May 17-18

“Among the changing months, May stands confest; The sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed.” –James Thomson

At a glance



Where: map»


Supply lists & welcome letters

Please be sure to view/download the “Supply list & welcome letter” listed above for the workshop you plan to attend. These documents contain important information regarding necessary supplies, plus tips from the instructor.

Chinese Brush Painting

Instructor, Stella Dobbins
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Asian inspired architecture in the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Art Center is a perfect setting in which to be inspired to paint in the Asian style on rice paper using Asian tools. You will enjoy a creative and fun two-day workshop painting flowers and fish in the Asian style.

You will learn traditional and modern watercolor brush techniques, such as wet-in-wet, contour/outline, spontaneous, and glaze. You will learn the Asian characters for each subject and philosophy characters such as tranquility, harmony, peace, love, etc.

The first day of the workshop you will paint flowers: peony (contour style), kapok blossoms with birds, morning glory, plum blossom, sun flowers, roses, and lotus. The second day of the workshop, you will paint fish: carp with lily pads, minnows, goldfish, angel fish, frogs, and shrimp.

Materials Fee: none, optional kit $25

Instructor Stella Dobbins (MA, Univ. of Houston) is an artist and art historian who exhibits her artwork nationwide, and is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society.

Watercolor: Creating a Meaningful Still Life

Instructor, Amy Arntson
Still life paintings have a long and important presence in art history. On the first morning, this class will look at paintings from the Renaissance to contemporary work. Students are asked to bring a variety of objects and images to discuss that symbolize something or someone they feel strongly about, to potentially use in their compositions.

A mother's or grandmother's presence might be signified by a piece of her favorite china, an old piece of silver or lace; for a grandfather, perhaps a fishing tackle box, or old tools. Consider how to express the concept of time passing... with a timepiece or a fresh and a dried leaf. The concept of death could be depicted with a bird skull or old butterfly wings. Birth and renewal may use a child's blanket or clothing; a heartfelt love of home or the seashore. Do you have newsprint images that you might want to include? We can transfer them to watercolor paper.

We'll discuss how to arrange these items into a successful and meaningful design, do some practice compositions and painting sketches in watercolor, and then begin the final painting on the second day (to be finished at home). Students should have some experience in watercolor.

Materials Fee: none

Instructor Amy Arntson is an emerita professor of art at UW-Whitewater. She earned a BFA in painting from Michigan State University and an MFA from UW-Milwaukee. She has taught at School of the Arts at Rhinelander since 2003. Her work hangs in galleries in Italy, China, Finland, England, and all across the United States. Of her paintings of water surfaces, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel critic James Auer wrote: “Arntson in my eyes, is a phenomenon. Her watercolor paintings of wave patterns are at once expressionistic and photo-realistic. You’d swear they were color slides but they aren’t. Simultaneously abstract and precise, they testify to water’s regenerative role in the life cycle. They play wonderfully on the differences and similarities of photography and painting." She has also served as an art/design consultant to the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education and is the author of national art and design textbooks. Visit her website at»

Writing from the Zero Point: The Transformative Power of Story

Instructor, Julie Tallard Johnson
This workshop explores various techniques to write from our own experiences and to “share story” with others. Spiritual texts, Hollywood, narrative therapy, theatre, myths & fairytales, community organizing, visioning, memoirs, self-help books, and novels all depend on telling a captivating story. The best stories come from our own personal experiences and perceptions.

In this weekend you will write a personal myth, learn the basics of powerful story telling (writing), understand the use of story telling in your vocation, and learn how to create a narrative and write a story to further your cause.

The concept of writing from the zero point comes from Julie’s book: The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are. Julie understands that everyone wants to experience purpose and inspiration in their lives, but the search for meaning often leaves us seeking instead of finding what we want. Offering a different approach to self-discovery, one where we create our meaning from within rather than seek it from the outside world, Julie shows there is a science behind personal spiritual experiences and creativity. She reveals simple evidence-based methods that can be applied to any situation to generate enthusiasm, inspiration, and direct spiritual experience and transform the inner and outer landscapes of your life.

Materials Fee: none

Instructor Julie Tallard Johnson (MSW, LCSW) is a licensed psychotherapist who has maintained a private counseling and consultation service—Healing Services on the River—in Prairie du Sac, WI since 1995. She is author of 10 psycho-spiritual books, which have received many positive reviews and awards including three Roundtable awards, Best Youth Book from the New York Library, and the Independent Book Award for Best Multicultural Book for Youth for The Thundering Years: Rituals and Sacred Wisdom for Teens (His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote a piece for this book). Teen Psychic: Developing Your Intuitive and Spiritual Powers received a Star Review in Publisher’s Weekly and remains one of her most popular books with young readers. Wheel of Initiation: Practices for Releasing Your Inner Light is based on her popular initiation course for adults. Her most recent title, The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are, is due out Nov 15, 2013. Julie has a popular online newsletter, The Meaning Maker, offering readers inspiration and resources based on 3 decades of studies and exploration into the psychology of creativity and the link between creativity and spirituality. She is a gifted teacher and counselor who enjoys inspiring others to live the creative life. She is presently seeking publication for her first novel.

PLUS! UW-Madison Continuing Studies also hosts School of the Arts at Rhinelander July 19-23, 2014. Click to learn more»