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Painting the Lush Life

April 22, 2017 - April 29, 2017

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A European workshop in the dramatic Mallorcan countryside.

All levels welcome. Your creative self will be stimulated by the beauty of La Serrania’s rare, tranquil environment. At the request of many, I am thrilled to be planning our ninth visit to this special retreat center. “Just one more time,” participants have begged me, not wanting to let go of the delights of making art under the spell of the mountain, the birds, the pool, and the relaxed European pace. In order to reserve this prime springtime date, payments must be made in advance.


Please contact Sas if you are interested in attending.

The workshop fee, including room, board and tuition, is $1500.

To reserve your space, send a deposit* of $500 by August 15, 2016.

The balance of $1,000 is due February 1, 2017.

*Make your checks out to Sas Colby and mail to me at 2817 Ellsworth Street, Berkeley, CA 94705.


Find out more . . . .

La Serrania is a tranquil setting within an island paradise, offering inspiration for artists and abundant pleasures for the heart and soul. Here you’ll hear the nightingale singing into the night against a mountain backdrop, enjoy your morning café con leche under the carob tree on the patio, and meander down the rocky landscape to watch the grazing sheep. This is the unique setting we’ve chosen to sharpen our powers of observation, immersed in nature’s inspiration. Our first emphasis is on luxuriating in our surroundings, and in the hospitality of La Serrania. From this, the art flows naturally.


This workshop emphasizes experimental drawing and painting techniques, with exercises in composition and expressive mark making. You will be encouraged to keep a sketchbook documenting the timeline of your stay. There will be field trips to the local market and other sites for inspiration. Hikes into the countryside can be arranged.

Each day begins with a poem, writing prompts, and discussion on the day’s events.

Feel your confidence and your originality grow as you learn to translate what you see into drawings and paintings.


Participants will bring a small art kit (see below), and the other basic materials will be provided. Suitable for all levels. No previous experience is necessary, just a willingness to experience yourself and your surroundings anew.


The workshop is limited to 10 participants. The double bedrooms are spacious, with high ceilings, ensuite bathroom and private terrace. If there is room, singles are available for a surcharge of $450, but this can’t be guaranteed in advance.

Go to www.laserrania.com to learn more about the place and its facilities.

Additional fees, payable at the time of the workshop, include:

Materials $40

We supply: Gesso, drawing papers, gels and mediums, charcoal, ink and acrylic paint.

Transfer, from Palma to La Serrania, can be arranged, for approximately $60, each way, depending on number to be picked up. These arrangements would be made just before the starting date, and can be paid onsite.


Please write or call Sas with any questions:

510-841-8827 home, or 510-908-2514 cell. In order to reserve this Spring date, payments must be made well in advance, with checks made out to Sas Colby.

Deposit of $500 is due by Aug. 15, 2016, and the balance of $1,000 is due by February 1, 2017.

Cancellations: If you find that you cannot attend the workshop, let us know as soon as possible and we’ll try to fill your space with someone from the waiting list. If we can fill your space, or if you can find an individual yourself to fill it, we’ll refund your payment, minus $150 administrative fee.



Making your travel arrangements:

Fly into Palma, the capital city. Most European cities offer regular flights to Palma.

It’s a delightful city and worth a day or two of exploration for its museums and history, restaurants and shopping. Pay a visit to the Miro Fundacion for great inspiration.

I usually arrive one or two nights in advance. Recommended, reasonably priced hotels include the Almudaina, the Palladium and the Hotel Borne, all in the central district of Palma. You can also do your own research and find other delightful places to stay.

You won’t need a car while at the workshop, and if you wanted to make a trip to the nearby village of Pollensa, a taxi is about 20 Euro.


Many participants have arranged to visit Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid or other sites in Spain after the workshop. One year, Carolynn and I rented a car and drove around the island visiting the small villages on the northern coast, such as Deia, where Robert Graves lived.



Note: These books inform my teaching:

How Painting Holds Me On the Earth, Leigh Hyams, www.artsreal.com, 2008

Expressive Drawing, Stephen Aimone, Lark Books, New York & London, 2009

Zen of Drawing, Frederick Franck, Bantam Books, NY, 1993 & other Franck books

Participants Should Bring:



Materials are limited to what you can travel with easily Here are suggestions for what to include in your art kit:


scissors and small utility knife (retractable blade)

glue stick, scotch tape

small bottle for water (for painting outdoors)

small bottle for gesso (you can fill it from our studio supply)

drawing pencils and/or pens and/or markers and/or colored pencils

paint brushes: some small, some larger

small water color set or set of markers

packet of blank postcards for water coloring

a sketch book/s in sizes you are comfortable with

notebook and pens for writing

A convenient bag to carry your supplies in

A white outfit (we wear white at our festive last dinner)

Optional: small set of water based paints, camera, small mat to sit on outdoors


Feel free to add other materials you enjoy working with. I recommend having one sketch book that measures at least 9” x 12”, or you may prefer working on a portfolio of loose papers.

In choosing your supplies, think PORTABLE and think COMPACT, because we will be supplying the basic items, such as large paper and some paints.


Do arrive with your supplies in hand. There may be time for shopping during the week, but you’ll want to be prepared to start on the first day. Only limited art supplies are available locally.


Materials supplied:

Gesso, drawing papers, gels and mediums, charcoal, ink and acrylic paint.


April 22, 2017
April 29, 2017
Event Category:


La Serranía
Mallorca, Spain

Questions about a program?

Contact Sas Colby Directly.