An Opportunity to Paint in Albania – Albo Fine Art.

I first came across Albo Fine Art  on twitter  I liked the ethos of the Gallery and  given that I have not visited Albania, it was an opportunity for me to learn something about the country and the artists who live and work there.

I developed a conversation with Thoma Blana – artist and founder of the Gallery, who told me of his plans to offer painting holidays.

I usually write about places that I have visited, however in this case, it has meant doing some research and what I have found has bowled me over.    I have learned that Albania is definitely a place I would like to visit and clearly a country that is coming into its own as a tourist destination – and a superb location for artists.

Albo Fine Arts – Tirana – Albania


The following is an overview of the seven day holiday: – The first one will be next month – March 2017.       If this is too short a notice, maybe now is the time to think about next year’s programme when I plan to be part of the group.

Map of Albania…

803329.aiCatering to both amateur and professional artists, participants will enjoy plein air painting guided by Sadik Kasa, Professor at the Academy of arts, Albania.    Basic art supplies will be supplied and a translator will be available.


During the seven day holiday a comfortable mini bus will be provided  to take the group to places of interest including Pogradec and Korca – (see map) 

Pogradec is on the Albania/Macedania border and is located on the shore of Lake Ohrid.

Lake Ohrid – straddling the mountainous border between southwestern Macedonia and eastern Albania, Lake Ohrid is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes, preserving a unique aquatic ecosystem.????? - ?????After a comfortable nights sleep in air conditioned and well appointed hotels, the group will enjoy breakfast followed by a morning of plein air painting.      After enjoying lunch in local restaurants,  galleries and other places of interest will be visited for the remainder of the afternoon.

Albania has beaches to rival any elsewhere in the Mediterranean. the-view

campingpeshku_com-pogradecAs you can see from these photographs – the landscape and subject matter is diverse. 16105521_1206074346140866_9154712630087023518_n

Along with meals in local restaurants, evening entertainment will be on offer.

On one evening, the group will enjoy Albanian folk musicians and towards the end of the week there will be an art exhibition and gala evening at the Albo Gallery.   An excellent opportunity for the Group to show the work they have produced during the week, and at the same time learn more about their Albanian counterparts.


Albania has been recommended by Lonely Planet as a top level travel destination –

‘Albania has natural beauty in such abundance that you might wonder why it took 20 years for the country to take off as a tourist destination since the end of a particularly brutal strain of communism in 1991.     So backward was Albania when it emerged blinking into the bright  light of freedom that it needed two decades just to catch up with the rest of Eastern Europe.         Now that it has arguably done so, Albania offers a remarkable array of unique attractions, not least due to this very isolation:     ancient mountain codes of behaviour, forgotten archaeological sites and villages where time seems to have stood still are all on the menu.   With it’s stunning mountain scenery, a thriving capital in Tirana and beaches to rival any elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Albania has become the sleeper hit of the Balkans.   But hurry here, as word is well and truly out.’    Lonely Planet. 

And then there is the country’s rich history.     The group will see ancient mosaics and murals, along with icons from the Byzantine Orthodox tradition….and so much more.

Icons in Berat – UNESCO site. 


The more I learn the more interested I am to visit this country.

Apparently, traditional Albanian culture honours the role and person of the guest.   In return for this place of honour, respect is expected from the guest.  I like this very much.


For anyone interested in taking up this opportunity here are  contact details.     

Dates for first painting holiday are:  20th March 2017 til 27th March.   Dates for subsequent holidays have yet to be published.    For flights – Mother Teresa Airport, Tirana

All other information with regard to costs etc., can be obtained from Thoma Blana – Albo Fine Art or Thoma’s daughter, Ines Blana   (where you can also see artists represented by the Gallery) – or email at – phone – 00355696191873 – 00355696554875

You can also find Albo Fine Art on FB and Twitter.

I will look forward to visiting Albania next year and hope others will join me.


















27 thoughts on “An Opportunity to Paint in Albania – Albo Fine Art.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Timi….I am waiting to hear about dates for 2018, but am definitely hoping to go…I will keep you appraised. I gave a workshop in London yesterday and one of the participants spent time in Albania last year, and loved it. She confirmed everything that Lonely Planet said in their blurb….definitely a place to visit before the whole world knows about it…..enjoy your weekend…janet. 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Teagan, yes a surprise indeed….but the more I read and hear about Albania, now is clearly the time to consider organising trips there as it is becoming very popular – and it wont be long before everyone knows about it! 🙂 I gave a workshop in London yesterday and one of the participants was there last year and loved it….Wishing you a beautiful weekend…janet. :)xx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Tish — It’s been an eye opener for me. Yesterday at a workshop I was giving one of the participants was saying how much she had loved visiting Albania last year and said now is definitely the time to go before the whole world finds out about it…. Have a lovely weekend…Janet. 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Bushka…Yes the more I learn the more interested I am to go there, and so am waiting for dates from the Albo Fine Art for next year so that I can plan a trip….Wishing you a beautiful weekend…..Janet. :)xx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning and thank you so much for your comment. The more I learn about Albania, I realise that now is the time to consider going…am waiting for dates for 2018….have a lovely weekend…janet.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning…I am hoping to go next year…and will of course write all about it afterwards. As Lonely Planet said in their blurb….it’s time to go there before everyone finds out about it. Hope you enjoy a lovely weekend…janet. 🙂

  1. Gabe Burkhardt

    I never would have considered Albania as a popular destination for inspiration and a much needed reprieve, but after seeing Lake Orhid, I’ve gotta add this to my bucket list.

    Or, it could be that you paint such an irresistible scene. Looking forward to following along to find out!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Gabe, Thank you so much for your comment. Like you, I would not have considered Albania a place to visit, however, having done research and spoken with people who have travelled there it’s clearly a treasure. As Lonely Planet said in their blurb, and a couple of individuals I know…now is the time to think about going, before the wider world catches on! During the last five years tourist numbers have gone from the thousands to 5 million….. I have a feeling that Lake Orhid would be very lovely to visit. Hope you enjoy a good and creative weekend…janet. 🙂

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  3. albogallery

    Hello everyone, i send big thanks to everyone for the great words about my country and our project. And a special thanks to Janet, for the description she had of my country and our project as well which will be in April, May and September, October.
    My country has a real beautiful nature and culture except of our really friendly culture i am so happy to get to know Janet in twitter who is a big artists. And i wish that one day i get to know a big part of you all. The difference between art and different populations from all the world is that art has only one language.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Thoma….Thank you very much for commenting…and I can see you have clarified dates this year….When people contact you who have an interest you can give them all the exact details. I am really hoping to come to Albania next year along with others…and so as soon as you get your dates organised for 2018…let me know…and I will announce them. I wish you and all the artists at Albo Fine Art a beautiful weekend and much luck with this project. You have a good plan, a beautiful country and I feel sure it will be a huge success. I met a woman on Thursday at a workshop I was giving in London who had been to Albania last year, and she loved it. She spoke so highly about the place, the people, and especially the wonderful hospitality. Sending love to all of you….Janet.

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