Skip Lawrence: Plan Thoughtfully, Paint Vigorously

Wilsonville, Oregon, April 29 – May 3, 2019

A Rare Opportunity to Study with Skip in Oregon 

The best approach to making art is the simplest idea done to perfection.  The language of painting is based on design.  The 5

Skip Lawrence Artwork

©Skip Lawrence

considerations are: 1) dominance of an element, 2) deciding on the most appropriate contrast of value, color, line or texture for the subject, (3 making interesting and dynamic shapes, 4) treatment of edges hard, soft, broken, 5) what to do inside our well designed shapes.

We think of these as the words we use to write, but it is the story we are sharing, based on observations, emotions and beliefs that make our work unique.  Content (idea) and Form (tools) are absolutely a must if we are to make meaning art.

No one other than you can decide what your content is and the form that will best deliver your ides.  So, I ask each student to come to day 1 with and idea (subject) real or imagined and decide the tools that are most appropriate for your story.

Daily Considerations:

  • dominance
  • contrast
  • shapes
  • edges
  • inside shapes

Colors of France

Cancellation Policy

Ruth Armitage is an independent provider of Art Workshops in Oregon City, Oregon. Workshop registration will be handled on a first come, first served basis. If you wish to pay by check, please Contact Ruth. Your spot is not reserved until a deposit or full payment is received. Please make payments prior to the workshop to avoid monopolizing class time with paperwork.

Once your place has been reserved, there will be a non-refundable $100 charge for cancellation up to 30 days prior to the workshop. Cancellations less than 30 days before the workshop will not be refunded unless the spot can be filled from the wait list. If you are able to sell your spot to another student there will be no cancellation fee.

Trip insurance is recommended for all travel workshops. Because of the nature and expenses involved, cancellation policies differ according to location. Please read full policy on the workshop description.

Ruth reserves the right to cancel the workshop, in which case all tuition will be refunded promptly. In case of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, a make-up date may be set. If you cannot attend, you will receive a credit for a future class.

Other Upcoming Workshops:

Register Now – Many Workshops Fill Quickly!

"High Water" Oil & Cold Wax on Panel 12"x12" ©Ruth Armitage

“High Water” Oil & Cold Wax on Panel 12?x12? ©Ruth Armitage $295

New! October 15, 16 & 17 – Oregon City, OR Cold Wax and Oil Workshop. Space limited to 8 – register here.

October 22-24, 2018West Texas Watercolor Society, Lubbock, TX

October 30 – November 1, 2018 – Abstracted Watercolor Haiku – Sitka Center at World Forestry Center, Portland, Oregon. Wait List Only!

November 9-11, 2018 – Santa Clarita Art Association: ABC’s of Abstraction, Santa Clarita, CA. Contact Jeanne Iler for more information.

January 11, 12 & 13, 2019 – Tubac School of Fine Art – Tubac, AZ – ABC’s of Abstraction – Join Ruth Armitage for a workshop inspired by nature, but leaning toward the abstract using mixed water media.
Revel in texture, line, color and shape in this mixed media workshop exploring the properties of Golden High Flow and Golden Open Acrylics. We will begin with textured watercolor washes, incorporating gouache and acrylic to explore the contrast between transparent and opaque media. You will work with several methods for abstracting nature in a directed and intentional process.
Participants will work on a series of work inspired by nature. Techniques will include different types of paint application, reductive and layering techniques, mark making, shape, color and texture galore. Pre-planning and intuition will work hand-in-hand to lead artists to creative compositions. Register Here.


“It was a very rewarding workshop. I feel everyone came away with new and exciting ideas. What I liked most was the slide examples and your description of how, why and what makes each work. No, maybe it was the exercises, no the demos, no the something different each day, or maybe it was —- everything. I felt your workshop was a good all around learning experience for everyone, any level. You have such a great since of humor, it made us all feel relaxed and right at home. “


“Ruth, I think you are a wonderful teacher. Thank you for your positive and fun attitude. I especially liked to learn from your example, and I was glad to see you paint and struggle at times too…then solve whatever problem a work presented.”

Debra Chase

I came away with a multitude of ideas. I feel more confident in how I will approach my art. Ruth gave me the key to unlock my ideas and get them down on canvas and tools to go beyond the basic beginning. She is a gentle, effective teacher. She knows when to leave you alone and when to offer help.”

Buff Holtman

Ruth is a modest and approachable professional with lots of experience she is willing to share. My learning experience in this class was better due to several types of teaching methods—- personal art evaluations, teaching time, reference examples/materials and frequent desk critiques.

I left feeling excited and inspired about my art and a new approach to my creative process.”


“I’ve taken several classes from Ruth over the years. With each class I’ve come away with gems that have remained in my tool box. In her most recent workshop, I wanted to learn more about how to implement line. I feel that I accomplished that along with so much more. Ruth is such a generous teacher, always willing to go to the next step in the process.”

Jennie O'Connor

“Ruth has so much to offer in many different aspects of creating artwork. She is approachable and respectful. She ranks well among the other excellent classes I have taken.  Ruth is decisive and thoughtful with her answers. Her ability to be personal and honest yet gentle are commendable. The class was worth my time and money and I have come away with many ideas, both theoretical and practical to work with.”


Interested in a Workshop in Your Area?



I am available for jurying and workshops starting in 2019. Click the Contact button below to receive a packet with course description, work samples and testimonials.

Workshops generally span 3, 4 or 5 days and can be customized for your group. Please provide information about location and the needs of your group. I look forward to hearing from you!

About the Instructor

Armitage, Ruth 1Ruth Armitage is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, Rocky Mountain National Watermedia,  the California Watercolor Society and Past President of the Watercolor Society of Oregon. The Watercolor Society of Oregon has awarded her its Outstanding Service Award and nominated her as Oregon’s Delegate to the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies.

Ruth’s work has received many local and national awards and been included in numerous national publications and exhibitions. In 2004 her work was profiled on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat.

You can find Ruth’s work at the Portland Art Museum’s Rental Sales Gallery. Ruth has enjoyed teaching for over 20 years and watching lightbulbs come on in her students’ eyes.

Ruth's Studio

Ruth’s home studio is perched above an oversized three-car garage, with dormer windows and excellent lighting. Each participant will have an ample work area: both seated and standing areas are available. If you work with an easel you are welcome to bring it. Lunches and slide programs are held in the kitchen and family room of the home. Refrigerator space is available to keep your lunch cold. Ruth provides coffee, tea and munchies. You will enjoy beautiful territorial views if you wish to paint plein air, including the farm’s  goats and sheep. You’ll find ample parking and the company of studio companion “Russell.” 



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