Ireland: Painting Tour with Concord Art Organization

Tour Intro

This tour is specially designed for members of the Concord Center for the Visual Arts.

Join accomplished artist and painting instructor Kathleen Jacobs, from Concord Art for a painting workshop excursion to County Mayo, Ireland! Your group will have your own personal local Irish guide, Cormac Cullen, based in Westport, Ireland. You will be taken to the beautiful countryside to explore the beauty of this ancient and mythical country. There are spectacular monastic and megalithic ruins to seek out in our daily adventures. Return to your homestead after painting all day to dine, converse and mingle with fellow artists. We will also have many wonderful evenings listening to Irish musicians play traditional music in the local pubs. We invite you to immerse yourself in an enriching and creative experience that will expand your painting practice and experience. Students of intermediate to advanced levels are welcome, open to all painters using oil, watercolor, acrylic or gouache.

Kathleen Jacobs will provide individualized instruction during plein aire excursions, demonstrations, discussions and presentations that will provide the format for an intensive exciting learning experience. The focus is on the landscape of County Mayo, where you will experience first hand the beauty and richness of Ireland. Jacobs will emphasize the importance of drawing and composition as a foundation of a painting. Working small, participants will work to create work with a spirit of place. Her teaching emphasizes looking at the landscape and to understand the formal elements of painting, shape, color, space, form while responding to the grace, order and beauty that is in front of you. There will be ample opportunity to discuss each other’s work and to discuss other international painters throughout history to enrich our experience in Ireland.

Tour Highlights

• The focus will be the art and culture of Western Ireland.
• Nine days with Kathleen Jacobs your artistic instructor and Cormac Cullen your personal local Irish guide.
• Tour limited to 12 passengers.
• Experience Ireland with majority of evenings in one home.
• Relaxed & flexible itinerary.
• Impromptu visits with local artists.

Tour Itinerary

May 26: U.S. – Shannon

Photo By: Douglas Beasley

Photo Location: Ireland

Your journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from the U.S. to Shannon, Ireland.

May 27: Shannon – Hillcrest House, Westport

Photo By: Lance Keimig

Photo Location: Burishoole Cemetery, Ireland

You will be met early this morning at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport and driven north to Westport, on the shores of Clew Bay. The first afternoon you can relax, perhaps enjoy conversation in the library or terrace. If you are feeling a bit energetic we can capture the sunset by exploring the nearby countryside.

Your home away from home, is a lovely 7 bedroom house just a 5 minute walk to the town of Westport. There are 2 ensuite bedrooms downstairs, with another two bedrooms sharing a bath, and 3 bedrooms upstairs sharing 1.5 baths. Its homelike quality adds to the relaxed atmosphere of the trip. You’ll enjoy traditional Irish breakfasts and dinners during your stay. Lunch will be at various restaurants and pubs, or you can stop in town and have a picnic lunch wrapped for your daily excursions in the field. Transportation is provided in a roomy tour van. (D)

May 28-2: County Mayo

Photo By: Corey HIlz

Photo Location: Ireland

Crafts were a major part of life in Ireland, people needed to produce their own tools for farming and household items necessary for daily life. From the kitchen, to the bedroom, to the farmyard, everything was hand made. Irish communities have always been proud of their traditions, and you’ll see a re-birth in some of these time-honored customs. Each day visit some of these typical locations from your home base.  There's no possible way to visit all of them so your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group.

The City of Westport and the Village of Newport, both capture the flavor of true Irish towns with their tree-lined canals and colorful shops.  Paul Taylor is the owner of Westport Pottery. Paul will demonstrate his techniques and perhaps someone can have a hand at the wheel. Linda Timms, has a stained glass studio we can tour and perhaps take some time at the Custom House Art Gallery also in Westport.

Every Thursday morning Westport holds their 'Country Market' where local Irish arts and crafts are sold. Not far from Westport is Nick Harmon, who will tell you stories of growing up in Ireland as you walk amongst the flowers and fields of his old mill.

One of your historical stops will include the inspirational archeological site of Ceide Fields, where stonewalls were discovered dating back to 3000 BC. There is a terrific print making studio and gallery in Ballycastle, near this amazing site. Living in the Partry Mountains is a traditional basket maker, weaving old style baskets out of reeds.

Ballintubber Abbey, or Baile Tobair Padraig, named for the natural spring nearby, where St. Patrick baptized his first Irish converts.  There are other places to see given time, such as Moore Hall, Barnabawn and Murrisk Abbey.

The picturesque village of Cong was the setting for John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s film The Quiet Man.  The ruins of Cong Abbey are here, founded in the 12th century by the King of Connacht. Many of the finest examples of cut stone can be found in the cloisters where you will marvel at the ancient stonework of 13th century masons. In 1198 the last High King of Ireland died in the abbey. You may catch a glimpse of Ashford Castle built in 1228 or take a walk through the woods to see a child’s play tower built by B.L. Guinness in 1864. 

Round towers were designed as bell towers to call worshippers to prayer, and later used to protect Irish monks and their libraries from the Norman invaders. Next to one of these towers, the Turlough Round Tower, is the award winning Museum of Country Life, which is part of Ireland’s National Museum. It encompasses an old homestead and ancient crafts come to light with hands on demonstrations and three floors of exhibits. The location offers wonderful views and setting for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon we can stop at Foxford Woolen Mills, where they have an optional historical and factory tour.

Achill Island is the largest island off the Irish coast. To get there, drive over the bridge at Achill Sound.  The island wrought by wind and water — an arrangement of rock, cloud, and cliffs falling off to the sea.  (B, D every day)

June 3: Westport - Ennis

Photo By: Jacque Boehm Steedle

Photo Location: Clare Island, Ireland

Leave Westport early this morning, and drive to the Burren, a remote region near the town of Ennis. Your last full day of exploring will be spent in this beautiful area for the wild landscapes, megalithic sites, culminating in the mighty Cliffs of Moher. Tonight stay at the Temple Gate Hotel (or similar) in Ennis and enjoy dinner on your own.  The hotel rests on the site of a 19th Century Convent. (B)

June 4: Ennis – Shannon – U.S.

Photo By: Tim Baskerville

Photo Location: Ireland

We depart from Shannon International Airport for your flight back home.

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 5-7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.


Photo By: S Gilley

Photo Location: County Mayo, Ireland

Jacque, I can't say enough about how wonderful our bus driver Tommy, and guide Connie were to us during our 10 days. (Impeccable professionals and perfect gentleman to help us at any moment.) Also, Emmajane was a fabulous chef and Alan's home was just perfect for our group. We walked to town for music in the evenings. Our instructor Kathleen Jacobs, was generous with her expertise and flexible enough to assess each students needs.

This experience exceeded expectations. Not only were the Irish scenes spectacular, but it was just the perfect mix of touring the countryside and painting instruction. The bus was extremely comfortable. Thanks! I hope you consider offering more painting-based trips, in addition to your photography classes.

S Gilley

A talented instructor, a guide of many gifts, a driver of care and kindness, the company of interesting artists, and a lovely home to stay in with extraordinary cooking!!!

M. Sakura

Ron, thank you especially for helping me see the beauty of clouds, of reflections of reeds in water, of silvery halos illuminating foxgloves in the forest, and of sunshine-patterned abbey windows on wet gravestones. Thanks to you, I leave with a new appreciation for the wonder and beauty of the world.

J. Mitchell

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.


Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.


The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.


Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.


Westport B&B consists of First Floor: 2 ensuite bedrooms, with another two bedrooms sharing a bath; Second Floor: 3 bedrooms sharing 1.5 baths. All bedrooms are quite large having two beds.

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