Darla Bostick’s 2023 Art Workshop/Retreat

 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM


The fall workshop is geared for painting with watercolors and a bit of acrylics on paper and other materials. We have sponsors who send us merchandise to experiment with and learn how to use. You may not need to bring as much as you think!


Each year a welcome bag is prepared for each artist. We also have door prizes. Our generous sponsors are listed on the sponsorship tab. We use these materials during the week and take them home! Pack very light as you arrive and leave space in your suitcase (bring zip lock bags for transport).

Listed below are the general materials we use. 



Digital camera, manual and USB cord

Battery charger or extra batteries, depending on power source

Memory card for camera-- must be compatible with my photo printer—SD cards work great!

If you use your phone for photography my photo printer will work with your phone USB connection. It is more time intensive than using a digital camera. Your photos must be transferred to my computer then we use my printer from the computer images (it's a hassle compared to using a digital camera). Or use your phone image/iPod as direct reference without printing.



You have the option of painting outdoors or the luxury of indoors. If you are accustomed to plein aire painting, you know what you need. We will be gathering images at different sites by sketching or photographing. Most artists prefer to gather photo images, print and paint in our Arts Building Studio where we have tables, cold water dispenser, toilets, a kitchen, and room to spread out. (plus a floor to ceiling view of the Pedernal).

*Paint palettes – If you fly to the workshop, a plastic plate or tray can work.  I use a Murillo paint palette with a flip lid and 33 wells for paints with a removable mixing tray. It travels quite nicely!
*Brushes—one 1” flat brush, one round brush, one fine brush. Bring what you like to use. If you don't want to use your watercolor brush for acrylics, bring an extra brush or two.

*Water sprayer (with adjustable spray power from fine to "blast")

Watercolor paper --If you wish to paint outside, a watercolor block provides a stable surface and fits inside a suitcase. (I will be painting inside) Otherwise, the best paper is 140# cold press paper. You will need 3 full flat sheets for the workshop. I always bring paper to sell at cost.
*Water bowl or get something from the Ranch kitchen

Pencil and Eraser (Provided) Watercolor pencils are optional.

*Watercolors-- Darla brings some large tubes of watercolors and sells them at no profit by the thirds--it's the cheapest way to fill your palette. DO NOT BUY “ACADEMIC” STUDENT GRADE PAINTS even if you are a beginner.

Acrylics: *Bring a 2 oz container of craft-type liquid acrylic that has a nozzle. You can pick a fabulous color and we will share.

Plastic cover for your oblong table (this will be your "personal" space for the week in the art building) Dollar Tree is your best friend!



Pitt Pens --at least bring one medium and one fine tip black. These are waterproof, india ink markers. Microns also work but cost more. I use the set of Pitt pens available at Hobby Lobby.



It is DRY in New Mexico. Bring body lotion, eye drops, lip balm, saline nose spray, vaseline, etc.

Flashlight--it is DARK at night


Hat or visor with large brim
Water bottle or thermos
Umbrella—it could rain in the late afternoon/early evening


Hair products

Medical supplies: medications/health-related items (cpap machine, etc)

If you choose to add hiking, fishing or horseback riding, come prepared.

Optional: Small portable desk light could be useful at night--bring an extension cord if it plugs. Our room is not real bright after dark. 

Address labels so you can put your name on the new materials you receive (yours will look like everyone else's!)



We will be doing a bit of walking (nothing strenuous but about one mile). Sturdy closed shoes are recommended. If you desire to wait in our workroom as we investigate the back area on the Ranch, that is fine--it is only one morning. The temps are "layer up, take off, and later layer back up" kind of weather. The weather is nippy in the mornings and evenings, so bring a jacket, pants, sweater. A bit of snow in early November? Maybe...

You will be in O’Keeffe Country! "From the Faraway Nearby~~Georgia O'Keeffe as Icon" edited by Christopher Merrill and Ellen Bradbury ...or any book on the life of this artist! Another one is "Georgia Becoming O'Keeffe."


FINALLY...and TOTALLY optional: We love to paint and have a munch time after dinner. Bring something to share! Cheese, crackers, chocolate, etc. We have a refrigerator in our workroom. Also bring what you prefer to drink with these snacks. 



For those who fly...this is from the FAA:

"Watercolors, acrylics, pigments and most artist oil paints

Quantity limits: none

Artist paints that are nonflammable and are not regulated by the FAA and may be carried in Carry On or Checked baggage. For transportation purposes, "Non Flammable" paints are those with a flashpoint above 140 F degrees/60 C degrees. The flashpoint is listed on a product's material safety data sheet (MSDA). Section 14 of the MSDA will also indicate the product is regulated for transportation. The MSDS is usually available only from the vendor or manufacturer. Some artist paints such as alkyl gels, polyurethanes and varnishes can be flammable (flashpoint at or below temps listed above). Flammable paint products may not be carried in carry-on or checked baggage. Paint thinners, turpentine and brush cleaners are flammable liquids and may not be carried in carry-on or checked baggage. Aerosols paint products use a flammable propellant and may not be carried in carry-on or checked baggage. Liquids, pastes and gels in carry-on baggage are further limited to 100-ml (3.4 oz) containers at the TSA security checkpoint.