$250 – $280

Maritime Painting at the Historic Lifeboat Station

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Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with directions to the meeting location!

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$250 Member Price / $280 Non-Member Price

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

In this annual weekend maritime painting class at the tip of Drakes Bay and the Pacific Ocean, we paint outdoors, weather permitting, and are inspired by the marine colors, sunlight on Drakes Cliffs, and traditional marine painters like Winslow Homer or Edgar Payne. Bring your favorite medium: oils, water base oils, acrylics, or watercolors. Beginner to experienced painters will be challenged. Joan demonstrates in oils and watercolors and gives individual attention to each participant. Group critiques provide discussions on painting techniques and insight on how to reach your inner painter! Join us!

Friday night: Introduction and maritime painting technique discussion

Saturday and Sunday: Two painting sessions per day

Lunch breaks with time for birding, hikes or wildflower walks.

Potluck supper and slide show Saturday evening-discussion of field painting traditions and techniques.

Instructed by Joan Hoffmann

-Accommodations included at Historic Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock, more info below.

-Youth, ages 12 and up, are welcome with adult supervision.

-If you have any special circumstances or questions, please contact us at fieldinstitute@ptreyes.org.

Is this event rain or shine? We use National Park advisories to determine whether or not the class will run. Click here to check out current weather conditions!

Class Cancelation Policy: If a registered participant wishes to cancel their enrollment and receive a refund, notification must be received at least 14 days in advance of the class date. No refunds will be issued for enrollment cancelations made less than 14 days in advance of the class date. Class enrollment fees are non-transferable. In the event that the PRNSA Field Institute cancels a class, participants will receive a full refund of class fee.

Historic Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock

Lifeboat Station

The Point Reyes Lifeboat Station is a National Historic Landmark overlooking beautiful Drakes Bay. It is the last remaining example of a rail-launched lifeboat station that was common on the Pacific coast. Located at Chimney Rock, the Lifeboat Station was built in 1927 by the U.S. Coast Guard and contains the crew’s quarters, a large boat bay, and a marine railway system for launching a 36-foot life boat.

The ground floor houses the boat bay museum where a renovated motor boat is located.

The area around the Lifeboat Station is used by the Marine Mammal Center as a release site for rehabilitated wildlife. While staying here some classes are unexpectedly treated to the release of an otter or harbor seal.


  • Ample working / studio space
  • Large second floor reading / meeting room overlooking Drakes Bay
  • Seven bedrooms accommodating 24 individuals, bunk style sleeping
  • Fully-equipped kitchen with large fridge and commercial range/over
  • Two large multi person bath/shower rooms
  • Central heat
  • Projector

What to Bring:

Personal Gear

  • Warm, variable-weather, layered clothing (waterproof windbreaker or rain jacket, hat, gloves)
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Daypack
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • WARM sleeping bag and pillow (linens not provided for bunkbeds, camp-style mattress only)
  • Extra sleeping pad for comfort (optional, but the provided mattress is fairly thin)
  • Ear plugs (to avoid distraction while writing and in case of snorers/elephant seals)
  • Personal toiletries (shampoo, soap, bath towel, etc.)
  • Insect repellant
  • Headlamp or flashlight

A full service kitchen is provided. Please bring all meals and snacks. The nearest stores and restaurants are 20 miles away over country roads, so you will need to be self-sufficient. By tradition, Saturday night is pot-luck with everyone sharing food. So be sure to bring a dish to share for Saturday dinner, as well as food for yourself.

Art Supplies
• Paper towels or rags
• Easel or chair and fold-up table (TV tray)
• Watercolor paper - 140 lb paper
Size 10” X 14” Cold Press Blocks
Package of Postcard size Paper
• Water and 2 containers
• Palette (large mixing area desirable)
BRUSHES (Bring brushes you already have):
• 1 - Flat ½” or 1”
• 1 - Smaller round
PAINTS (Bring paints you have) AND the following:
• CADMIUM RED and Permanent Rose
• BURNT SIENNA and Indigo
• Primed Canvas or Primed Masonite Board or Canvas Panels (Size 11” X 14” or 12” X 16”)
• Wood Pallet or Pad of Pallette Sheets
• Odorless Mineral Spirits in screw-top jars OR Water and two containers
• Canvas Carrying Case for multiple canvases (priority mail boxes for carrying Wet Paintings is an alternative)
BRUSHES (Bring brushes you already have)
• 1 - 1/2” filbert
• 1 - Smaller round
PAINTS (Bring paints you have) AND the following:
• CADMIUM RED and ALIZARIN CRIMSON (or Permanent Rose)
NOTE - if you plan to paint outdoors, have your supplies sorted out to bring only what is listed. Bring everything that you have or want to use in the classroom separately!

To get you further prepared for the class, here are some (optional) readings:

  • Any Winslow Homer photo book
  • Any Edgar Payne photo book

Interested in becoming a class facilitator to assist PRNSA Field Institute courses or becoming a volunteer for PRNSA? Click Here!

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