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Paint with me in Portugal 2024!

Tavira Art Holiday Logo


NINE INSPIRING days of having fun painting in THE EASTERN ALGARVE, PORTUGAL!

Ola! Join kindred spirits next winter in Tavira, Portugal who are interested in painting, art fundamentals, sketching and collage. 


Tavira ART HOLIDAYS offers personal creative exploration in a fun, relaxed environment under the guidance of two skilled artists and experienced teachers, Laurie Gruer and Kato Wake.

JOIN US whether you are a total beginner or wishing to improve your existing art skills.
There’s room for non-painting partners too!

2024 DATES
Monday MARCH 4 to Tuesday March 12
Monday MARCH 18 to Tuesday March 26


• watercolour and acrylic painting basics
• colour mixing and art fundamentals
• problem solving and composition pitfalls
• exploring tools/brushes to make bolder paintings and abstract markmaking
• how to start an abstract or representational painting
• landscape painting – realistic or abstract
• constructive feedback about your work, along with general art discussions and Q&A
• how to create a personal sketchbook using markers, watercolour and collage elements

TAVIRA ART HOLIDAYS focuses on learning, but is also designed to be a FUN HOLIDAY.



• 9 days of art instruction at a dedicated space 
• demos and instruction with artists Kato Wake / Laurie Gruer 
• opening and closing dinners with wine
• two lunches with wine 
• beverages and snacks during class time
• acrylic and watercolour paint (student grade) and brushes
• one sketchbook, plus ephemera, clippings, adhesive medium
• 2 painting canvas boards
• printed handouts
• a guided Tavira town walk
• transportation and excursions to Tavira Island and neighbouring towns
• fado concert
• introduction to Portuguese wine with Billy Munnelly
… and a few surprises!

• opportunities for follow-up online coaching
• private Facebook group
• access to Kato’s videos on art fundamentals


• flights
• medical/travel insurance if you desire it
• accommodation (we can provide a list of recommended places in all price ranges)
• meals not listed
• additional art supplies – a list of recommended materials will be sent – nice but not essential


• $1,495 Canadian dollars including all taxes
• Non-painting partners and friends are welcome to attend the included events, meals and excursions for $295pp

SIGN UP by emailing KATO

Please say what group/date you are interested in.
Payment due by December 1, 2023. Details upon signing up.
Class size is limited to 15 maximum – first come, first pay


A full refund will be given prior to 90 days from your starting date. 
Cancel less than 90 days but less than 30 days from your starting date, we will refund you 50%.
Cancel less than 30 days from your starting date there is no refund.

A portrait of Kato Wake instructor for the Portugal Painting Trip


Award winning Canadian painter and painting instructor Kato Wake has the ability to paint in both realistic and abstract styles. Having a career as a graphic designer, she understands composition and what makes a painting work. She loves teaching colour, technique and fundamentals. Most of all, Kato is a natural teacher – she inspires her students and makes learning fun.

Kato’s classes will follow her teaching formula of SHOW, TELL and PLAY. 

Using acrylic and mixed media you’ll explore your own style. Working at your own speed, you’ll get constructive one-to-one feedback. Colour theory, technique and art fundamentals – line, shape, value, composition, pattern and texture – will be woven throughout. You’ll take home at least two paintings on provided canvas boards.

Testimonials from Kato’s previous art holidays in the Algarve

“An Amazing Week! Being inspired by you has been a life changing experience of which I’ll forever be grateful.”

“Your patience, advice and caring personality was above and beyond of what I expected.”

“The best experience ever! A perfect combination of learning and playing!”

A portraitof Laurie Gruer an instructor for the Portugal Painting Trip


Laurie is an accomplished painter in acrylics and is represented by 2Gallery in Picton, Ontario. He hails from Quebec and has lived in Toronto and Prince Edward County. Although he has enjoyed successful careers teaching art in a private school and being a real estate broker for Chestnut Park, painting and art has been Laurie’s life passion.

“For many years I painted interiors, but recently I have been painting people as simplified forms in simplified settings. I am trying to capture a moment in time or to evoke a memory of a particular person. I care less about a detailed resemblance than I do about the reaction you get from the form. I hope you will be moved in some way.”

Laurie’s classes will kick start, or improve, your drawing skills. 


Using pen and ink, pencil, water-colour and collage, there will be no shortage of inspiration as you work in your provided sketchbook. Laurie will guide you ‘on location’ at specially selected areas in Tavira.


He will also share his painting techniques and tips.



2:30 to 5:00 welcome, introduction and set up
7:00 meet & greet, followed by a delicious dinner



10:00 to 1:00 – instruction with Laurie/Kato
Lunch break
2:30 to 5:30 – open studio, one-to-one coaching, or excursion


Saturday morning open studio followed by a market visit
Excursions to local towns or the Island of Tavira
Wine tasting with Billy Munnelly (
Fado concert


Open Studio morning, afternoon Show & Tell and Final Dinner

TAVIRA copy.jpg


Tavira is a charming, historic town in the Eastern Algarve, about 30km from the Spanish border. In the 8C Moors occupied Tavira and built a castle – probably on the site of a Roman fortress. In 1242 Portugual’s Dom Paio Peres Correia reconquered Tavira. Because its port was closest to the Moroccan coast, Tavira became important during the “Age of Discoveries” from 15C to 18C, and was the base for Portuguese expeditions to North Africa. By 1520 it had become Algarve’s most populated settlement.

The Gilão River, which runs through the town, reaches the sea through the inlets and lagoons of Ria Formosa Natural Park. Tavira Island (Ilha da Tavira) has a long, sandy beach, and its salt pan flats attracts birds including flamingos. It has 37 churches, an great Irish bar called the Black Anchor, a “Roman Bridge”, fantastic restaurants and parks, an Islamic museum and castle ruins. Tavira is now home to Billy and Kato – who hope you love it as much as they do


Flying in and out of Faro with Air Transat’s direct flights is ideal. Flying in and out of Lisbon is also an option (and cheaper). Arriving to Tavira from Lisbon by train is economical and straightforward. Kato will be happy to help you. Faro airport is about a 40 minute taxi or car ride from Tavira.



Before or after your painting holiday you could explore Seville in Spain (1.5 hours away) or Lisbon (about 3 hours away)

- or more of the Algarve.


We are happy to answer all questions. 


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