Adult Workshops

Adult workshops in all media are scheduled in the Spring and Fall. Most of the workshops feature local instructors in their preferred media. Recent workshops have included abstract collage and acrylic, oil painting, water color, drawing, photography and ceramics. The workshops are generally two to four days. Many are on weekdays, but some are evening and weekends. Two or three times a year, we invite nationally and regionally well known artists to conduct special workshops that broaden the range of instruction.

Summer & Fall Workshops: (pdf)

Acrylic Pouring

Instructor: Sarah Soderlund
Two separate workshops:
Sat, July 7, 10am – 1pm
Tues, Aug 14, 10am – 1pm
Discover a new creativity – an ability to let go and allow beautiful art to come through you.  Find the calm state of mind that pouring brings.  All materials supplied – just bring an old shirt (smock) and a positive attitude.
Members $60 / Non-Members $65

Introduction to Photography Lighting

Instructor: Chris Maxwell
Sat, July 21, 10am – 3pm
Introduction to Photography Lighting is a one-day, two-part class designed to introduce photography enthusiasts like you to how lighting enhances your images and the basic equipment and methods you need to do so. This is a great way for you to decide whether supplemental lighting is right for you before you invest in lighting equipment. 
The first part of the class will be a lecture that covers the following:
Why Use Lighting
Lighting Sources and Types
Light Characteristics
Light Modifiers
Learn to Deconstruct Lighting Used in Pictures
Lighting Planning
The second part of the class is hands-on.  Students will use provided, readily available lighting equipment to experiment with different lighting configurations to light a model.  We will practice lighting for portraits and for artistic effect.
This class is intended for photographers who’ve had little or no experience using photographic lighting.  Students should be familiar with manually adjusting their camera shutter speed, aperture (f-stop), ISO, and white balance (if available).  A model will be provided for the second part of the class.
As co-owner of a commercial photography studio in Northern Virginia, Chris Maxwell has exposed photographers like you to new genres and techniques and helped them take their work to the next level. He and his wife live in Reedville.
What to bring: Your camera with a 50-85mm  focal length full-frame equivalent lens (35-56mm on a crop sensor camera).
Members $80 / Non-Members $95

Painting on Photographs 

Instructor:  Pam Fox
Sat & Sun, Aug 18 & 19, 10am – 4pm
This workshop explores the use of photography with mixed-media applications. Students combine photographic materials (digital or traditional prints, photocopies, found imagery, or old photographs) with oil paint to produce new and exciting imagery. The instructor will demonstrate a variety of approaches including surface supports and preparation, gluing techniques, surface alterations, paint application, varnishing, cold wax and other surface treatments. Open to students of all levels of experience.
Class size limited to 8
Members $240 / Non-Members $260

Picasso and the Fearless Print!*

Instructor: Fenella Belle
Tues, Sep 11, 10am – 4pm
Using prints made by Picasso as inspiration, this workshop will introduce you to the fun but challenging process of reduction printing. The print is designed in advance and then slowly carved and printed in a succession that produces a final multi-colored print and a fully exhausted carving block. Since there is no “reverse”, reduction printing rewards both careful planning and spontaneous problem solving!  All materials are included.
Members $90 / Non-Members $100
*This program has been organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is supported, in part, by the Paul Mellon Endowment and the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund.

Painted Silk Scarf*

Instructor: Mary Swezey
Sat, Sep 15, 10am – 4pm
Using the serti technique, participants will draw original designs onto stretched silk with water-based resist.  After the designs have dried, colorful paints are brushed on and spread to the edge of the resist lines.  Special effects will be demonstrated including color mixing directly on the scarf, painting wet on wet, and creating starburst effects with salt on dye.  Expect to take home at least one completed long scarf.
Class size limited to 8
Materials Fee payable to instructor:  $20
Members $120  /  Non-Members $130
*This program has been organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is supported, in part, by the Paul Mellon Endowment and the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund.

Nantucket Wine Chiller Basket Workshop

Instructor: Judy Penry
Fridays, Sep 21 & Oct 5, 10am – 4pm
Students will use an acrylic wine chiller as a mold. The chiller begins with a wooden base, dyed staves, and is woven with cane.  There will be several twill pattern options to choose from as techniques and skills are learned to complete the basket.
*Weaving homework will be required.*  The basket will be completed in the 2nd class. This includes attaching the rim and lashing the basket.
Class size limited to 6
Materials Fee payable to instructor:  $35
Members $120  /  Non-Members $140

The Fine Art Of Fine Photography

Instructor: Harold Burnley
Seeing Things Differently: Oct 7, 1 – 5pm
Camera As A Creative Tool: Oct 14, 1 – 5pm
Post Processing: Oct 28, 2:30 – 5:30pm
This is three-part workshop for intermediate photographers.  Each workshop can stand-alone although for an integrated workflow, I recommend all three sessions.
Part 1: Seeing Things Differently
You will learn how to creatively compose an image by seeing what others don’t.  We will discuss using light as a creative tool including backlighting, shooting into the sun, shooting at night and at twilight and using the sky.  We will look at, discuss and analyze photographs to learn the photographer’s techniques.  This workshop will be approximately four hours.
Members $60 / Non-Members $65
Part 2: Using The Camera as a Creative Tool
We will learn how to use depth-of-field to control the sharp and blur portions of an image, reduce clutter and highlight portions of an image.  We will discuss using shutter speed as a creative tool by controlling motion and blur.  This workshop will be approximately four hours.  An optional field trip will be scheduled to give the participants an opportunity to “bring it all together”.
Members $60 / Non-Members $65
Part 3: Post Processing
The post processing workshop is designed to illustrate what’s possible and introduce you to the tools available.  It is not intended to teach any particular software.  We will discuss:
Selecting software
The basic post processing workflow
Global adjustments
Processing HDR
Creating panoramas
Focus stacking
Vignettes – more to it than you think
Utilizing presets to stylize your image
Pulling it all together – a demonstration
This workshop will last about five hours.
Members $75 / Non-Members $85
All three workshops:  Members $180 / Non-Members $200
For more information: email Harold Burnley at

Nantucket Coaster Basket Workshop 

Instructor: Judy Penry
Fri, Oct 12, 10am – 4pm
Basket dimensions are 4” in diameter by 3” tall. This basket will hold a bottle of wine, your favorite candies, keys, or whatever you choose!
Students will weave the basket on a plastic mold using reed and cane.  A limited color selection will be available.
Nantucket basket skills and techniques will be learned and reviewed.  The basket will be completed in one session!
Class size limited to 6
Materials Fee payable to instructor:  $15
Members $65 / Non-Members $75

Sketch Booking

Instructor: Brenda M. Sylvia
Thur, Oct 18, 10am – 4pm
This workshop is for all levels. If the weather permits, we will also be sketching outside.  This is an excellent prelude to the Plein Air painting workshop the following two days, but is not required. You will learn about the value of keeping a sketchbook and how to use different mediums to create interesting pages. We will also touch on using a tablet or even your phone to create sketches and record your ideas and inspirations. 
Sketchbook will be provided, but bring your own drawing materials
Members: $65 / Non-Members: $75

Take it Outside!  Plein Air Painting 

Instructor: Brenda Sylvia
Fri & Sat, Oct 19 & 20, 9:30am – 4pm
This workshop is for all levels, but some painting experience will be helpful. If the weather permits, we will paint outside near the RAL Art Center in Kilmarnock and possibly at a local vineyard, marina, or park. You will learn how to simplify your paintings and work quickly while still capturing the feeling of a place. Our focus will be on creating interesting compositions by learning to see and rapidly paint the shapes, color, atmosphere, and changing light.  Class will include lecture, demonstration, one-on-one instruction, and group discussions of our paintings. We will work on 11x14 inch or 9x12 inch canvases or panels. Acrylics are recommended, but oil paints are also welcome. The first morning we will meet in the classroom to focus on the logistics and techniques of working outside. From then on, we will be outside as much as possible. 
Bring your own materials (list will be available)
Members: $150 / Non-Members: $160