I had never touched watercolors in my life—besides the eight-color Crayola® trays that I used in kindergarten. Yet, in only two hours, I created a watercolor painting that I was proud of, during the inaugural session of the Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence program. The luxury bed-and-breakfast Goldmoor Inn, located in Galena, Illinois, is sponsoring the program for four consecutive weeks during January. Award-winning Chicago watercolor painter Carol Luc taught me and several others basic watercolor techniques during this past weekend’s session.
The workshop was held in a heated gazebo overlooking the Mississippi River. So although the temperature outside was single-digits, we painted in comfort while surrounded by Galena’s natural beauty.
A natural painter I am not, so I was somewhat intimidated by the thought of a watercolor class. However, I was relieved when Carol brought out the Saral paper. Saral is graphite tracing paper, sort of like the carbon paper we used to use in typing (I am dating myself here), but a lot less messy. Everyone else in my class opted for the Saral paper, too, instead of drawing the outline of the winter scene by hand.
Once the basic outline was traced onto the watercolor paper, Carol’s teaching expertise (Carol also teaches art classes) made the rest of the class a breeze. She taught us three techniques common in watercolor painting.
We used just one color, which made it simpler for us newbies. The blue that Carol chose was perfect for the snow scene we painted.
Following our session, we toasted our success at a champagne reception, where we also admired more of Carol’s paintings, some of which she created during her week on the premises.
Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence Program Continues through January
Each week in January, the Goldmoor Inn is sponsoring a different painter, who spends the week on site. On Saturday afternoon, the artist teaches a private class. Classes vary in the type of medium. My class was in watercolors. Future classes are in oils and pastels.
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If the weather allows, some of the classes will be held outdoors. Otherwise, like the class I took, they will be in the heated gazebo.
Here is the full schedule of the Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence workshop sessions:
Saturday, January 7: Watercolor techniques to achieve atmospheric perspective taught by artist Carol Luc
More about the Goldmoor Inn
The Goldmoor Inn boasts thirteen suites. In addition, there are two cabins and three cottages on the 21-acre property located high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.
Although every accommodation is common in luxury, each is unique in décor. All have a fireplace, two-person whirlpool tub, and kitchen area with a microwave and refrigerator, plus special features like a heated towel bar.
You may visit the dining room for breakfast or have the gourmet morning meal delivered to your room.
The Goldmoor Inn fine dining room is open to both guests and to the public for dinner Thursday through Monday. Having experienced one of Chef Ryan Mead’s exquisite dinners, I highly recommend enjoying at last one dinner in-house.
More Art in Galena
Art lovers will also want to visit some of Galena’s many art galleries and studios. In downtown Galena alone, more than a dozen shops sell artwork, from paintings and photography to pottery and sculptures. During our short downtown visit, we stopped in three shops.
- Accomplished painter Mark Skidmore offers his own works in Skidmore Art Gallery, as well as pieces created by other artists in various media, including glass and sculpture. Mark also offers art classes.
- We loved the metal sculptures at Galena Metal Artworks, especially the whimsical pieces like a squirrel feeder shaped like a squirrel and creative pieces made of recycled metal objects.
- Pinder Pottery features pottery artist Joe Pinder’s creations, as well as those of other Jo Daviess County potters. Joe offers both beginner and advanced classes in hand-building and wheel-throwing pottery.
To Register for a Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence Art Class
- Classes are limited to 8-10 students. Some classes include all supplies, and students must provide their own supplies for others.
- The Goldmoor Inn, located approximately eight miles south of downtown Galena at 9001 W Sand Hill Road, is offering a 20% discount on room rates to guests who stay two nights and register for an art class.
- Check the Goldmoor Inn website for further details about the Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence program and accommodations.
Disclosures: My participation in the Goldmoor Inn Artists in Residence watercolor class was hosted by the Goldmoor Inn. My accommodations and class were complimentary; however, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
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