An Idyllic Artists’ Retreat in Catskills,NY
April 13th – 19th 2024
You love to paint. You love to create…
But Life is always busy!
Or maybe you are yearning to take your creativity to a deeper level, to 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 discover your voice.
Join Our Retreat!
An artist’s retreat in a magical place
Why America? Why the Catskills?
My creative friendships in the States began for me in 2009 with the daily painting movement. Since then, I have found and grown beautiful friendships among students and fellow artists online and in teaching workshops.
The Catskills feel to me very much like the region in Ireland that I am from. I understand the language of mountains and woodlands and rivers. This beautiful mountainous region west of the Hudson Valley as popularised by Hudson River School of Painters will be our home for the week. With thousands of acres of nature trails, rugged mountain peaks, calm ponds, and rushing rivers all preserved to be ‘forever wild’.
THE RYTHYM OF THE DAY
Let’s talk about the gatherings
The gatherings are special times, hard to put into words, so let me introduce to one of my lovely retreats guests, Ginger who has joined me in both Kerry and Malta..
A breathtaking woodland haven for healing & wellbeing
Our home for the week is the Tibetan retreat of Menla.
Menla is a 330-acre private nature reserve. Sitting at the head of a breathtaking glacial valley, it’s one of the most beautiful parts of the Catskills. With a range of deluxe accommodations in shared cabins for our group only and set in fragrant woods and gardens with murmuring streams and trails nearby.
It would be nearly impossible not to be inspired by the thousands of acres of trails, mountainous landscapes, and charming creeks of this region made famous by the Hudson River School.
You are invited to
a one-of-a-kind idyllic artists’ retreat
April 13th – 19th 2024
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!
What you can expect:
A calm and tranquil woodland location
Healthy cuisine expertly prepared by Menla’s dedicated team of chefs, using produce from their organic vegetable garden and the best local plant-based offerings.
An unforgettable creative pilgrimage over ancient spaces and quiet woodland trails.
Woodland bonfire under the stars.
Painting focusing on landscape painting.
Relax in our own private hang-out meeting space, in one of our cabins, with our bring-your-own bar. This is where our ‘Gatherings’ will take place.
Bonfire evening under the stars.
Music, Poetry & Craic.
Book a treatment in Menla's world-class healing Spa (treatments not included in fee)
And lots of painting in our own dedicated painting studio and outside.
Join Our Retreat!
LET’s pAINT TOGETHER
A completely new painting experience with me
If you have previously studied with me, this retreat will offer a progression. The focus will be on practice and process and on landscape, rather than on still life. How could we not, in such a beautiful place?
You and I know that painting outdoors is a time-consuming set up. The weather can be still be unpredictable in April.
And because we are also doing other things in this Artists Retreat besides painting, I have put some thought into capturing the stunning views while also making our precious time work for us.
En Plein Air and/or Studio
Whether you prefer outdoor or indoor painting, the choice is yours. I’ve organised a dedicated studio as our base! I’ll guide you through my favourite locations or you can set up in the studio.
On the first day, I will show you my system of collating references for painting. How to take photos that are good to work from, sketching tips and what I mean by colour mapping.
Then for the rest of that first day, I will take you on what I’m calling my Creative Pilgrimage. We will walk together in nature, there will be some history, some stories and poetry along the way and questions to start us thinking about our own creative journey.
We will stop frequently to take reference photos, make preliminary sketches and colour mapping. I will bring you to all my favourite locations, and I also give you a map so you can find them easily throughout the week.
You will need to bring a sketching kit and something to note the colours – a small watercolour or gouache set.
All levels welcome
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.
I understand that carrying art materials while traveling can pose difficulties, which is why will arrange a painting station in our studio specifically for your use. This station will be equipped with oil paints, solvents, table easels, and a basic kit. A complete list of items will be provided.
Importantly, this service is included within your fee.
However, for your outdoor work, kindly remember to bring your sketching materials along with watercolours, gouache, or any other preferred mediums to do colour mapping. If you would like to paint en plein air (outdoors) and please bring your easel and kit for this purpose. (I will provide oil paints and solvents.)
I will provide you with
a painting station in the studio, to include
table and chair, table easel,
full set of winton oil paints,
one colour acrylic for underpainting,
the basics of want you need to paint, water for acrylic, cups for solvent/water, palette paper, cleaning station for brushes, etc.
There will also be some short informal sessions where I will focus on teaching exercises to help you:
learn how to create great paintings from your own less than professional photos.
sketching for reference, value and features.
colour mapping to record the sense of the place
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
MUSIC TO MAKE YOUr HEART SING
I am delighted to announce that, with Culture Ireland’s support, I will bring Irish Singer-Songwriter Gráinne Hunt to the USA to perform a private gig for us on the final evening.
Her voice is incredibly powerful – there’s a husky element but also a vulnerability, which is present too in her lyrics. This combination has gained her a reputation as one of Ireland’s most outstanding female vocalists and songwriters.
I surprised my guests in Kerry with a special performance from Gráinne on the last night, and let me tell you that her voice moved us beyond words and transformed us to a beautiful place. In fact, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house
THE RETREAT experience
Although there will be painting, 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.
Everywhere you look is a painting waiting to be painted
As for inspiration, 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.
Around the house, there are buildings with interesting shapes to work from and inside there are characterful windows and nooks and hallways if you fancy getting stuck into an interior or too.
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!
Cosy cabins sequestered along the valley at the edge of the surrounding forests
Sleep well in our elegant, simple, rooms and shared cabins with a range of rooms for one to three people, featuring Tibetan art and accents, en suite or shared bathrooms and comfy queen and/or single beds made up with organic linens.
Our accommodation is spread over several cabins and each varies in size, layout, number of rooms etc.
Broadly, they fall into three room types. Private ensuite rooms, Private room with shared bathroom and Shared room with sharwd bathroom.
Bonfire evening under the stars
Join me for a classic Catskills experience. Midweek, we will wile away a couple of hours, after dark in the glow of a nice wood fire, listening to the sounds of nature and if we’re blessed with clear skies, viewing of the stars and Milky Way.
Join Me in April!
This retreat was so enriching for me, I wish I could participate in every single one. Ró, you found ways to stimulate our minds and nurture our souls. I will be processing it all for months to come. Thank you for sharing who you are and encouraging us to do the same.
It was an absolutely incredible experience that I shall treasure for ever. Everything Ró said on the can and much much more!! I had the most amazing adventures with total strangers who have become beautiful friends. If you have the opportunity to go on one of Roisin O’Farrells Art Retreats take it. They are life-changing!!
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.
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.
Transport to Menla
Menla is approx. a 2.5hr drive from New York City. I have arranged the option of a private bus from NY city to Menla return. Approx €180 return. Booking required.
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, living a bigger creatively life and enjoying some good company.
Róisin’s has been teaching workshops for over a decade, with many attendees returning year after year.
I can honestly say that Róisín’s teaching 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 her teaching and definitely have.
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.
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 & room options
Private Room with Ensuite
Payment in full of €5,150 or
Payment Plan – Deposit €750 + 8 Payments of €550
Private Room with Shared Bathroom
Payment in full of €4,870 or
Payment Plan – Deposit €750 + 8 Payments of €515
Shared Room with Shared Bathroom
Payment in full of €4,430 or
Payment Plan – Deposit of €750 + 8 Payments of €460
Pay upfront or by payment plan.
Non-refundable deposit of €750 taken at booking.
Join Our Retreat!
Please note the rooms vary in size, location and bathroom facilities (not 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.
Menla is in a rural area and we will be doing some walking/treking. There are steps/stairs in the accommodation, no lifts. This retreat is requires you to have a moderate level of mobility.
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 €750.
If WE have to cancel: We will refund everything you have paid minus your non-refundable deposit of €750.
Updated Covid policy:
Participants are no longer required to either have a covid vaccination or a negative PCR test before travel, in order to attend and there are no vaccination restrictions to enter the country.
Masks are not mandatory, 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.
Maximum and Minimum number apply for this retreat.
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!
I will carry these memories in my heart forever, treasure them and tend to them so that they remain forefront in my sense of knowing, that women from all over can come together and nurture and uplift each other, personally and creatively. And laugh a lot. My heart is full, and my world is larger today
Very special memories I will carry with me forever!! It was such a magical experience, a new challenge that took me out of my comfort zone but oh how marvellous it was!!! I treasure the friendships, the love and the laughter that we shared! Thanks to all that helped me with the travels. Grainne was fabulous! Ro, thank you for feeding our souls with poems, history, and words, nurturing us to be more creative in our works of art as well as our lives!
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 ☺️
Roisin’s ability to communicate and get on the level of each of her students was amazing to me. Roisin came prepared to give 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.
At this stage in life I feel differently about myself than I did 10 years ago…even 1 year ago! The questions you asked in your retreat and your intuitive insights gave me lots to think about who I want to be going forward.
I loved every minute of the retreat!