Art Retreat at Inn at Riverbend

Our bed and breakfast proudly announces a weekend retreat to surround you in the majestic beauty of the New River Valley in luxurious accommodations while learning an exciting watercolor technique from a gifted and award winning artist – Jessica Pace-Berkeley.  Jesi is currently teaching at Virginia Polytechnic University’s Lifelong Learning Institute.  Jesi states “There I teach introductory through advanced classes, with a focus on composition, color theory and concept. The strongest aspect I believe I offer those students are a deadline and a great system of critique”.

The location of the Inn at Riverbend is beyond perfect for visual stimulation and tranquility for concentration.  Two decks overlook the New River Valley and Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, insuring outdoor work and relaxation space in any weather.  The “Great Room” offers huge windows allowing for natural light and an airy workspace.  The accommodations are luxurious and offer all inclusive guest amenities of a Select Registry property.  The Inn has received numerous awards from such sites as TripAdvisor, Virginia Green Tourism and Virginia Living to name but a few.

Attending an Art Workshop at the Inn at Riverbend is an experience you will long remember and the techniques learned will stimulate lifelong creativity.   The 3-day workshop will begin on Friday, January 31 with a wine and cheese gathering beginning at 5 pm to introduce the instructor and meet fellow artists.  On Saturday, following a gourmet breakfast, the workshop will be held from 9:30 to 5:00 pm with a break for lunch.  Dinner begins at 6:30 pm and will provide an opportunity to ask questions or discuss the techniques taught.  The day formally ends at 8 pm and resumes with breakfast on Sunday morning.  Classes continue after breakfast ending at 2 pm. Treat yourself or a loved one to this limited opportunity.  Room reservations for the entire weekend are required.

The cost of the art retreat is $295 which includes instruction and meals while lodging is in addition.  Please call for further details as prices will vary for double occupancy, non-artist guests and other variations.  Consider a gift certificate or enroll to experience a workshop that will keep on giving…                                                      

Reserve your space    Purchase a Gift Certificate

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Originally a native of Montgomery County Virginia, Jesi developed as an artist in Tidewater, Virginia and is a self-taught water-colorist. She graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech with degrees in mathematics, education and fine art, with a focus in painting and drawing. Other than instill a passion for creative expression, she states her formal training did not prepare her to be a water-colorist.  She slowly explored and fell in love with the transparent world of watercolor. Her backwards approach in applying dark colors first onto white paper is a style referred to as “full value” and her aim is to establish this “full value” in the beginning and leave areas unpainted to allow completion of the painting to the viewer’s mind’s eye.

Her workshops center on general watercolor introduction, portrait watercolor classes or classes based around sea life. She designed a workshop in conjunction with college students at the NC Coastal Studies Institute and had a one-month residency for the Bryan Cultural Series that included a month long exhibit and working in the community and schools. She designed a program for “en plein air”and held workshops in Southern France as well as Tuscany, Italy. She is an experienced teacher having taught Advanced Placement Studio Arts and worked with all skill levels and interests.

The focus of the workshop is ALLA PRIMA – an exploration of the importance of water to achieve unique characteristics of a watercolor painting. Alla Prima means “wet in wet”.  Beyond drawing an accurate shape, determining the value and mature color and adjusting for either a hard or soft edge of each section of one’s subject, an interesting painting also needs to include this unique quality of transparency. This transparency only occurs with proper use of one’s water. This creative workshop will introduce exercises to help you practice these techniques in order to employ them in our still life or landscape painting.

Among numerous achievements and recognition, Jesi’s recent awards include:

  • Fabre Birren National Color Competition- First Place and
  • MOSS Art Center -New River Binenale-First Award of Excellence

A materials list will be provided for the workshop.

“I have taken classes with Jesi through the LLI program at VT. She is a fantastic instructor for all levels of watercolor.  As a beginner I have learned fundamentals of watercolor as well as techniques.  She has worked with every student to broaden their comfort zone.  You will learn and have fun at the same time.” Lynn Hayes






























More Posts

Wellness Retreat

Feeling the need to get away from it all?  Need a little extra pampering or personal time to get back in touch with “you”?  Experience an invigorating, stress free weekend and return home relaxed, refreshed and renewed.  The Inn at Riverbend is offering a retreat  to...

read more

The Benefits of Direct Booking

The Benefits of Direct Booking There is a misconception that OTAs (Online Travel Agents) are the best way to book time away from home. The travel industry has undergone mammoth changes, just as all other industries have, when business is conducted solely by price or...

read more

How to Enhance Your Company and Renew Your Staff

How to Enhance Your Company and Renew Your Staff Looking for a welcoming location to inspire new ideas and create team unity among your company's staff? Perhaps you want to reward your hard working team with a few days away from the office, while acknowledging their...

read more

10 Outdoor Southwest Virginia Fall Adventures

10 Outdoor Southwest Virginia Fall Adventures With Autumn quickly approaching, the New River Valley is a great destination to experience the foliage and partake in numerous Fall activities. The Inn at Riverbend is the perfect Southwest Virginia destination to do both;...

read more

How NOT to Voluntarily Take a Pay-cut.

How NOT to Voluntarily Take a Pay-cut                         How are you spending your vacation days; do you end up with unused vacation at year end? The Virginia Tourism Corporation is determined to decrease the Nationwide 662 million days of unused vacation time in...

read more

Relax, Refuel, Renew

Relax, Refuel, Renew RELAX in the heart of the Appalachia, overlooking the New River. We're only 30 miles from Virginia Tech campus, where you’ll find breathtaking views of the New River and Appalachian Mountains as your backdrop. Enjoy listening to the morning birds...

read more

Family Reunion, Birthday Celebration or Group Gatherings

Family Reunion, Birthday Celebration or Group Gatherings Looking for a fun and active location for a private group event - family reunion, birthday celebration or girls’ only time?  Inn at Riverbend's staff can help coordinate a memorable celebration. Our guest rooms,...

read more

Honeymoon or Anniversary Celebration?

Honeymoon or Anniversary Celebration? Planning to treat your special someone to a romantic getaway? Want to take a break from the demands and pressures of everyday life and focus on each other? Looking for a honeymoon stay or a celebration of your relationship? Every...

read more

Chilly Adventures

The weather starts getting chilly in late October, leaving our guests here in Giles County, Virginia wondering what to do to get outside and a change of scenery. There are many things to enjoy in Southwest Virginia during the cooler months of fall and winter. You can...

read more

Make Your Fun Plans Now!

Make Your Fun Plans Now! The Inn at Riverbend is the place to be in the summertime! From our balcony, watch paddlers rafting, floating, kayaking and fishing on the New River. Our B&B is located in Giles County; also known as Virginia's Mountain Playground which...

read more

Let’s Get Married

Let's Get Married You’re engaged! Congratulations to you both on this happy announcement.  So now you start the journey to find the right beginning to your lives together. Let the Inn at Riverbend be your wedding venue. Planning a wedding entails more decisions than...

read more

Hike Bike, Paddle

HIKE, BIKE, PADDLE HIKE, BIKE & PADDLE Outdoor Itinerary $165 added to room Nestled quietly in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, Pearisburg and Giles County offer a relaxed small-town atmosphere for its residents and visitors.  ...

read more


GRAB A BITE TO EAT AT THE PALISADES RESTAURANT Part of the enjoyment of a getaway is experiencing the local cuisine. Besides the gourmet breakfasts that you’ll receive during your stay at the Inn on Riverbend, there are also a number of outstanding restaurants only a...

read more


WINTER FUN ALONG THE NEW RIVER VALLEY There are many things to enjoy during the winter in Southwest Virginia.  You can share a toast at a winery, hike to a frozen waterfall, fish the icy rivers for brook trout, or count the raptors flying overhead.  Whether it is a...

read more

Cascade Falls – For Every Season

CASCADES FALLS -- FOR EVERY SEASON Our guests at the Inn at Riverbend usually have a plan of action for their visit to Giles County.  Some may choose to do water activities, others explore the wineries, but almost everyone includes a hike to Cascade Falls.  There is...

read more