Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused! Belfast ME Mel Stabin AWS

Mel Stabin 2012 Photo 1

 Again this year, Mel will be teaching his plein air landscape class in Belfast Me, a tiny, quirky and picturesque city at the head of Penobscot Bay. Belfast has a great working harbor with  big red tugboats, a multitude of boats in and out of the water, a variety of architecture just asking to be painted, good food and fun shops.  This five-day watercolor workshop, for intermediate and advanced students, draws its inspiration from Mel’s book, Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused.  Mel will emphasize his design principles to help you build strong paintings: 1. seeing and thinking simply; 2. painting quickly and energetically, and 3; determining and focusing on the idea of the painting.  Mel tends to paint in a loose, but still representational style; the strength of his paintings lies in the design, composition, and color/value relationships he talks about throughout the class. He’ll take you step by step thru the problem-solving process of making a good painting of whatever you choose for a subject. Be sure to ask him for input during the day. Mel will provide daily demonstrations  personal instruction, group critiques. He’ll be happy to give you insight and direction as he moves around to everyone! 

Mel Stabin 2012 Photo 3stabin download You’ll paint outside every day weather permitting; we do have great studio space as a backup and a base to gather in, leave gear and for critiques.

 Mel Stabin is one of the icons of the watercolor plein air workshop field and has been a legendary and exemplary instructor for decades. He brings to every class the wisdom gained thru his long history as an instructor and painter, his unwavering support of painters committed to growing , his wry dry humor and his love of what he does! Mel Stabin 2012 Photo 2

Stabin class McLoons 2015

Stabin 20150723_095245_resizedMel Stabin is an internationally known teacher, author, and award-winning watercolorist.  A graduate of Pratt Institute, Mel studied the art of watercolor with Edgar Whitney. For over thirty years Mel was an award-winning art director and creative director for major advertising agencies in New York City.  He is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society,  Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor West, North East Watercolor Society, Georgia Watercolor Society, and New Jersey Watercolor Society.  For many decades, Mel has conducted watercolor workshops with groups on location throughout the country and abroad, and for numerous art societies.

stabin images (3) stabin images (4)His paintings have been the recipient of national awards and have been represented in major exhibitions including the American Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Butler Institute of American Art, National Academy of Design, Allied Artists of America, and Watercolor West. Mel has had seventeen one-man exhibitions; his paintings are in many private and corporate collections. Mel was a director for the American Watercolor Society 2006/2006 exhibitions and served as one of the jurors for the AWS 2006 annual International Exhibitions. and in 2011, he was invited by AWS to do a demo for a “Watercolor Evening” during their 144th. He was named one of the Top Ten Watercolor Masters of Today by www.artmatch4U.com  Mel has written numerous feature articles for American Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor, Watercolor Magic, & Watercolor Artist and is the author of two popular Watson-Guptill. books: Watercolor:  Simple, Fast, & Focused and The Figure In Watercolor: Simple, Fast, & Focused.  

We think you’ll love painting in Belfast, a fun and quirky city (about 6000 with one traffic light,) at the mouth of the (say it!!) Passagassawakeag River high up on the coast of Penobscot Bay. It has river, harbor and ocean vistas, a busy working waterfront with red tugboats and a big bridge, cruise ships, boat builders, old boats on land, new boats in the harbor, fishing boats, pleasure craft, and kayakers! Belfast has always had a focus on festivals, street fairs, outdoor music, and arts and crafts events; there are some great shops and galleries. There is an Art Deco movie theater with an elephant on its roof, and a stunning variety of architecture, Victorian, Greek, Colonial and simple New England. There are some fine derelict buildings and a bit of industrial construction still around (Belfast used to be a big chicken processing and sardine canning center, but those are long gone.) There is a great natural foods Co-op, and a lot of artists, dancers and musicians…Belfast has a lively, cohesive, small town feel to it…hard not to love it! There are great places to eat…and a variety of lodging options in town and nearby (Click here for Lodging or Travel information! We’ll be based in a big studio at Waterfall Arts, less than a 1/2 mile out of town, in an old school now thriving as a successful community art center: http://www.waterfallarts.org/         

Some General Class Information:

  • We will process your payment after we get your online Registration and will email you a receipt. A $300 deposit will hold your space. Refund and Cancellation Policies are at the bottom of the Registration Form.

  • You will get a Supply List and more detailed info when you Register, and again about a month before the class.

  • If you will need mediums, let me know and I will have them here for you to buy in class. You are also welcome to ship materials ahead…ask for the address!

  • The first day, the Studio will open early…we will make sure you know the time!Classes usually run M-F, between 8:30-4:30, but the exact hours are at the Instructor’s discretion…never fewer than 6 hours total/day, but sometimes we start earlier or end later…or both!

  • We eat dinner (Dutch) somewhere as a group at least once, usually Monday nite for starters; friends, companions, hosts are welcome to come along.

  • We always have a lunch break, to use or not, it’s up to you…and a lunch plan depending on where we are painting.

  • The Plein Air plan for the day is weather-dependent and usually decided at the end of the previous day if possible, or more likely, each morning!

  • If your class is Plein Air, make sure your Class Monitors know where you have set up, and try to stay close to the demo area. Less running around for them, more time for feedback to you!

  • Our Studios are large with good light; you’ll have your own table space and you are welcome to leave equipment etc. there for the duration of the class. It may be possible to paint after hours, we’ll explain the logistics!

  • There are some steps to the main floor where the Studios are located but there is an elevator in the building if you need it.

  • There is ample free parking at the Studio building, which is within walking distance of downtown.

  • We carpool (or sometimes walk) to Plein Air painting sites, most of which have shade and at the least, a porta-potty or nearby facilities. You will get good directions and we usually caravan. Please, do NOT depend on your GPS unless we say so!

  • Each class has an experienced Monitor (or two!) as your Go-To person for any problems or needs…please ask…we all will do our absolute best to see that you have a great class experience!

  • Downtown has great galleries, shops and food and the area is full of wonderful places to paint!

  • For Lodging and Travel info, click on the buttons on the Home Page.

  • Cancellation and Refund info is at the bottom of the online Registration Form…(please do read the Policies before you check that you have!)

  • Be sure to contact us with any questions. Thanks!