Sunday, June 5, 2011

Abbey Ryan Workshop

Still Life With Plum
Oil on Hardboard

 I just got back from my one day workshop with Abbey Ryan  in Yardley PA.  It was a great workshop and I feel like I learned a lot from Abbey.  I have a lot of things I want to share and will be doing so in the next few days.  Like how I got this wet painting from PA to GA to IL!

Abbey was a great teacher.  She spent the morning painting a demo for us and giving us instruction while she painted.  We were able to ask her all kinds of questions while she worked on her painting.  One of the most interesting things to me was her explanation that painting is a whole different process than drawing and the way she held her brush and used it was really eye opening to me.  I can't wait to sit down and paint some more with the new knowledge I have.  She also used a rather large filbert brush which I had never used before.  Will be doing some more experimenting with that too.

Here is the demo that Abbey did while she taught.  She spent quite a bit of time setting it up until she got that "flash of a painting".  Meaning she could see a painting waiting to be made when things were in just the right position.  She didn't quite get the painting finished (hence the clips on the sides) but it was an amazing painting.  Another interesting thing is that although her paintings look  photo perfect on-line, they are actually full of very expressive brushstrokes when you see them up close in person.

We then painted in the afternoon with Abbey there for support and suggestions.  Abbey really thinks that painting with natural light makes a big difference, so we were all set up around the windows in groups and painting from shared set-ups.  As the afternoon wore on, it got more and more cloudy outside until it got really hard to tell the different colors apart on the palette and the canvas.  But, it was just great to get the chance to have Abbey there to offer her suggestions.
So thank you to Abbey and The Artists of Yardley PA for putting on this workshop. I prayed about attending this workshop and really felt that I had God's blessing to go.   I signed up for this before I even knew how I was going to get there.  As it worked out my husband ended up having a work meeting in Wilmington and we were able to share the expenses.  God does work in mysterious ways!  If you ever have an opportunity to study with Abbey I highly recommend it.


  1. I love Abbey's work and her style and you are really lucky to have joined her workshop.Loved the piece you painted too.Its really lovely Karla!

  2. Love your piece too, Karla. So well done! Love Abby's as well; her peach is exquisite!

    My goal is to be able to do more of the workshops from home as Susan Carlin handles her classes. I thought that was fabulous and so much easier for me, and less expensive. I wonder if there are many such classes from many artists?

  3. Beautifully painted Karla,I can see Abbey's influence and actually I find yours has an extra brightness to it which I love.

  4. I agree Sherry, the on-line classes are great. I'm not aware of any others at the moment but will pass along any that I hear of.

  5. Karla, I'm so glad to hear that you took Abbey Ryan's workshop, and that you enjoyed it. I've been following her for sometime, and am amazed at her talent! You did a beautiful job on your still life. Thank you for sharing the photos.


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