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Trip tracker

The term "plein air" is used to describe painting that is done outdoors. Natural landscapes and shifting light and weather create a wealth of inspiration for a painting vacation, from graceful sunrises and haunting cloudy days to brilliant sunsets. And with so many of these vacations to choose from, you can pick mountains, oceans, countrysides and cities around the world and interpret them into your own works of art.

Artista Creative Safaris, based in Carmel, Calif., provide three-day painting workshops just for women. Grab your best gal pal or go alone and make new friends at this artistic retreat that includes yoga breaks and time to walk the beach and explore the local galleries.

Painting excursions throughout Italy are offered, where you will become immersed in the Italian culture of each historic town. Seven-day programs include cooking classes, wine tastings, all your meals and four star accommodations. Non-painting partners are welcome too.

You can pick from painting, writing, singing, yoga, snorkeling and even quilting at the week-long retreats at Paradise Courses in Fiji. Morning breakfasts by the pool are followed by workshops. Afternoons are free time for you to explore the island. A buffet dinner is served each evening. Excursions to local villages round out the week.

Brambles, in Devon, England, is a 17th century cottage that feels like it should be part of a beautiful watercolor painting. The pale pink building, with three guest rooms, is surrounded by lush, green gardens. Stables have been converted to a studio and home cooked meals are enjoyed by all the guests in the shared dining room.

Trip Tracker is compiled by Joy Guest. Is there a vacation or excursion that interests you? Email or comment online at

Experience the incredible enjoyment of painting and photography while exploring foreign and local cultures, visual and culinary art and wines. Painting the world around us gives us the opportunity to look, touch and organize our thoughts, learn about our subject and learn about ourselves. - www.paintaworld. com