Saturday, March 29, 2014

We just had a great workshop with Kate Stone. we hope both she and Dave will come back next year.
Kate is very concise and organized in her presentation and shares everything she knows.
See their blog at  '' with photos and a detailed description.
Love this blog.
Another good blog is by Matthew Innis!

Kate teaching!!

Kate's bird!

We have some wonderful workshops coming up please check them out at
If any of you have a minute could you let me know how you get your inspiration? It has been fascinating me.  (

Inspiration (from the Latin inspirare, meaning "to breathe into") refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. The concept has origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration or "enthusiasm" came from the muses, as well as the gods Apollo and Dionysus. Similarly, in the Ancient Norse religions, inspiration derives from the gods, such as Odin. Inspiration is also a divine matter in Hebrew poetics. In the Book of Amos the prophet speaks of being overwhelmed by God's voice and compelled to speak. In Christianity, inspiration is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
For more go to Wikipedia.....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Art in Southern Italy and transformation in Langley, WA

Recently we were so lucky to travel in Italy. In Naples we stayed at a wonderful AirBnB.
It was an old estate house and the hosts were lovely. One evening when we were invited for a drink of Prosecco (yum). They showed us their paintings from the Posillipo School. These painters were right before the Macchiaioli and way before the Impressionists. However, they also painted looser and from LIFE and natural light! 
 Later we went to the Museum in Naples where they had many of the below mentioned painters.
I know you can find way more information on the web. What would we do without this, remain ignorant I guess..... unless you studied art history and I am not sure if there was information spent on these painters in the US.

The Macchiaioli (Italian pronunciation: [makkjaˈjɔːli]) were a group of Italian painters active in Tuscany in the second half of the nineteenth century, who, breaking with the antiquated conventions taught by the Italian academies of art, did much of their painting outdoors in order to capture natural light, shade, and colour. This practice relates the Macchiaioli to the French Impressionists who came to prominence a few years later, although the Macchiaioli pursued somewhat different purposes. The most notable artists of this movement were Giuseppe AbbatiCristiano BantiOdoardo BorraniVincenzo CabiancaAdriano CecioniVito D'AnconaSerafino De TivoliGiovanni FattoriRaffaello SernesiSilvestro Lega andTelemaco Signorini.

The School of Posillipo refers to a loose group of landscape painters, based in the waterfront Posillipo neighborhood of Naples, Italy. While some among them became academicians, it was not a formal school or association. They however, also liked to paint outside and not according to the classic ateliers.
In the 18th century, landscape painting or vedute had emerged as a profitable, and respectable, style of painting. Landcapes were, in part, higher in demand than depictions of Catholic religious imagery to buyers from Protestant Europe during the Age of the Enlightenment. This included the mainly aristocratic travellers on a grand tour of Southern Europe.[1] Items in demand by travellers were paintings evoking memories of the place, playing the role that photographic postcards now fill. Pietro Fabris, for example, had created views of Pompeii and the Volcanic fields surrounding Vesuvius and Etna. In Venice, Canaletto and the Guardi for example, had depicted mainly urban vistas of the waterlogged city. VanvitelliPanini, and Belloto adapted these styles to different urbanscapes in Italy and abroad. Their styles were realistic, and Canaletto was said to use a camara obscura.
Such detailed realism, however, was rarely applied to natural scenery. There was a tradition in Italy of landscape painting dating to the Baroque 17th century withClaude Lorraine in Rome and Salvatore Rosa in Rome and Naples as two distinct trends. Lorraine's landscapes were lush and imagined, and still often anchored in classical stories using subsidiary figures. Rosa painted tempestuous short range arrangements of natural elements, a craggy hillock with perilously perched trees.
At the start of the 19th century in Naples, the premier representative of landscape painters was the Dutch emigree Jacob Philipp Hackert (1737–1807), the court painter of Ferdinand IV, who seem to be following the tradition of Lorraine. His paintings had a stock arrangement of a nearby tree in a pastoral hill or mountainside, and with distant ruins or a recognizable mountain in the background. Volcano-ridden southern Campania and Sicily had such distinctive peaks. The fortunes of Hackert suffered with the rise of the Napoleonic Neoclassicism and the deposition of the Bourbon kingdom of two Sicilies by the French.[2]
Now some local news,  I'm very excited to announce that the Orca Network is bringing a Whale Center to our little town. Whale watching trips leaving right out of our marina.  Visit the website to purchase tickets -

After the workshop you could take an extra day to explore our beautiful island.

Our little town is undergoing an amazing transformation right now.  2nd Street has a major facelift occurring and will be beautiful once it is finished.
All businesses are open and of course our wonderful French Bistro is also, we recommend reservations.

For accommodations please check out our accommodations page on the website 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy New Year to All.
We are off to a great start. Most workshops in place for this year and we are  starting to plan for next year! Please check our updated website at
Exciting people coming and they are all on our workshop page.

Golucho from Spain in September! A very special workshop called Beyond Skill.

Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon (full, waitlisted)
Qiang Huang
David Gluck and Kate Stone
Jeff Legg
Plein Air Double with George Strickland and John Budicin. This is going to be such fun.
Michele Rushworth
Bryce Liston
Robert Liberace,
David Gray
Pam Ingalls
Kerry Dun
Juliette Aristides
Michael Klein
Michael Workman
Henry Stinson
and more
All these instructors are the 'creme de la creme' of representational  art.
Please join us and come and enjoy this wonderful quiet seaside city Langley.

Langley is getting a face lift and will look more attractive than ever so please some and check us out at
The project involves a full reconstruction of 2nd street based on a new design that incorporates an expansion and enhancement of pedestrian space, pedestrian seating, landscaping, a rain garden, locations for public art, a central plaza space, improved crosswalks, a transit stop and decorative pavement textures. It will be wonderful.

Our workshops are 3 minutes from downtown in the old fairgrounds, charming red painted buildings that host the Whidbey Island Fair every year. We have 2000+ square feet available
We share the fairgrounds with a large number (there are a lot!!)of cute bunnies that live under the buildings in Watership Down. Some instructors offer prizes i.e. tube of cobalt blue!!! to students who catch one to pet.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Representational Figurative Painting

Robert Lemler’s students report that they see immediate improvement in their art under his instruction. Next year, in June 2014, Robert will be teaching a workshop at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio on “Painting the Figurative Subject.” His course will focus on exploring the art of painting portraits, nude, and costumed subjects. 

Recently we caught up with Robert and asked him to share with us a little about his art.

Q: When did your interest in art begin and how long have you been an artist? 
A: My interest in drawing began at an early age. While in elementary school, I was encouraged to develop my interest in art and began occasional art classes. As a high school student, I won a scholastic competition sponsored by the Phoenix Illustrators Group which awarded the winners scholarships toward their educations. I then attended Northern Arizona University, majoring in painting and drawing. I never considered another educational path. I have worked as an artist and teacher my entire adult life. 

Q: What do you seek to communicate through your art? 
A: As an artist, I seek to interpret the visual characteristics of the motifs I chose to paint in a naturalistic manner. I hope to find a resonance of veracity that may be felt by those viewing my works. 

Q: What drives you as an artist? 
A: I am constantly driven as an artist by the desire to improve my skills while exploring the various motifs in which I am interested. I consider myself as primarily a figurative painter who also enjoys still life and landscape subjects. 

Q: What is a recent piece of art you created and what inspired you to paint it? 
A: Within the figurative subject, there are many possible interests to explore. In a recent painting of a seated nude subject I found interest in the dark tonality of a narrow depth of field. I was also interested in the further exploration of mylar as a painting ground. 

Q: Do you have a favorite brand of paints, brushes, or canvas that you use? 
A: I generally use good bristle brushes, Classens canvases, and Rembrandt or Utrecht oil paints. 

 Q: What advice do you have for artists seeking to improve their work? 
A: I always encourage aspiring painters to explore various tools and materials and to build their skills painting from life as much as possible. 

Q: What do you think is unique about Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio’s workshops? 
A: I have not previously been to the Whidbey Island Art Studio but desired to teach there based on the quality of the program and the talented artists they work with. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Capturing Humanity

One of our goals at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio (WIFAS) is to bring exemplary teachers to host workshops so that our students get the best possible instruction to help each one improve as an artist. We are pleased to have artist couple Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon hosting an oil painting workshop in portraits at WIFAS in July 2014.

Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon are award-winning artists who travel the world and paint its occupants. They enjoy passing on the knowledge that they have received from teachers who were significant to them in their artistic development. Scott is known for his ability to capture the humanity of subjects as well as his mastery of color and light. Susan is admired for her sensitivity and delicacy of hand, especially in portraits.

These two artists have the special knack for getting inside an artist’s head and making it come out your hand. With the unusual ability to easily go back and forth between both sides of the brain, Scott and Susan make great teachers because they can communicate while they paint to help other artists understand their process. This coupled with Scott and Susan’s ability to put their students at ease creates a wonderful learning environment. In addition to working to make the atmosphere comfortable and accepting, Scott and Susan also make a point of spending time with each artist in the class so that all students receive input from both teachers.

This workshop is sure to be an excellent experience for everyone who attends. However, if you are not able to attend, but want to learn from these master painters, you can:

The most powerful learning tool is in-person, hands-on instruction. That’s what WIFAS is about, nurturing your artist talent and soul!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Imparting Knowledge

Deuteronomy Rabbah once said, “In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others.

Fortunately for Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio, we have many artists who are willing to impart their knowledge of excellent technique and style to artists who are willing to learn. One such artist, Henry Yan, teaches art full-time. His students report that Yan has a huge wealth of knowledge that he is willing to share.

Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio is excited to have Henry return to teach a class on Drawing and Painting theCostumed Figure in January 2014. The workshop will focus on drawing techniques with charcoal (or red chalk) on newsprint, drawing paper and toned paper. Painting will be done the last two days of class for those who are interested.

Henry has much knowledge to share about paintings. A few of his tips include:

  • Be especially careful when using light yellow and white so you keep it clean.
  • Don't show brushwork everywhere because you need some areas more finished
  • Always have a portion of your painting that is mysterious.
  • Subtlety is power: make clear, lose, but with some areas really loud.
  • The juncture between two shapes looks more natural if you paint the first shape larger than necessary, and then overlap slightly with the second shape.
  • Distinguishing between cast (hard edge) and core (soft edge) shadows will enable a 3-diminsional look right away; often need to sharpen cast shadows.
  • Be careful about the light source on your canvas and palette. If it’s too yellow you will paint a yellow painting. 

Henry also has some advice for new painters:

  • Follow the rules when you’re learning.
  • Copy master paintings.
  • Pastels are very helpful for getting used to oil painting with color.
  • Students tend to make everything clear—need to move beyond that stage.

Artist Henry Yan describes himself this way: “I teach drawing, I teach painting and I teach anything that my students like to share with me. Many years I have taught, and still I am teaching. My shoulder hurts, my throat's sore—because I paint and I teach.”

Other than teaching techniques, Henry will encourage students to find their own way of seeking beautifully designed compositions from each pose and interpret what they found with a personal artistic approach rather than simply copying what they see.

If you are not able to attend our workshop with Henry next year, but want to learn more from his wealth of knowledge, Henry has written a book to help you. His book, Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing: Techniques andTips, can be found on highest recommendation lists by many popular art book sellers and used as text book by instructors and students of art schools. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nourishment for Your Soul

With so many art workshops across the country and even internationally, choosing the right instructor and setting for an art class can be overwhelming. 

Why come to Whidbey Island for your next art class? What sets Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio (WIFAS) apart from other art studies offering art workshops? 

Our motto “Feeding the Artistic Soul” sums up what we do. A workshop at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio will feed your artist's soul in three unique ways. 

1. Our picturesque, pastoral setting. 
Whidbey Island, located across the Puget Sound just 30 miles from Seattle, is a wonderful place for relaxation and tranquility. WIFAS’s location in Langley, a quaint historical village, offers views of the water. In addition, the island’s farms, forests, bluffs, and beaches provide the foregrounds to many aquatic vistas. The quiet and romantic surroundings that are so much a part of the Whidbey Island experience help to restore and feed every artist’s soul. Coming to a workshop at WIFAS is like taking a relaxing vacation with picturesque gardens and farms, and water, island, and mountain views in every direction. 

2. Personalized approach. 
Each workshop offered at WIFAS includes personalized instruction for the artists in attendance. There is always plenty of room for everyone to have their own easel with elbow room to allow creative juices to flow. We place an emphasis on utilizing seasoned artists who provide good instruction delivered in such a manner that it sticks with our attendees long after they go home, continuing to strengthen and nourish each soul. In addition, WIFAS ensures that our students’ needs are attended to, from delicious snacks to personal questions answered.


3. Class dinner. 
Every workshop presented by Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio includes a dinner hosted by Cary Jurriaans in her home for the instructor and all the students in the class. For many students, this dinner is a highlight of their time at WIFAS as they get to interact with their instructor and the other students in an informal, relaxed atmosphere. We guarantee the food will be delicious, ensuring that it feeds your soul as well as your stomach. 

You can find a list of our upcoming workshops on our website at Sign up for one or more of our upcoming workshops and get the nourishment your artistic soul.