Where is the Finca El Cerillo?
The Finca El Cerillo is a private boutique hotel in the foothills of the Sierra Almijara, Southern Spain. The Finca is a restored 200 year old farmhouse and until the 1960's was a working olive mill. The building has been carefully restored to preserve the charm and character of old Andalucia, whilst providing modern comforts.
Do I need to be able to paint and draw?
Beginners are very welcome. The art holiday is a careful balance between learning new skills, socialising with like-minded people, relaxing in beautiful surroundings and enjoying good food! Whether you are painting and sketching for the first time or are more experienced, the tutor (that's me) will be there to guide and support you in a range of activities. Pam is a professional artist and tutor with over 25 years of experience who will offer techniques and tips to help you capture the essence of Andalucia. She is able to provide tutoring in a variety of mediums including watercolour, acrylics and all drawing mediums.
What equipment will I need?
There are portable easels, stools and boards which are free for guests to use. You will be sent a materials and equipment list, so you know exactly what to bring. However you don't need loads of stuff to be able to enjoy sketching and painting in this inspiring location. Some people may just want to work in a sketchbook, others may want to paint on canvasses. There are lots of locations at the Finca, where we will mostly be based, so you won't need to carry a load of equipment round with you. Suggested items could include a small sketchbook, a couple of drawing pens/pencils, watercolour paints set and some brushes. Watercolour paper pads are ideal as you don't need to stretch your paper. If you're working in acrylics you may like to bring some canvas boards, a selection of paints and some brushes.
What is the accommodation like?
There are 12 individually styled and spacious rooms with air conditioning/heating and modern en suite bathrooms. There are only 7 rooms available for our use, the other rooms will be in use by a small walking group - partners are welcome to come along and join in the walks or relax and read a book in the beautiful gardens. There are tea and coffee making facilities in each room. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal. Guests travelling on their own will still have a double en-suite room to themselves. If you're travelling with a friend and sharing a room this will be cheaper for you both.
Where will we be working?
The weather at this time of year is usually warm enough for sketching and painting outside and there is always the option to work in the light and spacious studio. Around the hotel there are many inspiring locations, including spectacular valley views, traditional farmhouse buildings, pretty patios, shady terraces and flower filled gardens - something for everyone! We will also visit a local Andalucian village for sketching and there is the option to have a day out too.
What's the weather like?
Autumn days are usually warm and sunny with temperatures of around 16C which is warm enough to work outside. The evenings will feel cooler and a jumper will be needed - but there are cosy lounges and a dining room with open fires. Occasional showers can also be expected at this time of year.
Where is the nearest village?
There are three villages very close by - Canillas de Albaida, Competa & Archez are all Moorish style 'Pueblos Blancos' (white villages) with colourful, flower decked balconies and narrow winding streets.
How much cash will I need to bring?
Please bring sufficient cash with you to purchase extras on site such as drinks & gifts. The hotel operates an honesty bar for soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, wine etc. On the day out you will also need to purchase your own lunch. The hotel will accept card payments too.
Is there WiFi?
Yes there is WiFi at the Finca. The password for the Wifi will be given out on arrival. Please feel free to bring ipad's or laptops.
Will I have any free time?
Yes, Painting and sketching activities tend to be planned for the mornings and late afternoons leaving you with a couple of hours for an afternoon 'siesta'. You can choose to continue with your work or take time out to relax, walk, swim or sleep! There is also one free day mid-week when guests can choose to join an excursion - others prefer to carry on with their painting or relax with a good book from the library.
Can I use the swimming pool?
Yes the swimming pool and deck areas have stunning views providing a pleasant place to swim or somewhere to relax on a comfy lounger with a glass of wine or cold beer from the honesty bar.
Are all the meals included in the holiday?
Nearly all meals are included in the cost of the holiday - 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners - some at local restaurants. The menu is designed around fresh, locally sourced produce with a contemporary twist. On warm evenings dinner is served on the candlelit terrace and on cooler evenings in the cosy dining room. On the day out mid week you will need to pay for your own lunch.
Is there vegetarian food available?
Yes, all dietary requirements are catered for including vegetarian and vegan. Gluten free meals are also available on request. Please indicate your requirements when booking.
Can I relax on my own?
There will be group activities and demonstrations planned throughout the week but you can choose to opt in and out as you choose. At the Finca you will find a myriad of nooks and crannies to relax around the property on your own or with new friends with plenty of choice between sun and shade.
There is one soft old girl at the property who will not bother you at all unless of course you want to make friends with them!