The Shenandoah Art Destination attracts students world-wide from a broad range of creative backgrounds including: those that wish to rediscover their creativity or foundation; graduate students in search of more stimulating working environments; art teachers and lecturers needing personal time to refocus; amateur artists who wish to learn new skills; and, of course, complete beginners who simply wish to learn about making art.
Whether you’re looking for a creative holiday, relaxing art break, or introduction to painting and/or printmaking, you will find flexible, inspirational art courses designed to meet your individual needs.
We focus on our student’s interests. Jan-Willem gives workshops in printing (relief and drypoint), drawing (pencil, and pen & ink) and painting (watercolor, aquarelle, acrylic and oil, pastels). JW Boer brings his experience from 30 yrs. in the commercial and fine art world. Under his tutelage students will see their work in a new light, learn to think outside the box, will be energized and find new ways of creativity. The goal is to provide our students with access to new ideas, techniques and experienced instruction so you can practice and grow your skill in art. Ultimately, you might be pushed sometimes beyond your comfort zone, but we promise that by stretching beyond your current boundaries, you will be rewarded with a new personal gain.
Plein Air Painting
Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, there are many spots near the Shenandoah Art Destination for plein air painting. Lexington is associated with several known mountains – House Mountain(s) and Hogback Mountain. There are many great painting spots along the Maury River, local grand valley views along with the Natural Bridge, just to name a few. If you want to just stay on-site and paint plein air, you can stand on your balcony or sit on the front porch and paint the bridge over the creek, or the fountain in the pond overlooking the gazebo, or walk up the hill and paint the 1800 log barn, or a few minutes down the road and paint the old schoolhouse and barns. The plein air sites are numerous and fantastic.
Our studio has two printing presses for your use. Perhaps it is something you have never done before and would like to give it a try. Supplies needed are on-site for purchase.
Lino Printing is known as a block printing technique. You first cut out your design from either a linoleum or rubber block. The block is then inked, placed over a piece of paper and then put under the pressure applied by the press to transfer your design onto the piece of paper for a professional quality linocut print.
Drypoint Printing. This process is like using a pen without the ink; drawing with a dry point to create an impression of a drawing that, when inked, can be printed from again and again. The soft, feathery lines of drypoint lend themselves to playful illustrations or expressive sketches, which can then produce an edition of prints. Drypoint is done on copper plates, plexiglass and zink. It is then inked and cleaned, leaving ink only in the crevices. The force of the printing press then squeezes out the remaining ink and the image is transferred onto the paper, Our studio has a Polymetal Press (imported from The Netherlands) that can handle sheets up to 20” x 26”.
Drawing skills enhance your artistic skills and will increase your appreciation and enjoyment for art and design. Drawing workshops can include anything from sketching, composition, perspective, textures, shadows, shading, light movements, focusing on detail – all very important to the execution of your work.
The art of painting is to translate the visual into what you see using color, shapes and space. Of importance to that is composition, an exploration of color usage and various techniques of your particular medium; of which will be part of the morning workshops. Whatever your interest – painting a still life in the studio, one of our local wonderful landscapes or perhaps trying your hand at portraits, any and all can be approached during the session(s). There are also some unique methods to approach abstract paintings. If you have a photo you have always wanted to paint, this would be a good time for working on that.