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Northern Indiana Plein Air Workshop


Last year's workshop was a resounding success, offering an experience filled with learning, discovery, problem-solving, personal growth, and enjoyment. We are excited to offer this workshop again and anticipate another rewarding experience for everyone!

Cost: $500 (Included in the price is a catered lunch each day with gluten-free options available)

When: September 9-11, 2024, 9 am-4 pm EST

Where: Northeast Fort Wayne, Indiana (Spencerville, Indiana)

There are currently openings available!

All skill levels and art mediums are welcome. Bring your favorite supplies.

Welcome to the ultimate artist's retreat! A place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in a serene and tranquil environment that will inspire your creativity and ignite your passion for art.

Located in the breathtaking Indiana countryside, this custom-made workshop and painter's retreat is designed to provide you with the ultimate learning experience. Imagine setting up your plein air gear before a tranquil pond, friendly cows and chickens, and sunflowers perfectly timed to bloom for this workshop. This 20-acre homestead has lush greenery, trees, ponds, and vibrant colors that will take your breath away. And to top it all off, we’ll have a live model posing for us for one day’s session. This is the perfect setting to connect with your inner artist, grow your skills, and create something truly beautiful.

Led by award-winning artists Steve Puttrich and Rachel Dowd, this workshop is designed to challenge and inspire you. You'll receive expert guidance and instruction on various techniques and approaches that will help you take your skills to the next level. Whether you're a seasoned artist or just starting, this retreat is the perfect opportunity to explore your creativity and develop your skills in a welcoming and supportive environment.

Composition, design, and color will be the topics for this workshop to provide foundational skills for improving your work. You will learn:

·The rules of good composition and how to create balanced and exciting value studies for more successful paintings.

·How to harness your control as an artist to create engaging and dynamic paintings from mundane scenes.

·How to identify focal points, reorganize elements, and simplify busy scenes to empower you not to feel constrained by your subject.

·How subtle shifts in color temperature and value within shapes make paintings feel more alive.

By the end of this workshop, you will have a toolkit of skills to bring life and energy into your successfully designed paintings.


Day One: Composition and Design

Morning Session:

9:00-9:30: Introduction and Welcome

9:30-10:30: Demonstration - Designing a Value Plan -Rachel

10:30-12:00: Demo time and participants create value studies of different locations on the farm.

12:00-1:00: Catered lunch and lunchtime demo and discussion - Steve.

Afternoon Session:

1:00-4:00: Painting time with individual support from Rachel and Steve

Day Two: Composition and Design

Morning Session:

9:00-9:30: Recap of Day One

9:30-10:30: Discussion on design contrast principles and focal points - Steve and Rachel

10:30-12:00: Demo time and participants work on value sketches with modified elements

12:00-1:00: Catered lunch with lunchtime demo - Rachel

Afternoon Session:

1:00-4:00: Painting time with individual support from Rachel and Steve

Day Three: Color Exploration

Morning Session:

9:00-9:30: Recap of Day Two

9:30-10:30: Discussion and demo on varying warms and cools within values - Rachel

10:30-12:00: Demo time and participants experiment with subtle shifts in color temperature and hue within one value

12:00-1:00: Catered lunch and lunchtime demo - Steve

Afternoon Session:

1:00-3:00: Artists paint, incorporating attractive colors while maintaining the original design and value structure with individual support from Rachel and Steve

3:00 - 4:00 pm Feedback session: Rachel and Steve will give a group feedback session for each artist.

*Supply List available upon registration

To Register: Contact Rachel HERE

Nearby Hotel Recommendations:

Hilton Garden Inn - 10650 Diebold Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46845

Springhill Suites - 4145 New Vision Dr, Fort Wayne, IN 46845

Payment is due at the time of registration, but we understand that life sometimes goes differently than planned. If you need to cancel for any reason, you will receive a full refund of your workshop fee.

Steve Puttrich Biography:

Steve Puttrich is a Chicago-based artist with a deep passion for bringing the vibrancy of nature and human connection to life on canvas. Educated in the creative halls of the American Academy of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, Steve has built a career that marries the delicate balance of watercolor with the boldness of oil paints. His work captures the simple beauty of the outdoors, often reflecting his own experiences and the overcoming of personal challenges from his youth.

With over three decades in the creative industry, Steve's journey has also led him to share his expertise as an instructor and mentor, shaping the next generation of artists. His partnership in life and art with his wife, Bobbie, has taken him across the country to teach and capture landscapes that speak to the heart.

An artist who paints with empathy and teaches with generosity, Steve's canvases are as much a window to his soul as an invitation to find your own story within his brushstrokes. His dedication to his craft has earned him accolades and made him a beloved figure among his students and peers in the Plein Air community and beyond.

Rachel Dowd Biography:

Rachel Dowd is an impressionist painter based in Indiana who celebrates the beauty of daily life through her work. Despite being self-taught, Rachel's journey towards becoming an artist is deeply influenced by her experiences as a mother. Her oil paintings are characterized by minimal brushstrokes and a "less is more" approach, which reflects her fascination with light and the emotional textures of everyday life.

Russian impressionists and the simple joys of home and nature inspire Rachel's art. She has earned several prestigious awards, cementing her reputation in the art world. She shares her passion for art as a teacher and hopes to inspire others to cultivate their creativity. Her work invites viewers to appreciate the beauty of the ordinary and encourages them to pause and savor life's quiet moments.