winning plein air pastelist. She has more than twenty years of plein air experience and has won numerous awards for her loose pastel paintings.

Shawn Dell Joyce painting in Rock Hill NY




Instructor: Shawn Dell Joyce     [View Instructor Video]
Price: $75 for the full day workshop from 9am-3pm
Session Dates: Sat. June 23 members ($75.00)
nonmembers ($95.00)

Sketching with Shawn Dell Joyce

Sketching from direct observation in nature! Open to children, adults and teens! Follow in the Footsteps of Jane Colden, and learn about Coldenham’s founding family, and America’s first female botanist; Jane Colden, who at 13, identified indigenous plants in our region. Participants will learn to identify and draw at least 10 indigenous plants, and keep a sketchbook with botanical notes and illustrations. Participants will learn the basics sketching from direct observation (plants, fields, buildings), and plant identification. Field hikes (walking) every day and sketchbooks plus materials provided to take home.  All ages welcome! Camp happens at Benedict Town Park in Montgomery$125 10-noon, Mon-Fri. 

Following in the Footsteps of Jane Colden

Instructor: Shawn Dell Joyce     [View Instructor Video]
Price: $125 from 10-noon, all materials provided at Benedict Town Park
Session Dates: July 16-20, 10am-noon Benedict Park ($125.00)
Single day w/materials ($30.00)
Aug. 6-10, 10am-noon at Benedict Park ($125.00)

Outdoor (plein air) Painting for Beginners with Shawn Dell!

Ages 7 and up-adult Have you ever wanted to paint the outdoors like the Impressionists? Now is your opportunity! Every day students will have the opportunity to paint a new outdoor scene at the beautiful Benedict Farm Park in Montgomery using a different media each day. Various painting techniques and the use of color will be learned and discussed, follow along step by step starting with a value sketch and ending with a finished piece. Class is open to children and adults, all materials provided including easels, canvas, etc. Join for a day or a week!  10am-12pm Materials Included $125





Friday-free choice

Instructor: Shawn Dell Joyce     [View Instructor Video]
Price: Mon.-Fri. 10am-12pm at Benedict Farm Park, 1675 Route 17K Montgomery
Session Dates: July 9-13, 10am-noon Benedict Park by Barns ($125.)
July 23-27 10am-noon Benedict Park ($125.)
July 30-Aug. 3 10am-noon Benedict Park ($125.)
Aug.13-17 10am-noon Benedict Park ($125.)

Paint the Landscape with Michael Chesley Johnson

mcj_promoJoin nationally-known artist Michael Chesley Johnson as he shows you how to paint the landscape on-location and in the studio. In this workshop, you’ll start in the studio with basic principles, and then you’ll move to the field where Michael will demonstrate his method for “capturing the moment” quickly and efficiently but without sacrificing mood and magic. Afterward, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your new skill with Michael going from easel to easel offering plenty of personal help. Each day will offer at least one demonstration plus critiques of student work done in the workshop.

this 2 day workshop will take place TBA classes will begin at 9am and run until 4pm (with lunch break.) Michael will be demonstrating in oil and pastel, but all mediums are acceptable for this workshop.  all experience levels are welcome, although it is suggested the student be comfortable handling the materials of their choice. Students must bring their own supplies.

to learn more about Michael, and see some of his work Click Here


Instructor: Michael Chesley Johnson
Price: 240.00 for 2-day workshop

Plein Air with George Van Hook 2018

George Van Hook, a nationally recognized artist,​ has won numerous Plein Air competitions and awards from around the country for his oils and watercolors​.​ Join George for a two-day plein air workshop to practice allaprima painting,​ a loose and fast approach to capture the landscape in the first try. Participants will meet on location and paint from 10am-4pm with a lunch provided. Workshop includes live demos and individual attention. Please bring your own p​lein air equipment, supports, and media (oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic). Any painters who wish to paint with George from 4-6 pm are invited to do so.


Please visit his website at:

GVH Materials+Supplies

Aug. 9 meeting place is TBA

Aug. 10 meeting place is TBA

Instructor: George Van Hook
Price: $240 for both days
Session Dates: Aug. 9&10 10am-4pm ($240.00)
Single day ($140.00)

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Plein Air Paint Outs

Grab your gear and meet up with a great group of artists at beautiful sites across the region. This is not a class, and no staff or teacher is on site, but it is a fun opportunity to hang out with your peers and capture the moment in your own way. Bring your own gear, painting materials, bug & sun protection. There will be an optional auction attached to each paint out which is a great way to sell your work (if you choose!)

July 28th: Wanaksink Lake, Sullivan County, a beautiful private lake that is hosting a sailing regatta for our benefit. Paint sail boats gliding across a placid lake from private docks, clubhouse, and spaces where you would not normally be able to access. Finished paintings will be silent auctioned in the clubhouse all summer long!


NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED! Just load up your gear and show up on site. Paint at your own risk and enjoy yourself with a group of your peers.


Mel Stabin- Painting in Watercolor with Energy and Expression!

If you’re looking to “loosen up” and bring more transparency and vitality to your paintings, then this watercolor workshop is for you! This class of painting landscapes and people in landscapes is designed for both the beginner who wants to learn basic design and composition principles as well as for the intermediate and advanced who have been painting for years and are looking to challenge themselves. In this outdoor on location workshop, Mel will emphasize  that simplicity is a powerful force in watercolor and clarity of thought and emotion are essential in this medium. You’ll enjoy watching Mel demonstrate every morning in his loose, representational style using different painting techniques as he discusses and shows you what he calls “The Big Three”… simplifying, thinking & painting quickly, and focusing on the idea of the painting. Questions are always welcomed during the demos and throughout the workshop. Personal instruction is given to all students. Mel and the class will take a midday break for lunch and some relaxation. A class critique at end of the day will be a great learning experience for all. Mel creates a welcoming, easygoing atmosphere in which

you’ll learn a lot and have a lot of fun too!



How an online class works

Instructor: Mel Stabin
Price: $300 for 2 day workshop ($175 single day) $200 online only
Session Dates: June 2nd 2018(single day) ($175)
June 3rd 2018 (single day) ($175)
June 2nd, 3rd 2018 ($300)
Online only ($200.)

The Pleasures and Perils of painting “en plein air” with Tony Conner

This workshop is for anyone who wants to experience the pleasures and perils of “en plein air” landscape painting.

We’ll spend three full days and one special “evening light” session enjoying the outdoors while learning art of en plein air painting in watercolor. We’ll work outdoors as much as possible, weather permitting, sketching and painting landscape subjects.



What you’ll learnThis class will help you develop the skills needed for successful plein air landscape painting:

  • Planning by sketching
  • Selecting your scene and identifying the important elements
  • Combining shapes and simplifying your composition
  • Capturing light in changing conditions
  • Using color and value creatively

Level/Prerequisite: This workshop is meant anyone who wants to improve their en plein air landscape painting.

During this workshop, we’ll focus on the particular skills and techniques needed to make plein air paintings successful.

Creating successful en plein air paintings in changing conditions is challenging because light and color can change rapidly and dramatically over the course of just a few hours. Learning to simplify the scene and fixing it at a point in time are the most important factors in creating successful en plein air landscape paintings.

We’ll work from about 9am to 4pm each day.  The instructor will do short demos each morning and we’ll end each day with a gentle review and critique of the day’s work. The demos will focus on one important element of en plein air landscape painting. We’ll mutually select one evening where we’ll stay late to work on the particular challenge of capturing rapidly changing light at the end of the day.    watercolor materials list    plein air equipment list

Instructor: Tony Conner
Price: Aug 3-5 ($300)
Session Dates: Aug. 3, 4, 5 ($300)

Plein Air Impressionism with Jim Laurino

Join contemporary impressionist landscape painter Jim Laurino for a one day workshop on Saturday, July 7th  to explore an impasto painting technique, and build on basic concepts to improve your painting style. Using a limited palette, Jim will demonstrate how a heavy application of paint can solidify a focal point. Each participant will work through their own painting of a beautiful section of Benedict Farm Park, with occasional breaks for group discussion, and short technique demonstrations by Jim. Jim packs a lot of information into his workshops; expect to explore some immediate pointers, and have a few take-aways to try on your next paint-out too! The pace will be comfortable, suitable for all experience levels. Participants will meet at 9AM at the Benedict Farm Park in Montgomery, NY. Rain date will be Sunday, July 8th

Jim is a representational landscape painter whose style has been heavily influenced by American and French Impressionist masters. His work is best described as contemporary Impressionism. He has received numerous awards for his work; most recently receiving a 3rd place award at the Lyme Art Associations 2017 N.E. Landscape invitational, as well as an Honorable Mention at the 2017 Hudson Valley Plein air Festival.   To see Jim’s work, and learn more about his approach to painting and framing please visit:

Sat. July  7, 9am-4 at Benedict Town Park parking lot by pavillion


        Cottage_Street      Last_Summer_Morning

Instructor: Jim Laurino
Price: $100 for a one day workshop
Session Dates: Sat. July. 7, 9am-4pm ($100.)