It’s Easier Than You Think

Editor’s note: In less than two weeks, 50 of your peers will be making the trip of a lifetime to paint in Cuba with Eric Rhoads during the 2018 “Paint Cuba Publisher’s Invitational.” There’s good news and bad news: It’s too late to register for this trip (it’s already sold out), but other PleinAir magazine art events are still open for registration, including a week of painting with publisher Eric Rhoads in the Adirondacks, a couple weeks of painting in Africa, and another international trip to be announced soon.

3 FAQs for Joining an Artists Retreat with No Workshop

Artists are used to taking workshops, which of course are great ways to learn. But what about events that are all painting, in a beautiful place with no workshop? It’s trending and something to consider.

What are some of the benefits I can get out of the trip?
Several things come to mind. First, you’ll make deep friendships with other painters from around the country because you’ll be painting beside them all day, having meals with them, and sitting up talking at night. Friendships are by far the best benefit. People tend to bond and become part of a club of people who were on the last PleinAir trip together. That’s pretty special, because lifetime friendships are established.

You also have a huge publicity opportunity. After our last trip, many newspapers wrote about these people painting in Cuba. It’s an opportunity to get some press and differentiate yourself from other artists. By letting local media know that you’re a part of something rare and special, a small group of select painters in Cuba, the Adirondacks, Africa, etc. you will stand out and give a human interest story local media loves.

A chance to sell paintings is another side benefit. For the last Cuba show there was a show of paintings at two different galleries, and most artists were included. I personally sold four paintings and others sold well because the subject matter was unique. You can put together a show of your paintings from a trip, which makes it special and something to talk about.

One of the great side benefits is that you’re painting two or more paintings a day, and because you’re with others, you’re trying your best, absorbing from them, and getting better as a painter. A week of painting several paintings will make you a better painter by brush time and rhythms alone. By the end of the week you’re doing better paintings, and you will have moved up several notches in overall quality.

Another benefit to attending art events is that we all need a break. We all have busy lives, families to manage, stressful issues, jobs, the need to generate income, etc. Having something to look forward to a year or months in advance helps you get though some stressful moments. And upon arrival you don’t have to think . . . you roll out of bed, paint all day, and get fed all your meals. And because you’re away from your stress, you’re with new friends, and you have nothing to think about but painting, it’s a great way to relax and be able to face your issues and stress.

What about traveling with my paints? How do I do it?

It’s simple, and we’ve had no issues on any of our trips to Cuba, New Zealand, Maine, the Adirondacks and other places. I’ve traveled the world with my paints and never lost so much as a single tube. Check your paints and your palette knives in luggage and either carry or check your travel easel and backpack. I check everything. (If you don’t have a travel easel, we can tell you where to get one.) You cannot travel on an airplane with anything flammable or mineral spirits, so we typically provide it, or you can take paints not requiring spirits. You can even clean brushes with olive oil if you have to, though that would be a last resort. Cubans clean their brushes with kerosene, which is all they can get. We provided Gamsol as we do at most of our events.

I’m not a pro or an experienced painter. Will I be uncomfortable or embarrassed?

Not at all. We had a couple of people on our recent New Zealand trip who painted outside for the first time and one who had never painted at all, ever. There are plenty of people along who will help you, including me. Plus, there is no reason to be self-conscious about painting. We’ve all been through it. The experience will be rich even if you don’t bring paints. But bring a camera.


Upcoming international (and national) art events with Streamline Art Events include:
The 7th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo
Publisher’s Invitational: Paint Adirondacks
Fall Color Week: Canadian Rockies
Publisher’s Invitational: African Painting Safari
Fine Art Connoisseur Italian Art Trip
Figurative Art Convention & Expo

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  1. That is a good question that I would ask too since I would be worried about being embarrassed or uncomfortable. It would be really nice to take a painting workshop beforehand so that I can feel more comfortable. Maybe I should start doing painting workshops soon.


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