Info for Phil Sandusky’s Plein Air Painting / Drawing Workshop at Saint Joseph Abbey, Feb 15-17 2022
Students may pursue plein air landscape and/or architectural painting and/or drawing. I encourage students to stay overnight in the Saint Joseph Abbey’s Retreat Center for the duration of the workshop with 3 meals/day provided. I will also be staying overnight. In the evenings after dinner, we’ll have optional slide presentations and open discussions about art. Students may attend the workshop without staying overnight but must pay the retreat center for the meals, regardless. The accommodations and meals at the retreat center are really nice. Below I’ve included several photos of accommodations and rooms at the retreat center and photos of some of the rich selection of subject matter on the abbey grounds. I’ve also interspersed some of my paintings and drawings I did during one of my stays (including the one above). Note: my paintings were done in overcast weather and my photos of the grounds were taken on a sunny day. Who knows what skies we’ll have during the workshop. The total cost for each student will be a combination of the tuition of $300 plus a fee for the retreat center of $398 for students staying at the retreat center or $240 for students not staying at the retreat center.
Total cost per student staying at the retreat center: $698
Total cost per student not staying at the retreat center: $540
Students staying at the retreat center should arrive/check-in between 4 and 6pm Monday, Feb 14 and dinner that night will be the first meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided the next two days. The last day of the workshop (Thursday, Feb 17), breakfast and lunch will be provided, the workshop will be finished at 4pm but the students must be checked out of their rooms by 9am.
Students not staying overnight at the retreat center will be provided all the same meals and may attend the after-dinner slide presentations and discussions.
COVID Safety: The Abbey complies with Louisiana state mandates for COVID safety. FYI I (Phil Sandusky) have been double vaccinated and boosted with Moderna.
For any questions about the workshop, recommended supply list, or to enroll, contact me (Phil Sandusky) by text or voice: (504) 427-1890 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org You will pay me for the tuition when you enroll. Then you must contact Lynette Kendall at the retreat center: 985-892-3473 to pay the appropriate retreat center fee separately.
A full refund will be issued for tuition and retreat center fees for cancelations 2 weeks before the workshop (on or before Feb 1, 2022). The workshop enrollment will be open until late January or until 14 students have enrolled and the workshop will be cancelled Feb 1 if we don’t have at least 10 students staying at the retreat center. If the workshop is cancelled due to inadequate enrollment, students will be given a full refund.
Students can focus on drawing and/or painting. There are great benefits each provide that I’m happy to discuss when you contact me.
For drawing and painting, I emphasize a succinct approach, showing students the importance of a strong, simplified statement of the whole. I help students with composition, perspective, to see shapes, patterns, and color relationships (for painters) and coach students to improve their work by making the simplified statement stronger rather than being lured into the usual pitfall of trying to improve their work through adding more detail and polish.
The workshop is three days long. Each day there’s a three-hour session in the morning, a break for lunch, and a three-hour session in the afternoon. Of course students can work earlier, later, and in between if they like. Staying overnight in the retreat center gives much latitude. In the morning of the first day, painting students will apply an imprimatura to their canvases, after which I’ll demonstrate both drawing and painting for the whole group. After the demonstration, painting students will work on different canvases in the morning and afternoon to accommodate the changing light. They should have other fresh canvases available in case, during any given session, a mostly sunny sky becomes mostly cloudy or vice versa. Drawing students will focus more on form and not be encumbered as much by changing light, though I suggest a goal of producing more simplified drawings rather than fewer that are highly detailed and polished.
My teaching employs a great deal of demonstration as well as criticism throughout the workshop, which I do for individual students or groups of students as needed. For painting, I prefer to demonstrate on canvas boards more often than working on students’ canvases when possible so that students can compare where they are to the direction I would suggest.
In February the chance of rain is lower than average but in case of rain, given that I only work from life, there are covered areas on the Abbey grounds protected from the rain from which there are good views to paint from the landscape and architecture. If the weather is too severe, students may work from photo references as a last resort.
In the evenings after dinner I’ll give PowerPoint presentations on various art topics that are optional for students to attend and we’ll have open discussions.
Images of subject matter on the abbey grounds and retreat center accommodations: