One of Australia’s leading artists, Ian de Souza will lead a small group to explore areas including tone values, perspective, composition and balance. But what makes these retreats truly unique is the focus on how we can use these same themes in our understanding of happiness and wellbeing. With daily meditations, yoga sessions and evening discussions around the fire, these retreats are a beautiful opportunity not only to develop your artistic skills with a renowned artist, but to come to understand yourself and your creative energy better.
Working with charcoals, watercolours and acrylics, you’ll be guided through life drawing and landscape painting workshops, where the focus is very much on the process and not the end result. Using techniques from moving meditation and creative psychology, you’ll be supported to bypass the internal censor and paint with renewed joy and freedom.
With a passion for music and dance as well as art, Ian will guide each student through a multi-sensory experience, helping you feel more in tune with the world around you, and more complete as a creative being.
These retreats provide a unique opportunity to work with a truly inspiring artist, and are suited to beginners or to any working artist looking to reignite their passion for both painting and life itself.
Guests are recommended to check out Ian's site www.iandesouza.com.au to get a feel for his artwork and ethos, and for a blast of inspiration! You can read more about Ian here.
The art studio is set in 2 acres of luscious garden, with a river running through. Meditation spaces are dotted along the riverside and with hammocks, swinging chairs, poolside tables and plenty of shady trees you’ll find the magic of Riverheart hard to resist.
Guests are welcome to arrive from 2pm onwards on Day 1 and make use of the swimming pool and luscious gardens, before we first come together as a group for our evening sessions - a welcome circle, group meditation and a sumptuous supper followed by an introductory discussion on creativity and wellbeing.
The retreat finishes after our morning session and breakfast on day 4, allowing guests plenty of time to travel back home – refreshed, smiling and with a new confidence in their creative ability. Options are available for guests wanting to book on to two or more of Ian's long weekend retreats - this really is a very special opportunity to learn and practice with a leading artist and creativity mentor, so if you have the ability to stay longer and take full advantage of Ian's time with us then please do! Please get in touch to discuss this option if you're interested.
Food is vegetarian and sugar-free with vegan options for each meal, cooked with love and using only organic and locally produced ingredients wherever possible. Tea, herbal infusions, fresh coffee and organic wines and beers are all self-service and are included in the cost of the retreat. Allergies and intolerances can be catered for – please inform us in advance so we can best prepare to care for your needs.
A massage therapist will be on hand during your retreat and early booking is recommended.
A typical day looks like this:
8:00 - 9:00 Morning meditation and freewriting
9:00 - 10:00 Breakfast, a delicious assortment of fresh fruit, whole cereals, porridge with superfood supplements, or Spanish tostadas with herby tomatoes
10:00 - 12:00 – Painting workshop
12:00 - 13:30 – Free time to swim, enjoy a massage, try a taster session or lounge in a hammock and read
13:30 - 14:30 Lunch – a colourful buffet of superfood salads, fresh breads (including wheat-free), and local olives and cheeses
14:30 - 16:30 Painting workshop
16:00 - 18:00 Free time to swim, enjoy a massage, try a taster session or lounge in a hammock and read
18:00 - 19:00 Evening meditation and freewrite
19:00 - 20:00 Supper – paellas, tortillas, or sensational stews depending on what culinary inspiration guides our chef that day!
20:00 - 21:00 Evening session – this may be a dreamy yoga nidra, a fire clearing ritual, a cacao ceremony or an evening of music around the fire.
21:00 - sleep Journaling and private time
Prices start from 400 EUR and include all food, accommodation, materials and workshops - guests are only required to purchase their flights and travel insurance in addition.