Painting holiday in Maine - USA (Monhegan Island) with Herman Pekel

If you were one of the hundreds drooling over the images of our artist tour to Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine, then its definitely your turn to join us (Please note price is in USD). Maine conjures up imagery of quiet fishing hamlets, lobster dinners & quaint wooden cottages. An Artist's colony for over 100 years, Monhegan Island is renowned for it's lobstering, stunning natural setting and relaxed pace of life. There are no paved roads and cars to bother the many artists that pilgrimage here to paint. If you like your holidays surrounded by nature with daily painting instruction from one of Australia's best watercolour artists whilst eating local lobster & drinking local ale, then this is the trip for you. We have kept this trip to 7 days, giving you enough time to go and see New York and other parts of the States. Join us!

Some places just can't be described, they can only be visited and experienced...

(Please note that pricing is in USD and is an EARLY BIRD price until 1 March)

When I was first invited to paint on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine in the USA, I had no idea how remote a place this would be or the journey to get there from Australia. I ummm'd and ahh'd for some time before agreeing to go, worrying about the distance, whether it was worth my time, that there were closer, better places to go....the list was long.

Once I got there I wanted to kick myself that I had hesitated and you will too.

Our last group said,

"There is something just magical about this place. I think I will come back here again and again for the rest of my life." 

"You couldn't describe it to people if you tried, there is beauty everywhere." 

"I never imagined a place that was truly just for artists. If there was heaven for artists, this would be it."

There is a combination of factors that make Monhegan Island special.

From 1890 Monhegan Island was firmly established as an 'artists colony' in the USA. For over 100 years they have travelled to paint on Monhegan with many artists making it their home. Google Jamie Wyeth, Don Stone, Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent just to name a few.

Those that have travelled with Artable before will know a few things about the trips. The first is that we like to immerse our groups in one place rather than trying to see too much. This is not about ticking places off a list type of tour. This is a get there, start to wind down and immerse yourself in an amazing place kind of trip. 

The focus is all about the painting, there are no 'tours' and sight seeing - You will experience this island through your own artist eyes and drop into bed at night filled with the happy exhaustion of having painted all day, every day!

We are bringing one of the best with us to teach you. Watercolour and acrylic superstar Herman Pekel is along to teach on this one (he is proficient in oil & pastel too). Anyone that knows Herman will know he combines an incredible depth of knowledge around painting with a quick wit. You can expect fun and a lot of laughs!

Outside of painting time is yours to enjoy as you please. There are many walks where you can hunt down views your favourite artists painted, visit Cathedral Forest where many little hands have created 'fairy houses' from twigs, moss, pine cones etc., grab a coffee or a local home-baked cake, sample the local brewery or simply relax on a rocking chair on the sunny deck. Non-painting partners are welcome to join us as well, they will be able to relax and wind down at this magnificent place ($500 discount for non-painting partners).

Artable welcomes all levels of painters, so you don't need to feel as though you are a good painter to do this trip, although experienced painters will flourish under Herman's experience as well.

You will need to be able to handle a great deal of walking, as there is no transport on the island (which is part of its charm). Chat to me if you are worried about this.

I look forward to sharing this very special place with you, please don't hesitate to reach out with any further questions.



17-24 August 2-19


Accommodation is at Monhegan House in shared rooms. You can pay a $500USD supplement for your own room.


A full American breakfast is included each morning as well as a welcome and farewell dinner and 3 picnic lunches (we will be too far out to return to the village for lunch on those days). There are only a few places to eat on the island, but it has everything from take away pizza and lobster bisque (outside cute fishing huts), to opulent 3 course meals at the stunning Island Inn. 


The climate at this time of year is painting perfect. You can expect weather around 20-24 degrees with evenings cooler (keep your eye on the weather apps).


Pack painting clothes, sturdy walking shoes as well as something nicer to wear out to dinners. A good waterproof/windproof jacket is great for when the island weather turns cooler.


We meet in the foyer of The Comfort Inn - Portland Maine at 8am Sharp for transfers to port Clyde before catching the ferry to Monhegan Island. You might choose to stay here before or after your tour as it is easy to access the airport and has a free shuttle bus. It is advisable for Australians traveling to allow a full 5 days for your body clock to adjust. You may want to think about traveling to New York or other areas around the coast before we meet up to help the body clock adjust (imagine all the things you could do in New York in the middle of the night when you are wide awake!!!). We return you to Portland Airport on the final day of our tour.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is highly recommended and is to be organised by you. You can get cancellation cover attached to your insurance in the event that you need to cancel inside our refund dates.

Art Sessions

We will be painting as a group under the instruction of Herman Pekel. Herman will set the painting times according to the weather and best needs of the group. The rest of the time is yours to enjoy. Please note that we do not have access to a studio for this tour - all art will be completed 'en plein-air' - outdoors from life.


Flights are not included are to be organised by you. We are partnered with Flight Centre Business who you may like to work with for your other travel plans. We meet at The Comfort Inn at 8am sharp. We return to the Portland airport at 4pm.


A deposit of $500AUD is to be made via our website to secure your spot

The balance of payment is due on 1 May 2019. You can pay us in installments if this helps.

This trip relies heavily on group numbers and we are contracted to our accommodation partners as well. Therefore it is necessary to charge a cancellation fee as outlined below in the event that you decide to cancel. If we decide to cancel the trip at any time we will issue you with a FULL refund. We are not responsible for expenses incurred in the preparation of trips (even cancelled trips), such as airline tickets, travel delays, flight cancellations or health problems so please ensure you have insurance. There is no refund if you arrive late or decide to leave early. Deposits secure your place.


Cancellation fees are determined accordingly:

Up until 1 March 2019 $100 admin fee for cancellation

Between 1 April & 1 May 2019 - $500 cancellation fee

Between 1 May & 1 June 2017 - 50% of the trip cost

From 1 June 2019 - no refunds

We will send you an invoice for your final payment in March 2019.

Materials List 

6 x half sheets 300gsm ROUGH watercolour paper

Dagger Brush - 3/8inch (1/4" ok too)

Hake 1 inch (a 2" hake is also a good brush to have in your kit)

Chinese Bamboo Brush Size 10 or Large

Synthetic Square Brush 1" wide

3B pencil & putty rubber

1 x Rigger (size 6) or similar brush with a point

An old credit card (for scraping & trees)

Bring any other brushes that you have in your kit. The above are the essential brushes for this workshop.

Watercolour or Acrylic Paints - Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Alizarine Red, Indian Yellow, Viridian Green or pthalo green (Optional colours: prussian blue, cad red)

White Gouache

Paper Towel

Watercolour Palette with large spaces for mixing

Itinerary What's Included

To book, email your enquiry using the button below or phone Gillian on 0411 317 606.

$2995 $500 deposit required

Meet the Teach

Herman Pekel

Herman Pekel was born to Dutch parents in Melbourne, Victoria in 1956.

The art teachers of Herman’s youth, Roger Webber, Ernest Buckmaster and Lance McNeill were all primarily oil painters, but the experience of painting with them on location left a strong impression on Herman, giving him the freedom of spontaneity and leaving him an intuitive painter, ultimately working from the light source.

Herman painted spasmodically until 1981 before commencing a Fine Arts degree at RMIT and studying under Dale Hickey and Jeff Makin. Like many young artists Herman experimented for a time with abstract expressionism, but he is now well known for his oils and…


More about Herman Pekel