Saturday, 24 June 2017
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WHAT TO EXPECT ON A BARRY COOMBS PAINTING HOLIDAY

WHAT LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE IS OPTIMAL?
These workshops are not suitable for the absolute beginner. Priority is given to participants with experience in their chosen medium. If you have some prior experience and are uncertain about your skill level a telephone interview can be arranged at your convenience.

Participants who consider themselves to be at an intermediate level of skill and experience will likely benefit most from these workshops.

Many highly skilled and experienced artists have enjoyed these experiences. New ideas are acquired. Decades of teaching experience and a sound knowledge of art history inform Barry's feedback both in the field and at our constructive critiques.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?
These workshops focus on watercolour painting, pen and ink sketching and pen drawing with wash. All demonstrations/lessons will relate to these media. Demonstrations, individual attention and constructive critiques are essential elements of the creative learning experience.

Barry has extensive teaching experience and is able to bring out the best in painters of different levels of skill and experience. He will introduce participants to new ideas and approaches to plein air painting and is very well-known for his insightful critiques.

His solid grounding in the traditional fundamentals of drawing, watercolour technique, colour and composition benefits all participants.

His own watercolours are colourful and playful and loosely inspired by Cubism. At some point in every workshop, he will discuss his recent work and is quite happy to provide guidance to anyone interested in trying this fascinating creative process.

I'M NOT A WATERCOLOUR PAINTER. CAN I JOIN THE WORKSHOP?
Participants working in other media are very welcome but note that all demonstrations are based upon watercolour, pen and ink and pen drawing with wash. Concepts common to all media, such as colour and compostion, are regular topics of discussion. Barry has experience with oil and acrylic painting and can offer feedback and advice.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL PAINTING DAY
Demonstrations are given on the morning of most painting days. Some will be on-site and some in a studio. The initial demonstration each day will be for all participants. Occasionally, a supplement will immediately follow for the less-experienced in the group. Some days will feature an optional second demo after lunch.

The day’s schedule will be outlined at the morning demo. I will describe our painting site and inform the group about washrooms and restaurants, etc. During the day, individual attention is made available as much as possible. A constructive critique is held at the end of almost all painting days, either on-site or at the studio.

PREPARATION, ORGANIZATION AND WASHROOMS!!!
The whole experience will be well-organized. Barry is well-known for thorough preparation and punctuality. Also, he makes every effort to find the closest and most convenient washroom facilities and has been dubbed ‘Bano Barry’ for that reason.

Studio facilities are provided, when stated, for foul weather and some group activities.

IS THE GROUP FRIENDLY AND INCLUSIVE?
Our groups tend to be very friendly and first-time participants are made very welcome. Our maximum group size is usually sixteen painters. On occasion, one or two additional participants may be enrolled. Many workshops will run with twelve participants.

CARPOOLING AND ROOMMATES AND NON-PAINTERS
Carpooling can usually be arranged for vehicle-dependent workshops. It’s possible to arrange roommates but it’s always best to find your own. Non-painters are very welcome.

HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
This factor varies from workshop to workshop. In general, participants should be able to handle their own luggage, manage a few flights of stairs and walk up to a mile, at a relaxed pace, on uneven surfaces. Most participants carry their painting materials in a backpack but some use a wheeled bag, when conditions permit.

Domestic painting holidays such as Charlevoix, Grand Manan Island and Newfoundland are dependent on vehicles and are suitable for anyone in average physical condition. Painting materials rarely have to be carried very far and not too much walking is absolutely necessary.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is situated at 6,500 feet above sea level. Altitude has affected very few participants over several years. SMA is hilly and the streets and sidewalks can be cobbled and uneven.

European holidays rely on tour bus travel and usually require more walking, while carrying or pulling painting materials. Terrain is often steep and hilly, even in towns.

IS IT A PACKAGE?
It varies from workshop to workshop but is always clearly stated on information sheets.

Mexican and European holidays feature flights with Toronto departures. It is usually possible to make alternative flight arrangements for participants who do not live in the Greater Toronto area. 

ARE THERE HIDDEN COSTS?
Every effort is made to be clear about costs. Information sheets will state what is included the price. Estimates of additional costs are provided on request.