Thursday, May 2, 2013

Workshop Report: Art Barn, Valparaiso, Indiana


(Photo by Trina Stephenson)

On our way east each year, I always look forward to my workshop at the Art Barn.  The Art Barn, less than an hour east of Chicago, occupies 69 acres of rolling hills in rural Indiana.  Established over 40 years ago by artist and teacher Janet Sullivan, the property offers plenty for the outdoor painter including a pond, woods, meadows and, of course, the barn, which has a spacious studio for indoor work.  And, if anyone wants to paint animals, there are chickens, ducks, a donkey and even a pony.

(Photo by Trina Stephenson)
Many artists have taught here over the years, including my late mentor, Ann Templeton.  (She recommended the Art Barn to me.)  This year, besides myself, the teachers include watercolorists Ken Hosmer and Frank Francese as well as oil painter Lesley Rich.

Indiana Trillium



I always teach at the Art Barn in the spring.  This year, my fourth season, almost everything was blooming – spring beauties, trillium, forsythia and bridal veil.  Only the dogwood in front of the barn was slow.  Last year, it had already come and gone by the time I arrived; this year, I'm sure it bloomed right after I left.  Every year is a little different.


(Photo by Trina Stephenson)



I had a good group of students, including Janet Sullivan, who always takes my workshop.   Most came from a few minutes away, but some came from Fort Wayne and Chicago.  We had some wonderful painting sessions with plenty of sun and a chicken or two.

(Photo by Trina Stephenson)
I'm looking forward to returning to the Art Barn for another plein air painting workshop in 2014.  Once I've got the date - probably in May - I will let everyone know.

Now I am on my way to South Bend, where I am teaching a weekend workshop for the North Indiana Pastel Society.  Friday evening, May 3rd, I am giving a lecture at the South Bend Museum of  Art at 6:15, with reception to follow.  If you're in the area, I hope you'll come by.

Barn with Chickens, 9x12 oil - Michael Chesley Johnson

Barn with Dogwood, 9x12 pastel - Michael Chesley Johnson
A Hint of Spring, 9x12 oil - Michael Chesley Johnson

2 comments:

Dianne said...

What gorgeous painting weather! It looks like a good bunch in your class. I especially like the ladies in the golf cart! Great idea, nothing stops them.

Trina Stephenson said...

One of the ladies in the golf cart is nearly 93 years old and is still painting strongly for the entire day!