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637 25th St Richmond, CA 94804

garcia-gonzalez.com | Tel: 510-932-1526 | madonnaweekend@gmail.com

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.
More Details
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. 
About Us
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 

6:00 Dinner

7:30 Individual time

Saturday April 18

8:00 Breakfast

9:00 Short demo  

9:30 Painting

12:00 Break for lunch

1:00 Brief instruction 

1:30 Painting

5:00 Individual time 

6:00 Dinner

7:30 Critique

8:30 Individual time


Sunday April 19

Return home after breakfast

How To Reserve
Your Spot
Four Easy Steps
Complete the short reservation form below.
We'll send you an invoice via email for $200.
Pay the invoice using a credit card, or you can mail us a check. Upon receipt of your deposit, you will receive an email confirming your spot has been reserved. Bring a friend and get a 10% discount! 
Early Bird Deadline is Jan 6
Payments in full before Jan 6 get a 10% discount.
The Deadline for Payment in Full is Feb 20
You will receive another invoice for the balance via email before that date.
Cancellation Policy
Please read our cancellation policy carefully before making a reservation and please email us if you have any questions. Cancellation is defined as not attending the retreat for any reason. 
Cancel before March 12 to be reimbursed in full.
Cancel after March 12 and receive 75% of the fee ($488).
Cancellations after March 30 cannot be reimbursed. 
We are a small operation and as such we regret that we cannot offer credit or postponements. If you need to cancel after March 30, you can send a friend or family member in your place and have them pay you the fee. Please let us know via email if you are sending someone else in your place.
Email us at madonnaweekend@gmail.com and mention the retreat.
Madonna Plein Air Retreat
Registration Form
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