Public Workshops, Summer 2017

Classes are designed to fit needs of all skill levels. All classes are recommended for ages 16 and up but we will consider younger students with parent consultation and consent.

All workshops meet at the Mount Gretna Heights Community Building.

62 Pine Avenue, Mount Gretna, PA 17064

Also!  Be sure to check out our free public art lectures in the Hall of Philosophy on our Public Events Calendar.  Attending our free wednesday lectures and taking our mostly-saturday workshops together pack a big punch.

Register online below by clicking on a workshop or over phone by calling 717-823-8367.

June 20th, Michael Allen, "Preparing Surfaces for Painting."

June 20th, 2-6pm

The workshop will focus on the preparation of a variety of surfaces suitable for oil painting with a special emphasis on preparing for intensive painting campaigns.  Contemporary methods and materials will be discussed and demonstrated including the preparation of paper and panels, as well as canvas mounting and stretching.  A selection of papers and varying types of panels will be presented in conjunction with a variety of commercially available surface preparation materials.  The workshop will also focus on a DIY approach to promote cost effective painting campaigns as well as an experimental approach to oil painting.


July 1st, Dorothy Frey, "Using Transcriptions to Inform Composition in Still Life."

Frey is on the faculty of Millersville University.

Learn more about this artist at the following website

July 1st 8:30am to 4:30pm (Break for lunch around noon)

Location: Heights Community Building, 62 Pine Avenue, Mt Gretna, PA, 17064

In this workshop, I will lead you through a masterwork transcription, drawn in the sketchbook or on drawing paper. Together, the group will then construct a still life from studio and found objects based off of the structures discovered during the transcription. Several quick studies will lead to a longer, sustained painting.


Suggested Materials List:

*This will be held in the studio - easels are available.


Sketchbook or Drawing Paper (2-5 sheets) with a drawing board

Drawing material of choice

2 small surfaces for painting approx. 8”

1 large surface for painting approx. 16” or larger (max 30”)

Paints (oil or water based)

Brushes - have at least one large brush 1”

Palette, palette knife, solvents, etc.


July 8th and 9th, G. Daniel Massad, "Still life center stage: Introduction to Pastels as a Painting Medium."

Massad is on the faculty of Lebanon Valley College.

Learn more about this artist at the following website

July 8th, 8:30 - 4:30pm

July 9th optional demonstration (10:30-noon), and class resumes 1:30 - 5:30pm

"Although trained as a painter  in oil, G. Daniel Massad has focused on pastel as a painting medium since 1981, creating work that has found its way into many private and public collections, including the Met, the Philadelphia Museum of  Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His  two-day workshop will emphasize a variety of mark-making and edge-building techniques, and will include a  demonstration of the method he developed for producing the luminous, minutely detailed surfaces his work is known for."

Rembrandt soft pastels are highly recommended for best results. 60 piece set is best however Rembrandts are an expensive brand so that I’m perfectly OK with students using any other brand or formula of soft pastel they already own.  But if participants don’t already have a set of soft pastels, I recommend at least a set of 30 half sticks (not ideal, but they’ll do. Sets of 30 full sticks and sets of 45 full sticks are also available). Students will also need 3 pieces of Canson Mi Tientes paper, and a stick or two of soft vine charcoal.


July 15th, Ty Smith, "Source / Measurement / Shift, Still Life Drawing from Observation to Abstraction."

Smith is on the faculty at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Learn more about this artist at the following website

July 15th, 8:30 - 4:30pm (break for lunch around noon)

Please arrive 15 minutes early to set up.

Drawing is a responsive process; an engagement with what we see and feel. Drawing is a dialogue with the past, with artists, traditions, and principles. Drawing is not about labels or categories; and it is not about style. In this workshop, we will use drawing to challenge how one responds to a source, how to trust your instincts, and how the drawing itself can suggest new directions. How do we engage in the act of drawing, and discover something personal, visual, and specific to our present experiences?

Source / Measurement / Shift will look to the information and structures we see to make connections in drawing. Using direct observation as the initial method of working, students will explore visual and personal connections from both the natural source and the drawing. The workshop will focus on drawing as a process of responding, and is open to those interested in figuration and abstraction. A straight edge will be used to visually measure and divide. As linear marks are made, grid-like structures will form, and will introduce new relationships and possibilities. Some of the ideas we will discuss are complexity, measurement, surface, energy, space, and light. Discussions will take place as a group and one on one.


2-3 sheets of Arches Cover paper (22 x 30 in)

straight edge (yard stick, foam or matte board, etc)

vine charcoal


paper towels or rags

small jar of gesso

paint brushes (cheaper the better)

scissors or cutting blade



July 21st, Michael Allen, "Preparing Paintings for Exhibit."

 July 21st, 2-6pm

The paintings and drawings have been made and now its time to exhibit your accomplishments.  This workshop presents a variety of quick and inexpensive methods of preparing your work to look their best for exhibition.  Most materials and tools to be presented are available from your local home improvement center.  The workshop will include mounting works on paper, creating strainers for works on panel, finding and purchasing lumber suitable for frame stock, measuring, cutting, and building frame stock, finishing frame stock, and mounting paintings into the completed frame. Students are encouraged to bring finished works to discuss specific framing options.