A quick recap: I started painting in April of 2020. During covid, I ordered the most generic Bob Ross painting kit from Amazon. I started painting and really loved it. I've never had drawing or painting skills in my life. I painted almost every day. I noticed some improvements but never had any classes or training. I thought about it and thought I'd really like to actually learn how you're supposed to paint. I randomly started looking about 2 weeks ago on Instagram. I typed in artist retreat under hashtags and found a couple. BUT one was hosted by a girl named Fallon. I took it as a sign. She had retreats every weekend in November. They had been posted for a while, and I could only do the first weekend, so I reached out, AND someone had last minute cancelled, so she had an opening. Also, Charleston is one my absolute favorite cities. It just felt meant to be. Here's a link to her site to find these. She only has a few a year.
I arrived Wednesday, and it was at the exact time they were starting. The instructor was Julia. Here's a link to her site. She was going through basics of painting through discussion. I felt so green to it all. I had the least amount of experience painting in the group and didn't know about very basic things at all like the values of a painting. BUT that's why I was there. After our discussion. we went outside, so Julia could do her first demo.
Day 2 we went to a new location. We worked on landscapes...
Saw cool animals like dolphins and blowfish and...
Then we tried to paint boats. This caused a lot of frustration. Something I didn't realize is how exhausting true painting can be. We were doing Plein Air Painting, so you aren't painting from a picture. You're painting outside standing at an easel, and you have to be quick because everything about your painting is changing in front of your eyes. AND you're thinking non-stop about lighting and colors etc. Anyway, the group was getting frustrated. Some chose to turn their easels and go back to painting landscapes, a few painted boats and did well. Others were like me, tried to paint boats and didn't do very well. Here are the boats we were trying to paint...
And here's the boat our instructor painted (I bought it btw-needed a souvenir)
After that, I think the mood was kinda down. We were hungry and tired, but Fallon had a boat cruise lined up for us, and that was super fun! It was on little tiki boats!
I found myself getting frustrated a lot, but I also knew that was good. I was out of my comfort zone, I was legit learning. I cried once by myself just because I was comparing myself. I had to quickly stop that. Again, we were all at different painting levels, and we all had different styles etc.
So on day 3, we started painting florals. I am not the greatest with florals, so I listened to Julia a LOT!
And my florals still weren't the greatest, but I was discovering new ways to approach them, and I'm very excited to keep practicing!
After 2 sets of florals, most put their paint up, but a few of us went out on the dock to paint the sunset.
Julia helped me with clouds, and I was really proud of this bottom one.
We spent the evening chatting about everything including books and podcasts etc to checkout for artists. The next morning I borrowed some other paints from a friend I made. Oils take forever to dry, so I was hoping to use some quick drying paint. We painted Spanish Moss. I will be trying this again to get better!
This is Fallon btw! Here's a link to her art in case you're interested! She's the absolute sweetest, and this retreat she put together was so special!
And here's the full group: Fallon, Julia, Jill, Connie, Kelli, Meredith, Caroline, Sandy and me! I'm excited to actually go out and paint my surroundings now and not just from pics! If you have any other questions feel free to reach out and ask! (A lot of people asked btw-due to the Spivey prediction-and nobody was awful! LOL everyone was so nice and encouraging. Such an intelligent group of women!)