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Painting & Drawing Holidays with David Chandler

16th -22nd June 2019

“Art is not a hobby, it is a life skill; as necessary and as mind-expanding as reading, writing and arithmetic. Through drawing & painting we become more intimate with the world around us, because the first part of the process is learning to see.”

Every one of us has a favourite view. Perhaps we need travel no further than our own front gate to enjoy it or it may take the form of a distant memory; something we glimpsed from a train window or during an evening walk. Urban or rural; teeming with life or deserted, spectacular or soothing, for each and every one of us, there is a particular place in the world where we felt we belonged; where we felt a closeness with the world and sensed an engagement with our spirit. It is at this moment, that we may reach for our phone or camera. The resulting snapshot, however, is almost always a disappointment. If only we could paint, the story would be so different…..

During your week at Utopian Retreats, the emphasis will be on three key elements: the place, the practicalities and the person. David’s aim is to encourage you to develop your own individual response to the landscape, whilst providing useful, technical guidance in the medium of your choice. In this way, your work will not only be a memorable record of your week with us, but also do what the very best art always does: reach out and make a profound connection with others.

Topics will include:

  • Choosing your subject
  • Composing your landscape
  • Perspective and proportion
  • Handling light and shade
  • Understanding Colour

You will also be encouraged to keep a sketchbook throughout the week. This will record the changing moods of the landscape and constitute a visual and personal diary of the week’s challenges; both its pleasures and problems and provide a valuable resource for further inspiration upon your return home.

Please bring whatever materials you would like to work with. Watercolours and acrylics are easiest to transport (but do make sure to put them in your hold baggage!) David is happy to give practical guidance in any medium and even help you to embark on something new.

There will be plenty of time to relax and paint at your leisure, either on your private terraces or in our extensive and verdant gardens. There will be a welcome Barbecue at our Tiki Bar where you will be able to feast on fresh local fish, meat or vegetarian kebabs and salads from the gardens. Any extras such as a trip to the beach can be arranged at any time throughout your stay for a small surcharge.

All prices include painting & drawing classes, accommodation, food, fine wines and other beverages. Prices start from £855 to £1,725 per person per week. For more information on prices and room options, please get in touch. Flights and insurance are not included in the price although we will be providing transfers for selected flights, details of which will be available nearer the time.


David Chandler has been running weekly art classes for more than fifteen years and has also lectured and demonstrated to art societies and groups throughout the UK. He is a guest lecturer at Dillington House and has been leading painting courses in France, Italy and Switzerland since 1999.

He has painted on Channel 4, TSW and HTV and is the author and presenter of two DVD tutorials for watercolourists. In 2011, he co-founded From Community Education, a Community Interest Company that delivers over forty different leisure courses and workshops to adult learners in the Frome area, attracting nearly seven hundred enrolments during its first year.

In 2011 he also won the Bax Award at the Black Swan Open Art Competition and in 2012, he was a finalist for the Holburne Portrait Prize. David is also the writer and presenter of SEEING THINGS, a monthly community radio programme about the visual arts for FromeFM.

For further information or advice, please contact David: david@davidchandler.net or look at his website, www.davidchandler.net