Painting in Croatia

This item appears on page 16 of the May 2011 issue.

My companion, Judith Martin, and I traveled in September ’10 to Croatia, where she took a painting class. It was held on the lovely island of Korcula, an hour and a half by boat or van from Cavtat, a beautiful little port where we spent our first night. On the second day, we took a van to our destination and moved into a small but lovely pensione overlooking the sea.

I was the only male accompanying the five water colorists taking instruction from Willamarie Huelskamp, an artist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Willamarie planned the trip with Lynda Milina of Slikamilina Painting Tours (613/241-9631).

Cost of the 10 days of painting instruction, including lodging, meals and ground transport in Croatia, was $2,200 per person. Since I was not painting, I got a discounted rate of $615 for the four nights I was there, traveling elsewhere for the remainder (April ’11, pg. 54).

The painters were on their way each day by 9 a.m. By boat or van, they sought out exceptional places to set up their easels, soon losing themselves in their painting. Swimsuits were the uniform of the day, with large, floppy hats and sarong cover-ups. Footwear was necessary if they wished to enter the gorgeous Adriatic, for the sea contained spiny urchins.

The painters broke for lunch at noon, then worked until around 4. The ladies loved the wine with dinner, but the highest praise was reserved for the soups that our pensione hostess prepared as part of every evening meal. We also were served wonderful seafood.

Before the students had left home, Willamarie had each of them construct a blank book with heavy watercolor paper. It would become a picture journal that, Willamarie told her painters, “will bring you immediately back to the white stucco, red tile roofs and turquoise water.”

Salt Lake City, UT