Teaching Schedule

Workshop Overview
•    For registration, supply lists and other details, please refer to vendor website links within each description
•    Please check back from time to time, for updates & details about additional upcoming workshops
•    All skill levels are invited, unless noted otherwise
•    Age requirement is typically 12 and up
•    Workshops usually fill; early sign-up is recommended
•    See TEACHING for student comments & testimonials
•    Please click here to be added to the mailing list to receive teaching updates.

Here are a few words from Edward Abbey on the importance of getting out into the wilds…
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
– Edward Abbey, as quoted from a speech to environmentalists in Missoula, Montana, and in Colorado, which was published in High Country News, (24 September 1976), under the title “Joy, Shipmates, Joy!”

Autumn Botanicals
November 3 – 5, 2017
Sitka Center for Art & Ecology
Portland, Oregon
This workshop has a waiting list
Details & Registration: www.sitkacenter.com
Respond to the gentle wild of autumn by creating a collection of drawings and paintings. During gentle forays into the Hoyt Arboretum, we’ll collect objects, record observations, and glean ideas to transform our practice and uncover themes. Fall leaves, fungi, lichen, seed pods, light and mood will inspire a sequence of studies in the studio using ink, watercolor, gouache, and pencil. Our work will include user-friendly ways to mix accurate color, create repeating patterns, capture gesture, detail and light, and build layers to conjure up autumn’s glow. You’ll complete a beautiful folio of botanical studies for future reference and inspiration.

Wild Yoga Wild Art Wild Hawaii:
A Retreat with Dennis Eagan & Andie Thrams on the Big Island 
January 26 – February 2, 2018   
This workshop is full, with a waiting list
Click here for more info, and/or to be added to the waiting list.
Immerse yourself in the nurturing pursuits of yoga, art making, healthy eating, and island explorations during a blissful week in Hawaii! The quieter pursuits of watercolor painting, journal keeping, meditation, pranayama, and restorative yoga will balance our more vigorous activities of vinyasa yoga, hiking, swimming, and snorkeling. This retreat is limited to 12 participants, and all levels of yoga and art experience are invited.

Spring Retreat:
Wildflowers, Watercolors, & Field Journals 
April 5 – 8, 2018   
Coloma/Lotus, California
This workshop is full, with a waiting list
Click here for more info, and/or to be added to the waiting list.
Come gather in the Sierra Nevada foothills, on the South Fork of the American River, a rural area famous for spring wildflowers, lovely footpaths, and whitewater boating. With field journals and lightweight tools in hand we’ll wander local trails, make marks, capture colors, record visions, and explore habitats. Inspired by local flora, our work will dance between care and abandon, using watercolor, ink, and gouache to invite the magic of spring into our art practice. The pace will allow time for structured instruction, individual meandering, morning yoga, and sunset painting by the river. Andie will share her wildflower knowledge and ever-evolving field techniques for capturing light, color, gesture and detail, using the journal for experimenting and developing creative themes. You’ll go home inspired to continue exploration in your journal or other art forms.

Watercolor Field Studies: The Colors of Cordova
August 4-5, 2018
The Net Loft
Cordova, Alaska
Click here for more info.
We’ll delve deeply into the language of color, working systematically and intuitively, creating beautiful color studies, and recording observations of Cordova’s unique color palettes along the way. Our experiments will focus on the sea, sky, forest, and town palettes, using each habitat to deepen your awareness of color interactions, what colors you are moved by, and how to get the colors you seek down on paper. We’ll consider color theory, pigment properties, types of paints, brushes, & supports, proper care of materials, and how to make use of this powerful knowledge in your future projects. No experience needed to enjoy this course!

Watercolor Intensive: Materials, Methods & Magic
August 10-12, 2018
The Net Loft
Cordova, Alaska
Click here for more info.
Water plus pigment generates a powerful alchemy for revealing the beauty and complexities of the natural world. This intensive workshop will give clear in-depth instruction on using watercolor materials, techniques, tools, and magical properties to empower your painting vision. The subjects and palette of late summer, fading foliage, wild berries, lichens, and mosses, will inspire step-by-step exercises and open-ended processes to demystify watercolor and provide you with new painting strategies. Andie will cover paper choice and prep, types and care of brushes, effects of gum Arabic and ox gall, color theory & mixing strategies, wet into wet & glazing techniques, painting in layers, and framing & other finishing options for the work you create. During gentle forays outdoors, we’ll collect materials and ideas, and experiment with drawing and painting techniques using watercolor, gouache, ink and pencil. You’ll learn new approaches to happily work with speed and freedom to create images in the field as well as strategies to get enough down on paper to enable completion later on. You’ll head home with an impressive collection of studies for future reference and inspiration.  

Individual Artist Mentoring & Creativity Coaching
Coloma, California
Click here for more info.
Andie works privately with a limited number of students each year, and is now accepting applications for new mentoring students. Individual mentoring empowers each artist to work at a deeper level by removing stumbling blocks and identifying the techniques, tools, processes, and professional practices that will take your art vision from the imagined to the real.



Please check back here from time to time for updates & details about additional upcoming workshops like these…
Field Journal Studies
Andie will share her ever-evolving field techniques for capturing plant gesture and detail through demonstrations, discussions, and guided experiments.  With a field journal and lightweight tools in hand we’ll wander freely, making marks to evoke native flora. We’ll identify and sketch plants, observe the unique patterns and designs of individual plants, and combine writing and imagery to create beautiful field journal pages.Everyone will end the day empowered to continue using the journal as a place to record observations, gather inspiration, and develop ongoing creative themes and projects.

Botanical Explorations: Papermaking & The Artist’s Book
Create a unique artist’s book inspired by the forests! Your book will hold handmade paper pages embedded with natural treasures collected from the forest, field drawings, notes and painted illuminations. You’ll take home your artist’s book, a stack of beautiful sheets for future projects, and your own paper making equipment.

Watercolor Intensive: Methods, Materials & Magic
Water plus pigment generates powerful alchemies to reveal wildness. User-friendly instruction will cover using watercolor materials, techniques, tools, and magic properties to empower your painting. You’ll study pigment & brand properties, paper choice & prep, types & care of brushes, effects of gum arabic & ox gall, color mixing strategies, wet into wet & glazing, painting in layers, and finishing options. You’ll emerge with one completed painting and numerous studies for future reference.

Native Botanicals: Color Studies in the Wild
In this hands-on class, we’ll carefully observe native spring flora for an in-depth study of pure color. Andie will cover painting wet into wet, glazing, and using gouache to build layers of accurate color. Exercises will demystify color theory and build a reference source for color mixing and painting strategies applicable to watercolor, gouache, ink, acrylic, and oil. We’ll discuss color theory, paint properties, and other art materials. You’ll head home with a series of powerful color studies for future reference and inspiration. No previous art experience is required.

Native Botanicals: Watercolors in the Wild
Inspired by individual plants in bloom, we will paint a sequence of meditative watercolor studies to conjure up the magic of spring in our painting. We’ll build on Saturday’s color studies, using watercolor and gouache to create shimmering surfaces and evoke the luminosity, complexity, and botanical details we see in the Botanic Garden. You’ll complete a series of studies that evoke native spring flora and inspire future painting in the field. Saturday’s color studies class or previous color mixing experience is suggested.

Wild Forest Wild Art 
Respond to the forest by creating a collection of mixed media drawings and paintings. Out under the trees, we’ll make marks, find objects, and glean ideas to transform your studio process and uncover ongoing creative themes. Sequenced studies with watercolor, ink, gouache, and pencil will document the energies of the forest and your own inner wilderness.

Andie’s Not-So-Secret Secret Color Mixing Tip
One of the colors I always have on hand, especially to mix greens for painting foliage and browns for trees, is (believe it or not), PURPLE! And, there are really interesting reasons why this is true. Here is a hint: take a look at the greens you most likely have in your palette already. What do you think you might need to add to them to get closer to a green you actually see in leaves? Often this may be a bit of blue… But, adding only blue can make a green that is too blue-green, with way too much punch for nature’s subtler greens… So, then what? If you think about the power that complementary colors have over each other, then you have your final hint! I always discuss and demo using PURPLE to mix beautiful alive greens when I teach. And, by the way, most the greens you see on this page have some PURPLE in the mix. See you out there!

Here is a link to a favorite essay 
It addresses the importance of allowing ourselves to “experience untrammeled idleness,” especially in connection to our creative work:
The Mother of Possibility