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I was able to attend one day of Jed Dorsey’s October workshop

I was able to attend the first day of Jed Dorsey’s October workshop at Sunnyshore Studio that took place Wednesday through Saturday of last week. Jed started off the day with a mini-lecture on what it takes to make a good artist: (1) desire, (2) opportunity, (3) encouragement, and (4) practice.

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Jed is an engaging and encouraging speaker. I was struck by one of the goals for the workshop that he shared. He said that one of his goals was that people would feel loved as persons, not just for their artistic performance. I thought this was great because deep down we all want to be valued not for what we do but who we are.

I sensed that the workshop participants did feel loved.

It was fun to hang out with my dad and my sister, April, who both participated in the workshop.

Having Dad in a workshop is like having a second instructor because he spends a lot of his time going around and chatting, sharing tips, critiques, etc.

Jed demonstrated throughout the day. You always learn a lot by watching another artist paint. And he’s pretty good.

Everyone worked hard on their art paintings throughout the day.

And ended up with some great paintings!

Plus we had time together to visit and just be in community.

All in all it was a great workshop…We’re already planning for another Jed Dorsey workshop in October.

Here’s a fun little video I made up of our time together. Enjoy.

Day One: Jack Dorsey’s Watercolor Workshop

The first day of Jack Dorsey’s watercolor workshop is down. Since it was my day off I was able to attend it.

Dad shared a secret of using white opaque paint in watercolor that he had learned from his friend, and Master watercolorist, Mike Burns. I can’t share the secret, but honestly I can say I was surprised by it, and how it worked was pretty cool.


Dad asked the question “Why do we paint?” This question opened up a whole flurry of lessons, stories, further questions.


The workshop was full of dad’s ramblings, asides and stories. He talked about his artist friends being “iron sharpening iron.” He lectured on the fundamentals of art: the “golden mean”, values, basic elements of art such as line, color, texture. He talked about design, and explained perspective.

I tried to interpret what Dad was saying to the participants. But they all seemed to be enjoying themselves, and Dad’s lectures and stories and Dad himself, so I relaxed.

What was so cool for me was underneath it all Dad’s passion for art came out, his passion for seeing common things and portraying them in a unique way, his passion for the fundamentals of art and his passion to help people find their own artistic voice.


As I closed down the studio in the quiet of the afternoon I reflected on how these stories, lectures, fundamentals and lessons were all things that I had grown up with as a kid. They have shaped me into the artist I am today. It is so cool to see Dad sharing them with others!

Here’s a little snipped to wet your appetite.


One year in: catching up with Jed Dorsey

Jed Dorsey launched into a full-time career as an artist a year ago.

In a recent interview, Sunnyshore Studio asked Jed about that first year, the role of art workshops in his development as an artist and his upcoming July workshop on Camano Island.

Sunnyshore Studio: Jed, tell us a little bit about your recent launch into art as a full time career. How is that going?

Jed: Fantastic! We are 10 months into full-time art and haven’t had to miss any meals or bills, so that’s encouraging! I have found that being a full-time artist is not for the fickle, however. You need to be all-in. Especially if you aren’t a dual income family. So, we are thrilled to be able to be doing this and are thankful for all the support we have received from people who have bought paintings.

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Sunnyshore Studio: What role have workshops/classes had in your own development as an artist?

Jed: I frequently get asked where I studied art, and people are usually surprised when I say that I didn’t go to school for art. But I think it speaks to value of workshops, because I have taken 5 intensive workshops which have shaped me greatly as an artist. In fact, I took one just over a month ago, and it completely invigorated me and gave me fresh ideas. It also reminded of and reinforced all the instruction I’ve received before. There really hasn’t been anything else that has helped me develop more as an artist than the workshops I’ve taken.

Jed's workshop image

Sunnyshore Studio: What do you hope your workshops do for other aspiring artists?

Jed: I really hope that my workshops encourage and inspire others. I want participants to walk away feeling good about where they are at and having confidence that they can continue to grow. I also want everyone to take away at least a few concrete ideas they can come back to again and again. That’s why it is always good to take notes as a student. I have gone back to my notes from previous workshops and found things I’ve forgotten in the months or years since, and those concrete ideas become guides for my thinking about my paintings.

Sunnyshore Studio: What do you enjoy about workshops?

Jed: I love seeing people enjoy creating and taking steps forward in their process. I always applaud people who are willing to take a workshop, because I think it takes both courage and humility, and those are amazing qualities. It takes humility because we have to admit that we need help. We aren’t the artist that we want to be yet. We need and want to learn (and hopefully that never changes!). But it also takes courage, because a workshop is public and other people will see our work. They will see us in process – working on things and trying to figure out how to improve. So, I greatly admire the students who come, and I gain a ton from our time together.

Sunnyshore Studio: What are things that make your workshops unique, special, relevant?

Jed: That is a good question, and it is probably better answered by a student because their opinion is the one that matters the most. But what I try to do with my workshops is to make them the best possible experience for each student. I want people to walk away knowing that they invested their time and money well, so Renae (my wife) and I both work hard trying to make each part of the workshop special, from the instruction to the location to the subject to having snacks available. I also always want the participants to feel like they made some good friends through our time together, so we try to think of ways to make our workshops comfortable and friendly for everyone.

Sunnyshore Studio: How much more space do you have for your July workshop? What is the cost for that?

Jed: We have 5 spots still, and the workshop is $300 for 4 days, July 11-14. I’m getting really excited for it as we get closer. We have at least one of our friends (who we met when she took a class this winter here in Indianapolis) who will be flying out and spending the week on Camano Island to take the workshop, and there might be another friend who will fly out for it also. So, that is exciting and fun for us!

Jed painting on location

You can sign up for Jed’s workshop here:

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