I just finished teaching a two-day plein air workshop in oil and pastel for Water Street Studios in Batavia, Illinois. Although the spring weather was touch-and-go, we were able to spend both days outdoors. Our first day was at the Fabyan Villa and Japanese Garden; the second, at the Batavia Riverwalk and Depot Museum.
If you've not been to Batavia, it's a surprisingly bucolic and quiet town no more than an hour from Chicago's busy downtown. Batavia made its name in the heyday of windmills, having several factories that manufactured them. Along the Riverwalk, you can see examples of most of the windmills made by the Challenge Company. Today, Batavia is a wonderful place for an outdoor painting workshop because it sits on the Fox River and offers a number of enjoyable parks and forest preserves.
Water Street Studios (www.waterstreetstudios.com) was a perfect host for the workshop. A relatively new endeavor, it is housed in an historic limestone building with 28 studios for resident artists, three classrooms and a large gallery. It has a very active volunteer group behind it, and they did a great job with the workshop.
Below is one of my oil demonstrations, which I did along the Riverwalk near a gazebo.
Fox River Spring, 12x9, oil (sold)