Classes and Open Studios – 2016

(this is a work in progress….more classes will be added)

registration form


Silk Paper Class with Sandi Cirillo – Sunday June 5th  10-1  $30


In this workshop, participants will learn about silk fusion, the process of creating silk paper using various types of silk fibers. Silk paper can be used to make books, note cards, for a variety of mixed media art projects or for the creation of 3-dimensional pieces. Its beautiful colors and translucent quality make silk paper a wonderful addition to the artists repertoire. $7 materials fee


Everything Clay – with Alexsondra Tomasulo

4 sessions – new  Tuesdays   July 5, 12, 19,  26  5:30-8 pm  $145

alex 5

This class offers a self directed approach to understanding forms in clay.  Wheel thrown instruction or hand building techniques…the choice is yours.  Feeling adventurous? Learn to combine the two.  so whether you are looking for utilitarian or the sculptural…this class is for you.  The common thread is fun and discovery.  $10 materials fee.


Gelatin Prints and hand bound journals – with Abbie Read

June 21    10-4  $90 members $100 – non-members

abbie read - gelatin class

Join a friendly group of us for a day long workshop making nature based gelatin prints which we will then put to use in making our own hand bound journals. Gelatin printing is a quick, easy, fast drying process that will allow us to make colorful and unique decorative paper for the covers of the book. We will then bind a book using a quality drawing paper (or bring your own) and the prints for the covers. The binding technique will be Coptic binding, which allows the journal to be opened flat for ease in drawing and painting. You are guaranteed to get hooked both on gelatin printing and book binding! Bring your lunch. Materials fee will be $10. All other materials are provided.

Abbie Read lives and works in Appleton, and shows her work around the state, around New England and abroad. She works in mixed media, particularly assemblage and collage, often incorporating handmade books as well as old books into her art. She enjoys teaching workshops in visual journaling, bookbinding techniques, gelatin printing, paste paper painting and collage. Website:


Plein Air Painting Essentials with Phil Frey –

rescheduled to July 30 & 31  9am – 4pm      $195

Join artist Philip Frey for a unique plein air workshop designed to teach the essentials of plein air painting. We will begin early, painting on location each day. Emphasis will be placed on perceptual painting, finding a good location, setting up for ease of use, and learning the elements of good design through specific lessons and limited palettes.
As this will be an intensive workshop, basic drawing skills are strongly suggested. Come prepared for unpredictable Maine weather (wind, sun, bugs and rain). In the case of rain, we will paint indoors or under cover outside. Philip will be painting in oil but has experience with acrylic and watercolor.
Philip is known for his vibrant, loose and accomplished plein air and studio paintings. Having taught in many venues, Philip is celebrated for his engaging, illuminating and positive teaching. He is skilled at addressing his student’s abilities and confidence to help them move to the next level. 
Artist and student, Vcevy Strekalovsky of Hingham, MA writes, “Philip is a delight to work with, giving freedom yet challenges to students of all levels, based in a deep knowledge of expressionistic landscape painting.” Read more testimonials here.
Philip Frey was born in Maine in 1967, graduated with a degree in painting from Syracuse University in 1990 and has studied with master artist, Alan Bray. He works from his secluded studio in Sullivan, Maine, focusing on the color, light and forms of the landscape, cityscape, as well as the figure and interiors. He primarily paints from direct perception, preferring the dynamic quality, richness and challenges of working from life. Philip is a skilled teacher of painting and is represented by Courthouse Gallery Fine Art and Maine Art Gallery. Ask for Supplies List


Pottery for teens and younger….

Teen pottery hang out: Bring your friends for a pottery hang out! Choose a structured project for your group or work independently.

Friday, July 22 6-8pm

Friday, August 19 6-8pm

$12 per person


Beginning pottery wheel for kids:

Come learn how to use the pottery wheel to make useful creations. Ages 8-14.

Two summer sessions:

Session one: Thursday, June 30, 9-12 and Friday, July 1 9-12

Session two: Thursday, August 11, 9-12 and Friday, August 12 9-12


Clay Postcards with Rachel Hamlin – June 25  9:30-12:30   $45

Rachel postcards

Clay Postcards: Gather your favorite postcards and bring them to this workshop where you will learn to create imagery using shallow relief in clay.


Portfolio building for the College Bound with Rachel Hamlin

Rachel Portfolio IMG_2377

Sundays June 26th, July 3rd and July 10th 9-12pm  $135

Portfolio building for the College Bound: Are you planning on attending art school in the near future? If so, bring all your best artwork to River Arts. Rachel will take the time to look over all your work, give you feedback on what you can do to add to your portfolio. Students will be given time to work in many different art mediums including: clay, printmaking, drawing, painting and more!


Design Class with Kris Engman

Mondays June 27,  July  18, 25   10-4      $150

Engman Design

Knowing how and where to arrange information in a composition is the hidden architecture of the creative process.  How big should an element be?  How many of ‘those’ do I need?  What is the movement in a piece?  How do I direct my viewer’s attention”  What is the hierarchy of importance in my composition?  What makes something visually captivating?

In this 3-week class we will explore compositional behavior in order to discover just what makes a complete, balanced visual statement.  Using a variety of materials from cut paper to ink-drawn images, a selection of time-tested design problems will be our entry point for discussion about 2D design concerns and what makes on solution more effective than another.

It is informative, creative and thought-provoking.  This workshop is structured for all artists who work 2 – dimensionally.  No prior experience necessary


The next Family Open Studio will be Thursday, July 21 10-12PM.

hamlin family day2Bring your family to the River Arts Ceramics Studio to experience everything we have to offer in clay! Hand building, wheel throwing and glazing activities will be available to participants who wish to participate. All creations will be fired and ready to pick up.
$12.00 fee for clay, glaze and firing. Family rate: $35 for four or more!


Gouache Painting with Julie Babb – 4 Thursdays  July 7,14, 28, Aug 4th   10-12

Babb - Egret

Class will focus on gouache, its properties, pros and cons. Some basic color theory, mixing neutrals, shading, dry brush technique will be included. Subject matter usually relates to the natural world, ie., botanicals, birds, fur, feathers, etc. with a goal of accurate representational painting and attention to detail.  Instructor wiil bring some basic supplies to the first class.  $120 members $130 non-members. Ask for supplies list.


Everything Clay – with Alexsondra Tomasulo

4 sessions – new  Tuesdays   July 5,12,19,26     5:30-8 pm  $145

alex 5

This class offers a self directed approach to understanding forms in clay.  Wheel thrown instruction or hand building techniques…the choice is yours.  Feeling adventurous? Learn to combine the two.  so whether you are looking for utilitarian or the sculptural…this class is for you.  The common thread is fun and discovery. $10 materials fee.


dates and cost changed Figure Drawing & Anatomy with Kris Engman- Tues July 5, 12, 19, 26  10-4 pm    $200 members $250  non-members

RA FigDrawing

This course is designed to provide the draftsman with the supporting anatomical information that will give structure to his or her study of the figure. Initially, the course is dedicated to gaining an understanding of human (and occasionally animal)
architecture through the examination and study of the skeleton. There is a focus on proportion, measurement and the figure ( including linear perspective), figure/ground balance and the new ‘reality’ that is the drawing! The student’s attention will also be directed to the musculature and its complexities – how the skeleton moves, how the muscles themselves function, the interaction of body parts due to the positioning of the figure, depth of field, foreshortening, and working to enhance visual interest through the well-articulated balance of contrasts.

Throughout the course, the introduction of a variety of materials is ongoing with emphasis placed on experimentation side by side with the developing of new skills. Formal drawing concepts rooted in the basic elements of drawing are addressed with the use of regular supplementary presentations, frequent handouts and daily critiques.

Shared model fees extra.


Watercolor with Erica Qualey – July 8,9,10

Qualey bouys @ Peggy's Cove copy

3 days  9-2  $225 members $250 non members

This class is designed for people who have had some basic experience watercolor painting and would like to continue developing their work. During the class we will go over techniques to help create texture and richness to your watercolor with demonstrations, as well as discussion about composition, color, values, and texture, and the decisions artists must make to achieve what they are looking for. We will also discuss the nature of watercolor and its relationship with water and how to apply this to your practice.

During the class everyone will be working on individual projects with one-on-one guidance from the instructor as well as group discussions.

Participants will receive a suggested materials list from the instructor and will be expected to bring their materials to the first class along with photos and/or sketches that they are interested in painting.


Summer Ladies nights: July 14 & Aug 11  6-8 pm

ladies night

Bring your close friends for a creative night out! Get ‘down and dirty’ with clay on the second Thursday of every month! Choose a structured project for your group or work independently.

$15 per person


Plein Air Workshop with Bobbi Heath – July 13 & 14  9-4

$180 members, $190 non-members


Do you dream of painting outdoors, but find the idea intimidating? Join Bobbi Heath in painting the harbors, marshes, and farms of the Damariscotta region en plein air, in oils. The plein air tradition, popularized by the impressionists in France, is a wonderful way to embrace nature and enjoy your creative side, out of doors. Bobbi will lead the class in two days of exploring this exciting approach to painting, in a non-intimidating, fun, and relaxed environment. We will review basic fundamentals, such as values, composition, and color; learn how to paint within Mother Nature’s time and weather constraints; and pick up tricks of the trade for painting out of doors. No previous outdoor painting experience is necessary, some painting background will be helpful.


Get Creative with Coils with Rachel Hamlin – Sat. July 16 9:30-12:30pm $45

Rachel coils IMG_2376

Students will learn how versatile the coil building method is through this intensive submersion into the world of coils! Students will come home with a large clay coil creation of their own design utilizing their new coil building skills.


Confidence in Clay Alexsondra Tomasulo and Rachel Hamlin – Sun. July 17 2:30-5:30pm  $45


Rachel Confidence IMG_2378

Using Clay to build Confidence: Students will focus on basic handbuilding methods for working with clay such as pinching, coiling and slab building as they explore the medium of clay. Students will work on both fine and gross motor skills and enjoy the tactile experience unique to everything clay!!


Plein Air Painting with Kris Engman- July 20,  21,  22 –

Participate 1, 2 or all three days      $100 per day – $275 for 3 days.



A Different Kind of Watercolor Workshop:
Illustrated Journaling with Hannah Ineson
One day workshops   10am -4pm  $90 members $95 non-members

July 21          Aug 4       Aug 18         Sept 8      Sept 22

HI -Fall Farm Stand.jpg

This is a great class for beginners (yes, you can do it!), as well as accomplished painters looking for a fun way to find new images, and loosen up. Learn some easy decorative lettering, drawing and watercolor techniques, composition and more. You’ll go home with your own journal packed full of images from our surrounding area and plenty of ideas for more.

What is an “illustrated journal?” It’s a small book of watercolor paper in which you record images and text around any theme. Traditionally used to record memories while traveling, your journal can also record family memories, images of your hometown, favorite recipes, visits to restaurants, any theme that gets you into action. We’ll provide recommendations on materials that fit in a small bag or purse. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!

We will also provide a materials package for $50. It will include the watercolor journal, the field paint box and brush, and a drawing pen or  students want to buy or bring individual items they may.


Plant Imprinting on Fabric with Sandi Cirillo

Sunday, July 17  – 3 hours  10-1 pm  $30


Join us as we celebrate the beauty of the world around us. This workshop will teach you to imprint a design on a canvas tote bag using a variety of natural plant materials. We will begin by experimenting on various fabric surfaces to see how color reproduces. Then we will move on to creating a finished tote bag that expresses a one-of-a-kind design. All materials are provided by the instructor. Participants are encouraged to bring favorite flowers or leaves from their own garden or yard. Just make sure they are kept in water until the workshop. Materials fee $7

The next Family Open Studio  10-12:30PM.

July 21 & Aug 18

hamlin family day2Bring your family to the River Arts Ceramics Studio to experience everything we have to offer in clay! Hand building, wheel throwing and glazing activities will be available to participants who wish to participate. All creations will be fired and ready to pick up.
$12.00 fee for clay, glaze and firing. Family rate: $35 for four or more!


Stonecarving with Andy Seferlis

stone carving3
Monday-Friday, 10-2pm.

Two  1 week sessions in last week of July  &  1st week of Aug
$300/week All experience levels welcome

Bring your own stone or let us know if you need one. Limestone and/or marble can be provided at cost. Sizes and shapes will vary. If you have tools, bring them. Tools will be provided if you don’t own them: chisels, hammers, power tools, angle grinders, extension cords, small compressors. Bring a pencil, notebook, charcoal, gloves, safety glasses, dust masks, all available at your local hardware. Addictive, tiring and satisfying. Relaxed and comfortable environment. You will
enjoy it!


Nature Drawing with Kris Engman

Tuesdays  Aug  9,16, 23   10-4          $25o members $270 non-members

ND for RA website
This course includes 3 basic areas of concentration: the Micro, the Macro, and the Panoramic. Over the course of 4 weeks, we’ll work outside from hilltops, lakesides, farms, gardens and tidepools to observe and draw. From the large scale to the minute, we’ll have a chance to make a portrayal of all that we find beautiful in Nature. The student will study what a drawing needs to effectively bring the viewer into an intimate experience – this includes using a variety of materials and methods, working out in the summer sunshine in choice locations. Attention given to a broad base of concepts and concerns related to drawing and composition. !No experience necessary. All are welcome.


Beginning Watercolor Workshop – with Erica Qualey -Aug 10 & 11

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA $150 members $175 non-members/2 day session

This class is designed for anyone who is new to watercolor. We will focus on exploring and developing techniques, learning the characteristics of watercolor and the different tools commonly used, creating interesting compositions using sketches and reference photos, and the process of planning and creating a watercolor painting. Participants will have demonstrations and participate in creating quick studies to help build technique. Part of class time will be spent on individual projects with one-on-one instructor feedback.

Participants will receive a suggested materials list from the instructor and will be expected to bring their materials to the first class along with photos and/or sketches that they are interested in painting.


Daily Painting Workshop with Bobbi Heath – Mon. & Tue Aug 15 & 16   10-4

$180 members,  $190 nonmembers

Heath daily2

In this two day workshop, we’ll explore techniques, materials, and a practical approach to painting daily. The workshop will consist of exercises focused on creating a finished painting in a short session, and having fun doing it. Bobbi will demonstrate techniques that will help you get the most out of your painting time and discuss subjects and reference materials particularly suited to daily painting.  Students may work in oils, acrylics or pastels.

Bobbi Heath is a coastal New England painter who works primarily in oils. She particularly enjoys painting en plein air (out of doors). Bobbi studied drawing and painting in the Maine tradition with artists Suzanne Harden and Tina Ingraham. She’s attended numerous workshops across the U.S. and Europe, particularly enjoying those with Carol Marine, Colin Page, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Anne Blair Brown, and Marc Hanson. Her work includes coastal landscapes of her favorite boats and harbors in Maine, travel destinations elsewhere in the US and Europe, and paintings of still life subjects.

Bobbi is represented by Yarmouth Frame and Gallery in Yarmouth, ME, Artists Corner & Gallery in West Acton, MA, and regularly exhibits across New England. She also participates in plein air events in the area. Bobbi was the third prize winner at the Ocean Park Plein Air Festival in July, 2014 and has participated in the Castine Plein Air Festival since its inception in 2013.


Raku workshop

Rachel fire IMG_2381

Get ready to camp out with fellow potters for a fiery August Raku Workshop. Bring your own bisqueware. Late August – Saturday/Sunday


Felted Landscapes –  with Sandi Cirillo

Sunday, October 23      3 hours   10-1 pm  $35

Beginning Feltmaking

Sandi won’t “pull the wool over your eyes” in this art workshop. Participants will learn how to create a beautiful piece of artwork(suitable for framing) using an ancient craft process known as feltmaking. Imagine what you can create using wool, soap and water and a little agitation! This is a “hands on” workshop so come prepared for lots of felted fun. We will learn about wet and needle felting techniques in this class. Materials fee  $8


Learn to paint in the language of COLOR THEORY-

with Kris Engman 8 Sessions –  for level I & II

Saturdays 9 to 1 (level I) 11-3 (Continuing Students)   Oct  – Nov

$250 members  $275 non-members





Instructor: Kris Engman. Kerstin Engman exhibits at the Arden Gallery, Boston, and the Courthouse Gallery, Ellsworth, among other venues. She received her MFA from University of Pennsylvania, where she studied with Neil Welliver, and her BFA from Maine College of Art, with additional study at Rhode Island School of Design. Engman brings a rich and broad career in painting, drawing, sculpture and digital media to the instructor’s role. In her work she explores varied visions, media, materials and genres. In 1997 she became founder and director of Project Kalocsa, a cultural exchange between Hungary and the USA. She has also worked in arts education in Maine schools and in several New England colleges, including Maine College of Art, and is presently on the faculty of University of Maine. >

All are Welcome


Ceramics with Alexsondra Tomasulo –


Hand Building and Wheel Throwing – 4 weeks    $120.00

Dates TBA

Pinching, Slabbing and Coiling your way to new discoveries.
Add some wheel thrown elements and let your imagination soar.
We will be focusing on the quality of form, surface design, and texture.
Alternatives to glazing will be discussed and encouraged.

Alexsondra Tomasulo has been working in clay for over thirty five years. Her organic sculptures as well as her serene functional ware have been shown in galleries in New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Maine. She currently resides on the coast of Maine, where she continues to create in clay as well as paints and writes.


Shibori silk Scarves with Sandi Cirillo

Sunday November 20 (in time for Christmas giving)

3 hours………10-1pm   $30


In this hands on workshop, participants will learn about “shibori”, the Japanese resist method of creating designs on silk using a PVC pipe. This is a unique process as we wrap our scarves around the PVC pipe and watch as our creativity takes over, spilling onto the pipe in layer after layer of color. You will also be given the opportunity to paint directly on your scarves. Each person will complete two finished scarves in this class. The science of art and the creativity of the individual unite in this workshop to produce a finished product that can be worn with pride or given as a gift. Materials fee $10

This class is a 3 hour class( from 9-noon) but participants can also stay for an additional 3 hour session(from 1- 4pm) in the afternoon which will give you more time to explore this wonderful medium of dyeing on silk fabric. If you stay for the afternoon session, the cost will be an additional $30.00……total cost for BOTH the morning and afternoon workshops will be $60.00 plus $20.00 in materials fees



Life sculpture

Life Sculpture Studio – 4 weeks –

10am – 1 pm $80

A new 4-week session in life sculpture is start every 4 weeks at River Arts Studio, 241 US Route 1 in Damariscotta. The sessions will run from 10 am to 1 pm, on Thursdays. The cost is $80. Participants will work, without instruction, from a long-term pose over a six week period. There are no formal critiques, but participants are free to ask other members or the monitor for help or advice whenever needed.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their own tools, armatures, and their preferred sculpting medium. Most participants use water based clay (self hardening or firing), or oil based clay (plasticine, plastilina), and some prefer wax. There are some tools and supplies available to borrow until you can get your own, but the selection is limited.

River Arts also offers open studios in life drawing and ceramics – times are listed on the website For more information email: or call 563-1507

River Arts Open Studio Schedule

Open Studio Ceramics

Thursdays – 5:30-7:30 Rachel Hamlin

Sunday  – 10-2 Rachel Hamlin

$8/hour at the River Arts Studio

Private Classes: We are happy to create a class to fit your needs (throwing classes limited to four people). One-on-one instruction for most topics can be scheduled at your convenience. The cost is $45 per hour including materials and firing fee.


Open Studio Life Drawing: monitor Roberta Goschke

Ongoing Wednesday evenings 6 – 9 pm$15 m/$20 n/m Studio at 241 US Route 1