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2020 Annual Monhegan Workshop


  • Monhegan Island Monhegan Isand, Maine USA (map)



Monhegan Island Maine

This plein air workshop will be 3 days of instructor demo’s with individual instruction throughout the day, followed by two days of individual painting anywhere on the island with critique sessions each afternoon at 4:30 PM. After Friday's critique, we will hold a drawing for one of David's 9x12 original Monhegan paintings.

Five Day Schedule

We will begin the workshop week on Sunday August 2nd with our traditional meet and greet gathering at 7:30 PM. At 7:45 we can drink a glass of wine and toast the Monhegan sunset as its happening. Monhegan Island is known for spectacular sunsets.

SUNDAY
7:30 - 8:30PM Meet and Greet

MONDAY
8:45 - 9:00 Arrive at painting location
9:00 - 10:30 Lecture and demo
10:30 - 1:00 Paint on Location
1:00 - 1:30 Lunch Break
1:30 - 4:00 Paint on location

TUESDAY
8:45 - 9:00 Arrive at painting location
9:00 - 10:30 Lecture and demo
10:30 - 1:00 Paint on Location
1:00 - 1:30 Lunch Break
1:30 - 4:00 Paint on location
7:00 - 8:30 Group dinner at the Island Inn

WEDNESDAY
8:45 - 9:00 Arrive at painting location
9:00 - 11:30 Dueling Demos (David & Pam) 
11:30 - 12:15 Lunch Break
12:15 - 3:15  Paint on location
3:30 - 4:30   Critique

THURSDAY
Painting on location anywhere on the island. You choose your own starting time based on your desired schedule. The group critique is from 4:30 - 5:30. Wine and cheese will be served.

FRIDAY
Paint on location anywhere on the island.  You choose your own starting time based on your desired schedule. The group critique is from 4:30 - 5:30. Wine and cheese will be served. The drawing for an original 9x12 David Lussier painting of Monhegan Island follows the critique!

About The Workshop

Learn to paint Alla Prima with total confidence. The term Alla Prima means 'At One Go'. In his remarkable treatise 'In Praise Of Painterly Painters', the late artist, author and teacher, Charles Movalli wrote; painterly painters are surrounded by seeming contradictions. They finish by not finishing, include by leaving out, paint more by painting less. Their means are easy to see, the results, immediately felt. But how such seemingly insufficient means lead to these results is a mystery. 

In this workshop, let us take the mystery out of this painterly approach. Economy of stroke is within every painters grasp if they are willing to approach the painting process with a 'Less Is More' mind set. More than half the battle is a willingness to load the brush with enough paint and make each stroke count for something. Over the course of the week, we will strive for this. 

On day one, we will employ the use of just value and shapes. No color allowed! Think of this process like learning to juggle. First we are taught to juggle with only two balls, Value and Shapes. I will demo in 5 values with large premixed piles of Burnt Umber and White. There will be enough piles of premixed paint leftover for each participant to use for the day. Each student will then work on their own painting and be asked to use up all the paint they are given. Good brushwork happens when oil paint is 'built up' on top of oil paint. This lesson will help drive that point home. On day two, I will demo using color. I will emphasize and explore warm and cool colors and how to use them effectively. With my help, each student will first mix up a few large piles of basic colors that represent the main value shapes, for their individual painting. Then we will employ the same method of painting from day one. The Wednesday demo will be our Dueling Demo, where Pam and I race against time and paint the same scene. The dueling demo provides invaluable insight into separate approaches toward the same subject matter. You will be encouraged to tackle up to three paintings each day using the methods you've been taught. Day three will end with a group critique.
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About Monhegan

Monhegan Island is a tiny island about 12 miles off the coast of Maine and reachable by ferry. As soon as you step off the boat, you'll begin to feel Monhegan's special charm. The painting subjects on this quaint artist's paradise have barely changed in over one hundred years and everywhere you look is another painting waiting to be captured on your canvas. Robert Henri ventured out to Monhegan and was so enamored by its subject matter that he painted 25 small oil sketches in a four day period. Everything about Monhegan Island is special and the experience will stay with you for the rest of your life. 
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The link to our supply list below is only a suggested list. If you have a palette of colors, a medium and a supply of brushes that is working for you, then by all means, you are welcome to bring what you like. I do highly recommend a warm and cool tube each of Red, Yellow and Blue. 
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Location: Monhegan Island Maine

Cost: $500  Class  size is limited to 15 students. To register send a deposit check for $250 to:


David Lussier, 80 Olde Mill Rd. Apt 10, Somersworth, NH 03878

Time: 9:00 - 4:00 Monday - Wednesday

Time: Thursday and Friday. Students choose their own start time and painting location. A critique of everyone’s work for the day begins at 4:30 until 5:30

The first link below will take you to the Monhegan Welcome website. The website offers information about planning your trip to Monhegan, along with all accommodation choices, and boat information to get you there from the mainland and a myriad of other things about Monhegan. The other links, 'Robert Henri And His Circle' and 'Monhegan-An Artist's Island' are enjoyable articles that will acquaint you with Monhegan's history and the remarkable treatise 'In Praise Of Painterly Painters', written by Charles Movalli, is an invaluable article about the act of painting.

For Plein Air Painters, Monhegan is Magical by Gail Spilsbury

Monhegan Welcome Website

Robert Henri And His Circle

In Praise Of Painterly Painters

Monhegan - An Artist's Island

Suggested Supply List