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Experience Level



1-3 miles/day


4,000 feet

Registration Fee


Bring along a fresh notebook and join artists Joa Suorez and Kelly Lee for three days of progressive nature journaling in the valley. From iconic views to the smallest wildflower, you’ll have the chance to slow down and connect deeply with Yosemite in fall. In addition to learning the basics of plein air painting with gouache — including tips on loose sketching, color mixing and composition — you’ll compose field poems and notes that translate your unique experience of the park into a vivid, personal account. With an emphasis on helping you honor and hone your own approach, this retreat welcomes experimentation and playfulness and is open to artists and poets of all levels.

  • Program dates: October 3 through October 6
  • Program location: Yosemite Valley
  • What’s included: An evening meeting (October 3), three days of progressive learning and painting en plein air with artists Joa Suorez and Kelly Lee (October 4 – October 6), park entry (as needed), and four nights of tent camping shared amongst participants (October 3 – October 7) in Yosemite Valley, or upgrade to a room at Yosemite Valley Lodge or Curry Village for an additional fee. There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
  • Camping dates:  Participants can arrive on October 3 after 12pm and must depart October 7 by 11am. There are two shared campsites among all retreat participants. Please be prepared to tent camp. A picnic table, bear locker and firepit are provided at each site. Campsites fit 6 people and 2 cars per site, with overflow parking nearby. Please note:
    • Camping is for retreat participants only. We are unable to accommodate friends and family of participants in our group campsite; lodging arrangements for friends and family are the responsibility of participants.
    • Due to the shared nature of our group sites, we are unable to accommodate RVs or campers. If you desire a private campsite, have an RV/camper, or want to sleep in your car, you must arrange for your own reservation.
  • Campground Location: Upper Pines in Yosemite Valley
  • Lodging: Upgrade to Yosemite Valley Lodge or Curry Village for an additional fee. Lodging dates match camping dates. Lodging blocks expire 30 days prior to the program. Information on upgrading accommodations will be included in your confirmation email upon registering.
  • Experience level: All painting levels welcome; must be physically fit to walk to painting locations with art supplies and essentials.  Please be prepared to walk 1-3 miles/day, as not all locations will be accessible by car.

What’s not included:

  • Gear or meals
  • Transportation

View the supplies list.
View travel tips.
View sample itinerary.