Saturday, September 16, 2017

Plein Air Painting Retreats and More!

Painting in Nova Scotia
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September 2017
Campobello Island, NB, Canada

Trina and I just returned from a fantastic painting retreat in Nova Scotia. Our group was based near famous Peggy's Cove, which has a great reputation among painters and photographers. If you'd like to read about our experiences on the trip, I've written two blog posts about it, Part 1 and Part 2.

Now that we're back, we are on the verge of packing up and driving west to our home and studios in New Mexico! It's hard to believe summer has passed so quickly.


Some of you may have noticed I am scheduling fewer plein air painting workshops these days. Well, I'm not retiring so much as I am refocusing. If you've taken a workshop with me, you know how much I enjoy sharing what I've learned over the years. I don't intend to stop. But many of my students have asked for a different kind of program, one in which we explore not only more advanced topics but also new locations. With that in mind, I've been testing the waters with a series of painting retreats for the experienced painter, and the feedback has been wonderful.

Paint the Southwest!

Now that we're back from this latest retreat, let me tell you about a new one in New Mexico. This state has a very special place in our hearts; when we first moved to the Southwest back in 1999, those hills were the introduction to a place vastly different from our roots back east. One reason we love the area is that it's been home to several cultures for hundreds of years, including Native Americans (Navajo, Zuni and Acoma), old Spanish families, and the more recently arrived Anglo ranchers. But for me as a painter, it's also rich artistically, having a long history of painters and artisans. And the scenery! You can spend a lifetime painting its mesas and hills and mountain streams.

Why am I telling you about New Mexico? Because this will be the home for a special series of retreats that starts in the spring. I'll be offering private, one-on-one study for painters with experience. This program will be completely customized to your needs—it can include fine-tuning your painting skills, introducing you to new ways of seeing (and therefore, painting), the business of painting, or whatever I determine would help you best, based on a consultation via either e-mail or telephone. The program includes six nights' lodging at our home (private bed and bath), three meals a day, and more. Cost for the program is only $1500 and includes followup consultations for three months after the program. For full details, visit

Paint Santa Fe!

I'll also be offering a retreat in Santa Fe, April 16-23, 2018. Unlike the mentoring retreats at my studio, this will be a small group of painters exploring Santa Fe with both brush and camera. In previous retreats in Santa Fe, we've painted the historic Pueblo Revival adobes and cottonwoods, visited the galleries on famous Canyon Road and journeyed out to a historic Spanish hacienda for a day of painting. Cost is $1000 per person, which includes lodging and breakfast and lunch. Space will be limited to only six or eight participants. If you're interested, let me know right away, and I'll send you details.

Paint Lubec, Maine!

Another very special retreat will be in Lubec, Maine, August 13-17, 2018, for experienced painters. I want to give past students the first shot at this, so if you're on my student list, watch for a separate e-mail on that. After October 1st, I'll be opening the retreat up to the general public.

I'm also planning retreats and workshops abroad. Although the Scotland trip for next spring is filled with a waiting list, I do have space in my Italy trip, which is June 16-23, 2018. We'll stay at historic Villa Fattoria Bac├Čo in Certaldo Alto with painting excursions to Siena, La Meridiana, San Gimignano and Barberino. For full details on this, you can download the flyer here.

Finally, I want to remind you that I will continue to teach workshops for art groups and workshop centers. If you'd like me to teach one for your group, please let me know. I have a list of upcoming ones on my website.


This July saw the opening of the Third Acadia Invitational at the Bar Harbor Inn (Maine). Organized by Argosy Gallery, the reception had a great turnout. I was pleased to meet many of the participating artists that evening. The show has now moved to Argosy II, the gallery's second location on Mt Desert Street, just off the town green. It'll be up through October 2018. (Sold paintings will be replaced by the artists.) You can see the paintings on the gallery's web site here.

I'm also coordinating the annual exhibition for Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy for next August. The exhibition will be in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick. Stay tuned for details!

That's all for now. Trina and I will shortly be on our way to New Mexico. I'll send everyone a note once we are there!

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