Sweden with Jeremy Lipking

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View from Jeremy’s house.

My first workshop away from home was a pre-blog workshop with Jeremy LipkingBefore I took this first workshop in California, I was very anxious, so I googled Jeremy’s name repeatedly to see if I could get any information about his teaching style and generally what to expect in a workshop.  I found only a short blurb about him in someone else’s personal blog, not a workshop blog.  The blogger said that Jeremy was super talented, but super quiet.  That was all the information I was able to obtain online.  At least it was something.  When I did finally go to the California workshop many months ago, I was comforted by this little bit of intelligence I had learned.  Despite his talent and prominence Jeremy spoke very softly and I was not surprised.  He did say a lot, just not very loudly.  Having this little bit of knowledge gave me surprising comfort.

Anders Zorn photo by webartacademy.com

My second Jeremy Lipking workshop was a six day adventure to Sweden in July 2012.  The reason we went to Sweden was because Jeremy really loves a dead Swedish painter named Anders Zorn.  I had never heard of him before so of course I googled him.  His work looked nice and reminded me a little of Sargent.  To be honest I never had any burning desire to go to Sweden.  It just looked too cold.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out how very wrong I was.

Daniel, Jeremy’s wife, organized the workshop.  She gave all of the workshop attendees a roster of names and email addresses and a forum for the participants to talk to one another before the workshop.  I have never seen this done before a workshop, but it was incredibly helpful.  As the date for the workshop approached, the students communicated more and more.  Jeremy scheduled sessions of the workshop in different cities   We were mostly in charge of our own logistics which were needles to say confusing and in Swedish, but this was understandable since it was the Lipkings’ first attempt at a workshop in Sweden.  They also traveled with their three children and a few other friends.


Lou and Paula at the Stockholm Aralnda Airport

I flew in to Stockholm and I just happened to be sitting across the aisle from newlyweds Lou and Paula.  Lou was taking the workshop and Paula was along for the ride.  The flight to Sweden went quickly as we chatted about our excitement traveling to the workshop.

I (Shelli Alford) am looking for a fellow workshop artist and his wife at the Stockholm airport.


I had arranged to meet another workshop artist named Kianoosh and his wife Kate at the airport, but my flight was late arriving.  After I spent a while looking silly holding up a sign for Knoosh and Kate (Kia’s real name misspelled) I’m so gifted with names;  I realized they must have logically given up and gone ahead without me.  So I teamed up with Lou and Paula and rented a car.   We got totally lost trying to get from Stockholm to the little town of Värmdo, Sweden.  I don’t think our jet lag helped us much interpreting the map.  I didn’t bring my nav system on this trip,  because I waited until the last minute to try to download the maps of Sweden into the memory and I did not get it finished.  Boy, did I regret not getting that task accomplished.

The first meet and greet in the lobby.


We finally arrived at the Djurönöset Hotel in Värmo.  Everything looked like it came from Ikea.  It was a nice hotel and we all met in the lobby for a meet and greet after getting settled in our rooms.

Dinner the first night.

Dinner that night was surreal.  We ate at a little restaurant just outside our hotel on a beautiful sunsetting lake.



Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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