Summer Workshops 2013
If you’re interested in taking one of my future workshops in Montreal, please contact me and I will add you to my mailing list.
I’m also available to give a workshop in your city, if we can round up enough participants.
For more information, you can get in touch with me at:
sblaukopf (at) gmail (dot) com
Watercolour Workshops 2013
August 2-4, 2013
(This workshop is full. Contact me if you would like to be on the waiting list)
Marc Taro Holmes and I have often sketched in Montreal’s most historic neighbourhoods. We are thrilled to be able to offer a summer workshop through the Urban Sketchers Workshop program from August 2-4, 2013.
We’ll begin in the Old Port of Montreal — a historic district of cobbled streets and 400-year old buildings that’s unique in North America for its vibrant French flavor and colorful history. Spend a few minutes in Jacques Cartier Square, the area’s historic and cultural heart, and you’ll understand why. The square teems with cafés and restaurants, with strolling Montréalais and visitors from every corner of the globe.
Venture a few streets over, and you’ll find a quiet, intimate ruelle seemingly untouched by time. Or walk a few blocks south to the quays on the St. Lawrence River, which was the city’s economic and cultural artery connecting Montreal to the Old World. Tall ships are often in port, while the north side of rue de la Commune is lined with Sixteenth and Seventeenth century warehouses that once stored the valuable furs that built the city’s economy.
The workshop will be an introduction to capturing this extraordinary environment by drawing and painting in watercolor en plein air.
Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada
June 3-6, 2013
(This workshop is full)
Situated on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, about two hours’ drive north of Quebec City, the village of Kamouraska is one of the most beautiful — and therefore paintworthy — sites in Quebec. Its breathtaking maritime scenery, history and charm were captured in Anne Hebert’s novel, Kamouraska, which Claude Jutra also made into a movie starring Geneviève Bujold. It’s also been a magnet for generations of Canadian and American artists, who have been drawn to its rough, unpolished beauty.
Kamouraska is equally renowned for its food. The area abounds with restaurants, cafés and bistros offering exquisite fare based on local ingredients. There’s also plenty to see and do, if you’re interested in extending your stay past the workshop dates. There are many resources on the Internet to help you find your way, as well as motels, B&Bs and inns in every price range.
I’ve designed the Kamouraska workshop to accelerate your development and confidence in watercolour. There’s nothing like several days of intensive painting, instruction, critiques and fellowship to achieve personal breakthroughs. I’ve seen it time and again — and experienced it myself.
I begin each day with a demonstration. Among the subjects we will explore are good value planning, establishing a well designed composition, distilling complex scenes to their essence, mixing clean colours, capturing the plays of light and shadow, and preserving whites. I will then invite the participants to try out for themselves, as I circulate and provide assistance, tips and feedback.
The group lunch at a local café is always a great way to unwind, discuss what we’ve learned and plan a bit of the afternoon. Also, it’s just plain fun.
At the end of the day’s second session, we’ll conclude with a group critique, where we will look at everyone’s production for that day, and learn from each other.
Are you in?
The Kamouraska workshop is designed for artists with a little experience in drawing and watercolour. Once the workshop fills up (on a first come, first served basis), I will send each participant a materials list, further details about the workshop, a list of B&Bs, inns and hotels, and more.
The Kamouraska workshop is limited to 12 participants, so I would urge you to register soon.
Cost of workshop: $325 + taxes
Not included: meals and lodging (which you will have to book) and transportation
Monday, June 3 to Thursday, June 6, 2013
Limit: 12 students
For more information, you can email me at:
sblaukopf (at) gmail (dot) com
Summer workshops 2012
I spent a good part of my summer packing and unpacking my paints to teach workshops in Montreal, Paris and Portland. I’ve already posted some sketches from those workshops, along with comments, but here are some more highlights from what’s turned out to be a fun and stimulating summer:
The setting for the first of my two Montreal workshops was the bucolic campus of John Abbott College. While I had booked studio space (my plan B, if the weather proved uncooperative), we actually spent just the first half hour indoors and enjoyed two beautiful days of sunny and warm June weather. On the first day we focused on the historic campus buildings, and on the second we moved to Macdonald Farm to paint the cows and farm buildings. We picked a quiet, shady spot that seemed perfect until a procession of tractors went by, to perform a silage operation (I had to look that one up!). Sketching is all about improvising, so we moved to the other side of the road and students did some great work despite the noise and the dust.
When Juliette Plisson suggested that we assemble a group of French sketchers for a workshop in Paris, my mind went immediately to images of warm Parisian June days, sketching classic Gallic architecture and cooling off at sidewalk cafés. But the weather did not live up to my imagination and we positively froze! My sketch of Rotonde de la Villette seems to be filled with warm light but as you can see from the photo below, we piled on coats and sweaters and the time spent in cafés was indoors, desperately trying to warm up. Nevertheless, the French students displayed great stamina and produced some wonderful sketches. And much to my shock and delight, a few days after the workshop ended I was surprised with a video (warning: this may mot work in all countries!) that participant Michel Colson filmed without my noticing at all. Great fun was had by all!
When Portland Urban Sketcher Linda Daily suggested that Marc Taro Holmes and I make the journey across the continent to give a workshop in her city, we jumped at the chance and hoped we would attract enough participants to make the trip possible. The workshop filled up quickly and we wound up spending three days in the record-breaking heat sketching in this beautiful west coast city. We split the group in two, so that each student would spend one day with each of us, and on the third day we all painted together in the shady South Park blocks. The group — some of whom came from as far away as Virginia, Arizona, British Columbia and California — displayed tremendous talent and it was a pleasure to get to know them. Since this workshop was organized through Urban Sketchers, Marc and I will be donating 10% of the profits back to Urbansketchers.org to support local scholarship students for next year’s symposium.