Madrid Hotels Articles

May 29, 2010

Great Places to Take Your Group Painting in Europe

Art retreats and vacations have always been popular in Europe. Before the invention of photography civilization and commerce demanded skilled painters for portraits and illustrations. Since artists have been liberated by the onset of photography the painter’s art has increased and expanded. Today’s artistic group can define their own painting retreat in a number of interesting places.

Venice has a long history of inspiring great works of art.  The partially submerged city offers perspectives not found elsewhere. The Grand Canal is a good place to start for its unique scenery mirrored in the canal itself. The lagoons hold appeal as do the small islands that inhabit them. Transportation is of course by water taxi. The Village of Chioggia is a working fishing village with interesting boats and people. Your group may choose a self directed painting retreat or one of the many structured holidays in all of the major cities of Europe.

Madrid is the capitol of Spain, the third largest city in the European Union, and a prime location for a painting retreat. Located on the Manzanares River and bordered by Leon, and Castile the city is both a rich source of inspiration and a portal to other art holidays. Painter’s workshops are plentiful in Madrid and surrounding areas. The parque del retiro offers a view of the statue of Alfonso XII across the water with the reflections adding to the difficulty of painting this landscape. The Royal Palace and Metropolis buildings are examples of architecture that are challenging and rewarding to paint. Travel around town is easiest by trolley and subway. The surrounding regions are accessible by train with incredible countryside and villages.

The capitol of Norway, Olso, is an attractive destination as a painting holiday especially because of the ease of transit. The municipal transit system comprises trains, buses and ferries with a transfer system to make travel here more affordable. Historic backdrops like the Akershus castle and Fortress, the Oslo National Theater, and the Oslo Cathedral provide fertile inspiration. 

Geneva Switzerland, being located at the junction where the Rhone leaves Lake Geneva is a magnet for artists. The excellent bus, trolley and tram system here connect with Swiss rail service and the French railway. Direct lines to Paris and Marseilles assure your group of a constant source of adventure and inspiration. Lake Geneva itself offers stunning landscapes.  Painter’s workshops and holidays exist for all levels of skill and dedication. The nearby Alps are another venue for painting holidays. Ray Elwood has held watercolor courses on location at a chalet in Sainte-Fay-Tarantaise. The ease of travel within Geneva and of reaching other destinations makes this city a strong pick for your group painting holiday.

European painting holidays offer growth and opportunity to the artist and a lifetime bonding experience for your group. Pre-planned and guided or free form will depend on your group and its goals. The cities of Europe will do their part, the rest is up to you.

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