Fresh Paths in Watercolor, a Finishing School for Your Paintings:

Developed from my book and workshop, Master Disaster, this course will emphasize five strategies for successfully bringing your paintings to completion. It is appropriate for all levels of experience and all media, as long as you has some familiarity painting. Due to chemical sensitivities, I teach in watercolor. I can accommodate artists working in acrylics if a separate room is available for them. Collage and other media are encouraged. Oils are not recommended due to their long drying time.

What makes an outstanding painting? Clean, vibrant colors, a terrific color strategy, great design that truly fills the page, and the one thing that everyone asks me "why has no other workshop told me this?"--that secret ingredient turns a painting into fine art--content. Take your paintings and other ceations to a new level!

This course is built to inspire confidence in new and experienced artists painting in any media. Never again will you ask yourself "what should I paint" or "now what do I with this painting!" One very experienced artist told me how much she learned from the course, and added "and when I came I thought that I knew everything!" This is what she and many, many others have learned.

1. Learn my secret technique for correcting and adjusting your painting.
2. Learn how to creatively deal with boring spaces
3. Learn what makes "mud" and dead colors, how to avoid them, and how to use color strategies to express content.
4. Create an indispensable "flip book" for organizing both color and design strategies.
5. Learn what is content and why it is the secrete ingredient in fine art.

Learn how to work in a series and self-direct your future works. Develop your self-confidence. Explore your business questions.

I taught school for several years and have a Master's Degree in Learning and Behovoral Disorders, so I teach with a lively balance of demos, digital presentations, discussions, one-on-one conferences and plenty of individual help you will discover the meaning of content, its value and how to achieve it in your work.

Many have called this the best workshop that they have ever taken. By teaching you the vocabulary of success, you will go home charged, confident and ready to take a fresh path.

Susan is an award winner and signature member of AWS, NWS, TWSA, the Watercolor USA Honor Society, as well as the author of the North Light book and DVD,
Master Disaster. Her current series of paintings, "Once Upon a Time there were Free-Range Children," was featured in three solo museum exhibitions. She has won three grants from the NC Council of the Arts. Her paintings have been accepted into three American Watercolor Exhibitions, 2013, 2014 and 2016, winning 2 major prizes.

Click here for the
Student Supply List

Kudos for Master Disaster/Fresh Paths in Watercolor

"We should have had this workshop long ago." many students in Fairborne, OH

"I learned more about creating art in this workshop than in any workshop or college course I thave ever taken." Jackie

"I can't tell you how much I learned in this course, and when I came I thought I knew everything!" anonymous in Idaho

"What I learned the first day was worth the price of the whole workshop." Larry

"This workshop is worth more than any five workshops that you have ever gone to--combined!" Gemevieve                                                                                                                                           
"It was one of the most influential workshops I have taken." Fran

"This was the most inspiring workshop I have attended. Sue has given me the "no fear" attitude toward art, especially my own!" Jeannine, WVWS president

Everyone on the planet shour take this course. Kathy (who took the course three times.)

Course Outline



Other Workshop Themes to choose from:

"Color and Design Strategies,
Take your painting to new heights in three days."

Study the color plans that have created masterpieces throughout the ages. By pushing your painting toward one of these strategies, you will learn to organize your palette, express moods and content and pull your paintings together. Create mature, unified and polished works. Discover how to avoid "mud."

Then explore value and design strategies to take a boring painting beyond what you ever dreamed possible. Value strategies are by far the strongest way to create remarkable paintings. Learn that you can push a painting toward one of these strategies at any stage of the work. You will finish a bomb of a painting and create a reference "flip book" that will become your painting bible. Learn to paint not like me, but like yourself--only better. (3 days, all levels, all media)


"Content through Color Strategies, Fracturing and Borders."

Content, putting yourself and your ideas into your paintings, is difficult for some to fathom harder to teach. This course approaches content in a manageable, concrete way that will open new doors of creativity for you. Through the study of the color plans that have created masterpieces, you will learn to reinforce the mood of your painting. By fracturing and creating borders, you will make separate areas for additional thoughts and information about your topic. Content. Content is everything. Content is what makes a painting a work of art. (4-5 day workshop)


"Paint on Location/Polish in the Studio"

Painting outside is both invigorating and overwhelming. The work that most of us do on location comes out either weak or very similar to most other location paintings. This course is designed to address these three problems. Learn to enjoy painting outside. Learn to create gutsy and unusual paintings, and then carry these lessons into a series of paintings from your references.

Each day you will sit in a lovely location, absorb its ambience, and study it for unusual perspectives. Then, returning to the studio, we will brainstorm and develop numerous possible designs and color strategies to create unique "landscapes." (4-5 days)


"Painting Quick Travel Masterpieces"

This workshop will give you the confidence to sketch while traveling. Broken up into five individual steps, this sketching style can fit beautifully into your travel constraints. The course can be taught outside at your location, or bring me along on a trip--I love to travel and spend serious time with students and artists. See my China and Italian sketches for some ideas. Create memories to go!


"Watercolor 101, Jump Start Your Art"

You can learn to use this vibrant, portable media in "Watercolor 101," a 2-4 day workshop.And learn not to fear it, for corrections can and will be made at any point in your paintings.

But don't limit yourself to the technical aspects of the media. Through discussions, slides and a project, we will explore "content"--what makes a painting a work of art. You will leave this course with a plan for future growth, how to work in a series. This introduction to watercolor is also an introduction to becoming an artist.


All of these courses have been taught from Vancouver, B. C. to Beaufort, S.C., from to Wisconsin to the Asociacion Acuarelistas de Puerto Rico.

With two degrees in education, I love teaching and pride myself in it. Due to my teaching experience in a very progressive school system, I am better able to meet the needs of a wide variety of artists. You will return to your studios with concrete skills and "Flip Books" that will be your foundation for continued growth. With a Master's Degree in Learning and Behavioral Disorders, trust me, I can teach anyone and handle any classroom management "challenge."

If I need to fly to your location, travel cost and time is a major problem. 4 or 5 day workshops (or combinations of workshops) are the best bet for both your organization and myself. To discuss the wonderful possibilities that I can offer, call me at 828 693-0553 or write me at