Plein Air Retreat April 16-19
In A Nutshell
Arrive the afternoon of
Leave the morning of
Spend two full days painting outdoors in the company of seven other women. Learn plein air painting under the guidance of Bay Area artist Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez. Stay in a private home surrounded by beauty and eat healthy meals prepared for you.
What You Get for $650
16 hours of individual plein air instruction, tailored to your level of experience.
All meals and snacks on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday breakfast
Comfortable accommodations at Maria's smoke-free home
Painting access to the entire grounds
All handouts and access to other plein air instructional materials
The private home and mini-farm is located near the town of Watsonville on Mount Madonna which is 2 hrs from Berkeley. To get there you can take either highway 101 or highway 17.
Rooms inside the house are shared, and there are also two small cabins nearby. Some rooms require stair access. They are assigned based on the needs participants state on the registration form. The house is smoke and animal free.
Maria Faer is an avid student of the visual arts and the owner of the home. She invited Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez, a well-known East Bay painter, to teach the retreat. Rebeca, in turn, invited Sarah Calderón to be our retreat chef. Sarah is a San Francisco-raised food lover who loves to entertain.
Retreat Q and A
I am a complete beginner and I am terrified of painting next to more experienced folks. Would this be a good experience for me?
Yes! Rebeca has tons of teaching experience and works with several beginners in each one of her painting classes. She knows how to bring together students from various backgrounds and create a supportive, nurturing learning environment.
I am an experienced painter. All I want is time to paint, food and wine. Do I need to attend the instructional part? No. Rebeca's demos have always been optional. She is happy to provide as much or as little individual feedback as you like.
I went to Rebeca's website and I think she is a good artist, but I would like to paint in a completely different style. You don't have to worry, Rebeca will help you paint in the style you like.
Due to some health challenges, there is very little I can eat outside of my home. Do I need to bring my own food to the retreat?
We don't think you'll have to bring your own food. Sarah has lots of experience cooking with dietary restrictions and will be happy to talk with you about your needs after you reserve your spot.
I have some mobility limitations. Not only do I walk with a cane, at times I have to use a walker. Is the property safe for a person in my situation?
There are several areas inside and outside, accessible for someone with mobility issues. Please contact us before you make your reservation.
Can I bring my therapy or companion dog with me to the retreat?
Maria's three dogs spend their time outside and no animals can be inside the house. For that reason and the distraction that a fourth dog would cause among humans and animals in this context, we are sorry we cannot accommodate this request.
I have a small RV in which I feel more comfortable. Would I be able to bring it to the retreat?
You certainly can! Just let us know well in advance, so we can make room for it.
My family wants to rent an Airbnb while I attend the retreat, so I can see them every evening.
Rural roads on Mount Madonna are narrow, winding and difficult to navigate in the dark. We would prefer all students stay in the house.
I told my husband about the retreat and now he wants to come along.
It was Maria's vision to make this retreat just for women, as men enjoy many opportunities in the art world.
Thursday April 16
Arrive Thursday late afternoon.
6:00 Potluck dinner, introductions and overview of the weekend.
7:00 Gear and supply check, Q and A.
Friday April 17
8:00 Breakfast, then we scope out a location and set up our gear.
9:00 30 min demo followed by painting
12:00 Break for lunch
1:00 Brief instruction followed by painting
5:00 Individual time
7:30 Individual time
Saturday April 18
9:00 Short demo
12:00 Break for lunch
1:00 Brief instruction
5:00 Individual time
8:30 Individual time
Sunday April 19
Return home after breakfast