What if I told you there was a place that artists had pilgrimaged to for over 100 years to paint and that everywhere you walk you see someone with their easel out painting.
What if I told you that there was a place where lobster was the main food source and that they produce their own home brew on the island called 'Lobster Ale" where you sit on a little wooden deck and drinking your samples.
What if I told you that there was a place where there were no bitumen roads and the few accommodation utes there to carry lobster pots (and occasional tourist luggage) gave way to artists painting (only 75 people permanently live on the island)
What if I told you there was a place with real fairy houses in the forest.
....then what if I told you that you could join me and visit this place?
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. 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.
We are travelling into the heart of New England to one of my favourite places on the planet. 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's best with daily painting instruction whilst eating local lobster & drinking local ale, then this is the trip for you. Gillian specialises in teaching beginners, so if you have always dreamed of a painting holiday overseas without any pressure 'to be good enough', then this is the trip for you.Some places just can't be described, they can only be visited and experienced...
There is just something about this place. There are probably similar places around the world, or even at home, but none of them have the feel and combination of factors that make Monhegan Island special.
Artists are a 'feeling' bunch of people and so it is no surprise that from 1890 Monhegan Island was firmly established as an 'artists colony'. 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, Robert Kent just to name a few.
Those that have travelled with me before will know a few things about my trips. The first is that I like to immerse myself in a place for my time when I see a part of the world. 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. Painters will have structured 3-4 hour painting sessions either morning or afternoon. The rest of the 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-made twix bar at the coffee shop built from wood over the water, sample the local brewery or simply relax on a rocking chair (or adirondack) 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.
I specialise in teaching beginners, so you don't need to feel as though you are a good painter to do this trip. You may even have just felt the urge to start painting and drawing - this is a good way to take it up and learn for the first time. You need NO EXPERIENCE/TALENT WHATSOEVER - I will be stepping you through techniques to work outside from life (plein-air) as well as from photos. Imagine telling your friends in years to come where you learnt to paint! You can draw or paint in any medium you like, those that know me know I teach in every medium.
You will need to be able to handle some walking as there is no transport on the island. Chat to me if you are worried about this.
Australians are avid travellers, so no doubt many of you will fly in and spend time in the US before or after our trip. We have kept this trip to 7 Days to allow you time to go and see the other parts of this amazing country!
I look forward to sharing this very special place with you, Monhegan Island Blog Enquiry with any further questions.