Seascape Certification Workshop

I have just competed 3 weeks of seascape painting with Joyce Ortner. All of these International Seascape Certification workshop classes were held in the Best Western Castillo Del Sol Hotel in Ormond Beach, Florida. Many of this hotel’s rooms look directly out to the sea, making it an ideal location for this special workshop.

The workshop covered the elements of waves and the principles of seascape painting using dozens of worksheets, sketches and detailed projects. We examined colour theory and developed the colour mapping for a number of typical seascape palettes. Each week I completed two paintings using the learned information.

I had been waiting quite some time to take this Certification workshop and had traveled a substantial distance to get to Ormond Beach. When the workshop started I, along with my fellow students realized that Joyce Ortner was quite ill. As a result she was not able to attend the daily classes for the full day or provide the level of instruction in her usually unique, enthusiastic style. When she was well enough to provide instruction it was wonderful. She covered information in detail and provided a ton of useful constructive suggestions for my paintings.

During the workshop I had experienced feelings of disappointment and frustration with the process, coupling that with deep sadness for Joyce in the battle with her illness. In spite of her health she managed to steer me and the other students though all of the basic instruction and worksheets and 5 completed paintings.

Here they are:

On Tuesday of the third week we had an absolutely incredible, once in a lifetime experience. Joyce’s son, Ran Ortner, arrived on site and took over the instruction of the final week of study. Ran is a highly accomplished, professional New York artist. You must check out his web site at He paints the sea like nothing you have ever seen before so have a look at his studio and the huge, edge to edge open water sea paintings.

He weaved into this art instruction a wonderful blend of humour, poetry, philosophy, art history, and the processes of painting all in a direct, personable, unique style. I was elated with this instruction and came away with the furnace of my creative spirit fully ignited. I am ready to paint much more and hopefully with both Joyce’s and Ran’s instruction will paint much better.

This is my completed painting.


Joyce, from her bed, presented me with my International Seascape Certification. She had signed the certificate and had her son, Ran, sign it as well. I am very proud to have this certificate and cherish both signatures.

My certificate is show here.


She also gave me a message in a bottle a photo of which is show here.

The message was “In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire”

message in a bottle

My heart soars; I am ready to begin my sea painting voyage.

Joyce is in my heart; my thoughts and my prayers. May her recovery be swift, and her health restored.

3 thoughts on “Seascape Certification Workshop

  1. Congratulations DOC…….I wish I could still paint with you again….I really enjoyed my time at Wallacks with you and the painting group. Is there a chance that you will have workshops there again? You seascape is gorgeous….your week was well spent. You have a lot to pass on to your pupils. Best wishes and keep the art alive. Heather Lowe LeDrew.

  2. Joyce is a treasure. I took a week long workshop at her house in California about 5 years back, and loved every minute of it. I’m sad to hear about her health, I hope she gets better soon.

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