Artist’s Retreat

An Artists’ Retreat in Ancient Malta

September 30th – October 7th 2023

You love to paint. Or you used to love to paint before you got too bound up and critical of yourself or before the distraction of the last few years got in the way.

Or maybe you are yearning to take your creativity to a deeper level, to a step forward toward something new?

You know that if you had time free of distractions and filled with inspiration, you would find your way back to that place.

Or simply rediscover your voice.

Let Malta’s ancient light bring you back to life!

The sun-kissed archipelago of Malta is a dreamy Mediterranean destination with 300 days of sunshine, a weighty history, and some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean.

Malta is the product of a fascinating history linked to the sea and successive waves of Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Carthaginian, Byzantine, Arab and British invaders and settlers. Not to mention the saints (St. Paul), sinners (Caravaggio) and statesmen (Napoleon) who have washed up on shore there and left their mark too.

In Malta, it’s not that they have seasons as much that they have different seasons of light. Limestone and water are the perfect palette for what is served by the heavens.

So they talk about the way a building glows in the first hours of the morning; how the parched sky of July and August finally get washed away by the first rains in September to reveal the electric deep blue; with days of intense light and colour; and how the Grand Harbour is magical as you cross by ferry boat from the Three Cities in the early evening.

You know what would be extra delightful?

A smart circle of women to laugh with. How about heart-fueling, creativity-expanding painting sessions to tame the critic and charge you up with inspiration and amazingly helpful take-home tools to move your technique on and develop your painting practice?

Why not add daily inspirational sessions where Ró combines poetry and a little of her gentle philosophy with strolls by the ocean, an unforgettable creative pilgrimage walk, healthy delicious food, and and and…

Sound kinda perfect? Great!

artists retreat roisin o'farrell

You are invited

to an artists’retreat in Malta

Sept 30th – Oct 7th 2023

A nurturing blend of painting without expectation,

Breathing life into your creativity,

Eating and drinking well,

Swaying to the music and

Allowing yourself to be looked after, for a change!

Late September is the best time to visit Malta as the extreme heat is settling down to around 28-25 degrees and there is a reduction in the summer crowds, yet the sea is still beautifully warm for swimming.

So join me in Malta for a nurturing blend of painting without expectation, breathing life into your creativity, eating and drinking well, swaying to the music and allowing yourself to be looked after, for a change!

Come stroll the alleyways with me of the Three Cities, soak in the sun-drenched ancient buildings and roofscapes of Valletta, rich with beautiful compositions ready to paint and to give you a year of paintings to paint later.

We will also be tending to the rest of our creative hearts, mind and body with good food, great music, poetry and laughter. The best medicine of all!

 

What you can expect:

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Characterful Boutique hotels in 15th-century buildings with ac and every modern luxury.

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Mediterranean Cuisine; Healthy, delicious Mediterranean cuisine in our own private hotel reserved for just us and in Ró's favourite local restaurants.

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An unforgettable creative pilgrimage over ancient spaces and windblown shores

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Sea swimming for the soul.

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Tuition focusing on cityscape painting.

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Simply Stunning Location In Malta's 'old town area' of the Three Cities, rich with character and set in Valetta's Grand Harbour.

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Sunsets overlooking the water.

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Daily invitations to set the possibility of the day and inspire

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Music, Poetry & Craic.

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and lots of painting in our own dedicated painting studio with one-to-one attention and group tuition with Ró.

Join Our Retreat!

A completely new experience with Ró

If you have previously studied with me, this retreat will offer a progression in its tuition and will focus on cityscape work, rather than on still life. How could we not, in such a beautiful place?

The retreat is designed for people from a wide variety of disciplines and skill levels, from beginner to professional. The sole prerequisite to attending is an openness to being inspired, growing creatively and a willingness to explore your artistic practice.

You can paint in your media of choice. Oils, Acrylic, Watercolour Gouache, Pastel, Pencil Sketching or whatever you feel comfortable. Tuition sessions that will apply to all. 

Artists retreat Roisin O'farrell

Tuition will take the form of several informal sessions where I will focus on teaching exercises to help you:

craft better landscape compositions - the key to strong paintings

simplify values in cityscape work - to avoid bitty confused paintings

use dynamic design - to bring drama to your paintings

atmospheric perspective - to create a sense of depth

amplify your focal point - using leading lines, sharpness and diverse line

and learn how to create great paintings from your own less than professional photos.

Everywhere you look is a painting waiting to be painted

As for inspiration, it’s literally all around you. Higgledy piggledy boatyards, sun soaked alleyways, dramatic skies and the roofs lines to die for, you literally only need to look up!

Every way you turn your head, 360 degrees, there is a beautiful composition ready to paint or to photograph to paint later. So a week in Malta can translate into a years worth of new work in your studio.

The Retreat Experience

Although there will be tuition, this is a retreat, not a course, so this will be a different kind of week with me. There will be time to rejuvenate and inspire by doing other things as well as painting.

Eating in Malta

Food is meant to be savoured here, and the locals can spend many hours over a meal.

Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. With lots of fresh vegetables, fish, seafood, cheeses, and bread, Maltese food has some of the best flavors in the Mediterranean.

We will be eating in a mix of my favourite local restaurants. Some no fuss, friendly places and some extra special, you’ll remember for ever kind of places. Places that you would never find on your own.  

We are also happy to accommodate your requirements.  

Soaking it all in

A visit to St. John’s Cathedral
We’ll be making a special visit with our own guide to St. John Cathedral in Valette. Built between 1573 and 1577, this cathedral contains two masterpieces by Caravaggio. 

A creative pilgrimage
Walk with me through the streets of Birgu at dusk and soak in the atmosphere. Listen to my favourite stories and to a hand picked poetry to align with  the intentions of the week.

The perfect swimming weather
Late September is the best time to visit Malta. The water is warm and it’s not too hot. You might even join me for one of my favourite things – a night swim overlooking the lights of Valletta!

Join Our Retreat!

Roisin’s ability to communicate and get on the level of each of her students was amazing to me. Roisin came prepared to teach and that she did, she knew everyone's name and something personal about each one of her students which made her easy to be with and she put me at ease from the minute I walked in.

Yvonne Snead

I’ve done her online love to paint course, but the difference is seeing it in person, makes such a big difference, having Róisín on hand to demonstrate was brilliant as I felt I was able to absorb it better. Being able to share and have art conversations with like-minded people, is uplifting for the soul and meeting the friends in person that I’ve connected with on the online course.

Patricia O'Flaherty

The rhythm to the day

September 30th -October 7th

Each day will begin with a short session to set the invitation for the day, establish loving-kindness toward ourselves and create space for fun and laughter. After that, the each day will vary, but will include some or all of the following elements.

Poetry and Craic sessions - to align with the day's invitation.

Time to sketch and take reference photos to use later

En plein air painting in some of my hand picked spots

Guided tours with Ró to historical sites and the beach.

Sunsets overlooking the Grand Harbour. & Nighttime sea swims under the lights of Valletta.

Time to rest, walk, sea swim, shout into the wind and find yourself!

And most importantly plenty of time for fun.

Picture it: No cooking, No cleaning, No chores.

Now, replace those responsibilities with: delicious fully-catered meals, late-night chats, early morning dips for the brave, happy gal pals in great moods, secrets shared beneath the stars, not to mention the amazing learning experiences for both body and mind.

This trip will be about joy, beauty, and the power of your creative spirit.

Join Our Retreat!

What’s included:

This is an almost all-inclusive trip. Simply nothing to worry about from start to finish.

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Six nights accomodation in unique boutique hotels

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Delicious, healthy meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner almost every day). Those with dietary requirements are welcome.

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Dedicated space to paint, in case of rain.

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A full programme to include:

A fully curated experience with Ró

Group tuition from Ró,

Sketching and photograhing trips

En plein air painting sessions,
Poetry & craic sessions,
Visits to beautiful heritage and local sites,
A creative pilgrimage led by Ró,

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To Bring list for art materials. Tips on how to pack and what to bring. Contacts for ordering materials to be ready in Malta when you arrive, if you choose to do so. Paintings Solvents will be provided for you.

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A live sessions before the retreat and a private FB group open before, during and after the event so that everyone will already have become relaxed with each other even before they arrive and can stay connected afterwards.

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Transport for all group activities is provided

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This will be a small intimate group event, with limited places.

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Travel Guide

I know that travel is more complicated these days. I have been traveling a lot this year and my team and I have a lot of experience that we would like to give you the benefit of. No need to do anything we will send you our guide when you book.

What’s not included:

We want you to know what you can expect and where we can, we will support you every step of the way.

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Flights.

Ryanair, EasyJet, Air Malta, Jet2, British Airways, Lufhansa, and many more fly direct to Malta. It’s a 3.5hr flight from Dublin and flights are good value when booked in good time.

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Airport transfers.

Transport to/from the airport couldn’t be simpler, with a short 15 min taxi ride about from the airport to our accommodation.

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Art materials.

You will need to bring a en plien air kit.  However I will provide you with solvents. These days we all need to pack strategically. But don’t worry, I’ll give you a detailed ‘what to bring’ list and lots of tips! Also, there are art stores on the island, and I’ll give you links to them so if you prefer to order stuff, you can do that easily. 

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Alcohol is not included, however, you are welcome to bring alcohol or pick some up locally. I’ll definitely be sharing a wee glass with you all.

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Any additional transport outside of group activities.

Taxi’s are very cheap for getting around, and there is a convenient water ferry that takes you to Valletta should you wish to take a trip over. 

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Please note that we are not able to guarantee shared accomodation. Bedrooms are ensuite, have air conditioning and vary in size and location across the properties.

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You will be responsible for one lunch and one dinner. We will let you know details closer to the time and there is lots of choice of places to eat..

Peace of mind from start to finish

I know the normal flow of things has been disrupted in the last few years. Joining things again might look great on paper but in practice, it can be a slower affair.

For instance, an artistic retreat might sound like just what you need but the idea of going alone, with people you may have never met before? Not so much!

So, I’ve come up with a cunning plan for the small group of us attending my Artistic Retreat. One that would reassure me if I was going.. Which I am!

Pre-Retreat travel &bonding session

A zoom session facilitated by me. It will be a fun and relaxed session to get to know each other and put names to faces so that when you arrive will already know everyone a little bit.

It will also be a chance to chat about practical things like what to bring, how to getting there, what to expect so you won’t have anxiety about travel, packing, and all that practical stuff.

Constant contact when you need it

You will have the option to join our retreat WhatsApp group before the event so you will always be in contact, while traveling, at the event and afterwards to keep in contact with your gal pals and have a way to connect with me, the team and everyone in the group.

Private space

We are offering private rooms (there are a small number of shared rooms available) where you can rest and relax away from the fun whenever you need to. You are also free to opt out of any activity if you need a little quiet time for yourself.

Welcome reception

On our first night together we will have a special, warm and welcoming reception together (with a light dinner) to give us a chance to further get to know each other, settle in, relax and get the fun started.

Róisín is not just an artist. She has a special gift for caring and encouraging and many years of experience in giving workshops and teaching.

From the serious business of passing on the tradition of creativity to the simple joy of painting, Róisín is committed and passionate about teaching, sharing and living creativity.

Although many artists will attend, you do not have to be an experienced artist to attend or enjoy the retreat. It will be a down-to-earth, inclusive experience, designed to bring people together for the joy of painting, some serious learning and good company.

Róisin’s has been teaching workshops for over a decade, with many attendees returning year after year.

Testimonials

I can honestly say that Róisín’s course has completely changed the direction of my life. She has given me the confidence I needed to just simply go for it. I am proud to now call myself an artist and I still can't quite believe how well things are going. The time she takes with people, her generosity to share, and her guidance. There are not many things I can say that have so clearly changed my life but this course and her guidance definitely have.

Andrea Mosey

I personally had lost all my creative confidence and had so much fear and anxiety to get through. I can’t really begin to tell you how much it means for me to physically, emotionally and intellectually enjoy and engage in the creative process once again and finally be able to call myself an artist again. Love and gratitude.

Helen

It’s time to let go of your mind and let inspiration take over.

This retreat is an investment in you, in your dreams for you, and honestly, you frickin deserve it!

Join Our Retreat!

The laundry can wait—you can’t.

You’ll be thanking yourself if you do and kicking yourself if you don’t.

Are you ready for a life-changing celebration of your creative soul? A feast for the mind, body and spirit during an all-inclusive, idyllic week in one of the most beautiful places on the planet? And all within the company of an intimate group of other amazing women just like you who are up for the same? 

Fees

Private room options

Private Room with Ensuite Bathroom €4,750
Non-refundable deposit of €495 taken at booking
Payment plan €540 x 8 months begins one month after booking. All Inclusive

OR

Private Room with Private External Bathroom €4,500
Non-refundable deposit of €495 taken at booking
Payment plan €515 x 8 months begins one month after booking. All Inclusive

 

Join Our Retreat!

Please note the rooms vary in size, location and bathroom facilities (all have private bathrooms) and are offered on a first come first served basis strictly at the discretion of the organisers. If you have any particular requirements, please do let us know.

The retreat is best suited to those who can manage multiple steps and walk outside on rough alleyways.

Cancellation Policy

If YOU have to cancel: Refunds are not available unless we can rebook your place. Please note that the closer we get to the event, the less likely we will be able to find someone to replace you.

Proof of travel insurance to include Covid, which covers your costs including the retreat, is required.

If YOU cancel, but we can refill your spot: You will be refunded everything you have paid minus your non-refundable deposit of €495.

If WE have to cancel: We will refund everything you have paid minus your non-refundable deposit of €495.

Covid Policy

In the interest of making an event like this happen as safely and efficiently for all those attending, participants will be required to be vaccinated in order to attend. We will all be travelling, in addition to dining and touring in buses together etc. and some may have health issues so it is important to protect each other as best we can.

You will be required to show proof you are vaccinated by email. 

Masks are not mandatory in Malta apart from some settings like medical facilities, but you are welcome to wear them if you wish.

It is your responsibility to make sure you have any necessary documentation to enter the country.

This is for you

If you love to paint

If you love to laugh and grow your creative heart

If you like to eat and drink and sway to the music

If you love to be touched by poetry and shout into the wind

​​However, I only want you to come if you yearn to make a loving, creative commitment to yourself and co-create this space together. We will be setting one foot after another through the days while contemplating our individual futures, emboldened by words and thoughts and by food, wine and good company: a good holiday and a necessary creative pilgrimage in one remarkable experience.

Join Our Retreat!

Roisin’s ability to communicate and get on the level of each of her students was amazing to me. Roisin came prepared to teach and that she did, she knew everyone's name and something personal about each one of her students which made her easy to be with and she put me at ease from the minute I walked in.

Yvonne Snead

I’ve done her online love to paint course, but the difference is seeing it in person, makes such a big difference, having Róisín on hand to demonstrate was brilliant as I felt I was able to absorb it better. Being able to share and have art conversations with like-minded people, is uplifting for the soul and meeting the friends in person that I’ve connected with on the online course.

Patricia O'Flaherty

I would just like to say, no words can express the gratitude I have in my heart for you to have been placed in my path, bringing me by the hand down a road of brightness, leaving my darkness behind me, I’m in awe of how much you’ve generously shared with us as an artist, as a poet, as a teacher and as a friend who cares, .. keep painting, definitely keep teaching ( and saving more lost souls in the world).. I will never, never forget what you have done for me and my family ... they are so glad to see me smiling again, even if it means I’ve forgotten to cook some days ☺️

Eileen Collins

Join Our Retreat!