Each year Bluff Strokes offers a limited number of multi-day workshops featuring high quality regional artist/teachers.  Workshops are targeted to artists ranging from advanced beginner (some experience with the media) to professionals who wish to expand their skill set.

Plein air painting without Fear

March 16 - 20, 2020



DK (Deke) is a Northeastern Wisconsin oil painter.  In spite of a degree in Math and a prior life on Wall Street, she now pursues a painted life.  She was a featured artist in 2018 April/May Plein Air Magazine.  In 2019 she won Best of Show at Door County Plein Air, Best Body of Works at Annapolis Plein Air, and Best in Show, July Bold Brush.

Deke’s fascination with brain science will add an interesting twist to this workshop, which will focus not only a comprehensive approach to painting on location, but on developing and engraining habits to continually improve those skills. The class will be held indoors and out. https://dkpalecek.com/


Workshop Goals:

Deke starts with a clear, repeatable process for developing a painting, freeing you to concentrate on the creative aspects that make your paintings unique.  Her process simplifies a complicated outdoor scene into focal point, shapes, values, and associated brushwork.  With a solid foundation, dimension and details can be added to fully capture your vision.  Deke will incorporate her intrigue with brain science so you walk away with tools and awareness to continuously improve your work. 

The workshop will comprise two overlapping modules – a 3 day (Mon-Wed) Basic Workshop and a 3 day (Wed-Fri) Advanced workshop that will build on the learnings of the Basic Workshop.  The two workshops will overlap on Wednesday.  Priority registration will be given to those taking the full 5 day Full Workshop.

 The workshop will be conducted in oil, but as the focus is on process and composition, painters in other media are welcome.

 COST:   $480 for 5 day Full Workshop / $300 for 3 day Beginner or 3 day Advanced Workshop

                Cost will include handouts and materials and one group dinner on Wednesday evening

PARTICIPANTS:    Minimum 10 – Maximum 15

QUESTIONS CONTACT:  Wes Heitzman 563-845-1801   info@bluffstrokes.org

“being present” through urban sketching

In conjunction with Bluff Strokes 2019 Plein Air Paint Out: October 12, 2019 10 am to 2 pm



After a career as a professional illustrator, including publishing several children’s books, Kathleen became an award winning plein air artist. Actively involved in the plein air and urban sketching movements, she works in a sketchbook to gather information for her paintings and also to be “present” in the environment. As a sketchbook enthusiast, Kathleen is thrilled to teach the enjoyment of drawing to students through their own on site observations. www.kathleennewman.com



  • Explore the value of keeping a sketchbook through specific drawing techniques using pencil, pen, and watercolor.

  • Interpret your environment by direct observation with line drawing.

  • Mix natural color harmonies and record your findings in a watercolor grid collection.

  • Combine drawings with watercolor in your sketchbook.

  • Embrace the practice - not perfection.

  • Enjoy using art as a tool to engage your senses and deepen your relationship to your surroundings.

COST: $20                      PARTICIPANTS: Minimum 8 - Maximum 15

This workshop is presented as part of Bluff Strokes 2019 Paint Out and is partially subsidized by Bluff Strokes.

QUESTIONS CONTACT:  Wes Heitzman 563-845-1801   info@bluffstrokes.org