Pickle Street School Studio

A working art studio located in scenic Monterey Township, Michigan

Pickle Street School Studio is a one-room school building renovated and transformed into an art studio offering a variety of arts and enrichment classes and workshops.

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  • Pickle Street School Studio 2980 134th Avenue Hopkins, MI, 49328 United States (map)

with Sharon Griffes Tarr

  • Two day workshop - Thursday, May 18 & Friday, May 19
  • $195.00
  • 9am - 4pm daily

A strong start almost always guarantees a strong finish for any painting. Ignoring the importance of layering from the block-in to subsequent layers by students is usually the reason for dull lifeless paintings. In this workshop, students will explore the building blocks of the painting process for creating highly successful works of art. They include:

  • how to select, edit and compose subject elements for strong content
  • how to create the best underpainting for emotion, mood and light effects in a painting
  • how to finesse a painting for the Wow! factor

Tricks and “things” do not make a painting. A superior foundation and painting process does.

This two-day workshop is appropriate for anyone painting in oil (acrylics accepted) from beginners to advanced skill levels. The instructor will demonstrate her all-important underpainting techniques and offer examples of materials and processes that support strong works of art. 

"Morning at Otter Pond", 20x24", oil on linen panel

"Morning at Otter Pond", 20x24", oil on linen panel

"Willow Creek", 11x14" oil on linen panel

"Willow Creek", 11x14" oil on linen panel

Contact Pickle Street School Studio to register.


My personal journey in art began early in childhood and was heavily influenced by my mother and a family friend who gave me some paints, two small canvases and a couple of brushes when I was eleven. That simple gift of kindness made possible a life-long passion to create. Later, studies at Chicago's American Academy of Art had a profound effect on my future as an artist. I enthusiastically explored the city's landscapes and studied the Masters at the Art Institute of Chicago. Having studied ballet for a number of years in Detroit, I became a member of Chicago’s Allegro Ballet Company during this period and divided my time between art classes and dancing. My sensitivity to line and transitional movement in painting is a direct result of my ballet training.

While light and shadow predominate in my contemporary impressionistic paintings my interest is centered on expressing atmospheric space.  This concept has provided me with exciting creative challenges to my process and self-expression of subject matter.

I believe fully in the importance of painting outdoors directly from nature as well as in the studio. This dual focus enables me to fully embrace the elements of design and creative concepts with first hand experiential knowledge of natural light effects and atmospheric drama.

Largely self-taught in fine art following my art training at the American Academy in the early 1960's I've periodically studied with other artists such as Matt Smith, Albert Handel, Cheng Kee Chee, Carolyn Anderson and was mentored by Joyce Pike. Most recently, my work has been richly influenced by the great contemporary English and Russian  masters including: Bato Dugarzhapov, Denis Sarazhin and Fred Cuming.  Other influences include past masters, John Singer Sargent, Joquin Sorolla, and Anders Zorn.

View Sharon's artist website at http://sgtarr.com/.

Earlier Event: April 20
Watercolor Batik Workshop
Later Event: June 8
Beyond Realism