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top tips when choosing an art holiday

Top tips when choosing an Art Holiday



What do you look for in an art holiday and what should you watch out for?

I hope my experience as an artist a teacher and a holiday organizer will help you choose the right art holiday for you.

vAsk and ask again

It is OK to ask the holiday organizer lots of questions, a good organizer will be happy to answer as many questions that it takes to make you feel confident and comfortable on your holiday.

 I have answered questions ranging from ‘I have a special diet can the hotels make provision for me?’ – To – “I really want to learn how to use oil paints but have never used them before can you teach me?’

If you ask a question and don’t get an adequate reply or if you have to wait for ages to get a reply ask again, and again! But if you wait too long or still feel that the reply you did get was a bit vague don’t book!


vWhere you will be staying


It is not unheard of for a holiday organizer to put their guests in a cheap hotel or in a tatty room, or worse to change your hotel without telling you. It is wise to do a bit of research, you can go to Trip advisor to check a hotel and you can ask the holiday organizer what your room will be like. It is not being fussy it is being sure of having a wonderful time.


vWhat are the transport arrangements?


Most art holidays promise excursions which is very exciting but how will you be getting there? Be wary of overcrowded mini busses, or hanging around while your guide hails taxis, will you be on a coach and if so, can you stop when you want to take a photo or look at a wonderful view?

Safety when traveling is very important, you should be driven by a qualified competent driver, your transport should have seat belts and the vehicle should be in good repair. All these things we take for granted when we are traveling in our home country but if you are going abroad it is not a given – don’t find out too late that your driver thinks he is in a formula one race- check before you go!



vIt takes a good teacher


If you are going on an art holiday you want to learn about art! So find out who your teacher is, have they any teaching qualifications, can they paint & draw? Seems incredible but many so called art holidays are run by happy amateurs, who did a night class in art and have a lovely cottage somewhere, that does not make them a good teacher nor does it mean that they know what they are talking about.


vIt takes time and space


Where will you be working, in a studio or in someone’s back room? How long will you be able to spend making art, learning technique, watching demonstrations or hearing talks, your itinerary should give you a few clues but if it doesn’t ask.


vWhat art materials should I take?


It is reasonable to be asked to take a couple of things on an art holiday, a sketch book perhaps or your favorite watercolours, brushes even pencils but you should not have to take anything if you don’t want to. The holiday provider should have all the materials you will need during your stay. Some holidays carry a few materials and expect you to buy what you will need, this is Ok so long as the prices are fare and not jacked up especially for you.

 It is not a good idea to travel with bag loads of liquids, nor a good idea to exhaust yourself dragging reams of paper across airports. The holiday information should give you an idea but if you are not sure ask.


vShould I be able to paint already?


Even Leonardo da Vinci started somewhere, normally you don’t have to be experienced, trained or even gifted to join an art holiday, in fact most art holidays are geared up for the raving beginner, but just in case check.  If however you are already a Da Vinci in the making you will need to be stretched and have tutor time to learn even if some of your fellow holiday members are beginners. It is important that your teacher knows where you are artistically and if you have tequnical/creative issues you want to cover during your stay, so don’t be shy let them know.


vFinal Word


It would be impossible to put every question on a web site so if in doubt ask! You are not being demanding and the teacher will still like you even if you send him/her twenty emails before you get there, it is better for everyone in the long run honestly.


Sandy Infield

Artist & teacher

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