Art Workshops, Classes & Retreats


"Open Studios"
Thursdays, November thru April
 

Make room for your creativity this winter! On Thursday evenings, Peninsula School of Art opens its studios to artists of all levels interested in the self-directed creation of work. Explore life drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, and metals in a communal setting that fosters creative conversation, knowledge sharing, and offers the opportunity to be a part of a unique community. Some groups have even made it an annual tradition! You're free to utilize special equipment like potter's wheels, jewelry torches, an etching press, or substantial easels for large-scale work.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Cost: $10/night per person
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Critique Group: Open to All Artists"
May 1, 2020
 

We all need feedback. As artists, we also need a second (or third) “set of eyes” on our work. We need to know how our work can be improved. We need to understand how our work is perceived by our audience – the viewer. Sometimes we can spot issues on our own, but most times we need input from others. This is where critique becomes an important part of our development as artists. Open to artists of all backgrounds and media. Moderated by PenArt’s Director of Education Elysia Michaelsen, artists reserve a 30-minute block to show and discuss your work, or just come and share your viewpoints and learn from others. Discussion formats will range from open group conversation to written critiques.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Elysia Michaelsen
Cost: Free
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Alternative Artmaking"
May 23-24, 2020
 

This is a class created for artists with a mind for experimenting with materials and having those materials help direct their artistic explorations. It is for all ages as it requires imagination and unconventional thinking more than skill. The majority of art work we encounter in the world reflects a division between media and subject, where the media is used to create the illusion of something. In our quest for representation and illusion, we often miss the potential of various media to exercise wonderful internal qualities. Like swimming with the current, it’s also often easier to use the natural qualities of a material to locate composition than to bend it against its will.
 
Location: Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
Instructor: Shane McAdams
Cost: $105
Sponsor: River Arts Inc
Website, email, 608-643-5215


"The Poetics of Mixed Media"
June 8-9, 2020
 

The use of mixed media can broaden your mark-making abilities and expand the content of your work. Through a mixture of practical, technical, and experimental approaches to two-dimensional media, learn how to incorporate different materials into a dynamic studio practice and discuss materials’ relationship to ideas and concepts of art making. This workshop begins with two main categories of 2D materials – graphic or drawing materials and water-based materials. With this foundation, explore different techniques incorporating these materials and mix them together to create a wider range of marks, applications, and aesthetics of combining media. Create multiple tests of materials and techniques, as well as at least one personal, finished artwork that is discussed before the end of the final day.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Benjamin Gardner, www.BenjaminAGardner.com
Cost: Members: $230, Non-Members: $255
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Building Momentum in the Studio"
June 10-13, 2020
 

Explore the strengths and limitations of your work in an environment where all approaches to painting and drawing are welcome. Develop new directions, build momentum, and gather feedback from a variety of perspectives. This workshop is equally divided between discussions, working sessions, and critiques. Discussions and critiques provide guidance about materials, process, and content to help you expand your skills, see new possibilities, and set future goals. Working sessions give you hands-on practice to investigate feedback. Expect to work independently at your own pace each day. With over thirty years of teaching experience, Kristy is well versed in all painting and drawing media, and ready to give individualized technical, formal, and conceptual assistance. This workshop is geared toward students with considerable painting experience.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Kristy Deetz, KristyDeetz.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Painting Beyond Local Color"
June 22-23, 2020
 

Designed for painters of all levels and media, this workshop moves beyond local color to investigate how an imaginative approach to your palette can result in landscape paintings that are expressive and readable. Beginning with the nuts and bolts of value and color, complete a series of small exercises that strengthen your observation and drawing skills, introduce you to color theory and color harmonies, and dive into emotional associations of color. On the second day, begin working on a larger landscape painting of your choosing, using underpainting, contrast, expressive color, and color interaction to create the mood you want to evoke. The workshop concludes with a group critique. Open to all levels and all paint media.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Shannon Estlund, ShannonEstlund.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"In Series: Developing a Body of Work"
June 22-23, 2020
 

Designed to help you identify and explore new opportunities, this two-day workshop encourages growth through the development of a multi-work project. Discover how to create a cohesive body of work, gather feedback and inspiration for next steps, and build momentum in your painting practice. Through group discussions and presentations of contemporary artists’ work, learn the differences between a thematically guided series, a series based in formal variation, and art that is truly serial in nature. Meet with Tom one-on-one and work through exercises to help you identify and focus the scope of your work. Leave this workshop with a conceptual direction and the early stages of a new and thoughtful series. Open to those working in acrylic, oil, watercolor, and mixed media.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Tom Berenz, www.TomBerenz.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Contemporary Portraiture"
June 24-27, 2020
 

Portraits are one of the most intimidating subjects to paint. Creating a simplified process not only helps you to paint with confidence, but also gives you the freedom to explore a more contemporary approach that is entirely your own. By investigating a range of styles that are prevalent in portraiture, such as impressionistic, naturalistic, and realistic, this workshop unpacks what makes a successful portrait. This workshop begins with a series of demonstrations and guided explorations. Working from a live model each day, emphasis is placed on exploring various media, such as oils, acrylics, colored pencils, and markers, to expand your own unique artistic expression of what contemporary portraiture means to you. Open to all levels and painting and drawing media.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Jonathan Aller, www.JonathanAller.com
Cost: Members: $495, Non-Members: $535
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Exploring Acrylics: Process, Concepts, and Experimentation"
June 29 - July 2, 2020
 

Acrylic paint is the most flexible painting medium available; uniquely capable of being modified for a variety of art making needs. Designed for intermediate painters, this workshop explores how to combine acrylic painting techniques with your individual interests and goals. Discover how the medium can not only illustrate your ideas but embody and drive them as well. This workshop begins with a review of the basics of acrylic emulsion, as well as color issues unique to acrylic painting. Daily demonstrations, focused exercises, and guided experimentation address additive, subtractive, and layering techniques that capitalize on the properties of acrylic paint, including staining, pouring, image transfers, hard-edge techniques and masking, glazing, tissue collage, decal painting, and stamping. One-on-one instruction and group discussions.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Chris Hyndman, chrishyndmanstudio.com
Cost: Members: $455, Non-Members: $495
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"An Exercise in Abstraction"
July 6-7, 2020
 

Explore the philosophy that abstraction holds all creative expression in this fast-paced two-day workshop. Alternating between working spontaneously and working methodically, discover the inherent possibilities within your paintings. Demonstrations and instructor-led exercises each morning introduce you to abstract and non-objective approaches to art making, while group conversations on the history of painting provide you and your developing work with context. You are encouraged to work more independently in the afternoon with Emmett providing individualized feedback throughout.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Emmett Johns, www.EmmettJohns.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Water-Based Paintings: Materials and Techniques in Acrylic and Acryla Gouache"
July 13-16, 2020
 

This workshop introduces a range of concepts in painting and drawing with water-based media. Focusing on the materials of acrylic and Acryla gouache, learn the traditional techniques specific to each, as well as experimental approaches. Leave this workshop with an understanding of how to use these materials in both representational and abstract applications on paper, canvas, and panels. Beginning with simple observational exercises, Geoffrey introduces basic acrylic and gouache painting techniques step-by-step. Gain hand-on practice and explore all that these media are capable of through still life, landscape, and/or abstract pursuits with practical instruction and feedback throughout. If time allows, learn more about Geoffrey’s painting process, including an explanation of the techniques used to create his work. Open to all levels.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Geoffrey Todd Smith, www.GeoffreyToddSmith.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Illuminating the Everyday: The House as Subject"
July 20-23, 2020
 

This workshop focuses on how both the interior and exterior imagery of the home can become compelling subject matter for painting. Through the investigation of light, composition, perspective, and color, create paintings that bring out the inherent qualities of narrative and mystery found in the familiar space of home. A balanced curriculum of demonstrations, discussions of contemporary and historical art, and hands-on studio work address methods for approaching light, composition, point-of-view, color, and format. Work from personal photographs, direct observation, and your imagination throughout the week with Michael providing individualized feedback. This workshop is open to oil, acrylic, gouache, and watercolor painters, however all demonstrations are completed in oil.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Michael Banning, www.MichaelBanning.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Working and Thinking with Color"
July 27-30, 2020
 

This workshop helps you develop and expand the way you use color. Learn to intentionally and consciously navigate the spaces of hue, value, and intensity; consider color groupings and compositional strategies; and use color interaction to your advantage in your art and design practice. A subject in and of itself, explore color’s philosophical and cultural content as well. Demonstrations, discussions, and group work sessions begin with modern color theory and expand into observational, experimental, and process-based explorations of color. Work with acrylic paint and cut paper collage, as well as whatever digital apps you may have. Readings and videos on color supplement hands-on learning.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Melissa Oresky, www.MelissaOresky.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Abstraction Demystified"
July 27-30, 2020
 

During this hands-on workshop, take an in-depth look at strategies for creating compelling abstract drawings and paintings. Expand your knowledge of materials, strengthen your understanding of historical and contemporary abstraction, and identify your individual interests and direction within the genre. Daily presentations led by Shane introduce you to fundamental concepts of abstraction and a variety of artists. Visual prompts and exercises encourage you to experiment with different approaches, including working with the element of chance or through a formal structure, and, ultimately, invent a new visual language. Expect to work on a number of pieces each day. Individualized instruction and group discussions provide constructive feedback throughout the week. Painters of all levels welcome.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Shane Walsh, ShaneWalshPaintings.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Alchemy and Art: The Magic of Yupo"
August 3-4, 2020
 

Yupo is a plastic surface that offers many interesting and exciting opportunities not possible with traditional paper substrates. This two-day workshop explores how a variety of water-based media, including watercolor, ink, and high-flow acrylic paint, interact with the Yupo substrate. Discover Yupo’s full potential through daily demonstrations and exercises. Exhaust the substrate’s limitations as you use traditional watercolor and acrylic processes and approaches, as well as more experimental techniques. Additionally, play with translucent Yupo in various collage processes. Group discussions offer the opportunity to share your findings and learn from your peers. Emphasis is placed on self-exploration and experimentation. Open to all levels.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Brian Frink, www.BrianFrink.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Composition, Choice, and Care"
August 5-8, 2020
 

Designed for those ready to push themselves and take their practice to the next level, this workshop focuses on the relationship between how you paint, the choices you make regarding materials, process, scale, and context, and what those choices mean. Using composition and its role in the evolution of art history as a point of exploration, discover how to make the work only you can make, having isolated and elevated your own sensibility. Alternating between discussion and working time, develop an understanding and sensitivity toward your unique touch and choice. Study composition throughout history, observe how it has changed over time, discuss what those changes mean, and explore those insights through a variety of hands-on methods throughout the week.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Peter Fagundo, PeterFagundo.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Between Abstraction and Representation"
August 14-15, 2020
 

In what ways do you tolerate abstraction in your visual field? How can you reinterpret the world around you? What does it mean to combine different kinds of representation within the same picture plane? Explore the continuum of abstraction and representation in painting in this two-day workshop. Working through a series of studies based in observation, experiment with different ways to abstract the world around you, including using reflective objects for distortion, looking through a lens or kaleidoscope, projecting images onto three-dimensional objects, and exploring how the manipulation of paint and surface can also create an abstraction. Look at the work of historical and contemporary artists and examine how they handle the space between representation and abstraction. Open to all paint media.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Mary Jane Duffy, www.MaryJaneDuffy.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Incorporating Water-Based Media with Oil Painting"
August 17-18, 2020
 

In this workshop, learn how to begin a painting with water-based media, such as acrylic or watercolor, and finish elements with oil paint. Application strategies for each medium are discussed and explored, as well as how paint application and visual approach relate to content in your work. Expect to complete two paintings over the course of this workshop. Preliminary studies to explore application potential accompany each piece. Your first painting begins with acrylic paint before incorporating oil paint, while the second begins with watercolor on an absorbent ground before finishing with oil. It is recommended that students either work from observation or from images of nature for this workshop.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Trina May Smith, www.TrinaMaySmithArt.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"10 Paintings in Acrylic"
August 28-29, 2020
 

An artist really learns to paint when given the freedom to let go of a subject and the expectations of a single painting. In this workshop, practice how to do just that through repetition and technique. Learn how to experiment and challenge yourself to find new methods for rediscovering your chosen subject. With Beki as your guide, paint the same subject ten times. See how your interpretation, style, and skills evolve from one painting to the next. The uses of acrylic paint are also covered as part of the journey. As a group, discuss color, value, style, method, history, and more. This workshop is open to all levels.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Beki Borman, www.BekiBorman.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Paint + Image: Experimental Media"
September 2-5, 2020
 

The word ‘image’ continuously collects new context; confusing what a drawing, painting, or photograph could identify as. Existing on multiple levels, images cross geography, politics, memory, and physical space itself. In this workshop, build your knowledge of acrylic paint and alternative processes through the framework of understanding image, its functions, and utility. Beginning with a facilitated discussion about the properties of acrylic paint, review basic material usage by building color and/or value relationships. Demonstrations and discussions address acrylic paint’s wide range of applications and its ability to adapt and transform, while hands-on exploration investigates various alternative painting techniques, image transfer processes, and approaches for combining new materials with acrylics effectively. Lydia provides step-by-step guidance and individualized feedback each day.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Lydia Dildilian, www.LydiaDildilian.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Try It: Acrylic Painting"
September 12, 2020
 

Designed for those interested in trying their hand at acrylic painting for the first time, this workshop teaches you how to mix paint, handle brushes, and translate what you see onto canvas. Walk away with new skills and the motivation to continue exploring your creative interests. PenArt provides all of the tools and materials needed.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Cost: Members: $45, Non-Members: $50
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Sandra Duran Wilson: Awakening Your Creative Soul"
September 13-17, 2020
 

Learn about acrylic painting mediums and how to use them to enhance you vision, extend your paints, and create amazing texture while developing your own personal vocabulary of mark-making. Participants will have four wonderful days of digging deep into purpose and creating with intention, while learning new techniques to shape and fit your own vision and release whatever is holding you back from realizing your artistic dreams and desires. Enjoy the beauty of Lake Superior, healthy locally-sourced meals and retreat amenities, all in the peaceful surroundings of being in the woods and on the water. Lodging packages available.
 
Location: Bayfield, Wisconsin
Instructor: Sandra Duran Wilson
Sponsor: Wild Rice Retreat
Website, email, (715) 779-0178


"The Value of Values for Those Just Starting Out"
September 18-19, 2020
 

Your journey in painting begins in black and white. Much like a contractor works from a blueprint to build a house, painters work from small black and white value sketches to build a painting. Designed to help you build confidence behind the easel, this workshop introduces tools for simplifying scenes, creating value relationships, and using compositional strategies. Practice mixing values using a special value palette provided by Kyle, putting together striking compositions, and developing confident brushwork. Expect to work quickly on several canvases each day. Leave this workshop with a set of skills that directly relate to your next steps in full-color painting. Open to oil and acrylic painters. All demos are done in oil.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Kyle Martin, Kyle-Martin.blogspot.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Painting Forest Interiors en Plein Air"
September 21-22, 2020
 

For the artist, the forest is a peaceful retreat of dancing shadow. In this two-day workshop, venture into the forest with your easel and capture the play of light and shadow during the early autumn color change. Learn how to see the forest as broad areas of value and color opposed to overwhelmingly complex information with Kyle’s guidance. Kyle presents a process to paint the large masses and shapes first, which acts as a foundation to place your dappled light onto. Discuss modern color theory, including the strengths and limitations of modern organic pigments, mineral pigments, and earth pigments. Plenty of time is dedicated to hands-on practice with Kyle available for individualized instruction. Open to oil and acrylic painters.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Kyle Martin, Kyle-Martin.blogspot.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"A Clear and Complete Guide to Creative Studio Painting"
September 23-26, 2020
 

Gain confidence in your ability to translate your subject, as you strengthen your observational skills, build a reliable process for planning, and develop your unique voice. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced painter, this workshop helps you to identify a focus in your painting practice through positive approaches to art making and a new pattern for success. Tom demonstrates a variety of topics, including planning compositions, handling and selecting materials, and paint application. Working from provided photo references, paint for the remainder of each day with Tom available for individualized feedback. Open to oil, acrylic, and pastel painters of all levels. All demonstrations are done in oil, using walnut oil instead of mineral spirits.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Tom Nachreiner, www.TomNachreiner.com
Cost: Members: $450, Non-Members: $490
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Acrylic Painting Methods for Beginners"
October 2-3, 2020
 

Designed to introduce students to the technical and expressive possibilities of acrylic painting, this two-day workshop develops conceptual and technical skill in tandem. Build a foundation in basic color theory and color mixing, paint application, and methods for using acrylic mediums. Mornings are dedicated to demonstrations and working through a series of technique-based exercises aimed to introduce you to traditional and experimental acrylic painting concepts. Each afternoon is spent producing one finished painting related to the morning’s exercises. Wendi provides individualized instruction and feedback throughout the painting process. Group discussions of completed works close each day.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Wendi Turchan, WendiMichelleTurchan.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


"Pattern and Decoration in Contemporary Painting"
October 16-17, 2020
 

More than merely pleasing to the eye, pattern provides a dynamic framework for formal and conceptual exploration. The desire for order is central to humanity and repeating decoration adorns every corner of life. This workshop urges you to consider the meditative, creative, and ubiquitous nature of pattern and incorporate it into your practice. Drawing inspiration from personal objects, the natural world, and past work, create a variety of pattern studies in your chosen medium. Demonstrations address techniques for pattern invention, the role of color, and spatial phenomena. Develop and execute a concept for the incorporation of pattern into at least one personal piece. Individualized instruction and feedback are provided as well as a facilitated group discussion. Some painting experience is required.
 
Location: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Instructor: Maria Rose Adams, www.MariaRoseAdams.com
Cost: Members: $225, Non-Members: $250
Sponsor: Peninsula School of Art
Website, email, (920) 868-3455


 

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