Carmelo Schifano
Watercolor Without Fear

May 20 - May 25

4 Teaching Days


Have fun and lose your fear. Never picked up a brush and painted? No problem, like Carmelo always tell students, “fuggetaboutit”, you’ll do fine. No experience needed with this step-by-step approach. With given references, students can achieve wonderful works of watercolor art, anyone can do it. Demos and talks will include watercolor painting techniques, materials and understanding the backbone of all creative art forms, the principles and elements of good design. The focus of this workshop is to have fun and lose your fear exploring watercolor painting with your heart.


“My life, as with every individual on this planet – is complex, interlocked with experiences, family, friends, all enveloped in traces of the divine, faith, wonder and wanderings of the imagination. I was born on the Island of Sicily, Italy, 1953. In 1958 my family immigrated to the United States, on the Immigrant Ocean liner called the “Waterman”. It was the second to the last ship to carry immigrants to the “New World” for thousands of families hoping for a new life. My childhood was to see me grow up on the southside of Chicago, Canaryville, were I attended public schools. As I look back on my life, as early as I can remember, to the present, there has always been one constant that helped me in so many situations and opportunities, that is the ability to make art. It seemed that I always had some inherent ability to manipulate materials to create pleasing art in one form or another, but back then I couldn’t understand why other students couldn’t draw or paint? I thought everyone could! My grammar and high school years often occupied me with helping students and teachers with some form of creating art projects or other related activities. These experiences only propelled my sense of awareness that God has graced me a “sampling” of talent which would help me throughout my lifetime. Majoring in woodworking/carpentry and architectural drawing and design, revealed I had an advanced ability to understand and see perspective and scale more so than my fellow classmates. Creating designs for furniture and drafting projects came freely and with little effort. After graduating high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, 1971, during the last years of the Vietnam War, 1975. My military occupation had me listed as a 4100, an “artist / illustrator” in a graphic arts studio, Cherry Point, North Carolina, 2nd Marine Airwing. Work consisted of everything from free style drawing, drafting designs, charts and anything else from A to Z which officers requested. After two years of military life, I tried to find a job as an artist in whatever capacity I could. It was not to happen for me. Society at that time looked “Unfavorably” at returning veterans, turning me away towards other means of vocation. My two years’ experience as a professional artist got me nowhere. I enrolled at Washbourne Trade School, Chicago. I graduated as a journeyman carpenter, soon working on the skyscrapers of the Chicago downtown area. Throughout life’s madness, my path to now, consisted of marriage, two sons, and paying bills as a journeyman carpenter at first, and then as a vocational and art instructor for 39+ years in the public and Catholic schools of Chicago. I retired from public schools in 2006, and for the last 13 years I started teaching weekly watercolor workshops at various galleries. I am currently a Life Member with Illinois Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the Missouri International Watercolor Society, and a member of the American Watercolor Society. I am also a Signature Member with the Illinois Watercolor Society. As years rolled on, I continued to integrate my art with my work life. Self-taught, I developed my skills by experimenting with techniques and styles in oils, acrylics and watercolor. Reading and studying art books became routine. Inspired and mentored by nationally renowned artists, such as Tom Francesconi, Don Andrews, Janet Rogers, Frank Webb, Gordon France, Tony Couch, Terry Madden, Sterling Edwards, Frank Francese and recently, John Lovett. For more than 50 years I’ve tried my hand at all types of art media, never really finding my “niche”. For years I pondered “why” did God set me on this path, and giving me the love of creating art. I finally realized I did not have to understand “Why” and that loving and creating art is enough. Surprisingly I found this is not unique to me, but rather a common feeling amongst the world of artists. There is a mutual understanding, without words, that only artists can understand one to another. To this day, I continue to experiment and search for what makes Me “CONNECTED” to a special sense, allowing the melting together of my heart, mind and soul to interpret color and form in the ist and shadow of all THREE.” -Carmelo Schifano


  • Valid State of Illinois Certification effective through 2020, Standard Secondary Teaching (8-22-1978, Certificate No. 1102759, with additional endorsements in the following areas: Art / Construction / Woodworking / Industrial-Technology /Manufacturing / Industrial-Arts / Upper Elementary-Jr. High / Industrial Technology / Drafting, Architectural /Design)
  • Chicago Public Schools Certification, High School Wood Shop, Sept. 1979
  • Chicago Public Schools Certification, Trade Carpentry, Sept. 1982
  • Chicago Public Schools Certification, Trade Cabinetmaking, Sept. 1982
  • Chicago Public Schools Certification, Production Technology, 1986
  • Post-Graduate studies: 80+ credit hours include Various Educational studies, Curriculum and Instructional Development, Personal Enrichment Studies
  • Master of Science in Education, Major:  Occupational Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Education, Major: Occupational Education
  • Nine years teaching experience with the Adult Evening Programs for Chicago City Colleges (Lane Tech. Adult Extension Program)
  • Saint Dorothy Catholic Elementary School, 8 years, Art Coordinator
  • Currently instructing adult students at the LaGrange Art League and Gallery, Vogt Art Gallery, McCord Art League and Gallery and Naperville Art League and Gallery.


If 12 or more students attend class (all teaching days): $580
If 11-10 students attend class (all teaching days): $660
If 9-8 students attend class (all teaching days): $775
If 7-6 students attend class (all teaching days): $975
Room & One Dinner Fee plus tax: $475
(There are 5 nights’ accommodations included in the “Room & One Dinner Fee” listed above.)


Saturday, May 20
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. $27 additional for day students.)

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday – May 21-24

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

Wednesday, May 24
9:00 a.m. – Noon Class in Session
NOON Champagne Toast & Dessert (included in package)
Lunch On Own
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Class in Session

Thursday, May 25

Depart – check-out time is 10:00

Optional Events – Sign Up Required / Subject to Change:
Monday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)
Monday 7:00 p.m. S’more Roast (no charge)

Tuesday 7:30 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.