Monday, August 31, 2009



Today was a wonderful day. The weather was forcast to be iffy so most decided to take sketch books and semi hard pastels. Surprisingly the weather was much better than expected. On arrival most of us toured the castle and then took a Tea Break.

While many went to sketch I took a walk into the Village of Glamis where I was delighted to find the Thatched Cottage pictured above. It is a treat to find a Thatched Cottage in Scotland. Typically most of the Thatched Cottages are found more towards the South of England.

Just before the coach departed to head back for Kenmore some of us took a few moments to visit with the Highland Cattle. I was especially delighted to find the Praying cow above!!!

Tomorrow is pack up day!


Mornings are a great time here in Scotland. Maggie and Bill were both excited about ou prospects of a day at Glamis Castle. But breakfast come first! Everyone in the group looks forward to the breakfast buffet.
It has been such a treat having typical Scottish breakfast items available each day. The porridge is a special treat as is the mushrooms and broled tomatoes. I know that may sound strange unless you've tried it....but somehow here in Scotland it is just right! Remember to check out Maggie's blog on her web site for more updates on the workshop.


My mornings have typically started right here! This is the fire by reception. I check my e-mail and update the blog before the group are down for breakfast each day. Hard to believe tomorrow is the last full day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009



The first time I ever visited this part of Scotland I noticed signs alerting travelers to watch for Red Squirrels. The explaination point on the Red edged sign made me laugh. I could only imagine Squirrels the size of Elephants threatening to crush my car.

The locals explained to me the squirrels are endangered and the signs are to caution drivers to take care and not run over the squirrels darting across the road. Still, I can't help but smile every time I pass a Red Squirrel sign and see visions of squirrels the size of elephants threatening to crush my car.

Painting Heather in the Highlands


Today was classic "PleinAire 101" ... Adjust your schedule to work with the weather. Since our arrival the weather has been one of our biggest challenges. We have seen more rain and blustery weather than I remember seeing EVER at this time of year in Scotland.

We were scheduled to be painting on the grounds of Glamis Castle(Today/Sunday). About 8:30pm last night as we were finishing dinner several of us came to the realization that our weather on Monday which was the day scheduled to paint the Heather in the Highlands was forcast to be rainy and blustery. Unfortunately that would NOT work for painting Sma' Glen.

Quickly we made a decision to flip flop the two days as Sunday(today) our Glamis Castle day was forcast to be pleasant, bright and sunny. A flurry of activity followed...could we confirm the coach would have a toilet (essential in the wild), what would we do about lunches (none were ordered as we planned to eat at the castle), could we rebook the Glamis Castle painting day?

With a lot of team work (our group is great) we decided to plunge forward and make the switch happen. While the day was not bright and sunny, and warm was NOT the word most of us would use, it has been an incredible day. The pictures above do not even begin to capture the beauty of what we saw. In spite of battling cold and grey the group produced some amazing work.

Tomorrow..on to Glamis Castle!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


It is hard to believe today is Saturday the 29th. The group arrived in Kenmore on the 23rd. The workshop ends on September 2nd. Already everyone is talking about how the time has just been flying by. Today was painting around the local area. After spotty weather we were excited to see prospects of sunshine for most of the day.
The area around the hotel offers so many different painting sites. The really cool thing about painting so near the hotel is if we do get a shower everyone can easily pop back in the Hotel for a break.
A small group of our folks took a few houres today to visit the very exclusive Edradour Distillery. This special place has the distinction of being the smallest Distillery in Scotland. Although I have been on the tour several times, I never tire of it.
Well, off to bed! Tomorrow is an exciting new day.



Friday was our Free Day. This is the day our artist guests have free to paint, sightsee, or just wander and enjoy the countryside. I took a small group on the train to Edinburgh to enjoy the city. Many had arrived early and seen the city before the workshop started. Those folks stayed back and enjoyed the hotel and local sites. Some painted with Maggie and took advantage of some extra instruction.

The group that headed with me to Edinburgh on the train had a BEAUTIFUL day. One enjoyed the museums in the city. Some visited old friends and others toured the city. The city was alive with excitement. The Festival had just come to an end and "The Fringe" is nearing an end.

I had a GREAT time. When I was in school I dreamed of going to Edinburgh. At 17 I had an opportunity of a lifetime to spend three months with family in England. Knowing of my desire to see Scotland, my little English Grandmother took me by bus from the south of England to Scotland so I could see the country and city I had dreamed of. Ever since then Edinburgh has held a special place in my heart.

My daughter Mandie was blessed to spend a semester of studies at Dalkeith near Edinburgh when she was in college. She shares that special feeling about Edinburgh. I was so excited to be at the fringe I called her from a phone kiosk to share the day with her. If you have never travelled here, I would encourage you to put this on your bucket list!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Maggie and the Artists Setting up to
Paint By the Creek

Today was our day to paint at the famous Blair Castle. After two days of dodgy weather we were grateful for dry and cloudy! The grounds are amazing and the castle is incredible.

At 2pm those who wished to take a break from painting took a run on the coach to The House of Bruar for a mini shoping trip. Part of the cool thing at the House of Bruar is the section like the Food Hall at Harrods. Also behind the shopping area is a hiking path up to the Falls of Bruar. Some of our folks headed up that way to stretch their legs.

We got back to the Kenmore Hotel about 5pm. Maggie did a quick critique. After that I grabbed my computer and here I sit in the Lobby by the fire waiting for dinner. Life is Good!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The scenery here is an artist's dream. The little shop above was just down the road from where the group was painting yesterday at the Falls of Duchart. Everywhere you look there is an opportunity for a Masterpiece.
Today was really an exercise in patience for our artists. Unfortunately the remants of Hurricane Bill crossed Scotland resulting in heavy gusts of wind and blowing rain. The day was not lost however. Maggie worked with the group in a large open room made avaiable to us by the hotel. It was a great opportunity for teaching and learning!
Tomorrow we are at Blair Castle. I am going to bed dreaming about the prospects of sun!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Maggie Demo's on Our First Day Out in the Field

Today was our Painting Day at the beautiful Falls of Duchart. The day started promisingly with bright sunshine. After a great breakfast, everyone grabbed their painting gear, boarded the bus and headed for the Falls.

After taking the gear off the bus, Maggie did a wonderful demo. From their things got VERY interesting!!!! The artists set up and began to paint. The first 45 minutes were good. Then the sky started to spit rain. Then the spitting got heavier.....then heavier.

About then Maggie suggested a break for lunch. Some brought sack lunches, others had a great Pub Lunch. Unfortunately the rain kept starting and stopping...never long enough to pick back up where we atarted so we called it a day. Fortunately we made it back to the hotel early enough some could continue painting in the hotel for the couple of hours before dinner

Monday, August 24, 2009


Yesterday (Sunday) we picked up the group by coach from the Edinburgh Airport. Many of the group arrived early and spent some time visiting the city and surrounding area. Maggie Price, Bill Canright and myself positioned ourselves in the International Arrivals area at 10:30am. By noon we had all but two of our painters accounted for.
Unfortunately, two of our folks had missed stateside connections resulting in missing their overseas flight. After a little bit of digging and with some help from the airlines we found out they were booked to come in Monday morning.
Once we knew all were accounted for, we headed to Kenmore to settle the group in. Arrival day is always an "easy" day. Everyone rests up and we meet for drinks on the house in early evening before enjoying a great Welcome Dinner.
Just a little bit about our hotel. It was established in 1576. That is almost unimaginable in U.S. terms! Britain has very strict rules on how historic properties can be updated. Imagine a warm fire in the lobby, multiple levels with little nooks and crannies. Each guestroom with it's own teapot and biscuits(cookies) waiting daily! In additional to being the oldest Inn in Scotland, the hotel is also known as a place Robert Burns visited and wrote one of his famous poems!
This place is an artist dream come true! Tomorrow we paint at the Falls

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Just want to give you a "taste" of one of my favorite things we get to experience when we visit Scotland with a painting group. I absolutely LOVE Fish and Chips made the way only the Brits can do. I have been accused of negatively affecting the economy when I leave because sales for Fish and Chips significantly decrease when I leave!
Don't forget to click on Maggie's Web Site to the right. Maggie is adding even more fun stuff.

Friday, August 21, 2009



After setting in to the Kenmore Hotel yesterday here in beautiful Kenmore Scotland, our Instructor Maggie Price, her husband Bill Canrite and I went to check out a few painting sites in preparation for our groups arrival.

The afternoon was amazing. I quickly forgot how jet lagged I was as we viewed the beautiful scenery. The picture above of the Falls at the opposite end of Loch Tay do not even begin to do justce to the amazing site we enjoyed.

Eventually we had to drag ourselves away. The drive back to the hotel was entrancing. We found a little driven side road that eged along the Loch. Just when we thought the road could not get any narrower, guess what! They got narrower! Maggie was riding shotgun, Bill in the back. Bless them they did not even cringe when the Lorries barreled around blind corners and threatened to force us into the stone walls along the sides.
Good News however! We made it safely back to the hotel. After returning we enjoyed a wonderful meal in the hotel restauraunt overlooking the River Tay. I was very happy to see my bed after a very long but enjoyable day. I am thrilled to be back here. Wish you were here!
More tomorrow!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Via Amsterdam
I made it! Yesterday morning at 8am my wonderful husband Greg drove me to the Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay. My flight for Detroit was scheduled to depart at 10am launching the start of my Great Adventure to Scotland for our Maggie Price Pastel Workshop in the Highlands.
All went well with the flights. My overseas flight left from Detroit and flew to Amsterdam. Amazingly all were on time! I LOVE going into overseas gift shops (Ask Greg! I make him crazy with my love of "looking", He is SURE I will miss my flight one day) so my four hour layover was a treat rather than trauma.
Maggie and Bill met me in the arrivals area at Edinburgh Airport at 10:30am this morning. We picked up the rental car and headed to BEAUTIFUL Kenmore Scotland which is where I am typing this blog from.
It is now 8:15pm here in Scotland. 2:15pm for those on CST. I have managed to stay awake and not nap after arriving. I have always found if I can do that, I fall into bed Catatonic...sleep through the night and wake up refreshed and ready to take on whatever life has for me in my temporary home for the next 12 days. With that I am off to bed! More daily.
DON'T MISS CHECKING OUT MAGGIE'S WWEB SITE ON THE RIGHT. It will be fun to hear her vantage on our adventure and see her pics.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Sorry there is no picture today! I am leaving shortly to work with Maggie Price in the Highlands of Scotland. I am hopeful I will be posting lots of pictures as the workshop progresses.

I LOVE Scotland! I love doing the workshops.

More Soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Michael-One of the Bro's stuck in the middle!
I hope through this Blog you will get to know each one of my family better. After all, one of the cool and crazy things about our company is that we have so many family members working here and somehow we get through a day without causing bodily harm and still walk out the door and look forward to going to a movie together, or sharing dinner with our families. From everything I hear about many family businesses that truly makes ours unusual and special.
Mike is one of my middle brothers. With 4 brothers between my sister and I it must be challenging to be in the middle. As the oldest I sometimes wonder what life would have been like as an only child. My conclusion is that it would have been boring and not any where near as much fun!
So back to Mike......being one of the guys in the middle, Mike learned to be tough as nails to survive. So tough we occasionally butt heads and I am tempted to nail his office door shut with him inside, disconnect the phone and run from the building. Then we walk out the door for the evening. Mike meets me on the way out, gives me a hug goodbye offers a smile that could melt ice cubes, says "Love ya Sis". With that, I smile, get in my car and head home, thanking God for ALL my family. I am reminded again...we are BLESSED!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I made a commitment when I started the blog, I would not miss an entry on a work day. So much for the best laid plans of Mice & Men! (Or should we say women!) It is summer and in the summer folks take vacation. Summer also happens to be one of our busiest times of year as our dealers are getting ready for the BIG Back to School Rush!
Debbie is one of our mission critical folks, along with Steve, Jackie, Annette, Kelly, Sally, Jan, Rachelle and way to many VERY important warehouse folks to begin to list (Guys...I hope you know I appreciate you!) This week Debbie is on Vacation. Amazing how quickly you realize how much you count on a staff member when they are gone.
Needless to say.....Debbie has been DEEPLY missed this week. As the phone calls come in, and the messages I need to return for questions that need to be answered continue to pile up.....this poor blog got the worst of it. Debbie...hurry back...enjoy the time, get rested...we can't wait to see you on Monday!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Congratulations to Richard Broderick - our Best in Show Winner of the Richeson75 Figure/Portrait Competition! Check out all the winners at

Awards Juror Anita Louis West's Comments on "Eric Polk":Excellent concept - mysterious subject. The knee raised to juxtapose the head and to bring the viewer's eye around is an exciting compositional diagonal. The drawing and light and shadow are beautifully painted. Bravo!!

Monday, August 10, 2009


The Calm before the Crowds!
Friday night was an exciting night here at Richeson. We officially opened our 2009 Figure/Portrait Exhibition. We had a great crowd. Wine and Cheese was enjoyed by all. I love these events. It is a wonderful opportunity for our family to spend time not only with local artists but also artists who travel in from other areas just for the event. The work on display is absolutely incredible.
If you happen to be in the area or traveling through, please take a few moments and stop in to see this amazing exhibition. The quality of the work will blow you away!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Mary Telfer Holden Demo

NAAC Meeting August 6th, 2009

One of our favorite things to do at Richeson is to support instructors! Mary Telfer Holden is a wonderful painter who teaches using a variety of Richeson products. Last evening Mary demonstrated using a variety of Unison and Richeson pastels at the August NAAC(Northwest Area Arts Council) Meeting in Northern Illinois. The event was attended by 10 members and graciously hosted at the River Art Studio of Debbie Howard in Algonquin Illinois.

I heard from Mary this morning and it sounds like everyone had a great time. It was an opportunity to try materials the members may not have had an opportunity to experience before.

Members also tried the Richeson Premium Pastel amazing gritty texture, that grabs layer after layer of pastel! More about this great surface on Monday.

Take a moment and check out the site for NAAC as well as Mary's website.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009



It's NOT too late! If you have some unexpected free time...and have always dreamed about painting in the Scottish is your chance. Due to an unexpected medical situation with a couple of our guests we have some last minute openings for our Pastel Workshop with Maggie Price in the Scottish Highlands!!! If you are interested..please e-mail or call me during the workday at 800/233-2404.

Details on the trip can be seen on our website at

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Austin Straubel Airport - 5AM Tuesday!
I often get asked if it is exciting to be able to travel to so many parts of the country and the world on company business. Sometimes the answer is YES!! Usually that is when I am going somewhere exotic and fun such as our painting workshop with Stephen Quiller to Italy last year.
Yesterdays trip...was like driving to Milwaukee. I got up at 3:30am after not sleeping(I am always afraid I will miss the alarm!) and at 5:00am I was checked in for a quick flight to Detroit.
I worked with our rep for the day calling on our dealers (I do enjoy that!) and at 5:00pm he pushed me out of the car (We were tired of each other by then!) and I was heading back for Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay. By 8:15pm I was watering plants on my front porch.
At the very life is INTERSTING!