Monday, February 18, 2013

Workshop in France, June 2013!

Come paint with us in the 
Heart of France!
Boischaut-Sud (Hellio Van Ingen)
We'll be painting chateaux, winding rivers, and splendid countryside. Donald has made many trips to this area over the last 15 years. You can see some of his drawings, done in the local area, here and here.
Chateau de Sarzay

A Seven-day Plein Air Painting Workshop in the Heart of France with Donald Jurney, 24-30 June 2013.

We will be based in and around the lovely market town of La Chatre, in the center of France . Come feast on the visual splendor of the landscape made famous by George Sand, one of the most beautiful, and least tourist-filled areas of France.
The workshop is seven days, with five days of painting instruction. Days three and six are free days on which you can explore, visit chateaux, or paint on your own. Or you can just shop or relax. On previous workshops we've had spouses come along----you'll find there's plenty to see and do!

The workshop days feature a morning demonstration, followed by ample hands-on painting time. During the remainder of the morning, and in the afternoon, Donald will help students, at their easels. Generally, we work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an hour's break at lunchtime.

Forteresse de Cluis-dessous

La Chatre

Reservation and Payment

The cost of the workshop is $750.00 US and includes the workshop only. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations, transportation and meals. There are 10 spaces in this workshop and they are expected to fill. To reserve your space please email Donald at
You may send a check for your deposit ($375.00), made payable to Donald Jurney, to:

Donald Jurney
9 Strong Street
Newburyport, MA 01950

This reservation fee of $375.00 is non-refundable after April 10, 2013. You must pay the remaining balance of $375.00 in full, no later than May 10, 2013.

Note: We are also doing a workshop in England, centered on Stow-on-the-Wold, in the Cotswolds. This will run from 10 June to 16 June 2013. As you'll see, there's a week between the two workshops, allowing students and spouses to travel. There are students who are taking both workshops, eager to paint in both of these very distinct landscapes. 
Students on our Scotland Workshop, September 2012


Students must make their own lodging arrangements. This has proven to be the best idea, since tastes and budgets vary a good deal. Here are some suggestions to help you get started, compliments of Jon Main, a student enrolled in this workshop, who is resident in France.

If you need help with lodging reservations, let Donald know:

Bed and Breakfast is "chambres d'hotes" in French. You may also find some self-catering accommodations. These are called "gites".  

Art Supply List France

(We will be painting outdoors, not far from our vehicles, but think "light" and "portable"). There are many online art suppliers. Click any of these links to go directly to these sites:

portable pochade box mounted on a photographers tripod for working outside.
Wooden palette
Painting surface
Bring 2 surfaces for each painting day. 18x24" or smaller is recommended.
*Wind River Arts carries Linen mounted canvas boards.
*Raymar Art Linen mounted boards.

On our Vermont Plein Air Workshop, June 2012
From Donald, regarding the palette: You will notice that there are 13 colors plus white, on the suggested palette list. Some of these colors may be new ones to you and some students may be surprised to see no cadmium yellows, cadmium red, or phthalo blue. I personally think that they are too strident for outdoor painting and they definitely require tremendous care to make sure they don't dominate your painting. Mother nature is a girl full of nuance, and I'm sure you'll find your job a great deal easier, and more fun, using this particular palette. The three colors, identified in the photo by asterisks, are required of everyone. Be assured, nonetheless, that we'll figure it out, no matter what odd assortment you bring from your own paint box. And, certainly, bring some of your favorites for show and tell.

Rembrandt mixed white #103 (Titanium-Zinc)
Rembrandt Yellow Ochre Light #228
Rembrandt Naples Yellow Deep #223 *(essential)
Windsor Newton Yellow Ochre 744
Rembrandt Vermillion #311
Rembrandt Brownish Madder #324 *(essential)
Rembrandt Burnt Umber #409
Rembrandt Ultramarine Blue Deep #506
Winsor Newton Cerulean Blue #137
Winsor Newton Alizarin Crimson permanent #004
Holbein Compose Green #H284
Old Holland Cad Green Light #D44
Holbein Green Gray #H372
Winsor Newton Prussian Green #540 *(essential)
Donald uses round bristle brushes by Raphael, Series 358. Buy
as many as you can afford, in this proportion.
(3) No. 10
(2) No. 6
(1) No. 2
Medium and Solvent
We are NOT permitted to fly with Liquin or with solvents
(mineral spirits/paint thinner, turpentine, gamsol, etc.)
Donald will arrange for there to be sufficient Liquin and mineral
spirits available when we arrive in the France. There will be a
charge for these.
Make sure you bring empty, sealable containers with you for
your Liquin and thinner.
Paper Towels (if you have extra room when packing, you may want to fill it up with paper towel. The local paper towel is often thin and small.)
B pencils, Kneaded eraser, sharpener
Paint box, bag or backpack to carry supplies
Wet paint carrier (Available at Artmate).
Appropriate clothing for outdoor painting:
Be prepared for the possibility that it may be blustery, or occasionally wet. Bring some waterproof foot gear)
water bottle
painting umbrella

Please note that the workshop fee is for tuition only. Transportation to and from France, car rental, accommodations, meals, travel insurance, and other incidentals are the responsibility of each student.

Reading List

For those of you who can't wait to get to France, and need to start reading...NOW!, here are a couple of suggestions.

Celestine by Gillian Tindall. 

Set in Chassignolles, it's a wonderful introduction to rural France. Here's a review of Celestine by W. S. Merwin, the US Poet Laureate, in the New York Times.

Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier,
is set not so terribly far from La Chatre. It is             
a coming-of-age novel, and one of the great
classics of French literature. Here's a review 
by Julian Barnes, a contemporary English 
writer, and winner of the Booker Prize.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Savannah Odyssey

Pictures from the SavannahWorkshop

We had a great time on the Savannah Workshop, and I'm pleased to say that everyone made great strides in plein air painting.

On the first day we were at a boat ramp on the Moon River. Yes, it's the same Moon River as the Johnny Mercer/Henry Mancini tune.  
Because we were setting up in changeable weather, we chose this spot which had a convenient picnic shelter. In fact, we had no problem with raindrops, and everyone painted outside. Here's a bit of the flavor of that spot.

On day two, we painted at the Fort Pulaski National Monument on Cockspur Island in the Savannah River. we painted inside the fort, graced with these lovely arcades, but most people painted looking out the gun embrasures onto the countryside.


Tuesday night it rained cats and dogs, setting a new rainfall record for the day, 2.5" . Fortunately, we were long finished painting, and only had to negotiate a wild drive back to our various lodgings.

Wednesday was better. Here's a view on Skidaway Island where we painted on Wednesday. You can see some of the lingering rainfall from the previous night! I, personally, spent some time trying to find a slot where there were no palmettos in view. I know, I know...but I'm chicken.

And another view.

On Thursday, we went to a spot on Cockspur Island, overlooking the North Channel of the Savannah River. Here's my effort from that day (16x20).


On Friday, our intrepid band assembled in Forsyth Park, one of Savannah's jewels. Here are some photos from there.

Three of us contemplating what we shall paint.

We seem dressed for the Yukon, and most of the Savannahians were wearing many fewer clothes. But it seemed cold to us, notwithstanding that our friends and families were digging out of the great blizzard. We stiffened our resolve, knowing that someone has to paint, en plein air, in February, and we accepted the responsibility.

We had been treated to a remarkable Valentine's dinner the night before, compliments of Deb and Bill who were ensconced in a great apartment. Here's a photo of the lovely table they had awaiting us.

We finally chose our spots at Forsyth Park, and everyone set work.

Below is Lacey, one of the two students we had from SCAD (The Savannah College of Art and Design). We offered scholarships to two SCAD students, and Lacey and Kassy were nominated by Denise Carson, Chairman of the Painting Department. Neither student had ever painted a plein air landscape before this, yet they acquitted themselves very well.

That's concentration!

And Bill doing the same.

I, personally, had a great time. Kim visited a slew of historic houses, and generally got to know Savannah pretty well. We had some great food, especially the burgers that we were told about at The Green Truck Pub.

Here is the Whole Farm Burger from the Green Truck, featured on the cover of Georgia Magazine. It features the usual ingredients, plus a fried egg. Who knew?


Three of us had dinner at Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons, and we had tapas at Jazz'd.

Regrettably, I can't report that I returned thinner than I began. But I'm sure everyone else did.

As we wound down, there was talk of making a winter painting workshop in Savannah into an annual event.  


With the exception of Georgia Magazine, all the photos are courtesy of Deb Vitkosky.