Two Day Painting Retreat- Introduction to Plein Air on Catalina Island, CA

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Introduction to Plein Air Painting, Catalina Island, CA. August 28-29th, 2024 

Have you ever wanted an easy and fun way to get a taste of plein air painting (painting outdoors)? Now is your chance in this beautiful setting just 26 miles from southern CA.

We’re offering a 2 day retreat in the quaint seaside village of Avalon on Catalina Island.

Our painting sessions will focus on Avalon - this picturesque hamlet renowned for its breathtaking coastal beauty and Mediterranean charm. The town's vibrant landscapes, featuring crystal-clear waters, colorful buildings, lush greenery and nautical culture provide an enchanting backdrop for plein air painting. The unique light quality, influenced by the island's coastal location, enhances the vividness of colors, making every scene a potential masterpiece. With its serene atmosphere and diverse natural scenery, from tranquil harbors to rugged cliffs, Avalon offers endless inspiration and a perfect setting for artists seeking to capture the essence of nature in their work.

An easy intro into a challenging painting method.

No doubt, plein air painting is a challenge with changing light, the outdoors compared to the controlled environment of a studio, etc. But there is no better way to SEE your subject than to see it live. How does this retreat make it easier? First, everything we’ll be painting will be a short walk in and around Avalon. This eliminates long hikes with heavy gear. There are plenty of places to sit in Avalon, it’s made for walking as there is little driving on Catalina. Secondly, we will be using a simplified and streamlined set up for painting. If you’ve looked into plein air, you’re probably aware of the cost of the hi-tech gear that plein air painters invest in once they decide to do it. We’re going to keep it relatively simple: If you already have plein gear, by all means bring it. If not here’s what I recommend:

Anything like this will be fine- I found this online at minimal cost.

PAINT- I will be using acrylic and suggest acrylic, but oils are acceptable as well. 

*Please see full supplies list in the photos*

More on what you will learn:

Engaging directly with nature’s beauty, changing light, and dynamic landscapes brings life to your work in ways photographs or indoor sessions can’t replicate. Painting outdoors also teaches you to work quickly and boosts your confidence, skills that improve your studio work. The urgency to capture scenes before the light changes forces swift decisions and a more efficient approach.

Moreover, plein air painting fosters community among artists, providing opportunities for feedback, collaboration, and inspiration. This sense of camaraderie can be incredibly motivating and help you grow as an artist.

Daily Schedule:

Each day will start with me doing an opening demo painting for your observation. The rest of time I will be coaching each painter through their paintings, with care to selecting and editing the strongest scenes.

August 28, Morning Session 9-11, Afternoon Session 3-5

August 29, Morning Session 9-11, Afternoon Session 1-3

Other information: You're responsible for accommodations, ferry rides, food, etc. The cost of the retreat is only for the plein air sessions with Wade. Please bring your own supplies- refer to supplies list in the photos.