Comments about Susan Abbott's teaching from student evaluations:
“I want to compliment you on the workshop. It was wonderful and substantive. I tire of self professed art gurus gathering little old ladies together to spend half a day demonstrating their work and the other half making us feel bad that we don't paint like they do. Meanwhile, I am armed with new color courage and some actual art education. “
"Susan, you are a first-rate teacher and such an inspiration! Thanks to your dedication, determination and focus, you got us to do and learn more in a short period of time than I would have believed possible. From your classes on color theory with clear diagrams to your own awe-inspiring painting demonstrations, to your lovely and evocative slide lectures to your very helpful critiques -- I am immensely grateful for them all."
"Thank you for an amazing experience, that I will always hold in my heart! Susan- your amazing talent, wonderful teaching techniques and love of Art have inspired me-I've set up a tiny studio and have been painting daily! I learned so much and will never look at our world the same in relation to color, composition, and values."
"We need a recovery program to follow your retreat — something to desensitize a person to color and light and motif and the joy of being in the company of such creative people, lest the real world become overwhelming when we are set free. And yet a big part of what I took with me, though, from this past week —and what I hope will linger — is being able to see immense beauty in that real world around us."
I want to tell you that I found this workshop tremendously stimulating. I loved all the work with color. Your lessons were clear (even if I couldn't put them into practice immediately), and I came away with a better understanding of what I'm trying to do. You were right where I think I am, and I think I can (I hope I can) take a full step forward. Thanks so much!!
"Excellent instruction!!! I was amazed at the wealth of information provided to create a painting...color theory and composition. Also liked the exposure to classic and contemporary artists. "
"She is a highly successful instructor across a wide variety of subjects. She has high standards and an excellent background in art. Her level of success was proven not only by the quality of work produced by those under her instruction, but also be the written evaluations of her performance."
Thank you so much for such a wonderful and productive week. It was inspiring to be in that community of painters and have such a beautiful part of Vermont for subjects. Thank you so much for the incredible wealth of information you imparted and your accepting and encouraging manner. You are a gifted and natural teacher and the class exceeded all expectations.
Thank you, as always, for your patience, superb teaching skills, supportive comments, and new perspectives. You are a fantastic teacher, and I'll be back.
"You presented the class with the equivalent of the finest academic art education. You have a gift for building on the student's strengths, while helping to clarify weaknesses in a manner that encourages growth."
"Her approach is so logical and well thought through. Her method of communicating difficult concepts struck me as precise and always highly intelligible. The personal guidance she offered was consistently sensitive yet candid."
"She is an excellent, systematic, sensitive teacher. This was the only well-organized approach I've ever had to watercolor. She is am amazingly good artist, who knows what she is talking about."
"What a treat it was to study with you! You are such a high-caliber teacher, really one of the best art teachers I ever had. Thank you for guiding me so clearly, giving me stepping stones, leading me from tones and composition, to 2, then, 3 colors and, finally, the whole color wheel and palette."
"Susan did an excellent job. She was thorough, patient, inspiring, and had a good sense of humor."
"I enjoyed the workshop and learned more than i imagined I could. Susan is succinct, kind (but truthful, too) and patient as well as competent."
"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the workshop. After returning home and reflecting on the experience, I see value in so many aspects of your program. Your demos gave me perspective on an approach to problem solving and technique that has been really helpful."
In addition, I appreciated your teaching style and work ethic. Some of the things you covered, like color theory, were a great refresher for me as part of the overall program. I haven't had instruction in color theory since middle school and your session was well done. I really liked your slide shows and the exercises, like using photos of paintings to recreate the palette for a different composition. I'm planning on picking up a stack of postcards the next time I am at the National Gallery of Art, to do the exercises at home.
"I had the most wonderful time with all of you. Expert, gentle teaching (thank you, Susan! And take a good long nap--), delightful company, terrific food, and intense learning. I truly hope we can reconvene next year."
"I started this workshop with no knowledge of watercolor or painting and left with the enthusiasm to continue and the ability to appreciate."
"Thank you so much for being so generous with all your workshop information. What I like the most is the contrasting artists from the past to artists of today, drawing out what informs your work. I love that you give everyone in the class attention everyday. I love the reminders to think positively and not submit to obsessive negativism. You are a wonderful, wonderful teacher."
"The week was a highlight of the year for me, and it was indeed a specially great group. Your teaching is full, rich, interesting, addicting!!!"
"She had a genuine concern for everyone in class, even those who were extremely withdrawn. It was a joy to see her work along with us, because this was also an excellent mode of instruction. Susan Abbott was one of the best teachers I have had in my fifteen years of taking classes."
"A very good teacher who knows all about her subject, and can answer the class's questions. Her workshops are enjoyable and fun!"
"Susan Abbott is a phenomenal teacher. I told her early on in the workshop that studying with her was like drinking from a Firehose of Art. However, the more I thought about it though, the more I realized that what actually happens is that just before the torrent of information being transmitted knocks you over, it is transformed into an incredible overhead shower that rains down an enveloping stream of art experience, history, theory and knowledge, with basic practical usable painting concepts. It was an awesome experience that we will long remember...The very first day, she said "don't worry about the Product - what counts is the Process.' That concept was transformative for me. One of our fellow attendees who is an incredibly gifted and experienced artist and teacher herself, said that "Susan opens doors."
" I enjoyed the class so much and have been using watercolors and sketching ever since! I have discovered a new creative outlet and it has really changed the way I view my life's path...just wanted to say thank you for igniting the fire!"
"Excellent, well-prepared, generous, well-organized, and permanently useful information. Thank you again!"
"I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful "Traveling with Your Sketchbook" class. In a short amount of time, I learned so much from you and wish I would've taken this class sooner so that I could have used the knowledge and skills during my travels. I am confident that this will be the first of many classes that I'll take from you and look forward to your next workshop."
"Total immersion in art -- your location (where one can comfortably escape wifi and phone service) your studio, painting sites, thoughtful planning and scheduling and highly effective use of time all combine to make for a fabulous learning environment."
"Susan was knowledgeable, well-prepared, and excellent at giving critiques. I really enjoyed this workshop. It has given me lots of ideas to work with!"
"You are supportive and encouraging while providing critical advice and clear information. Your comments are loaded with useful information. Your color and theory classes are taught at such a high level yet are completely comprehensible. You always seem to understand what each of us is trying to achieve with our paintings even if we may miss the mark, and try to show us how to get there. And you allow each of us to develop our own style."
"The workshop in Provence exceeded my wildest dreams. Thank you."
"For me, being in one of your classes is like getting back in the groove..thinking about shape and color and value and seeing those things in the living landscapes around us. For those who don’t paint, a workshop might seem like a lark but it takes effort and energy. The thoughtfulness that you put into the curriculum, from the slides to the handouts, really gives us food for thought."
"Your teaching inspired us all to really look at our surroundings with new vision. "
"There was an excellent balance between the in-studio instruction and applying what you were trying to teach us. For me personally I think I got a tremendous amount from the instruction time in the studio."
"Thank you for a wonderful two weeks. It was so much fun. As I told you before, you are best teacher I've had (and I've had many!) You really make me think about my work and where to go."
"I can’t thank you enough. This was no ordinary workshop, but a gift. I loved the combination of being grounded in your studio, but also the daily excursions to new locations. You have an extraordinary gift for teaching- it’s not all people who can be master painters as well as lead groups of people. I admire your integrity, values, serious commitment to painting- it’s inspiring!
I took your travel journaling class in 2013. I enjoyed the class so much and have been using watercolors and sketching ever since! I have discovered a new creative outlet and it has really changed the way I view my life's path. I just wanted to say thank you for igniting the fire!
I'm still feeling the exhilaration of the painting week......shapes jumping out at me right and left....... lights and darks everywhere. It was great fun with a wonderful group and excellent teaching.