The first workshop took place in October of 1948. Director/Instructors included Karl Wolfe, Mildred Wolfe and Caroline Compton. Twenty people took part in the opening session.
Beginners and professionals alike were, and continued to be, involved. Classes were somewhat structured, with sketch-time encouraged right after breakfast, portrait demonstrations set for a specific hour, plus landscape, flower, and still-life painting. In the beginning, two instructors taught in the morning, and two others in the afternoon. There was even time available for private instruction. And each evening a criticism session took place.
The first three workshops were guided by Karl Wolfe, Mrs. G. D. Hyams, Mrs. D. C. Latimer, and Mrs. John E. (Hosford) Fontaine. By the time the fourth one was scheduled, success had caught up with the project, and some kind of organization was sorely needed.