Saturday, October 12, 2019

Williamstown 2019 in the Beautiful Blue Berkshires

This year's workshop in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with Tom Dunlay was a wonderful experience. The beautiful blue Berkshires surrounded the artists and inspired fine work. They had the unusual opportunity to stay in R.H. Ives Gammell's summer residence, designed for himself and his students. Tom guided the group through the Clark Museum of Art learning from famous works by John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Winslow Homer, Fantin-Latour, Alfred Stevens and many more. Of course, this was all enjoyed in each other's company as they worked together, talked shop, and enjoyed Katy's super meals!

Workshop Painting by Dan Whiteknact
Workshop Painting by Caroline Hooker Gantz

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Teaching Studio to Open!

I am very pleased to announce that after much serious thought, I will be opening a teaching studio 10 miles southwest of Boston in the town of Norwood. I have just secured 3 perfect north light painting studios where I will be teaching the Boston School way of working, as taught to me by my teacher R. H. Ives Gammell.

My plans are to run a small highly focused mentoring program where each student will work according to their individual skill and knowledge level. The program will include

  • cast drawing 
  • figure drawing 
  • still life painting 
  • portrait/figure painting 
  • landscape painting.
I will only be taking on a small number of full-time students. There is a possibility I will be able to take a few part-time students as well.

If you are interested in learning “how to see," and learn about the Boston Painters approach to studio and landscape painting, contact me personally. You can direct message me on FB, call me at 617-838-9181, or email me at

Fall Workshop in Medfield, Oct. 25-28th

I am very pleased to announce that I will be having one more Landscape Workshop this fall before the cold weather arrives. This will be an opportunity to paint the meadows and marshes of Medfield and Norfolk, Massachusetts, near the locations George Inness and Dennis Bunker painted 130 years ago.

Location: Norfolk, Medfield Ma
Dates: October 25 -28
Time: Sunrise to sunset, 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Cost: $450

Contact me if you are interested in attending. You can message or email me,
or call, 617-838-9181, to make your reservation.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Special Time in Cincinnati

Learning step by step from one of Tom's demos
There could not have been a warmer welcome than that which Tom had in Cincinnati for his first workshop there from April 25th-28th, 2018. The class was completely full with both local artists and others who came from as far afield as New York, Georgia, northern Indiana and even from Arizona. Additional artists joined in every day, and an elementary school class hiked out to watch the artists at work, to ask questions and get autographs.

Painting in front of the Valley View Foundation farmhouse in Milford

The staff at the workshop headquarters, Valley View Foundation in Milford, Ohio, warmly welcomed Tom and the group and did everything they could to help with logistics, even ferrying painting supplies by pickup truck to the day's location. They were as excited about the artists using their 190-acre property as the artists were to choose subject matter from their lovely woods, barns, ponds, and wide pathways that led through fields of prairie grasses.

Choosing a scene from a variety of landscapes
Each day was packed full of learning opportunities. The morning began early in the farmhouse at 8 a.m. for shop talk, then attendees either watched as Tom demoed a picture of the 1820's stone building or went out to paint. Afternoons were spent painting, and the day ended with a thoughtful critique of everyone's work.

The workshop's Meet n' Greet at Carl Samson's studio

Great news! Tom is planning to return next year - and this time his wife, Katy, the "hostess-with-the-mostest" is coming along. This is a great opportunity for anyone who's wondered about the Boston School approach to painting to study with a man who trained under Robert Douglas Hunter and R.H. Ives Gammell for six years and has professionally worked as an artist for about 40 years. He has a teacher's heart and can instruct anyone from beginner to expert with concrete direction - and with encouragement.

Updates will given here as soon as information is available. Tom is also offering three additional workshops this year in Nantucket, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and North Haven Island, Maine. Click on the navigation tabs to check them out.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cincinnati Workshop

April Workshop in Cincinnati!

Here is a great opportunity for those of you who live in the Midwest and have wanted to study with Tom Dunlay. He is coming to Cincinnati, Wednesday, April 25th-Saturday, the 28th, to teach a 4-day, landscape-painting workshop!

Develop your plein air skills in the tradition of Frank Benson, William Paxton and Edmund C. Tarbell, from Tom, a nationally recognized artist who studied first with Boston School painters Robert Douglas Hunter and then six years with R.H. Ives Gammell. More here.

Your days will be full of expert instruction, starting early at 8 a.m. with tips and teaching from Tom, then a chance to create your own painting in a scenic Cincinnati environment with his personal input as needed. Daily class critiques with plenty of encouragement and insightful direction will leave you feeling upbeat about your potential.

  • "I have now attended two of Tom's workshops (the other in North Haven, Maine at the island home and workshop of Frank Benson) and will be attending the 2016 Nantucket workshop, as well. Each of the two I attended were valuable experiences, unique in their own individual ways. We painted out-of-doors from morning to night, stopping for lunch and gourmet dinners in the evenings. We were continually absorbed in the world of painting, asking questions, being tutored and lectured under the gentle guidance of Tom from the time we arose each morning, sitting around breakfast, lunch, or dinner tables, and often talking until late into the night. The friendships all of us made through these workshops continue today and many of us return each year for new instructional experiences."
  • "Tom ensured me that I, a studio painter in the abstract expressionist direction, would find it helpful to work within the traditional method and palette of Benson/Paxton/Tarbell and he was absolutely correct and I would highly recommend this and any of Mr. Dunlay's workshops. Tom made it seem natural if not effortless to be out there, with easel and brush, attempting to capture the character of a place. His evidential love of teaching and passing along of his knowledge quickly became comforting and contagious and I was eager to learn and absorb its rich history. Tom's generous and gracious technical instruction was handed out in much the same manner as his painting style - with gentle yet decisive words and demonstrations that came at just the right time and place."
Valley View, Milford, Ohio 

Rain or Shine, lots of opportunities at Valley View!
Tom is very pleased to base the workshop at the Valley View Foundation, 790 Garfield Ave., in Milford, Ohio, which is just inside the Cincinnati 275 beltway. Valley View is a 190-acre property with natural fields, forested areas, a river and pond, two old barns, a community garden, wide paths, plenty of shelter for rainy days (just in case) and a love for the arts that makes them super supportive of our group. Our headquarters will be in a historic stone farmhouse on the property. They are very much looking forward to being our hosts and are willing to help us make this a four-day, all-round great experience. Click here to find out more about our location. 

Check online for accommodations in Milford or the surrounding areas. Bed & breakfasts are available as well as hotels. One in particular that has been recommended is the Old Milford Inn Bed and Breakfast that's just down the street from Valley View. You can find more info by calling (513)239-5805 or on their Facebook page by clicking here.

April 25-28, 2018
The workshop will begin on Wednesday, 8 a.m., and end Saturday at the end of the day. Twelve student limit.

$450 covers the 4-day, all-day, painting workshop.
Room and board is separate and that cost will depend on your choice of lodging and food.

A deposit of $100.00 is due at time of registration with the remaining $350 paid at the beginning of the first day. Please fill out the sign-up form and send it along with the deposit to: Mr. Thomas Dunlay, 41 Bridle Path, Westwood, MA 02090.

To register, please fill out sign up form, here.   

There are many options for housing in Cincinnati.
  • Hotels: Click here.
  • Bed-and-breakfasts: Click here.

Tom's next workshop this summer will be June 6-12, 2018, in Nantucket, a beautiful, historic island rich in landscape and water views and boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets on the east coast.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Just Three Openings Left! Maine Painting Workshop September 3-10, 2017

18 magnificent ocean-front acres at Wooster Farm

If you love the work of Boston School painter Frank Benson, imagine that you could stay for a week at his home and studio on North Haven Island in Maine. Then picture yourself studying with artist Tom Dunlay, creator of some of the most iconic Boston area paintings in the last half century. Tom explains, “We will be focusing on how the Boston Painters approached their work out of doors, concentrating on figure and landscape. I want to share some of the insights that were passed down to me by Mr. R.H. Ives Gammell, who, in turn, was a student of Benson and William McGregor Paxton.”

You can make it happen – now! Tom has just announced three openings left in his September 3-10 workshop this year, and this opportunity should be snapped up quickly.

Tom's workshops are enthusiastically recommended by those who have attended them:
I had a great week painting in the Berkshires last week with a great group of painters via Tom Dunlay's workshop. We learned so much from Tom and each other, and we all get totally consumed in painting, art talk and art history along with a LOL!!! It is pure art heaven for anyone who wants to really dig in for a week to help make themselves much more knowledgeable about painting.” D.D.  

I can attest that this was one of the most valuable and instructive workshops I've attended. Under Tom's patient, kind, knowledgeable, and positive instruction, I was able to leave with a much better sense of who I was as an artist, what I needed to focus on in order to grow, and a much broader understanding of art history and its importance and relevance in the modern world.” L.H.

I found the instruction I received during his Nantucket workshop to be incredibly helpful at many levels - from materials, to techniques, to how to see, think about and capture a scene. One of the fun aspects of the week was being together with a great group of other artists sharing stories and ideas over dinner after a long day painting.” J.R.

Tom made it seem natural if not effortless to be out there, with easel and brush, attempting to capture the character of a place. His evidential love of teaching and passing along of his knowledge quickly became comforting and contagious and I was eager to learn and absorb its rich history. Tom's generous and gracious technical instruction was handed out in much the same manner as his painting style - with gentle yet decisive words and demonstrations that came at just the right time and place. Color, light, shape all appeared more evident to me under his tutelage and grew throughout the week.” C.S.

In addition to the instruction and historic residence, the island scenery, wonderful food and comraderie with fellow artists will make this a most enjoyable and memorable week.

To find out more or to sign up, visit Tom's blog at and click on the “Maine Workshops” and the “Sign Up” tabs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wet and Wild in Williamstown

Tom Dunlay likes a challenge - and likes to challenge his students. What could be more inspiring to those who love the Boston approach than having a workshop and residency in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and staying in the summer home and studios of R.H. Ives Gammell?

Not only that, but Tom is taking them to paint where he and other students did under Mr. Gammell's tutelage - in the middle of a river! An elderly but determined Mr. Gammell would climb down the river bank and wade over to where they were painting to critique their work. That experience is what Tom is giving to his students in Williamstown.

Touring the Clark Museum of Art collection
"A fabulous workshop with the most amazing people!" Tom Dunlay

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Artist as Collector: Thomas Dunlay and Staying on Track

An April 2017 article in "Outdoor Painter" magazine by Bob Bahr
“In the Dell” by R.H. Ives Gammell

 “I’ve always collected, since the mid-’70s, having the good pleasure and fortune to own some really good pictures,” say Dunlay. “These three all relate to my training and my goals as a painter. “These three all relate to my training and my goals as a painter. I come completely out of the Boston school. I studied with R.H. Ives Gammell, and people out of that tradition … well, we tend to learn what we do, and we stick with it. Rather than a painting having a different meaning today than it did when I acquired it, the painting reemphasizes what we learned about value and color, putting it down and leaving it. These paintings are reminders about staying on track more than anything else.”

Read the complete article here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Three-Day Workshop in New Hampshire

"Sailing the Sound" by Tom Dunlay
NEWS FLASH! Tom Dunlay is holding a 3-day workshop at Ceres Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, July 26-28th, 2017.

As the warmer days of spring melt the last patches of snow in the woods of New Hampshire, thoughts of summer come to mind. Ceres Gallery has the most sought after, internationally recognized, master painter coming to present a workshop with our local students in July!
We are beyond excited to have this artistic descendant of Tarbell and Benson share the knowledge that he gained from R.H. Ives Gammell, who was an actual student of Frank Benson. Tom continues to pass on the techniques that were handed down to him from the Impressionist masters of the last century, the founders of the Museum of Fine Art and the Boston School of Painters. 

Tom says, “This workshop will focus on the approach to out-of-door painting practiced by the Boston Painters from 1880 to 1930. Important aspects of outdoor painting will be covered in this intensive 3 day workshop.”

Tom Dunlay is an Impressionist, a member of the Guild of Boston Artists and a past president of the Guild. He approaches painting in a “workmanlike manner” with a goal of getting to the “truth of the scene,” which is not necessarily “accuracy.” He paints the “truth in all of its simplicity and humbleness.” Tom says that being exposed to the early Boston masters had a profound impact on his painting career. We are so fortunate that he is willing to spend three days with us, sharing his wealth of knowledge.

If you are interested in attending this workshop with Tom Dunlay in July, please email me, Elaine Miller, owner of the Ceres Gallery, at with "Tom Dunlay Workshop" in the subject line.

The cost for all three days is only $375.

This quote comes to mind whenever I hesitate….
“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity.
We have only this moment,  sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.”
Francis Bacon, Sr.

Click here for directions to the Ceres Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.