Artist Retreat in St. Kitts was glorious

I was very fortunate to be included with three other artists from Jacksonville on a week long retreat on the beautiful island of St. Kitts. Our host, fine artist Beth Haizlip got us up early daily to set up our painting gear at a different location. Since her family has a vacation home there, she mapped out and got permission for the various venues before we arrived.  Plein air painting has its pluses and minuses. The pluses are that as an artist, we are able to really see the scenes we are capturing. The colors and flavors are more vibrant. When you first arrive at a site, finding the spot and the scene that is interesting to you is key. Cropping in your head just the part you want to paint and setting up your tripod easel, paints, water, brushes, rags, palette, umbrella etc. Sometimes the views were so amazing that it took a bit to relax and decide what to paint.

As you start painting, you have to contend with the wind and sun, people coming by to see what you are working on (this is a minus for me since so many people want to make comments and chat which breaks up your concentration). Many times, my easel blew over and scattered my supplies a couple times but hey, no biggie. We were in PARADISE!!

The local art gallery, Dale Art and Originals, in Christophe Harbour set up a gallery opening on the end of the week. We all brought more paintings for the show over in our luggage and Dale advertised the event so there was a great turnout and several sales.

Artist Retreat in Saint Kitts was Inspiring

I just returned from an amazing artist retreat with 3 other women artists. Not only was it amazingly gorgeous, I learned a lot from working with other painters and we were able to offer helpful critique. Everyday, Beth Haizlip, Debbie Pounders, Julie Garcia and I would get up early and set up on a different part of the island. Painted all day and then enjoyed the people and beauty of the island.

The first day, we painted at an iconic hot spot; bar, snorkel and restaurant which happened to be its last day in existence since a large hotel is slated to be built. Setting up to paint plein aire is so difficult with the breeze and people milling about. My easel blew down a few times. The first photo here is of a woman and I at the gallery where she purchased my painting of that day. She had watched me paint two days before and dreamed of owning it. SO honored!!

Other locations during the week included spending the day up in the hills at a Batik manufacturing and tourist attraction. Too many looker-ons for me. But it was really pretty. Then one day we went up to a sugar cane plantation on the northern end of the island where the famous painter graciously allowed us in her home to paint. Everything was so inspiring and beautiful that it took me an hour to get my jaw off the ground before I could even set up. Kate Spencer is amazing.

More later… got to go paint with my Artistic Chicks club.