Exploring Landscape Through Photography, The Figure & Encaustic: An Artist Retreat

A collaborative teaching venture with artists, Leah MacDonald & Lorraine Glessner. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with photographic imagery, collage and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land during this Artist Workshop Retreat in rural Vermont.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

Exploring Landscape Through Photography, The Figure & Encaustic: An Artist Retreat

Limited to 12 participants!
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
$1500 includes accommodations** (See the list of available rooms below), breakfast and lunch and most workshop materials (see supply list below)

Not Interested in Lareau Inn Accommodations, breakfast or lunch?
$900 includes workshop fee and most materials (see supply list below)

Registration Instructions if staying at Lareau Inn:
1. Visit the Lareau Inn web site and choose your room. See the list below of available rooms. DO NOT book the room from the web site!!!
2. Contact Lorraine via email lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com with the name of the room you’d like to book and for payment details.

Available Rooms at the Inn as of 3/1/21
• Forgiveness
• Beauty

Payment Payment of 50% of the workshop fee + materials + accommodations ($750) is due at the time of registration with the remaining 50% ($750) due approximately 6 weeks before the workshop date. Please contact Lorraine lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com for payment details.

**Additional Accommodations Although the workshop continues through Friday, you must check out of Lareau Inn on Friday morning. If you would like to stay in the area Friday evening or beyond, there are many places in the town of Waitsfield and in nearby Stowe.

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

When August 9-13, 2021
(Scroll down for detailed daily itinerary)
Monday 7-9pm Orientation
Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm Workshop Hours
Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30-10pm optional night studio hours

Where  Lareau Farm Inn, Waitsfield, Vermont

Who A collaborative teaching venture with Leah MacDonald & Lorraine Glessner (Scroll down for more about Lorraine and Leah.

Workshop Description
The mark of nature combined with encaustic painting creates timeless works which reference memory, change and time. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with photographic imagery, collage and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land. Easy to moderate hike(s) exploring the rugged natural beauty of Vermont are led by Lorraine and Leah, during which students will explore the photographic possibilities of a live model within a landscape environment. Along with daily journaling, meditation, readings and expressive mark-making exercises, these immersive hikes and photo shoots will provide the inspiration for which to develop ideas and provide areas of focus for series based work while also developing your personal artistic voice. Considerations of our body’s connection and it’s direct relationship to landscape will also be discussed. Optional individual critiques with both instructors will be offered to all participants.


  • The workshop will be held outdoors under the Lareau Inn’s event pavilion, which is covered and offers plenty of room for distancing.
  • We will require masks during the workshop while in the pavilion.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available at the workshop tables. Please bring your own to supplement during the workshop and/or to use elsewhere at the Inn.
  • Scroll down for the workshop cancelation policy.
  • Please contact Lareau Inn for additional Vermont statewide restrictions.

Detailed Workshop Itinerary

Monday 7-9pm Orientation
Meet & Greet Wine and Smores by the Lareau Farm Fire Pit

Tuesday 9-4:30 Workshop, 7:30-10pm Optional Night Studio
The first day of the workshop will be a two-part photo shoot — students will photograph a model in the studio (our “main character”) and then we will go out on an easy hike to photograph on location in the landscape environment. Leah will teach you techniques and tips for working with a model, arranging props, and creating interesting compositions.

Wednesday 9-4:30 Workshop, 7:30-10pm Optional Night Studio
Students will review their images and have a personalized editing session with Leah and Lorraine to discuss ideas for a visual narrative and select images that will work best in a composition. Leah will discuss and give students tips on the best types of ink jet papers for printing photographs on your home printer. 
Lorraine and Leah will introduce photo transfer, collage, texture, surface manipulation and mark-making exercises, encouraging students to think creatively, symbolically and intuitively throughout the creative process.

Thursday 9-4:30 Workshop, 7:30-10pm Optional Night Studio
Lorraine and Leah will continue with photo transfer, collage, texture, surface manipulation and mark-making demos and exercises, encouraging students to develop a personal artistic voice. Leah and Lorraine will be conducting personalized individual mentoring sessions.

Friday 9-4:30 Workshop
Morning work time to complete projects and individual mentoring with Lorraine and Leah. Afternoon project show and tell with the group, clean up and good-byes.

What Else?

  • Color relationships, composition, application, content, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  • Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  • Mark-making exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal language.
  • The option of an Individual Consultation/Critique discussion with each instructor. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with Leah and Lorraine.
  • Some guided meditation time and planned hikes will relax and open your mind and spirit to the land, helping to support and nurture your unique creative voice.
  • A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration.
  • Lots of open studio time to explore and interpret the inspiration gained from the meditations and hikes.

SCROLL DOWN TO THE END OF THIS POST TO SEE images of student work and fun scenes from artist workshop retreats hosted and taught by Lorraine and workshops taught by Leah. For more images of past Artist Retreats co-taught by Lorraine visit here, here and here and Lorraine’s Workshop Web Site. Additional blog posts related to artist retreats co-taught by Lorraine are here, here and here..

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

About Lareau Farm Inn & Barn
Nestled on 25 acres of natural beauty, with the Mad River just steps away as well as trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking, Lareau Farm Inn and Barn is the perfect place to spark and inspire your artist vision. Our workshop studio is in the Historic Dairy Barn on the Lareau property, featuring rough-hewn beams, centuries-old hardwood floors and tons of space in which to create. The rooms at Lareau Inn feature antique furnishings, comfortable beds, and charming baths in a Vermont farmhouse setting with delicious farm to table dining. There is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the view in the common areas including a charming dining room, back porch and backyard fire pit. Visit Lareau Farm Inn Web Site for more images and information.

About Leah and Lorraine

About Leah MacDonald
My work is a dialogue between my imagination, my curiosity, my imperfections and my desires. I express the tales of womanhood, sharing stories through form, color and texture.
I am a portrait artist. I primarily photograph women and embellish the photographs with layers of beeswax, colored wax, painting and drawing. Adding wax for texture and color for mood changes the black and white photographs. Wax embellishes and veils my subjects and I draw to decorate and control the image. The ability to layer mediums and constantly change appearance and texture allows me to stray from reality and reach the playground of imagination. I am interested in images from nature and designs that have floral and intricate forms.
I have enjoyed a varied career path within the arts. I shoot digital commercial photography and I owned a small company that designed handmade art books and wedding albums. I taught photography for 7 years at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I am currently the Education Curriculum Director at the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center. In 2017 I was selected as the recipient of the NewCourtland Fellowship by The Center for Emerging Visual Artists. Now, over twenty years into my career as an artist and art educator, I have taught and exhibited all over the world — from being invited to do a live encaustic painting demonstration on the Martha Stewart show to working in the theater as the scenic director of In My Body: The Musical.
My passion is sharing my art and creativity with others. I have taught workshops as large as thirty-five students and as small as one-on-one private sessions — from private workshop retreats in France to teaching groups of elementary students in my backyard studio. I have grown to appreciate teaching all age groups for their unique needs and perspectives.

About Lorraine Glessner

Lorraine Glessner’s love of surface, pattern, markmaking, image and landscape has led her to combine disparate materials and processes such as silk, wood, wax, pyrography, rust, paper and more in her work. Lorraine is a former Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a workshop instructor and an award-winning artist. She holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a BS from Philadelphia University, and an AAS in Computer Graphics from Moore College of Art & Design. She has a diverse art background with skills that include painting, sculpture, graphic design, interior design, textile design, photography, digital imaging and much more. Among her most recent professional achievements is a Second Place award in Sculpture from Art of the State at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA, a recently completed artist residency at Jentel Foundation and an acquisition by Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Lorraine’s work is included in the recently released Encaustic Art in the 21st Century by Ashley Rooney and Nuance, a curated book by artist, Michelle Stuart. Lorraine frequently lectures and participates on academic panels at various Conferences including The International Encaustic Conference, SECAC and The College Art Association Annual Conference. Her work is exhibited locally and nationally in galleries, museums, craft centers, schools, libraries, universities, and more. Like her work, Lorraine brings to her teaching a strong interdisciplinary approach, mixed with a balance of concept, process, history, experimentation, problem solving and discovery.

Workshop Supplies & Materials

Materials Included: The following list of materials is provided for the student

  • All encaustic paints, encaustic medium, tools and equipment
  • a variety of pigment sticks
  • Sumi ink & other misc. drawing media
  • Misc. drawing papers
  • Paper towels/rags
  • Extra encaustic brushes
  • Stencils and other textures
  • Misc. collage materials
  • Hahnemuhle photo papers
  • Printer

What to bring: the following is a list of materials for the student to bring to the workshop

  • Sketchbook/notebook, pencil or pen for note taking
  • 1-2 drawing media of your choice (pencil, pastel, conte charcoal, oil pastel, Crayon, graphite, felt pen, etc.)
  • Closed toe shoes for safety in the studio
  • 6-8 wooden painting panels (your preference of 8×8 or 10×10, but no larger or smaller, please) Other suggested substrates are: masonite (coated with encaustic gesso), Ampersand Encausticbord, MultiMedia Art Board. If you decide to bring something other than what is suggested here, it must be rigid and not coated in acrylic or acrylic gesso!!
  • 2-4 actual OR images of your work, digital prints or phone/iPad sharing is fine
  • 5-7 hake or hog’s bristle natural hair brushes in 1-2 inch sizes for encaustic painting (1 brush will be designated your medium brush, so it must be free of color if you are bringing used brushes)
  • materials for collage (fabric, papers, magazine images, photos, etc.)
  • Digital Camera or smart phone or point and shoot camera or DSLR
  • Laptop with photoshop or another photo editing program (There will be a laptop in the studio if you don’t have your own laptop.)
  • Scissors
  • Pva glue
  • Optional Materials Smock, any encaustic paint color or pigment stick color you favor, Iwatani torch with extra butane, any tool or material for any technique that you normally employ while working with encaustic, textured objects and/or sharp ended tool for pressing into/incising/writing/drawing into wax, 1-2 inspiring books to share with the class.

Hiking Equipment Recommendations

  • Sturdy hiking shoes/boots
  • Butt pack or small backpack
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Light rainwear
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Bag for collecting found materials
  • For art supply/portable art supply/hiking or travel ideas, visit Lorraine’s Amazon Store

In the event that you need to cancel your workshop, please notify Lorraine at least 15 days prior to the start of the workshop and your deposit will be refunded. No refunds will be available for cancellations occurring less than 30 days from the start of the workshop.

Breakfast and lunch are included at the Inn Tuesday-Friday. There are many places to eat dinner in Waitsfield and in the surrounding towns. There is a restaurant on the Lareau Inn premises, American Flatbread, which is open Thursday-Sunday evenings and is absolutely delicious!

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Workshop Image Gallery
Images of student work and fun scenes from artist workshop retreats hosted and taught by Lorraine and workshops taught by Leah. For more images of past Artist Retreats co-taught by Lorraine visit here, here and here and Lorraine’s Workshop Web Site. Additional blog posts related to artist retreats co-taught by Lorraine are here, here and here..

Author: lorraineglessner

I'm a mixed media artist, workshop instructor and former assistant professor at tyler school of art in Philadelphia, PA.

2 thoughts on “Exploring Landscape Through Photography, The Figure & Encaustic: An Artist Retreat”

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