Pam Luer

Nature Sketchbooks

August 29-September 3, 2021 (Four Teaching Days)

"Whether I’m out working in the field or in a conservatory filled with plants and flowers, if I want to draw better, I must train myself to see better. To hone my craft requires thoughtful stillness, quiet meditation, and a sincere commitment to my practice." - Pam

In this workshop, you’ll learn different ways to approach your subject. By altering points of view, perspective and composition, your ability to see things differently and connect with your subject will evolve along with your skills.
Probably the most important goal in my Nature Sketchbook Workshop is not a destination (i.e., a perfect finished drawing), but learning to relish the exquisite journey you experience by allowing yourself to slow down, carefully observe and reconnect with nature.
Once you’re comfortable with the materials and have some dedicated drawing time under your belt, beautiful and interesting things will begin to happen in your sketchbook.

This class will spend as much time as possible outdoors. We will learn to keep our drawing kits lean and portable in order to work out in the field. While we do have a wonderful studio classroom to keep us grounded, your Forest Floor Concertina Sketchbook will be your opportunity to gather observations and sketches from your time exploring and roaming the beautiful grounds of Dillman’s. Join me on the path. Let’s go see what’s out there.

Topics Covered:

  • Design and composition.
  • The importance of experimenting with different materials.
  • Creating new habits of resourcing for future work.
  • Building a sketchbook practice while reconnecting to nature.
  • Observation: Seeing better helps you draw better.
  • Learn about fauna from this part of the country.
  • Your studio is your garden, your travels, your sketchbook.
Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting Pam Luer Painting

Materials/Requirements: No materials are provided. This class is for adults of all skill levels. We will be doing some light hiking and exploring outdoors. The world is our studio. Keep you kit light and you’ll go far.

Kit List:

  • Pentalic Watercolor Accordian Fold Dream Catcher Sketch Book, 4 x 6. Any accordion book will due.
  • Stillman & Birn Beta Series Softcover Sketchbook, 8" x 10” OR watercolor sketchbook of your choice.
  • Collection of various drawing pencils. 6B-4H, maybe add a couple Farber Castell Graphite Aquarelle pencils. (dreamy water soluble graphite).
  • Derwent or Faber Castel watercolor pencils
  • Pentel Art Aquash water-brush. The brush has a vile that contains all the water you need. Or you can bring own watercolor brushes with container to carry water.
  • Pocket Plus Palette: Windsor Newton Cotman Watercolor Pan set of 12. OR any small watercolor palette you may own. Keep in mind we are keeping things portable.
  • Optional: Posca paint marker, I prefer white for details. Sometimes I use fountain pens or gouache, markers, you name it.
  • Backpack or personal tote for all your materials. Keep it portable and easy. We maybe moving about with our gear.
    Portable stool or folding chair in order to plunk right down in front of your subject.

Pam Luer has been a working artist for nearly 20 years. Her passion for teaching and being outdoors is the driving force behind her workshops. Pam’s Nature Sketchbook Workshops have been popular at resorts, nature centers, arboretums and art colonies. Pam’s work usually includes organic elements as a focal point or anchor, such as, flowers, branches, leaves or shells, while the backgrounds evolve from a series of colorful grids and patterns intertwined with the main subject. The organic elements and abstract patterns support and engage each other through balance, tension, repetitive patterns and color. The relationship is one that moves from detailed order to colorful chaos, much like nature itself. Architects for numerous restaurants have commissioned Pam’s paintings of large-scale fruits and vegetables, created with pastels and house paint on artist-quality sandpaper. You’ll find some of her licensed designs on product, such as rugs, dinnerware, textiles and prints. Growing up in Wisconsin, Pam moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in her late twenties after a four-year hiatus in Sonoma County, CA, where she worked as a graphic designer. Pam completed her Bachelor of Fine Art degree, with an emphasis in painting, from the University of Minnesota, which included three months in Greece. Pam’s experience includes past Executive Board Member of Friends of the Arts in St Louis Park, MN, founder of a public book club for artists called the Twin Cities Artful Book Club. Pam conducts Nature Sketchbook Workshops for artists throughout the country at various resorts, nature centers, art colonies, and botanical gardens. Pam has a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Mn,with a focus in Drawing and Painting.

Pam Luer at Dillman's (Mary) August 2018 from Gary B.

Pam Luer at Dillmans (Karen) 2018 from Gary B.

Pam Luer at Dillman's (Connie) from Gary B.

Denny & Sue of Dillman's talk about Pam Luer from Gary B.

"Sketchbooks are a perfect way to approach your art without the pressure of completing a finished work of art. When I’m working in my sketchbooks, I find there’s less pressure to ‘make it perfect.' We’re all out here to experiment, to grow artistically and to see the beauty of nature in a whole new light. My goal is to give you the time you need to settle down and reconnect with the natural world. Having a sketchbook and a small handful of drawing tools helps you slow down and really ‘see’ that branch, flower, or vista. Many of my students mention a surprise meditative gift that comes from this practice of quiet observation." - Pam

Anne Small earned her Master's in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine, with an emphasis on peatland studies. She has worked as a naturalist and natural resources technician for the WDNR and is the coordinator for the Northstate Mycological Club. She currently homeschools her son and does a variety of volunteer work sharing the wonders of the natural world with others.

This is a Studio and Plein Air Workshop.
Something for All Levels.

Workshop Fee plus tax per student:
If 12 or more students attend class (all teaching days): $550
If 11-10 students attend class (all teaching days): $560
If 9-8 students attend class (all teaching days): $580
If 7-6 students attend class (all teaching days): $615
Room & One Dinner Fee plus tax: $450
(There are 5 nights' accommodations included in the "Room & One Dinner Fee" listed above.)
Cancellation Policy, Class Fees and Tiered Pricing Explained
A partial tuition scholarship is offered
Workshop Itinerary




Workshop Itinerary

Sunday, August 29
Check-In to your unit at Dillman’s (check-in time is 3:00)
5:00 Welcome Reception (included in package)
6:00 Dinner at Dillman's (included in Room and Meal Package. $25 additional for day students.)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday August 30-Sept 2
Breakfast On Own
9:00 a.m. - Noon Class in Session
Lunch On Own

Meals are on your own. All accommodations have cooking facilities. You may preorder box lunches and dinners for meals to be taken alone or with your group in: your studio, the lodge deck, cafe, or your accommodation. (Pre-ordering for lunches and dinners is required.)

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Class in Session

Thursday, September 2
NOON Farewell Champagne Toast (included in package)

Friday, September 3
Depart - check-out time is 10:00

Optional Events - Sign Up Required / Subject to Change:
    Sunday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

    Monday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)
    Monday 7:00 p.m. S'more Roast (no charge)

    Tuesday 8:00 a.m. Yoga
    Tuesday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

    Wednesday Noon & 4:00 p.m. Pontoon Ride on White Sand Lake (no charge)
    Wednesday 5:00 p.m. Moondeer & Friends Gallery Tour (no charge)
    Wednesday 6:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner

    Thursday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

Dine-Around Dinners: Registration required at the front desk, meet at 5:00pm in the main lobby for carpooling.

Day students are welcome to attend the Welcome Reception and Farewell Reception (included in your package). You are also invited to join the class dinners (additional fee). PAL’s (Participants at large) can vacation at Dillman’s for $40 per night for accommodations. Costs for box lunches and dinners are additional.



2021 COVID Precautions 

It is impossible to assess the impact, if any, of COVID-19 for the upcoming 2021 season, but all artists should be prepared to abide by the following measures while attending workshops.

  1. Participants must fill out a quick health questionnaire to make sure they do not exhibit any symptoms.
  2. Masks are required to be worn while in classrooms and shared spaces.
  3. Participants must also wash hands or use hand sanitizer at the beginning of each class and often during class sessions.
  4. Participants are required to stay 6 feet apart for social distancing protocols.

A floor plan per each of our three studios has been created to ensure that the artist tables and lecture area will allow people to socially distance themselves a minimum of 6 feet. 
In lieu of crowding around the artist during demos, a desktop camera system and large format digital TV screens have been installed in each of the studios to allow students a close up view of demos.
We will be providing students with hand-sanitizer at their work stations. In addition, the studios will be closed for 1 hour in the late evenings for a daily UV sanitation and touch surface cleaning.

Visit our COVID-19 update page for more information...