Spend a week at a Reen Farm Landscape Painting Masterclass, painting en plein air
Reen Farm on Ireland’s southwest Atlantic coastline is a spectacular and profoundly poignant setting for an ‘en plein air’ landscape oil painting masterclass with John Kelly. An internationally renowned artist who first made his reputation in Australia, John now draws inspiration from this place he has made home with his family in West Cork.
You’ll paint in a spectacular setting overlooking the islands at the entrance to Castlehaven harbour. Though you’re a stone’s throw from the charming fishing village of Union Hall and the bustling West Cork towns of Skibbereen and Clonakilty, your open-air clifftop vantage point on the tiny Reen peninsula will feel like it’s a world away from the rhythms of everyday life.
This intensive course will start with a practical demonstration focused on how to prepare for plein-air painting. We will go on to enjoy a minimum of 10 field trips into the landscape, one each morning and afternoon (in case of rain, we will undertake a studio project). The six-day course will be suitable for novices or those who already have some experience.
As you work alongside John, in a masterclass open to just two artists, he’ll share with you the insights and techniques that have informed his work across the decades. John has worked ‘en plain air’ in locations as spectacular as the Antarctic, but it is these views, the challenges involved in painting West Cork’s rugged coastline, and the farm’s compelling story that increasingly shape the direction of his much-admired work in art and sculpture.
Reen Farm’s History
Reen Farm is a site of outstanding historical interest and its story is interwoven with that of An Gorta Mór – the Great Hunger, or the famine: one of the famine’s first documented deaths was recorded on the farm itself in a village decimated by that terrible tragedy. Today, this land possesses an almost otherworldly beauty – its lush landscapes and endless views stretch across West Cork’s islands and the Atlantic towards America. Still, this is one of the ‘thin places’ of the earth: the past remains palpable at Reen Farm, and it is an extraordinary spot in which to engage with landscape painting, the physicality of place, and the histories this landscape has impassively witnessed.
Your Stay at Reen Farm
Painting on the farm and living in the traditional farmhouse’s elegant apartment, you’ll be beguiled by the shifting light that has attracted artists to West Cork for generations and by the warm welcome provided by John and his family. You’ll also be helping to shape the farm’s future.
Your stay will support John and Christina’s unfolding work to establish Reen Farm as a gently tended sculpture garden where, in Seamus Heaney’s words, ‘hope and history rhyme’. In the sculpture garden already emerging here, visitors can reflect on the past at the same time as recognising and celebrating recovery, creativity, and West Cork’s extraordinary resilience.
Why 2018 is the perfect time to paint at Reen Farm
In the summer of 2018, the ‘Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger’ exhibition will be travelling to nearby Skibbereen from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.
Your masterclass will give you an extraordinary opportunity to view this acclaimed art collection with John and to encounter the work of artists who have responded before you to the events that shaped Reen Farm’s story.
This course is only open to two people, and prices can be adjusted for exclusive one-on-one masterclasses. There are two packages available in 2018.
The Masterclass Package
The cost covers:
• Six-day painting masterclass with John Kelly
• All artist quality materials including oil paint, canvas, brushes, & easels
• Airport transfers to and from Cork Airport (flights not included)*
• Accommodation at Reen Farm for 6 nights (Sun-Fri nights inclusive)
• All meals
• A visit to Uillinn (West Cork Art centre) to view the Coming Home Exhibition with John.
Shared Double Room – tba
Separate Room – tba
The Reen Patron Painting Masterclass Package
In addition to the above, you will receive
• a painting that John has produced ‘en plein air’ at Reen during your time together
• a meal at Maryann’s Restaurant – our own favourite spot!
• A guided visit to the Warren Gallery in Castletownshend.
Shared Double Room (Patron Package) – tba
Separate Room (Patron Package) – tba
Course dates are flexible, and can be offered in June, July or August. Please contact Christina to check availability on firstname.lastname@example.org
The nature of the masterclass’ outdoor activities, and the character of the old farmhouse and the rural/clifftop landscape, means that this course is unsuitable for people with low mobility. Please contact us if you would like to discuss its suitability in relation to your own particular needs. Allergies: the apartment adjoins a house with 2 cats.
We’ll be delighted to welcome non-painting partners at a supplement. We’ll be happy to suggest and help plan a whole host of absorbing activities in the local area to help make their week truly memorable.
If you choose to arrive in Dublin, buses run on an hourly basis from Dublin Airport to Cork Airport.