Sunday, January 10, 2021

Downeast Maine Plein Air Painting Retreat

Painting Retreat, Maine, Lubec. August 8-13, 2021

I'm always surprised when other landscape painters tell me they've never heard of Lubec, Maine.  Just two hours east of Bar Harbor, this incredibly scenic and historic fishing village, perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, offers plenty for the painter:  ramshackle fish buildings, a working fleet of lobster boats and scallop draggers, cottages that date from the 1800s—not to mention an abundance of natural scenery that includes bold seaside cliffs, quiet coves and stunning views of the islands of Passamaquoddy Bay.

And it's quiet.  Even on what you might think would be the busiest summer weekend, you'll see only a few people walking the beach.  When I go off to paint, I have no problem finding a place of solitude with a stunning view.

This summer, I'm hosting a special plein air painting retreat for experienced painters in Lubec. Our base camp will be the beautifully-renovated West Quoddy Station, a historic US Coast Guard campus, just a short drive from the Quoddy Head Lighthouse. I have reserved the entire week for our retreat, with check-in on Sunday, August 8, and departure after lunch on Friday, August 13, for a total of five nights.

The Station is perfectly located for our retreat, as it is very close to Quoddy Head State Park with its trails and lighthouse. If you've never been to this park before, it offers stunning views of the Grand Manan Channel with rocky cliffs and rugged beaches as well as interior trails that wind through bogs and spruce forests.

From the Station, a ten-minute, scenic drive along the ocean takes you to the village.  It has several restaurants and shops, as well as a nearby medical center and grocery store. Beyond Lubec, there are several trailheads that offer painting opportunities, such as Hamilton Beach and Boot Head. You will need a passport, as we may visit my studio on nearby Campobello Island, which is in Canada, and also paint in the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park, which has 3000 acres of natural beauty. You won't want this retreat to end!

Each day will start at 8 a.m. with critiques of the previous day's paintings. Following this, I will give some helpful pointers on painting in the area. After that, we'll paint as a group for the morning. Although I won't be giving any formal instruction, I will be offering demonstrations to anyone who wants to watch, serving as your local guide to painting locations, and also painting along with you. After lunchtime, I will give you optional painting assignments for the afternoon. Or, if you prefer not to paint, you can explore—go on a whale watch, take a hike, or visit some of the other villages.

The price of the retreat is $300, which does not include lodging or meals. (You will book lodging separately, directly with West Quoddy Station.)   For full details on the retreat, download this brochure.  I hope you'll join us!

Here's a short video about the retreat from last time (link here if you don't see it below).  (Yes, I know it talks about 2019, but I no longer have the software to edit the video. You'll get the idea, though.)

By the way, if the retreat doesn't work for you, I also am offering two workshops just prior to the retreat in Lubec, July 27-30 and August 3-6.  You can see full details on these workshops here, at 

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