I am often asked, “what do you do on an art tour?”, so I thought I’d write a little blog about my experience with art tours. The tours I am involved with are run by Aussie Redback Tours, and a qualified art tutor is always on board to give the guidance and development that students and passengers need.
An art tour is not like a regular tour. And it’s not like an art class that you go to on a weekly basis. It is much, much more than that. The excitement of an art tour begins from the day you book. You imagine what you’ll be painting, what new techniques you’ll learn, the sights you’ll see, the fellow painters you’ll meet, and the lovely memories you’ll bring home with you. Then on tour, every day is a new experience. We head out each day after breakfast to a location that has a number of exciting scenes to paint. Our tutor takes a few minutes to find a spot that would be good for him/her to to paint and then sets about painting that scene while students look on and learn. There’s no pressure to watch the whole demo. As a student you are free to find your own spot straight away, set up and start sketching and painting as you please, stopping only to get up for a stretch, see how the tutor is progressing, grab a coffee (the kettle is always brewing), or have a chat with the other painters. We usually stay for the whole day in one location which means you have the time to relax and paint one, two, or even three paintings without being interrupted. You can stay with the group or just be by yourself – it’s your choice.
The scenery on art tours is carefully chosen by your tour guide, and consideration is given to light, shade, public toilets, and safety of students, so that is something you don’t have to worry about. And the scenery is always made more memorable once you capture it on paper or canvas. If you’ve ever painted outdoors, you’ll know that when you look back at a painting you did outdoors, you will remember the weather, the people around you, what sounds there were (birds, children, water running etc), and so on. A painting created outdoors brings back memories more effectively than a simple photo will ever do, purely because you spent longer there, you listened, saw, smelled, touched, and yes – sometimes even tasted your surroundings! The hours of soaking up the sun, sounds, smells, learning from your tutor, chatting with the other students, having coffee breaks with the tour guide and hosts, all create memories that can last a lifetime.
Yes, there are the uncomfortable elements to deal with on art tours, such as wind, flies, cold, and interested tourists! But these things are only minor disruptions. When you have a beautiful scene in front of you, you forget the other inconveniences and forge on with your masterpiece, almost like it’s a challenge to be faced head on.
Other than painting outdoors, there is the travelling to and from locations where just watching the world go by outside your window is a delight in itself. Rocky mountains, vast lakes, purple hills, snow white gum trees, carpets of flowers and so on, are just some of the scenes we see on our art tours. Evenings are always a lovely time to unwind with a drink and nibbles followed by dinner and discussion about what we painted during the day, what our art aspirations are, where we’ve travelled in the past, and so on, and at the end of the tour we always have a “show and tell” so we can all see what everyone painted throughout the tour. It’s a beautiful way to finish an art tour and very inspiring.
Our country is so diverse and beautiful in many aspects and I truly believe that there’s nothing better than being able to travel AND paint all in one tour. If you’ve never been on an art tour but think you’d like to try one, then just contact me and I’ll tell you more. Alternatively, have a look at the art tours on Aussie Redback Tours’ website – Aussie Redback Tours – Art Tours .
Following are some pictures of the artists on recent art tours I’ve organised: