Friday, July 12, 2019

Summer School

Every summer I teach a semester of classes in my own studio in south east Pennsylvania. The curriculum is painting and drawing lessons that are completed in each session, and students can come for a day or a half day, and pay by the lesson -- instead of committing to a whole semester. When the students arrive I usually give them a choice of lessons, and let the day's class decide which lesson we will cover that day.

This week, our lesson was one about color theory, and each of them painted a couple of complementary paintings based on their own palette colors. Pigment properties are always part of every lesson, as is composition, perspective, drawing, etc.

My summer classes are sponsored by Hahnemuhle, who has generously provided my students and me with 12x16 blocks of their Cezanne watercolor paper. I've lost count of all the times that Hahnemuhle has sponsored my classes and workshop! They make amazing papers for artists, printers, and photographers, and the papers are so wonderful that it's hard for me to pick a preference! My students were totally thrilled to get a fresh new block of paper at the start of the class!

My demonstration paintings from this week's classes...

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Brittany, France!

Registration is now open for my plein air painting workshop in Brittany, France! This 10 day workshop takes place June 6 - 15, 2020. We will paint the castles and chateaus, forests and parks, and the seaside villages and beaches of the northeast coast of Brittany.

We also have an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime invitation to visit the Sennelier factories in Saint Brieuc, and the Raphael and Leonard brush factories, where we will be treated to hands-on demonstrations and given art supplies to use. And, we will be the honored guests of Sennelier at the annual Dinard Plein Air Festival!

Last year when I was in Provence, I ran into my old friend Yves-Marie, director of Sennelier. It was serendipitous, and Yves-Marie invited me to bring a group of artists to Brittany so they could visit his companies. Well, we finally got it all organized, with help from Mathieu of Provence Art Experience -- Mathieu is the world's best when it comes to organizing trips for artists, and this is shaping up to be our greatest trip. 
This trip is already half full, so please don't wait to reserve your space! 

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Art of the Carolinas 2019

(UPDATE:  All my workshops at Art of the Carolinas immediately SOLD OUT)
Registration is now open for Art of the Carolinas 2019! This annual trade show and convention takes place in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is put on by Jerry's Artarama. It features a huge trade show THAT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, with all the major manufacturers and distributors of artist materials. And, hundreds of workshops taught by the world's leading artists! I am teaching two workshops this year, one in watercolor and one in acrylics. My workshops are sponsored by the Chartpak company, and all materials and supplies are included in my workshops. The subject for both workshops will be seascapes. When I'm not in the workshops, you will find me on the trade floor of the expo, demonstrating in the Chartpak (Grumbacher, Schmincke, Higgens, Kohinoor, Pelikan, Indigo, AD, Molotow, Moo, Skilcraft, Thalo, Weber, Mijello, Mission, Martin, and more) booth!

Red Dinghy at Ft Christiansted, watercolor

Agat Beach, acrylic
Art of the Carolinas tends to sell out fast. Both the hotel, and the workshops. My workshops are already starting to fill up so register NOW before it's all sold out!

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Hahnemuhle Zig Zag Sketchbook!

Here's a little something that I painted in my Zig Zag book from Hahnemuehle! I haven't painted in the big book (top) yet, but I did fill up the little book with a panoramic watercolor seascape.

The little book is tiny -- with each square being just 2 inches, for a total length of 20 inches. It's perfect for a panoramic painting like this! The small size also makes it a perfect little keepsake or a special gift. The paper is wonderful -- bright white with a cold pressed texture. Like all Hahnemuehle watercolor paper, it has a generous amount of sizing that makes it easy to lift paint or erase marks without damaging the paper. The hard cover is elegantly cloth bound and enclosed with a red elastic band.

I haven't yet decided what I want to paint in the larger Zig Zag book. Plus, the paper is double-sided, meaning that both sides can be used. So, I can also paint on the reverse side of this, as well! The possibilities are endless! This is a fun little book to take along on travels, as I can play out a panoramic scene or fill it with a series of vignettes to tell a story of a special trip or a memorable experience.
The book comes in a variety of sizes, all of which are perfectly suited for tucking in a pocket or bag for traveling artists. They make wonderful gifts, too! This item is fairly new on the market, and so far, I've only seen them for sale at Blick Art Supplies

I've been working on the various watercolor papers from Hahnemuehle for over a year now, and I'm hooked. The quality is exceptional. I like my paper to have a generous amount of sizing, and all of the Hahnemuehle papers fit that bill. The paper is easy to work with as it is extremely durable and doesn't wear down to excessive erasing, lifting paint, or scrubbing. It releases masking fluid perfectly and tape is easily removed without tearing or lifting fibers. Colors remain vibrant, and don't sink in, bleed, or fade as they dry. I'm going to share some of the paper with my students in my upcoming Summer workshops -- see ya there! 

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Summer Classes!

It's time to sign up for Summer School! Reserve your space in class each week by emailing me the day before. You can reserve your space in every class for the whole summer by paying for the semester in advance, or you can take your chances by registering each week for individual classes.

Classes are held at my studio in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. It's where all the cool artists are.

posted by Annie Strack @ 10:10 AM   0 Comments

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Finally almost caught up!

I usually don't book anything for the month of May because I am so busy getting ready for the annual studio tour and my Spring schedule is so tight with plein air competitions and teaching workshops that by the end of May I need to take a few days off to rest. This year, I took on an extra assignment, which was testing and reviewing several of the Hahnemuehle watercolor papers for a series of articles on When asked, I quickly repied "yes!" I was aware of how big a job it could be! Hahnemuehle sent a huge package of papers for me try. HUGE! Inside the box were six packages of full size 140 pound sheets of the Cezanne line and the Harmony line of the paper. Each package had 10 sheets, and there was Cold Pressed, Hot Pressed, and Rough versions of each line. So, 6 different surfaces of the sheets. Then, there were also several watercolor blocks containing different surfaces and weights available in the Cezanne, Harmony, and Leonardo lines! All in all, it was over a dozen different products to paint and review. I was overwhelmed! I just now finished up my reviews and turned them in, and the first one of them is published. Check out my review -- The Best Paper for Watercolor from the Perspective of an Actual Artist on

In other news, Antiques Roadshow is coming to Winterthur next week, and I've got tickets! I'm taking a storyboard that I bought at a swap meet about 20 years ago, when I lived on Guam. The story board depicts people paying a dowry with money wheels, which are large donut shaped stones that can weigh a ton or more. Money wheels were part of the ancient culture of the Micronesian islands, Yap in particular. Brian is bringing pottery shards and silver that he found on the beach when he was stationed at Virgin Islands National Park after a storm. We are allowed to bring two items per person, and we haven't yet decided what else we will take. This will be our second time going to the Roadshow. We have always been fans since the first episode, and in the first season we went to the Roadshow in San Francisco (we lived in California a the time). That was when they were first starting out, and they didn't do tickets. We got in line before the sun came up and waited for nearly half the day. Now the tickets are assigned in advance, and they are timed to move people through more efficiently. I'll let you know how it goes!

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Friday, May 24, 2019

studio tour!

The annual open studio tour was a huge success! I opened my home again this year, moved everything out, and invited 5 of my artist friends to exhibit their work with me for the tour. We had a steady stream of buyers come through all weekend long and we were all exhausted at the end. If you missed it this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next year's event!

posted by Annie Strack @ 7:37 AM   0 Comments

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Open Studio Tour!

The annual Chester County Open Studio Tour is just a couple of weeks away! Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19. I'm hosting 5 other artists in my studio this year, making my studio the prime location with all the best artists of the tour. This year, I am once again hosting Karen Frattali and her gorgeous watercolor paintings, Jeanne Bruneau with her beautiful plein air oil paintings, and Catherine Quillman will be back to sell and sign her books and show her latest whimsical mixed media paintings. In addition, George Gallatig will be joining us this year with his stunning watercolor paintings, and Patsy Keller will have her amazing array of fused glass designs and jewelry.

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

painting at the beach

I just got back from southern Delaware were I hung out and painted with friends at the beach. It was a wonderful little vacation with good friends, yummy seafood, and endless inspiration for paintings.
Painting with Yvonne Mucci, Anne Buck, Doris, and Gerilyn Gaskill
Sketching tulips in the rain from the shelter of a gazebo

hanging with my friends

painting the life saving station 

The little coastal town of Lewes is also known for the tulips!

trying to take a selfie!

lovely view of boats from the park

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

More workshops!

I just added another workshop to my schedule, this one is in Pennsville, New Jersey! I'll be teaching my popular "Skies - Scrumptious to Moody" workshop June 15 - 16. This workshop has limited seating and will sell out fast, so register NOW if you want to get in on it!

In other news, I've finalized my workshops for this year's Art of the Carolinas. This major trade show and expo is put on by Jerry's Artarama in Raleigh, and takes place November 14 - 17. I'll be teaching two workshops about mastering the art of painting seascapes, one with watercolors and the other with acrylics.
Agat Beach (Guam), Acrylic by Annie Strack

Red Dinghy at Ft Christiansted, watercolor by Annie Strack

I am an Artist Ambassador for the Chartpak company, and they are sponsoring my workshops at the Art of the Carolinas and providing my students with Grumbacher paints and Indigo watercolor papers. All materials are provided in my workshops at the AOC, and in addition to painting gorgeous works of art, students get to keep the supplies!
Annie Strack, Grumbacher Brand Ambassador 

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:49 PM   0 Comments

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