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Drawing Retreats


November 17-23, 2024

*a minimum of 6 people must register to confirm this trip

A portion of the trip price includes a donation to the AOM Jamaica Young Artist Grant.  With attendees contributions, every year that we retreat, AOM will grant a $500 gift certificate to The Art Centre Limited to a student who is of Jamaican citizenry at The Edna Manley College of of the Visual and Performing Arts School of Visual Arts who will be selected by the faculty.
Watercolor Brush 19

The Art of Modeling Figure Drawing Retreat is a travel opportunity rich with arts and culture for artists who want to immerse themselves in figurative art-making amongst tropical Plein air scenes brimming with colorful Jamaican culture.  


The details will all be arranged and coordinated by AOM Owners Ellen Allen and her husband Dr. Patrick Allen who was born and raised in Jamaica and has lived in Boulder for nearly 30 years. Patrick and Ellen are soon-to-be administrators of family land in the parish of Saint Thomas located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. They also have a large number of Jamaican family members still living in various parts of the island.

The end of November is one of the least rainiest months, with an average temperature of 75-84 degrees.

As dual Jamaica citizens, we know when the best time to visit the island is!  We will plan to travel after the rainy/hurricane season and before the tourist season in order to have good weather and mostly uncrowded beaches, restaurants and attractions! 
AOM Founder, Ellen Allen’s husband Dr. Patrick Allen was born and raised in Jamaica until age 14 when he immigrated to the US where he completed his education, ultimately going on to earn a PhD in Molecular Biology under the tutelage of Nobel Prize Candidate, Dr. Harry Noller.  Since leaving the island Patrick and his family have continually returned to Jamaica to visit both family and property in the Blue Mountains.  He is now considered a family elder. Ellen is in the process of becoming a Jamaican citizen by marriage. Patrick and Ellen are currently seeking investor funding to partially develop their family land in the Blue Mountains in the Parish of Saint Thomas.  They envision hiking trails, farms, a state of the art sports training facility, rentable cottages and an arts retreat, among other things. Patrick is available for full Patois/Patwa translation services when reasoning with the locals where we will hold our first figure drawing retreat in Negril, Jamaica .
-Enjoy a certified Blue Mountain Coffee (perhaps the Jamaican way, with condensed milk) and try the national dish, ackee and saltfish with callaloo greens, dumplin, and green and ripe fried plantain breakfast at local mom & pop restaurants.
-Watch the famous Cliff Divers diving off the cliffs and the trees on the cliffs at the famous Rick’s Café while sipping on Jamaican Rum.
-7 Mile Beach: has restaurants & bars sprinkled along the way/would make a good long walk on a white sand beautiful beach, stopping for food, drinks & beachside shopping all along the way.  Find fresh squeezed sugar cane juice, cucumber juice and fresh coconut water & jelly that you drink straight out of the young coconut.  Fresh grilled jerk chicken and shrimp are readily available along the way. Buy a souvenir beach towel from a local vendor to use while here. Ganga is easy to obtain here, and smoking a spliff on the beach is not scorned.
-Free live reggae music played beachside/bar-side every Thursday night.  If we’re lucky there will be a well known reggae artist playing a show on the beach while we are in town.  
-Relax with a Red Stripe (Jamaica’s official beer) on a ride on a bamboo raft down a crystal blue river
-Partake in numerous touristy-activities on your own time, such as ATV riding, zip lining, horseback riding on the beach, rum estate tours and tastings, waterfalls, etc. Whatever floats your boat.
Included -Ride on a glass bottomed boat from the beach to Booby Cay Island, a small island off the coast.  On the ride there we will hover over coral reefs to see the giant sea stars, sand dollars and tropical fish.  We will dock on the island and stay for seafood caught fresh island-side & roasted breadfruit drizzled with garlic oil grilled by Jamaicans, raw veggies and various drinks.  A favorite of mine here was Sorrel (a flower) flavored Red Stripe.  Swim in the ocean, hike the island, and watch the pelicans fly overhead and dive for fish while waiting for your food to cook.
Included -Every day during figure drawing we will sample different local seasonal fruits such as ganep, soursop, sweetsop, June plum, jackfruit, pineapple, different varieties of bananas, grapefruit, tangerine, coconut and fresh sugar cane.  Jamaican “bun n’ cheese” and famous ginger “bulla cake” will also be served, along with fresh cucumber-ginger juice (the water here is safe to drink!).
Included -Accommodations: We will be staying in cottages with either ocean or garden views on a beautiful cliffside venue where you can jump off the laddered cliffs into the azure blue ocean that you can see the sea floor or swim in their clean pool.  Enjoy the onsite restaurant seated under trellises of bougainvillea surrounded by tropical plants and twinkling lights. When night falls, hear the croaking of the tree frogs and crickets and reggae music coming from a nearby yard. See the moon from a different perspective! Wake up to the sounds of the ocean and roosters.
Included -Every morning after breakfast we will offer three hours of a nude Jamaican fine arts model posing for various lengths of time on site in a private covered outdoor space with overhead fans.  A different model each day. A bar and pool are on site for use during model breaks.

Everything that we do is within walking or very affordable and readily available taxi distance.


Elle, Pat & two of the kids in Negril at sunset in November 2023

Audio Recording - Mar 8, 2024Tree frogs & crickets at night
00:00 / 00:25
Watercolor Brush 19
Private Group Figure Drawing
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