So here’s the thing. For ages now I’ve wanted to do one of those amazing looking art retreats they seem to have an abundance of over in the States. I’ve wistfully read about other people’s magical experiences at places with names like Squam or An Artful Journey, or ArtFest.

They gather at beautiful venues and are taught by talented and inspiring artists, surrounded by creative like minded souls, and wished I could do that too. I’ve wondered why outside of America all art holidays seem to be for retired people who want to do watercolours. (Nothing against that, but I am neither retired nor a watercolourist.)

And then I’d probably do a little sigh, and put it in the box in my head called ‘One Day’, and move onto the next thing.


I was cruising the web last night for images by Flora Bowley in order to do a Love It post on her (more on her later), when I stumbled on Do What You Love. A quick, slightly breathless scan revealed that at last someone is doing a US style art retreat over here in the UK! That someone is Beth Nicholls, an artist, entrepreneur and lover of those particular retreats who decided it was high time to bring them here.I knew straight away that I HAD to do this, even though it’s taking an enormous chunk out of my emergency savings, but if this isn’t an emergency I don’t know what is! So I booked it, before I’d even read all the information; I thought – there is no way I’m losing out on this, I will regret it for the rest of my life; so I paid my deposit, chose my room, and I’m in!Here’s the lowdown:

Besides energy, friendship and inspiration you will receive:

~ 15 hours’ art workshops over three days, allowing you to sink deeply into one creative area with close attention and support from an outstanding teacher (choose one of three workshops offered)
~ A series of creative enterprise sessions, including advice and
inspiration from successful business owners and innovators
~ Small group action learning sets, where you can share your
creative enterprise ideas, learn from each other and support each others’ dreams
~ Four nights’ luxury accommodation in contemporary eco-lodges
nestled into the hillside, overlooking the stunning Yorkshire Dales

The three teachers are Priscilla Jones, Rachel Hazell and Flora Bowley. (I will do a full post on her next time since I was going to anyway.) You choose which class you’d like – mixed media 3D sculptures, ‘extraordinary expandable sketchbook journals’ or ‘wild and delicious painting’. I chose the latter. Beth has chosen three incredibly talented artists; if I wasn’t totally fixated on Flora Bowley I would have a hard time choosing. I actually even own a piece by Priscilla Jones:This is the most excited I have ever been, possibly. I scared myself to death just launching in and paying for it but I know I won’t regret it, and I have a feeling it will change my life in ways I can’t yet even imagine.
Only four months to wait…