Treat Yourself to a Week of Painting Fall Color 
in the Adirondack Mountains 
with Old and New Friends.
A private painting retreat with PleinAir Magazine's Publisher Eric Rhoads
Saranac Village, New York
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Treat Yourself to a Week of Painting Fall Color in the Adirondack Mountains with Old and New Friends.
A private painting retreat with PleinAir Magazine's Publisher Eric Rhoads
Saranac Village, New York
A group photo taken by the lake at Saranac Village Camp where you will be staying.
I’ve Grown as a Painter

“I’ve had the best time. I’ve grown so much as a painter, I’ve gotten into my groove during the week, and the best part is that I’ve painted every single day in the most beautiful spots. I have wonderful friends that I’ve made that will still be friends after this.” 

— Kaylee M., Arkansas

Treat Yourself to a Week You Can Look Forward to...

Something magical happens when you paint for seven days in a row … you become a better painter.

Even more magical, you’ll make friendships that will last a lifetime, and you’ll experience the plein air lifestyle in one of America’s most beautiful spots.

Put Life on Hold…

At home, you’re dealing with life, with family, chores, caring for others, work, cooking and cleaning … but at Fall Color Week paint camp, we do the cooking and cleaning so you can focus on painting and giving yourself a break.

And let’s be realistic … if you tried to paint all day, every day for a week at home, you would get pulled into things other than painting, no matter how hard you tried to stay focused. You’d probably never be able to dedicate that kind of time to your painting, which means your progress would be much slower than you’d like — and that’s discouraging.

No Special Skills Required…

Regardless of what level of artist you are, seven days of painting can make a monumental difference in your painting skills and your state of mind. At Fall Color Week, you can come as a beginner or a pro. Either way, you’ll have just as much fun, and you will see progress.
Doesn’t the idea of an escape just for you sound wonderful?
No workshops, no demos, but lots of lessons…

Fall Color Week is about painting and making friends. This isn’t a workshop, and you’re not there to watch demonstrations. But by painting for a week with others, you’ll learn lots of great lessons. We all help one another. And unlike a workshop, where there is the stress to perform, this is all about taking time and practicing what you already know.

If you’re a beginner, think about everything you’ll learn by spending consistent time painting and feeling the excitement of being around others who share your passion. 

The Adirondack Mountains offer stunning, brilliant color.
Experience the Plein Air Lifestyle

Lots of people show up even though they’ve never painted outdoors before. They’ve heard about plein air painting and want to try it around others who can help. Of course, we also have a lot of experienced painters (and some who are world famous), but at Fall Color Week, we’re all equals. We paint and play together. 
Time to focus … and make lots of friends

“I could forget all my problems at home, have meals and everything taken care of, and I just follow along and I end up in so many beautiful places where I get to grow as a painter, and I see the progression in my art throughout the week, because I never get this much time in a row to produce painting after painting and just focus on my art. I made a lot of friends too!”

— Mitch N., California
Paint mountain views, rivers, lakes and amazing color
Stunning Beauty Right Outside Your Room

You’ll be right in the middle of the beauty, staying in Saranac Village Camp (not be be confused with the town of Saranac Lake) in the Adirondack State Park in upstate New York. You don’t have to go more than a few feet to see stunning scenery. In fact, there are so many painting locations, you could paint this one spot all week, though we'll be going throughout the Adirondacks. And if you happen to show or sell paintings for a living, you undoubtedly know that seven days dedicated just to painting beautiful spots will give you lots of new studies to sell or use for inspiration and bigger paintings. 

Fall Color Week is exactly what you need to become a better painter in a shorter amount of time.
I’d Recommend It to Anybody

“This has been a wonderful week, more than I expected. I was looking forward to someone else feeding me while I got to do nothing but paint, but it’s been a completely unique experience because being here with other artists is really a wonderful opportunity to learn about technique and what inspires other people. I’d recommend it to anybody.”  — Chris V., Sedona, Arizona 
Make lifelong friends
No Pressure, No Sales, No Drama

Fall Color Week started as an escape for painters who were constantly traveling from art show to art show and were unable to paint with friends because of the pressure to sell paintings. Though we put our paintings out at night for all to see (only if you want to), there is no public show, no sale, no competition, no awards. 

Got drama at home? You won’t find any drama at Fall Color Week. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. This is all about having fun, relaxing, and letting your hair down.
Something New Every Time

“Every time I come to one of these events I make new friends, I grow as a painter, and it opens my heart to something new every time. It’s really quite amazing.”

— Calina F., California 

Paint together with others and make new friends
The perfect Typical Day at Fall Color Week:

Picture this … one full week of getting to do what you’re so passionate about — paint. We go outdoors to paint all day, every day. One spot in the morning and a different spot in the afternoon. You can stick with the group or break out and paint on your own — whatever works best for you! 

We provide you with a map of spectacular painting locations, and each day we provide two options to go with the group. Group 1 is a little more adventurous and may require some hiking. Group 2 is all easy access, mostly roadside painting. On some days we all paint together in one place, which is loads of fun.
We start by serving you a hot breakfast and sharing announcements for the day. You pack a sack lunch, go painting for the day, and later we serve you dinner. After dinner we gather to chat with new friends, sing-along, cocktails or painting portraits or nocturne painting a couple of nights. And if it rains too much, we'll set up inside and paint still life or we'll paint the lake from under the porch overhang. 

Typically at night we sit around the campfire to sing, listen to some live music (bring your instrument if you wish), and get to know one another. 

Like Summer Camp for Painters

Fall Color Week is like summer camp, only better! It’s held in the fall (when it’s cooler!) at beautiful locations that offer the most incredible fall colors for you to paint. Like summer camp, you’ll make great friends and great memories. Prepare to laugh a lot.
This Has Been a Joy

“It was a big decision to come here because my husband has Alzheimer’s. I’m going through ‘Do I take time for myself or not?’ and with family encouragement, I did. It was a huge leap for me and huge confirmation that yes, I need time for myself. This has been a joy. I made many contacts with people who have been through life experiences similar to mine, had many opportunities for deep conversations, and was learning from people and their life choices as much as I have grown in my painting and finding a life of my own. This was an amazing event ... beginning with supportive, loving people.”

— Elizabeth D., Washa Lake
The Most Colorful Fall Leaves on Earth

Each year, we meet up during the peak fall color week at a location where the surroundings offer the absolute best colors to paint. But we also pick spectacular locations that you would love anyway, just in case the leaves are late. This year, it’s Saranac Village, New York, where you will see some of the most vibrant colors on earth. You’ll breathe in the crisp fall air and suddenly feel the desire to start painting on the spot … and that’s just the beginning. 

A Mecca for the Greatest Painters in America

You’ll soon see some of the most breathtaking fall colors you’ve ever seen … and then you’ll know why this location was painted by all of the Hudson River School masters many times. It has been one of the “go to” spots for the best painters in America. Like them, you’ll want to return again and again.
Watch mountains turn red with color
Paint unique Adirondack-style architecture
A “One Price” Inclusive Adventure

When you sign up for Fall Color Week, you’re getting an all-inclusive experience. The entire event, lodging, meals, and the opening and closing parties are included in the price.

Best part? You don’t have to cook, clean, or do chores of any kind. You don’t need to make your bed or clean your room. There’s no pots and pans you’ll have to deal with and you won’t be cleaning the kitchen. 

Just roll out of bed, grab your coffee, sit with friends as you wake up … and paint all day. After dinner, head to your cozy room and dream about your amazing day.
Each day, we offer pre-selected locations to paint as well as a map of all the greatest paint locations in the area. You can feel free to come along, or find a place to paint on your own. There’s no pressure from anyone to do anything!

Limited Size for Maximum Intimacy

We keep these events pretty small. Even if you don’t know anyone when you arrive, you’re going to connect instantly because you all have at least one big thing in common — you love to paint!

That’s why it’s important to book early. We sell out every year, and we had to turn people away at our last event. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to book and know you have this painting adventure to look forward to?
Who Attends Fall Color Week?

Anyone who loves to paint. We have beginners and experienced pros. We all paint together, we are one family. There is no hierarchy — we are all equals. 

Fall Color Week was designed for people who don't have Fall color in their area, or people who just want a week of fun and painting.

It's great for people wanting to experience the plein air lifestyle. People who love the outdoors and wish to try plein air painting without the difficulty of doing it on their own (though there are no demos or workshops, we all help one another). Most of all, people come to Fall Color Week because they love to paint and be with other painters in the amazing scenery. 

There’s a lot of value in just showing up, having everything taken care of for you, and being told where to paint (or getting a map of the best painting spots and heading out to paint on your own or with your group of friends). That is what keeps people coming back year after year.

All ages over 18 are welcome. Our oldest attendee has been over 90. We offer easy “out-of-the-back-of-your-car” painting spots, plus some you can hike into if you’re up to it. You do need to be mobile enough to walk with your gear.
Found Family

“I found my lost family, so for sure I’m going to be around future events.”

— Richie V., Watercolor Artist, Texas

A Look Back At Fall Color Week 2019:

Join Us For 2023!

September 29 - October 6, 2023
Saranac Village, New York
Price: $1,697*
Includes: Painting event, map, registration bag, 6 nights lodging, 7 days of meals, opening and closing party

Meals: All meals are provided (no cooking or cleaning!). Please see Important Notes for special meal accommodations.

Vehicle: You’ll need a vehicle to travel to painting locations or have a friend with a car. Please plan to rent a car if you’re flying in or find ridesharing opportunities by joining the private Facebook group. You’ll be provided the link once you register for Fall Color Week. This private page is a great way to get to know people, find a roommate if you need one, and make new friends before you arrive for the event.

* Payment plan option available

Recommended Travel Options

DrivingSaranac Lake is an easy drive from major urban areas like Albany, Boston, Burlington, Montreal, New York City, Ottawa, Rochester, and Syracuse. 

Flying: If you are flying in, the Adirondack Regional Airport located in Lake Clear, is just a 10-minute drive from downtown Saranac Lake. There are currently three daily round trips to Boston's Logan International Airport via Cape Air. The airport also currently welcomes private and charter planes. Cape Air also provides one daily round trip to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Bus: Adirondack Trailways provides bus service to the region.
Important Notes:

No pets or children. Check with us about the facilities' service animal policy. Special meal requests are required in writing at least 30 days in advance. Gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan meals can be arranged. Check with us about services for disabilities; however, if you are disabled and choose to paint on your own, you’ll need to arrange for assistance on your own, and some painting locations will not be accessible. We do make a point to offer painting near parking in most locations.

This is not a workshop or teaching event. Requests for specific roommates should be made in advance and cannot be guaranteed, though we will try. Spouses or non-painters may attend, but full registration is required; each guest counts as one of our 100 total attendees, therefore each guest will be charged. See terms below. Payment plans are available.

Non-registered attendees are not permitted to attend events or paint with the group during the Fall Color Week event.
Eric Rhoads Publisher’s Invitational Artist Retreats
Plein Air magazine publisher Eric Rhoads created the publishers invitational concept when some artist friends commented that they often did not get a chance to paint with their friends when attending painting shows or events. So Rhoads announced and event and invited a few friends. Word spread and others wanted to come as well, so Eric made it open to anyone who wants to attend. No invitation required. 

Eric typically offers an early summer event in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, a fall color week event in a different place each year with spectacular scenery and color, and a couple of international trips. In the past he has taken two groups to Cuba, and groups to Africa and New Zealand. 

His goal is to offer people time to paint with friends, make new friends, work on their painting skills by daily painting, and to paint in some of the most beautiful places in the world. There is no teaching and no workshops. Eric’s “no drama” policy makes for a congenial group of like- minded, enthusiastic painters, at all levels whose primary interest is plein air painting. Attendees are always offered the lowest price for the following year and the first reservations to prevent missing out on future events. A story in PleinAir Magazine and Plein Air Today is written about each event.