We’ve all done those menial tasks around the house or waited in long lines that seem to take forever, even if it’s really only been 15 minutes. When I paint, I will work for three hours, before a break and it feels like 15 minutes. It’s hard to get in the zone when we are, say, washing dishes, but if we are doing something that we immensely love, getting in the zone can happen almost instantly. For the past 30 years, I have been immersing myself into painting the landscape. It’s my profession, but more importantly, it’s my passion. I chose this as a career, because I was passionate about it since I was a child. I have a passion for music too and I'll find myself picking up the guitar in the studio almost daily before I paint. But when I stand behind my easel and pick up a brush loaded with paint, that is where passion truly kicks in. If passion has wings, then painting is where I soar.
All these years of painting, have gone by quickly. For instance, I've been teaching my Monhegan Island Plein Air Workshop annually for 19 years. Talk about time flying when you’re having fun. It quite literally feels like yesterday. Pam and I have been blessed each year with a wonderful group of students and we’ve been blessed with a lot of good weather. We’ve had great times on Monhegan and we're thankful for everyone who has ever come out and immersed themselves into painting with us in the spirit of learning and good fun.
My first visit to that wonderful rock in the sea, was 24 years ago, with my good friend Alex Vranos. He called me one day and said, let’s go to Monhegan Island and paint for a week. It was a week of heaven. Each morning we would wake up to picture perfect weather. My first ever painting of Monhegan was done on the back of the island along the path from White Head looking down at Gull Rock and the Atlantic. I still have that painting and I get excited every time I look at it. I also remember the excitement of carrying all my gear and the anticipation of taking in the view from the high vantage point of 150 foot cliffs, rising out of the ocean. After that first trip, I just knew that I would be going back as often as I could. Pam was visiting Monhegan for some years before we were married and so together, we had the same vision. Years ago, when Pam was on dialysis, I trained for 4 months to become a dialysis tech, so that we could do her treatments at home and because it was a portable 75 lb machine, we could ship 800 lbs of pre mixed dialysate to Monhegan ahead of time and dialyze her there too. We could teach and paint and keep our pilgrimage to the island going. It’s like we never skipped a beat. That’s how awesome Monhegan really is. Once you visit, you can’t stop. You find a way to get back.
With 2019 being our twentieth year, Pam and I want to make it a special and festive occasion. Two decades of an annual workshop is worth celebrating! We are offering Monhegan as our usual 3 day workshop, but extending it by 2 more free days for anyone wanting to stay on for the 5 day experience. The cost is for 3 days and the extra days are our way of saying thank you. The add on days will be full days of painting with a critique at the end of each day, with wine and cheese for a festive and relaxing atmosphere. On the very last day, we will hold a drawing for one of my original 9x12 inch paintings of Monhegan. We will also bring back our popular and fun Dueling Demo session, where Pam and I race against an hour glass to see who can come up with the best painting. It will be an exciting and inspirational week of learning, socializing as a community of artists and painting. You can read more about the workshop by clicking here. There is one thing that I can guarantee you about the workshop. Besides being a great week...it will fly right by.