Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No Matter What Your Age

By Chris Cernetisch
"No matter what your age or your path, weather making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity" (quote from Julie Cameron)

I have been attending workshops/class/revivals/retreats over 40 years!

                                             I ALWAYS benefit in the experience!. 

Even when attending a workshop where "my qualifications" are 'higher' than the instructors!

Going to weekend workshop retreats are so inspiring and the enthusiasm is SO contagious, you are MOTIVATED to learn.

You do not NEED to be an "artist" ALL you need is a desire to come and learn something new.

The rest is going to happen.

Learning the process in a 3 FULL day set up, jump starts you past all the scary, icky frustrating parts. 
Setting your goals towards success for learning the techniques involved.

You learn age old processes, twisted with the instructors own blend and take, enabling YOU to learn through "their" mistakes, gaining you success faster.

The beauty of a weekend workshop is one, that you attend a course in 3 days instead of 6 weeks. 
It is the same thing.
  • Except, you have a smoother transition of class content.
  • Better ability to retain what you are learning. 
  • Fewer stops and restarts, for keeping the processes flowing.
  • Ramping UP your ability to learn the process
Keeping the classes small enables each participant.
  • A One on One experience
  • camaraderie spirit
"No matter what your age or your path, weather making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity"

quote from Julie Cameron

Come experience a truly invigorating and freeing weekend! 
Join us July 25,26,27, 2014
The Stagecoach Gallery offering a choice of:

Photography ~ Chad Phillips ~
Pastel Painting ~ Chris Cernetish ~
Watercolor Painting ~ Bonnie Brahms ~
Ancient staining the glass process ~ Mary Hunt ~

Contact ~ Mary
at the gallery 605-337-2308

Scroll through the rest of the blog for informational postings

Come and join in!

Deadline for entering the workshops is June 21, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

There is a Deadline...

I am not good with removing glare...
This is Bonnie Brahms Watercolor
She is instructing the watercolor workshop

The Workshop Retreat the Stagecoach Gallery is hosting in Platte, SD July 25,26,27 with The opening EVENT on July 24th, has decided on its DEADLINE  for signing up for this amazing experience!
JUNE 21 2014
Remember  there are ONLY 8 students per each instructor.  You choose from 4 established artisans of 4 different fields. 
Photography, Pastel Painting, Watercolor Painting, Painting on Glass
Chad Phillips~ ~ is giving instruction and assistance to 8 individuals who wish to learn their method (camera) for capturing pictures.  Your camera phone, your point and shoot, or that fancy camera,  they all have so many apps and dials... (be it digital or film!)
all of these methods of picture taking will do the job but, don't you want to learn how to capture those photos to make the most memorable documentations of your lives that is possible.
Learn to step outside your comfort zone and embrace photography in whole different way.
You bring YOUR camera.
NO EXPERIENCE necessary~ 3 FULL days~$375
Chris Cernetisch~ ~ is giving the workshop for 8 individuals who want to learn more from their exploration of a most tricky medium or who have never tried pastels but have a desire to.  She takes the guess work out of the equation and helps to guide you through the process to gain you better success.  This is a mysterious medium and when done properly affords the individual with such rewards.
There will be a list of materials for you to supply yourself with and bring to class
NO EXPERIENCE necessary~ 3FULL days ~$375
Bonnie Brahms ~  ~ is giving a workshop for 8 individuals looking forward to working with water, color, and paper.  She is going to move you through this process taking all the wonder away to give you a successful exploration of the medium.
There will be a list of materials to supply yourself with to bring to class.
NO EXPERIENCE necessary~ 3 FULL days~ $375
Mary Hunt~ ~ is giving a workshop for 8 individuals who like to learn new processes and enjoy learning about a lost and dying art. 
Also, for the individual who already likes to work with glass who wants to expand their learning.
This is a Traditional Method that dates to the Egyptian Era. 
There are not many places in the USA where you can learn this process. 
Most of them IF you can find a place, are on the West or East coast.  At a MUCH HIGHER fee!
At one time Mary was one of a handful, (like 10) qualified to be sought after for staining glass in this method.  Collected by Museums and has several panels of work in many churches throughout the country. 
Learning this process will open you up and enlighten your senses.  Even if you do not work in glass, or do not intend to ~this class will help immensely with Value. 
The project you finish, if you can not finish it on your own and do not want to learn how to, Mary can finish it out for you, into a box or a panel.
ALL the materials and kiln firings are provided in the fee.~ 3 FULL days $435
A thought for the frugal~ this comprehensive FULL workshop would cost a LOT more if tutored, or taking the class for 6 weeks.
In my experience, a workshop like this a person will learn the most because it flows all the way through, not stopping to get picked up again next time, retaining MORE!
ALL the lessons learned in ANY of the 4 classes will help in any art area.  Learn a NEW process.
If you work in say oils already~ take a pastel~class and become recharged and inspired.
You either found another way to express yourself, or what you learn in this class might help you in the oils.  All mediums feed off each other!
Are you "looking" for way to bring clarity to your day, or help to bring you a hobby, EXPLORE!!! take a class!!!!
So, make your decision on which class and contact Mary to sign up!
DO NOT keep putting this off, as it seems to be in peoples nature to do.
This opportunity is rare, and in many of your own back yards.
How easy to attend this class living in the state or the area...I have 2 people coming from VA! to take advantage of this amazing offering.
I keep hearing "we WANT classes",  We want to KNOW a set time for class, these are the classes that are most requested! DO YOU REEEAAALLLYYYY want them?
thank you


Monday, April 21, 2014


At the end of the day do you find it hard to "turn off" the work part of the day? and begin to relax?

Do you feel nervous or antsy?

Are you searching, seeking for ... something?  What?

There is a special place art takes a person, that helps with this. 

Not so much paint a picture that is worthy of a sale. 
More about learning art processes, that help in taking you further, into a calmer place. 
Helping to bring clarity to your world. 
Helping to bring calm to your world.
The process is what helps.

In learning the technical applications to achieve the process for painting, you are given an avenue for direction.
When you learn in a small class situation, there is more direct accomplishment and a LOT less stress than by experimenting on your own. 
So you get to the level for understanding the medium faster. 
Gaining more positive effects to your personal self.

Releasing stress and aiding and abetting the calm!
Art is FUN!

Come learn to relax in the moment.  Enjoy the view and capture the spirit of that moment.

What the classes of this retreat are offering you, is a shortcut to accomplish the tasks that take you to a special place.

3FULL days (in a row, which help you retain what you are learning better!!)
With 4 Notated artisans masters in their fields!
(individual classes would cost you a LOT more than this 3 day weekend will offer of the same and potentially MORE information ...RETREATS offer POWER packed informative sessions)

Perhaps you have always aspired to learn to paint.
"wished" you were an artist.
Wondered what is all the art speak about.

Perhaps you have given this art thing an unsuccessful try, reading books looking at you tube...they make it look so easy. 
It is when correctly given the directional tools.

These are small classes. 
Allowing for a more one on one experience. 
But also gaining camaraderie in a classroom setting.

STOP wishing~
END the excuses~

I CAN'T because...because...WHY??


Join us July 25,26,27 (retreat opening July 24) 2014.  In this retreat you will learn how,
revisit how to,
improve the how to,
or just want to come for the fun of it because you know there never a better time than to be with others at a retreat.

We will show you YES!


Learning how to use YOUR camera with Chad Phillips ~
Learn how to Pastel Paint with Chris Cernetisch ~
Learn how to Watercolor Paint with Bonnie Brahms ~
Learn about "real glass painting" with Mary Hunt ~

Contact Mary
Stagecoach Gallery
Platte, SD

Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An Art Retreat is about MORE than Learning about Art

A retreat is more than about learning to paint.  While we are offering an opportunity to learn the process of painting or learning how to use a camera, to get a healthy dose of creative inspiration, you will come away with a lot more from the experience.

The process of painting isn't so much about producing artwork to sell. 
It is about not being afraid of the process.

The process has HUGE benefits. 
Just the motion, the letting go of your inhibitions to just put something on the paper, or in the camera, has calming properties.

Freeing yourself from the fear of getting away to a special place, with in yourself, and allowing that place to calm down enough to mark a page, snap a shot, practice a movement or technique...allows you to calm down, which in turn, allows you to plan.

Allows you to enjoy the moment, which allows you to mend your soul from the busy week.

Allows you to escape into yourself, which allows you to explore.

Explore allows you to find different paths.

Different paths might take you to a new place for vacation.  Might help you find the right path to help your child or mate. 
Might bring you a healing peace.

Might let you just REST.

Rest allows you to bring clarity to yourself.

Clarity helps you develop inner peace, or the avenue to project yourself further in your career. 

The process of art brings all this and more to the individual.

What is happening in this special 3 day retreat is to help you explore a process, maybe become a bit more proficient in a process you are already trying to make work but just don't seem to be achieving the success you would like.

Learn a bit of history, learn to appreciate what you see when you are in the proximity of others works.

Learn to appreciate yourself! 

Be patient, with yourself and others. 

Learn to slow down and relax. 

Learning the processes.

Gains an individual introspection, patience, appreciation, understanding. 
You do not need to become an "artist" to merit from this retreat.

You WILL have fun learning "how to" or "getting better" at the curriculum you sign up under.
You WILL learn to have an appreciation and better understanding when you are presented with work from the heart.
You WILL learn to listen a bit better to Yourself.

In addition to being about "self", you will enjoy the camaraderie of the other's joining the retreat.  The evenings are about sharing the day with the other members of the retreat.  Tweaking it out with the instructors, enjoying the evening with friends.

There is just SOOOO much more to this  retreat...

Come out and EXPERIENCE what is such a TURN ON about learning something new!

ALL the workshops are being kept SMALL only 8 spaces per class instructor. 

Which means MORE instruction to EACH Student

This retreat is all about YOU!
NOT about filling up to the max~spaces of I am sure many of you have frustratingly experienced...I know I HAVE!

Join in July 25, 26, 27, 2014 The Stagecoach Retreat in Platte, SD
Choose from one of the following workshops:

Chad Phillips~ Learning about YOUR Camera: Photography.  An South Dakotan Premiere Photographer, sharing his knowledge, helping you learn about the camera YOU use to document your life.  Learn the features to best remember what is happening in your everyday world.

Bonnie Brahms~ Learning the skills and understanding to work in water media through Watercolor Painting.  The materials needed the technical applications to learn to explore this fascinating, yet inhibiting media.  She is also working you through Value and Color.

Chris Cernetisch~ Learning the mysterious medium of Pastel Painting. The materials needed and technical applications to learn and explore a misunderstood medium, chalk!  She explores Value and Color.

BOTH Ladies are offering methods and exercises and the mother lode of information in 3 Days packed FULL of how to and hands on help that could take years of experimenting and frustration to gain.

Mary S Hunt~ Learning about Staining Glass.  A Centuries old process for "painting glass"  No glass experience in needed. 
You will gain an appreciation for a method seen in many corporate buildings and most Churches (places of worship). 
The "how to" process will afford ANY artist a better knowledge for Value. 
Working in Monochromatic is the BEST way to afford an understanding for Value. 
So not only will you achieve a better understanding of the most important building block to paint and sketch, but you gain history appreciation as well.

Concerns have been expressed about NOT being a glass technician to finish the tile executed during the class. 
IF desired, I can be hired to finish your project, that can be discussed when you sign up.

The classes are SMALL, 8 people per instructor
(there WILL be a cut off date, yet to be determined when we no longer accept sign ups due to planning)

The class is a CHOICE of~ Photography, Watercolor or Pastel Painting, Glass Staining.

THREE FULL DAYS~ July 25, 26, 27...July 24 is Welcoming Social...

Stagecoach Gallery~ Platte SD 605-337-2308
Contact for questions, a brochure, and sign up Mary~

Come on out!!! You KNOW you WANT to.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How Chris Conducts a Class during the Art Retreat in July in Platte, SD

Pastel Painting
Chris Cernetisch
July 25, 26, 27 2014
Workshop in Platte, SD
$135/day or special 3Days for $375
Choosing just one of these 4 classes we are offering in July is really hard! 
If ever you have wanted to learn to stretch your skills or begin something totally new for yourself taking either Bonnie's or Chris's class is an option you do not want to miss. 
Both have excellent approaches to their venue and both have great skills in teaching the techniques.
What you learn through either Chris or Bonnie can transfer to any other medium of choice. 
You must have a clear basis for Value and Color theory, before you will ever begin to see any merit in your results. 
Having either of them as your instructor, I can't stress enough, will be more beneficial than all the years you will go through trying to do on your own, what you will learn in their 3 days of instruction is powerfully informative!
Let's talk about Chris's approach to giving a workshop. 
We are extremely lucky to have a Pastel painter in our area of Chris's level of expertise! 
As many of you are aware I am not from around these parts. 
Being from the East coast I have been privileged to be among grand talents. 
None any grander than who we have in our midst. 
Chris IS a master pastelist. 
This clarified, I can not recommend a better available instructor to begin your journey in solid painting. 
She will help you wisely choose from the hoards of materials on the market, what will work or not work best for Pastel application.
From paper to the paint used, she covers it.
That blank page will not remain blank for very long! 
She is going to help you get through the first steps of under painting, open stretch sketch...(like scales on the piano..) These help open you up with ideas of what to paint and how to execute those ideas onto the page.
I have been to some of these workshops, so has Chris and Bonnie! one of the ways we do NOT like is when a instructor conducts the class, that is first of all way to large to properly pay any attention to the student, AND there is NO interaction with the student and teacher...they walk around and tell all the students they are doing fine, keep doing what you are doing...
we can do that much at home!
These classes are being kept SMALL no more than 8 students...
So I asked Chris...She is rather hard to find at it is from her FB page...
I have a question about this workshop you are giving in Platte in July .. This is as I have experienced through one before: they take on like 20people...spread them out..then walk around and tell the student ...hmm hmm you are doing a fine job...I don't want to hear I am doing a fine job I want some do you conduct your class? this class for experienced or can a total beginner join in...okay 2questions..

  • You and Connie Gisi Wagenaar Henning like this.
  • Christine Kasowski Cernetisch very good questions! this class would benefit both someone who's not touched pastels or someone who has, but didn't get the results they were after. I'm not a meanie, but I won't tippy toe either, you will get instruction, not sugar coated 'atta boys'. those are nice but REAL instruction will help you grow much more! and I will 'meet you where you are'....I will help you starting where are are starting, not some pre-determined notion that I have. My classes are tiny, so I can really work with each student on their level. As a teacher, that is my job, to help you get the most out of the class!

  • Mary Simpson Hunt will we use ONLY photos as reference or will you take us into using what we see...or maybe help us combine the both?

  • Christine Kasowski Cernetisch ah, photos. they can help, and we will use them, but they will not use us!! there will be instruction on using a photo for what it can do for us, but then learning when to abandon it. I plan to take some time working outside as well, as drawing from nature in real life--plein air--is the best teacher of all and I will point out where photos fall short, so students dont' make the mistake of being photocopiers! photos have 'holes' and they lie, and I'll point out these shortcomings so those mistakes won't be carried into a painting.

  • Mary Simpson Hunt this sounds like a truly full and helpful workshop..I keep seeing "value" mentioned...why is value so we cover this?

  • Christine Kasowski Cernetisch as the old saying goes--color gets the credit, but value does the work. if value is right, colors can be manipulated quite a bit! but if value is wrong, no color you can splash on there will ever make it look 'right'.

  • Christine Kasowski Cernetisch I will be working on value quite a lot in my class, it is SO important! I will be showing some tricks to help a student see values, as that is usually the biggest trick. once you can see value, things can be a bit easier

  • Mary Simpson Hunt
Her paintings are breath-takingly stunning!!! You find yourself lost in her are one in her paintings...
She is truly a master and you do not want to pass up an opportunity to explore painting through Chris's guidance into this medium.
THREE FULL days!!!
This workshop is priced like NO other workshop or class you will take anywhere!
I have taken a mother load of workshops and seminars and classes over my years...and never have I been to any as small a group, or with as much attention to details given to thought about the STUDENT. 
We want you to grow spiritually as well as technically.
Come on out to this workshop you won't be sorry you did.
Three other class choices:
Photography...learning about the camera YOU use! How to gain the best from ITS features to document your life...Chad Phillips (SD PREMIERE Photographer)
Water Painting...Learning how to incorporate success in wet media! Bonnie Brahms
Staining Glass ... (essentially glass painting as seen on church windows) you can use the applied principals in other media but, you work on glass as the canvas in this class.  No glass experience is needed.  All Materials supplied in this class.  Mary Hunt
any information can be sought from Stagecoach Gallery of Platte SD 605-337-2308
and from Mary at
ask for a brochure
additionally read further into this blog more information throughout.
Come on out ..ya know ya want to!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Watercolor Workshop~ An Interview Question for Bonnie

Watercolor Workshop
July 25, 26, 27 2014
Bonnie Brahms
Bonnie is asked the same question:  Why should a person decide to take a watercolor class from you?
Bonnie's answer:
Because during the workshop I plan to springboard new ideas to go deeper and find your own artistic voice with watercolor.
 First you ask yourself what would I like to say?
 I can help you communicate those ideas with shapes, line, repetition, and values.
 There will be small exercises that will jump-start your creative side as well as help with learning how easy it is to sketch and put down what you see, expanding your abilities of observance and interpretation.
 By giving you the tools, information and inspiration, new doors open and with those discoveries bring confidence and excitement to your painting experience. Bonnie Brahms
Bonnie plans to discuss materials and tools used with watercolor.  The paper (this discussion alone will clear up a ton of mystery!) paint qualities (they are vast!)
A must for the beginner. 
The advanced student will greatly benefit from this discussion as well. 
The information will help clear up questions and may entice you to learn more about the product because you are going to see what it is good for.
Learn to stretch paper!!!  Did you know that paper is stretched?  Of course canvas is stretched, well so is paper! anything though there is a right process.
Make a color chart...this practice is a corner stone working in watercolor. 
Every hue is mixed.  The chart keeps the painting accurate throughout the execution.
Learning value is another indispensable practice!
The different studies that will proceed through the workshop will bring to the individual a better understanding of value, gray scale, introduction of color, blending how to keep areas dry and how to not mud the wet...
All these techniques are important to watercolor...they also cross to acrylic and somewhat to oil...the lessons will become a value that follows you in many directions.
Come on and join in the workshop...don't miss an opportunity like this they are few of this magnitude!
THREE days of being with an accomplished artist to pick her brain, hone your skills, and learn a new love ...passion is a painter!
Come on and join know you want to.
for more information
contact: Mary at the Stagecoach Gallery 605-337-2308
Photography~Chad Phillips
Pastel Painting~Chris Cernetisch
Glass Staining~Mary Hunt

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Photography Workshop ~An Interview Question

Photography Workshop
Chad Phillips
July 25, 26, 27 2014
Stagecoach Retreat
Platte, SD
3 Days

Mary:  Why would I want to take YOUR class Chad?

Chads answer:

Because I am going to force you to step out of our box.

You are going to learn how to open up and really use your camera for how it was designed.

Too often we jump out of the car, shoot a photo and leave.
I am going to help you open your mind's eye to visualize an image.
Not just what's in front of you, but how the image will look when you are done with it.

Something may catch your eye, but you don't feel it.
I will help you to learn how to make that connection with the landscape.

In the true art of photography there is so much more than just snapping a photo.

You will learn how to create images that you will be proud of.
Not make excuses for.

You will learn how to open your senses.
Is it hot, Where is the sun, is the wind blowing.

All of that needs to be translated into the actual photo.

Much like taking a painters thought process and applying it into creating photographic art. Taking the actual photo is only the start.

Next we will learn how to correctly adjust the image in Adobe Lightroom.
How to get true color balance and adjust for the effect you want.

Then we will take it into Photoshop to correct any issues and play a bit with HDR.

We will not be creating or photoshoping images to look cute or fun. No trends here.

We will focus on creating images that can be viewed and cherrished 100 years from now.

We won't be learning how to copy someone elses work.
We will be learning how to create images that are inspired from within ourselves.

Everyone is unique. So should the images.

Much of what will be learned can be applied to other forms of art as well.

A great example is my Brookside school photo under the stars. People can see and feel the emotion I did creating the image.
That was one of my absolute favorite times photographing landscapes.
Out there under the stars, no light, no moon, no noise.

Only the coyotes in the distance. In that image you can see the passing low clouds.
I swear I could here them float by.

Photographic art needs to project emotion. Good, bad, happy or sad it needs to show emotion...

end answer...

And YOU have the opportunity to gain all these passionate insights...

Come and join us this weekend!!
You KNOW you want to!

any Mary at the Stagecoach Gallery 605-337-2308
or email
or contact Chad through his website.

Kiln Opening!!! Showing 2 of the 3 Projects

Traditional Glass Staining Methods

The transformation in the kiln is always amazing !  Look at the character and life the stains take on once they are fired in the kiln.

Remember, we are using ground glass and pigments to create "paint" the stain that when fired in the kiln, the designs become permanently imbedded within the glass substrate. 
Creating new glass! 
Essentially the artisan is making glass...okay maybe not technically but yeah new glass is being made.

You WILL be able to achieve these same results!

Here are the pieces before being fired in the kiln.

After reaching maturing temps of 1200 F.

We have a bunny.

We have dragonflies.

Both of these projects will take the student the day to day and a half to make ready for the kiln. 
If you achieve the results you are after faster than what I am thinking it might take, then you should pick another pattern to work on! 
Complete as many as you might be able to in the 3 day period!

All the patterns cover a vast range necessary to accomplish, bringing life to the design.

Only 1 color has been used! there is not white, not gray, not buff...only 1 color!
From that color we achieve the scale of lights to darks and highlights, learning the ALL IMPORTANT~ Value! Value achieves the painter high and low tones, the shading.

These techniques I have found transfer to any subject matter or medium being used, as painting or sketching.
Say painting in acrylics.

Mastering the brush work, provides a steady working hand and better coordination when applying paint say, to your canvas. 
Control of brush strokes renders a better process for detail and image.

Patience...oh yeah, you learn that!

Learning paint consistency. 
Important in this application, yet just as important in other medium, especially watercolor or acrylic and oils.  Consistency of paints gives the painter the correct potential to provide the image they want to portray.

Working on glass a painter is provided a pattern however, knowing the proper executing techniques are important to make the work recognizable.

So, coming to this class, transcends multiple purposes as well as learning a historical process.
Glass staining dates to the Egyptian era.

Come and join us July 25, 26, 27 2014 and gain growth from the arts, and from the surrounding where the retreat is being held, River Hills Lodge~ EAST. 
Meet up with old friends and meet new friends, pick an instructors brain for 3 FULL days! in a vast range of medium choice to take:

Photography~ learning how to make the most of THE camera YOU use; phone camera, mid range point and shoot, or that fancy model you received for Christmas, bring it and learn how to use the features, correctly and gain the best results to begin documenting your life!
Chad can you with this!
Chad Phillips~

Pastel Painting~ learn how to use soft pastel sticks to create design and images, the proper substrate, how to begin...learn the proper techniques (pastel is not about smearing the chalks that is a misconception) Chris's study plans to be of trees and water, 2 of the most beguiling subjects many artist struggle with. 
Learn a new process to expand your range, or become a bit more proficient in your study of pastel, as well as practice up to recharge your pasteling spirit. 
Chris can help you with this!
Chris Cernetisch~

Water Media ~ Learn how to mix your paints to create your palette for a painting, how to prepare the paper, the proper use of tools.  How to map out what your subject matter will be TO paint.  Bonnie is going to take you on a journey working with water and color. 
Watercolor process is another mystery many artists steer from because they aren't exactly sure where to begin. 
Bonnie can help you with this!
Bonnie Brahms~

Traditional Glass Staining~ Mary Hunt

Direct your questions to Mary Hunt at the Stagecoach Gallery 605-337-2308
or email

All this in ONE weekend!!!!
the evening will be active as well:
Gather around the fire-pit and with choice of beverage commune with the fellow students and gain insight from their classes different from the one you are taking or your classmate of the same, sharing is essential building spirituality and gaining personal growth and insight.

Coming from out of the area, there is lodging available AT the retreat (inquire) as well as several places in town, that is but 3 miles from the retreat.

Come on and join in~ you KNOW you want to!