Acuarelas en Puerto Rico: A Watercolor Workshop Adventure in San Juan, Puerto Rico with Robert Leedy

Acuarelas en Puerto Rico

An exciting, unusual opportunity… palettes and palates?

A Watercolor Workshop 

November 4th thru November 10th, 2013

I realize this is a last-minute project but as I originally planned a watercolor workshop in Puerto Rico for February of 2014,  a unique opportunity arose: my good friend, David Cimino, President of Plaza Cellars in San Juan (also a watercolor painter) suggested I re-schedule my trip to work around a huge, annual, food & wine event he has planned for November. The event will focus around the arrival of owners and wine makers from over 100 wineries from around the world. David has invited us to the grand food & wine tasting event and has offered us an exclusive evening of a private winemaker’s dinner featuring specially selected wines paired  to a multi-course dinner prepared by a local chef.

The more I thought about this idea, the more I liked it. One of the most memorable afternoons in my life was the day I spent at a chef friend’s estate in the lush rainforest on the northeast end of the island. I called to ask if I could paint on her property and she ended up preparing a wonderful lunch for us with the incredible view as a backdrop. Thinking this is the ideal way to experience the rainforest,  I called and asked if she would be game for cooking for a group; she’s in!

My wife, Vicky, and I are no strangers to Puerto Rico. Vicky was born and raised there and we lived in San Juan during the 1990’s where I worked in – yes – the wine business. Vicky is very interested in sharing her island culture and wants to develop interest in Puerto Rico Tourism and a cross-cultural exchange.  We both see art, food & wine as closely related and think this combination of activities is an ideal one.

My Puerto Rico watercolor workshop will be geared to the traveling painter. I will teach you to absorb, capture and edit the sights before you while honing your watercolor skills. The workshop  is open to both beginning and intermediate students as I like to work more one-on-one with an individual’s ability level. Previous painting experience is not necessary though good drawing skills will be very helpful. We will have the use of a complete art studio which we will use as a base for painting trips in and around the streets and sights of Old San Juan. The scenario will be ideal for plein air painters and also for those who prefer to work from photographs or sketches in the studio. The studio is also a nice alternative in case of rain.

It is also my wish to introduce you to Puerto Rico – or – if you are already familiar with it, to show you more of what it has to offer. You will paint all day then set out to discover the tastes and sounds at night.  There are also evenings when you might just want to relax and listen to the sound of the ocean. I promise when you return home, you will be tired but refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired.

"Painting Companion", watercolor by Robert Leedy

“Painting Companion”, watercolor by Robert Leedy

What the workshop Includes:

  • Five days of watercolor instruction with Robert Leedy – we will work from an art studio centrally located in the heart of Old San Juan where we will have lectures, demonstrations and daily critiques. Classes will start at 9 a.m. each morning with a 1 hour break for lunch around noon; class will resume around 1 p.m. and continue until 4 p.m.
  • Wine & Cheese Reception – This will be held the first evening to meet Robert Leedy and other workshop participants and is a good introduction to the Island, the fun week ahead and details of the upcoming events.
  • Lunch & a day of painting at a private estate in el Yunque, Puerto Rico’s rainforest – we will have the unique opportunity to spend a day of painting at a private estate which is one of only eight homes that were allowed to be built within the boundaries of el Yunque National Forrest, a 28,000-acre rainforest preserve. The estate is absolutely gorgeous with a stream and small waterfall running through it and many types of exotic, tropical vegetation so typical of the area. The owner, a local chef, will prepare a gourmet lunch for us on site. This is sure to be a very special day!
  • A multi-course winemaker’s dinner with wine – we will have an intimate,  multi-course dinner at an exclusive location designed around the special wines of a world-famous winery. The winery’s owner / winemaker will guide us through a delightful evening of terrific wines pared specifically to individual plates created by a local chef.
  • Entrance to Plaza Cellars’ Fine Wine Celebration Grand Tasting Event – an evening of fabulous food and incredible wines showcased by over 100 wineries worldwide and delicious cuisine from local island restaurants. The event will be held in the beautifully restored Vanderbilt Hotel in the Condado area of San Juan.
  • Transportation to and from the events listed above

What the worshop does not include:

  • Round trip Airfare to and from San Juan, Puerto Rico – For people traveling from Jacksonville, Florida, Jet Blue  offers direct flights to San Juan at very competitive prices. Jet Blue’s web site.
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Hotel Room – The Gallery Inn in Old San Juan is within walking distance of the studio and the locations where we will be painting. It is a charming, 20-room B&B style hotel owned by artist, Jan d’Esopo. We have arranged group rates at  the hotel where you may make reservations AFTER September 30th. You are free to make reservations at other hotels but please keep in mind considerations of location/ convenience, transportation, etc.. Visit The Gallery Inn
  • Parking (if you have a rental car) – There are only five parking spaces at The Gallery Inn. There are several parking garages / lots in Old San Juan.
  • Meals (other than those mentioned above)
  • Art Supplies – Upon deposit payment & registration, you will receive a supply list for art materials.

Price of the workshop: $1,175.00 per person (painters)

Special price for spouses / companions: $650 per person (non-painters)

The special non-painter supplement includes all non-painting activities for companion travelers. Vicky Pagán Leedy, a Puerto Rico native, will be available to the group for suggestions on shopping, local cuisine & dining, local customs , history, and sightseeing. She can also help arrange side trips  and visits to other parts of the island.

"Old San Juan", by Robert Leedy, acrylic on cradled panel.

“Old San Juan”, by Robert Leedy, acrylic on cradled panel.


Click the above link to go to a secure, PayPal site.  A non-refundable deposit of $300.00 per person is due before September 15th, 2013.  You may also send a check;  For the mailing address, fill out the contact form below. We will then email you the mailing address.  Once we have received your deposit, we will send you a complete registration form with more information on details of the trip including an art supply list. We will also give you details on making reservations and travel arrangements. The remaining balance of the workshop ($875.00 for painters; $350 for non-painters) is due no later than September 30th.

Though this is a last minute opportunity, there is still limited space in the workshop. Please register as soon as possible.

Terms of Agreement

Cancellation Policy:

  • The $300 deposit to reserve your space is non-refundable.
  • Cancellation is possible before September 30th, 2013.
  • We recommend personal travel insurance to cover the possibility of unexpected cancellation.

Contact form:

Please fill out the contact form if you are paying by check and need our mailing address – OR – if you have any questions about the workshop. All information is private and is not visible to anyone on this web site.