I’ve been very lucky to have several artist residencies on private estates, condos on the coast and homes over the last 10 years. I became restless and tired of the paint out system abut 5 years ago. I decided to pursue private residencies and artist retreats instead.
It was the best decision for me. Private residencies allow me to explore an area at my leisure and own schedule. I don’t have to paint for the crowds or be shuffled around to places I don’t want to paint. The only thing I miss about paint outs is the friends I made along the way.
I had a wonderful residency at a private estate near me for 8 years. It was the best of all. The estate was 160 acres of prime Florida. No livestock. Everything from wet lands to upland. Huge live oak trees, tall pines, beautiful palms,and many large hardwoods. Beautiful citrus groves. Many native birds and animals. It was paradise. I learned everything I know about land management and conservation during my tenure there.
Another favorite is my occasional stay at my host’s condo in St Augustine Beach. That one is divine. I have several painting friends in that area who are always happy to meet to paint together. It is beach front and lovely. I like to go down to the pier to hang around and watch the fishermen. I know where all the good restaurants are for breakfast, and it is a sweet little beach town. It is big enough to have anything I need to buy, but small and easy to navigate.
My third favorite residency is in Vero Beach, provided by my wonderful host. It is waterfront, with a balcony porch right off the dock. I can sit out and drink my coffee, watching the dolphins and manatees. Vero Beach is a gorgeous small beach town. Pelican Island preserve is just down the road. It is a gorgeous nature preserve.
Life is very good when you have generous friends who share their vacation homes and farms to artists. If you’d like to lend me your vacation home for a few days, let me know. I’ll leave a painting for you as my thanks.