Sep 22 2015

Islesford Painting Workshops 2015

Published by at 10:24 am under landscape,sketchbook,travel

For the last three years I’ve attended the Islesford Painting Workshop, led by my friends and amazing painters Henry Isaacs and Ashley Bryan, up in the gorgeous environs of Little Cranberry Island, off the coast of Mt. Desert Island, Maine. It’s a wonderful workshop, with first class food and accommodations and very non-formulaic instruction. This year they asked me to help them teach both 3-day sessions.

ALM Maine 641

It was an honor to be asked, a joy to work with them for a whole week, a sacrifice to spend less time painting, an intimidating challenge to try to contribute something meaningful to what these two great men are doing, and to continuously find useful things to say to painters who range from absolute beginner to highly experienced. I am happy to say that, based on lots of great feedback, I do feel I contributed significantly in a number of ways, and found the experience very rewarding and instructive (in relation to both teaching and painting).

Maine Day7 006

On one of the sketches I wrote “wrap the space around the viewer”, which was my biggest painting takeaway from the week — I think I understand more now about why that’s important and how to accomplish it.

I found a little time to paint each day, and here are the pieces I did, as well as sketches I snuck in when I only had a moment to jot something down. The paint is gouache (opaque watercolor). Some got a little additional work/color added when I got home.

It’s a pretty amazing workshop, and I highly recommend it. I’m already looking forward to next year!

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Islesford Painting Workshops 2015”

  1. RainyDayInternson 22 Sep 2015 at 11:07 am

    That looks like an awesome workshop!!!

  2. Mary J Treanoron 23 Sep 2015 at 9:38 am

    Hi Gareth,

    Thanks for sending pix from the workshop, around Little Cranberry and your own work.

    It brings great memories of a packed 3 days and the time to do nothing much but paint.

    Wonderful to meet you, Henry and Ashley and hope to be there next year if possible.

    Best regards,


  3. Susan Butleron 23 Sep 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Hey there: I really appreciate you sharing your sketches and the wonderful photo of you and Ashley and Henry. This was my third year attending the workshop and I’m planning on renting a house for a couple of weeks next year. There is something about the island and the good vibes of Henry, you and Ashley that make want to paint like mad. I was ill all last winter and had not painted much since January, so it was great to come home with so much work. I really feel energized to keep working on the book I’m going to call “Solomon & Blue: the Great Crab Family Reunion.” What a treat to get some alone time to work out my ideas and sketches of some of the characters.
    It was wonderful to see you and Allison again and a pleasure to see how your work is progressing. I’m looking forward to your book on Poe.
    Cheers, Susan

  4. Stephen Bereron 21 May 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Great blog. Sorry to have missed you at Gaithersburg today. Would have liked to have talked, esp about graphic novels.
    Your favorite sketch above, painters on the beach, reminded me a bit (esp. the thumbnail) of Feininger, who I love.
    Steve Berer

  5. Robin sanfordon 17 Sep 2017 at 8:34 am

    I’m in California
    I was in islesboro for 1 day
    Discovered Ashley
    Will there be a workshop next year 2018
    Need to start plan now so
    Thank you robin sanford

  6. adminon 17 Sep 2017 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for your interest, Robin. The workshops ended in 2016, sadly, due to a combination of factors, and at the moment there are no plans to bring it back next year. You might drop Henry Isaacs a note expressing your interest, in case we were to do something in the future.

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