Playful EAC instructor Sue Riddle will lead a workshop, Brushless Painting and Collage Hearts, on Friday, February 4, 4-5:30 pm, followed by an optional Open Studio for participants to continue with their projects on Saturday, February 5, noon-1:30 pm. Participants will work with heart-shaped cutouts to create perennially appropriate love-themed artwork where the only rule is: ‘no rules!’ 

Sue Riddle (hair brilliantly dyed for the occasion) is shown at her ‘On Your Marc … Get Sip … Paint!’ event, a summer ’19 sip ‘n’ paint inspired by Franz Marc. Student Mary Anderson is at work, at right. Photo by Robin Farrin.

“Many of us are familiar with the terror of the blank page,” says Riddle. “We are handed a stick with hair attached, given a goopy color substance, and told to recreate an image either from our imagination or a perfectly set up still-life on a platform in the middle of the room. Shall we also balance on one leg, pat ourselves on the head, and try to hold the brush not using our thumbs as well?  If you think about it, it’s a pretty crazy ask.”

For our Hearts workshop, we are throwing out the paintbrush and simply playing with the paint itself to create colorful pages for collage. We will be using a brayer to experiment with paint mixing, and we will also be exploring a paint-pouring technique that is wicked fun.  After our work dries, we will be using our experiments to create one-of-a-kind hearts designs for collaged cards and hangings.”

Students try the paint pouring technique under Riddle’s tutelage at a past Peavey Library workshop.

The workshop is geared towards participants age 12 and up; interested younger children may participate alongside an adult caregiver. Covid precautions require a limited class size, so please register early to guarantee your space by emailing Alison Brennan at A $10 fee includes all materials; a sliding fee scale is available by request. Support for this workshop has been provided by Belvedere Traditional Handcrafts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.  

“The paint pouring, especially, can be very messy,” notes Riddle, “so please wear your grubbies and/or aprons.  Feel free to bring glitter to use or share.

Sue Riddle teaches decoupage during EAC’s Summer ’21 workshop series. Photos above and below by L. Elwood.

Originally from San Francisco, Riddle has been living in Down East Maine since 2015.  She has taught several craft classes at the Eastport Art Center and Peavey Memorial Library, where she also volunteers.  She has dabbled in ceramics, field sketching, birding, cartooning, bookselling, letter arts, and yarn spinning.  During the pandemic, she has been involved in EAC’s weekly portrait drawing Zoom classes, which have improved her skills immensely. She lives in Pembroke with a blind house chicken, an excess of cats, a dog, several outdoor lavender Orpington chickens and a very patient husband.

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, patrons are required to wear masks when in the EAC building. Weather-related program postponements will be announced by 11 am on the day of the event, on the EAC site and Facebook page, and on the Center’s answering machine: (207) 853-4650.