Upcoming Workshops

Susan Avis Murphy “The Blurry Style”

Susan Avis Murphy, "Hellbore Blur"

When: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Where: Annapolis Friends Meeting House
351 Dubois Rd., Annapolis, MD 21401
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Cost: $65 Member, $80 Non–Member

Please note:  this workshop is full

Susan Avis Murphy has been a watercolor artist for more than thirty-five years. In college, she majored in biology and anthropology, and worked as a biologist for fifteen years, while continuing to pursue her interest in art. She learned by trial and error, and by taking workshops with experienced painters. She especially notes Barbara Nechis as someone who inspired her interest in watercolor.

Her work has been honored by inclusion in exhibits of, among others, the American Watercolor Society (Signature Member), the National Watercolor Society (Signature Member), Allied Artists of America, the National Arts Club, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Southern Watercolor Society, Baltimore Watercolor Society (Signature Member), Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, and Adirondack National. Her work is in the collections of corporations and artist societies, and she has won many prizes and medals. Susan is also a Signature member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society.

Susan now actively teaches and finds that she learns a lot by teaching. She enjoys painting, teaching and displaying her work in her home studio called “ARThouse” in Sandy Spring, Maryland. Learn more at her website

Susan Avis Murphy, "High Tea at the Peninsula"

Kurt Plinke "Landscapes"

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Where: Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church
611 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Rm. 208
Severna Park, MD 21146
Time: 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Cost: $65 Member, $80 Non–Member

Click here for the registration form

Kurt Plinke first studied watercolors in Ohio with Leland McClellan, and has been a student of water-based media ever since. He studied both biology and art at Wilmington College and Bowling Green State University. Later, he studied egg tempera and painting at Towson University. Kurt’s landscapes are mainly painted in plein air. His landscapes can be sometimes abstract, and at other times very detailed studies of the natural world.

As part of the workshop, Kurt will share his technique for wax mounting of works on paper, which eliminates the need for matting and glass, and produces a leather-like effect. Also, Kurt will bring a variety of frames, hand-made by woodworking students at the high school where he teaches. These are made from recycled wood. The frames will be available for purchase at the workshop, and proceeds will go to the wood working program.

PAINT-INS: On Monday, February 18, The Workshops Committee hosted a paint-in at the Edgewater Community Library. The attendees enjoyed painting together and sharing their work midway and at the close of the three-hour session. The group was enthusiastic about having these on a regular basis. So, we have reserved space for three more, on the third Wednesday of each month. All members are welcome.

March 20, 2019, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Edgewater Library, 25 Stepney’s Lane, Edgewater, MD 21037

April 17, 2019, 12:00 noon to 2:45 PM, Severna Park Library, 45 W. McKinsey Rd., Severna Park, MD 21146

May 15, 2019, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Edgewater Library, 25 Stepney’s Lane, Edgewater, MD 21037

The Workshops Committee is pleased to present a schedule of four workshops for the coming year. Our selections of artists and topics were informed by the member survey, by individual member suggestions, and our own research. Some of our members have noted that it is hard for them to attend workshops on weekends, as they have many family commitments. In response, this year, we will try presenting one of our workshops on a weekday.

Saturday, October 6, 2018 Steven Fleming, “Water and Reflections in Water”
9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church

Saturday, November 10, 2018 Pam Wenger, “Flowers”
9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church

Thursday, March 7, 2019 Susan Avis Murphy, “The Blurry Style”
9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Annapolis Friends Meeting House

Saturday, April 27, 2019 Kurt Plinke, “Landscapes”
9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church

Workshops committee members:
Mary Kfoury, Chair; Nancy Flack, Vice-chair; Sue Curly; Susan Engle; Sue Janosky

Recent Workshops

Pam Wenger, “Quick Sketch Flowers”

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Visit the gallery page for photos from this workshop

Steven Fleming, “Water and Reflections in Water”

Saturday, October 6, 2018
Visit the gallery page for photos from this workshop


Past workshops

(in reverse chronological order):

Kathy Daywalt                 February 2018

Stacy Lund Levy              November 2017

Nancy Van Meter             July 2017
Kathy Daywalt                  April 2017
Steve Fleming                  September 2016

Lynn Ferris                        June 2016
Linda Luke                        April 2016
Sue Corrigan-Yo              February 2016

Steve Bleinberger           November 2015
Brenda Kidera                  June 2015
Bruce Handford              March 2015


From Your Workshop Committee

Whether you take workshops on a regular basis, or whether you have never taken one before, the following article from Swinton’s Everything Art (
gives some excellent insights on the value of workshops and how you can get the most from them. It is printed with permission from the owner and author Doug Swinton. Three things to note:

1) The art shop is in Canada, unfortunately.

2) The website has lots of other really valuable information on it.
Seven reasons why figure drawing is important for every artist, 10 painting rules and went to break them, and 10 things to consider before taking a reference photo for your painting or just a few of the topics that you can find on this website.

3) The workshop committee does not totally agree with the author when he says “I recommend you take one workshop per year and wouldn’t recommend you take more than two workshops per year.” We feel that if the workshops are well spaced and work with your schedule, the topics are new and interesting to you, and you have plenty of time after the workshop to incorporate what you’ve learned, then go for as many as you want!

Here’s the article:

10 things to keep in mind when taking an art workshop

1 - De Soto said so.

Be open to new ideas, exploring lands and uncharted waters.

The worst thing an instructor hears from a student is… “I don’t do it like that, I prefer to do this….” Granted, some of the things you are about to learn may be unfamiliar but you may be rewarded if you are willing to give them a try. Later, you will sort through those new nuggets of knowledge, adopting some and letting others go.

2 - All the right stuff.

Follow the supply list as closely as possible. Every instructor has specific requirements, having honed their skills with a particular set of products, and mastering all the subtle nuances they provide. They do not want you to spend your money frivolously. They want you to succeed with superior products that work for them and the techniques they plan to introduce. Be prepared with all of the materials suggested on the supply list to get the BEST results out of your workshop. You may never use some of those items again and may just put them to pasture, however, one of those new products may just be the answer you’re looking for!

3 - Stop, look and listen.

Choosing a workshop can be a daunting task and picking the right one is very important. Here are few things to consider:

You can’t learn it all, so choose a few specific things that excite you about this artist’s work and focus on those.

Choose a style that will help your work. It’s one thing to try to loosen-up, but to take on an abstract workshop when you’ve been a realistic painter all your life may be a poor choice.

Is this workshop within your scope of abilities? Don’t dive into an advance workshop if you have only been painting for a short while.

Workshops are demanding and need your full attention. Can you afford the time? If you plan to attend only half of the session due to time restrictions, wait and do it when you have the time. If you are not fully committed you're wasting your money.

4 - Three little piggies.

Bring a notebook/sketchbook and a writing implement. When you take a workshop, no matter the duration, you will be inundated with new information. Sometimes it will come fast and furious. Be prepared to take copious notes - the more wordy the better.

My general rule for a lucrative workshop is that if you can learn just three things, you will have successful results. Three things that you can remember, practice and repeat. Three things you want to adjust. Three things you can do to make improvements in your work. Three things you can take away and work on in your own time. These three things may not sink-in immediately but with practice and consistent implementation they will become second nature.

5 - Re-hash the hash.

One great thing to do once you have returned home from the workshop and had a nap is to retreat to a peaceful corner and take a few minutes to sit quietly and review your notes. You will be amazed how much more information will be gleaned from your notes after distilling them from all the fervour of the day. A mere ten minutes alone with your sketchbook will rehash the entire day and solidify the knowledge you acquired.

6 - The show must NOT go on.

Workshop time is learning time. Experimental time. Adventuresome time. Not a time to bring in all your unfinished paintings to be fixed or to get work done to fill your impending exhibition. Leave the unfinished business for some other time. Allow your brain to be open and inspired to create in new ways. Adding new cutting edge abilities into your work-in-progress can make it look inconsistent and disjointed. Acquired skills take time to work themselves out.

7 - Don’t stop till you drop.

I was amazed recently, watching the documentary “beyond the lighted stage” (okay I watch it every year) on the Canadian band Rush. After some 30 years at the helm of the drum kit, Neil Peart found himself a bit weary of doing the same thing and went looking for a spark. He sought out drummer Freddie Gruber, and asked for lessons. Being a seasoned professional jazz drummer Freddie knew exactly what Neil was after - a fresh perspective.

I find it outstanding that one of the world’s greatest rock drummers is not beneath learning something new and taking instruction from another who has something new to offer.

Taking workshops will keep your ideas fresh. I recommend you take one workshop per year and wouldn’t recommend you take more than two workshops per year. All these new found ideas can get jumbled in the brain and you risk confusing concepts.

8 - Workshop junkies.

Workshops usually look like a box of Timmy’s doughnuts. There’s a little bit of everything. Pure beginners, hobbyists, right through to gallery selling professionals. Never be intimidated by the results you see from other artist’s brushes. You don’t know their level of experience. Often there will be an artist that can already do what the instructor is doing. They may have attended such a workshop many times and are honing their skill. Some people are workshop junkies and love to follow an instructor around the country taking their every workshop. Don’t let this rattle or dishearten you. You are on your own journey and going at your own pace. Keep your eyes on your fries. Learn what you set out to learn and enjoy the ride.

9 - We can be friends

One of my favourite things about taking a workshop is learning from other attendees. Chatting with other students will fetch a wealth of newfound tidbits. Enjoying a lunch together or after class conversations over bevys are a great way to discover loads of new ideas: Tips on supplies, brush cleaning, storage and traveling with paints. You will find out about great places to paint or photograph and about galleries or museums that are not on the local radar. Most importantly, you might find out about other workshops worth taking. You might even make some lifelong friends!

10 - All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy.

I consider attending a workshop part of my art practice. It’s work. That being said, if you happen to travel to a new city or even a different country for a workshop, remember to have fun in your downtime. Soak in all there is to offer and don’t forget to snap lots of reference photos. I always go out a few hours before the workshop and take photos of the area. After dinner I head out again for more. It’s inspiring and keeps me fresh when I return to my studio.

All in all taking a workshop is a quick yet deep and delicious way to improve yourself as an artist and a human being.