Those who venture beyond the studio to paint outdoors know that surprises are often around the corner. For this group of adventurous artists, nature did not disappoint. Continue reading about the 2018 Fall Color Week, and claim your spot for the next art destination – the 8th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo in San Francisco!

Imagine arriving at a pristine ski resort, surrounded by major mountain peaks, mirror-like lakes, and local wildlife. You left the daily grind at home, and have only your painting gear and are with a few dozen artist friends, all there to breathe in the fresh air and become immersed in art.

This is what about 74 of your peers experienced recently during the 2018 Publisher’s Invitational Fall Color Week with Eric Rhoads.

Plein air painting and art retreats

Plein air painting and art retreats

Their home for the week was the town of Banff in Alberta, Canada. While the event was billed as “Fall Color Week” for the spectacular oranges, reds, and yellows of autumn, the group was actually greeted with a 100-year snow storm that left them with blocked roads and fall leaves draped in white. The beauty greatly out-shined any inconvenience. The following couple of days were bright and sunny, and the temperature was a tolerable 38 degrees, making it possible for everyone to paint the amazing landscapes surrounding them.

Plein air painting and art retreats

When snow began falling on the third day, some of our artists braved the elements and outside to paint. “We had to be fast,” Rhoads said, “because our fingers would nearly freeze.” Others in the group chose to paint the landscape from behind the comfort of our windows, and many opted to observe painting demonstrations from Richard Lindenberg and Gene Costanza. There was even an option to paint portraits by the warmth of the fireplace.

As the week wrapped up, the sun came out enough for our artists to take some stunning reference photos for future paintings and create more plein air works around Banff National Park, the town of Banff, Lake Louise, and the surrounding areas.

Plein air painting and art retreats

Plein air painting and art retreats

Hello, Mounties!

Throughout the week, Rhoads welcomed everyone, aka “Mounties,” with morning and evening announcements while donning his Canadian Mountie hat, setting the tone for fun and making sure everyone was to have a great time.

Experienced professionals, intermediate artists, and even first-time plein air painters were part of this painting trip, and they all felt welcome. They shared their paintings daily, connected with friends from previous art retreats, and made new friends to meet again on the road of art. “Most of my best friends in life came from people I’ve met at these events,” said attendee Mary Burkhart, an artist from Connecticut.

Plein air painting and art retreats

By the end of the week, approximately 700 new paintings had been created, with most artists painting at least two daily (some painting snow for the first time). Despite how many paintings they left with, everyone progressed in their skills and had improved their art by the end of the week, not letting the cold keep them from having the time of their lives.

The Publisher’s Invitational wrapped up with a closing dinner, an attempt at viewing the Northern Lights, and music – nearly a staple of our art events with our friend Rick Wilson.

Plein air painting and art retreats

Would you like to join us for the next painting trip? Register for the Plein Air Convention & Expo (San Francisco, April 2019), or visit PublishersInvitational.com and start making your plans today!

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