PRIVATE ART RETREATS

Come and Paint with Me!

 

THE LIFE IS ART EXPERIENCE IN FLORIDA

I invite you to join me in my Life is Art Home Studio on the edge of the vibrant city of Fort Lauderdale. My house overlooks a peaceful pond under spreading mango, banana, and avocado trees.  Come join me for the experience of the lush tropical greenery, the lively culture, and the nearby beaches. Paint in my spacious, well-equipped studio alone or with friends.  I offer a number of prepared art experiences, or I am happy to organize a personalized program for beginners or more experienced artists. I can take you on trips to museums, parks, and places of history, interest, and natural beauty in Miami, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, or Naples if you’d like to explore South Florida. 

 

This art and travel experience is for singles or small groups of friends who book studio time with me for part of, or for the whole of, their stay, combining art with optional travel and cultural experiences, and a lot of fun and friendship! 

 

Click for full details and cost of The Life is Art Experience in South Florida…….you choose what you would like to do, where you would like to stay nearby and the number of days you would like to book either the studio or trips out.

 

Booking is now available. Please reach out to me by email at SusanConvery.Art@gmail.com or through my website: www.SusanConvery.com


 

WHAT I OFFER:

a different kind of experience, full of art and discovery, for those who….

  • are traveling alone, or with a couple of friends

  • would like a much more personal, flexible, and free experience, and lots of fun, too, tailored exactly to your needs, interests, and level

  • may want to combine painting with exploring and discovering South Florida with organized trips and tours and really get to know the ‘real’ South Florida 

  • would like to book in for a shorter or longer time than most workshops with discounts for longer stays.

  • don’t want to have to bring a mountain of supplies in their luggage

 

The Life is Art Studio offers several different programs or short courses so you can choose exactly the kind of retreat that you would like. Dates will depend on availability but if you let me know your preferred times, I will try and fit in with your plans, or give alternatives. Once you have booked, the studio is exclusively yours.

 

Booking and payment will be per hour with a four-hour minimum and discounts for longer stays, so you are welcome to book into the studio for as many days or even weeks as you wish.

 

You can see the charges below at the foot of the page.

 

You can choose from a number of activities – you might like to choose one of my teaching experiences or courses listed below, you may like to be accompanied or taught particular skills, or you may just want to come and paint with me. This is your choice entirely, and we can easily organize and personalize your retreat.

 

EXPERIENCES/COURSES

 

The different experiences or courses that you might like to choose from are outlined below. They are totally original, flexible, and very adaptable to your interests, needs, and level.  The depth and amount that can be achieved will, of course, depend on how many days you choose to paint, but much can be accomplished in a short time.

 

We can easily combine different programs –portrait painting with composition cues and depth of space or you may have your own idea of what you would like to do, and I am always happy to talk about this with you before you come, so I can have time to prepare.

 

Every experience is geared to help you improve your technique, and self-confidence, have fun, and quiet that inner critical voice in order to love your work and enjoy the experience! I will accompany you at all times as your teacher, mentor and, as you paint, quietly observe and advise.

 

1. First Stepsif you are a beginner and would like to learn how to paint, I can teach you all you need to get going in a positive, encouraging way.

  •   All about acrylic, watercolor or oil paints and different papers and canvases

  •   All the techniques you need to handle the different brushes and kinds of paint, and how to layer your work to get different effects.

  •  How to mix colors and achieve the color palettes that you like

  • How to employ a variety of techniques to create interesting effects, and add depth

  • An introduction to the main principles of art, design, and composition

  • Deciding on how you would like to begin, finding your inspiration. Perhaps you prefer an intuitive, expressive approach or perhaps you would like a more realistic style, I can help you with drawing, and how to achieve a good likeness using your intuition to guide you combined with some decision making.

 

2. Painting En Plein-Aire: Level: Intermediate to advanced, Mediums: Watercolor, oil, and acrylic

Painting outdoors from nature involves so much more than just copying the colors we see. This is your chance to explore the many aspects of color theory and color composition that skilled Plein air painters employ. Working outside 3 hours a day and also with lectures, demos and critiques, we’ll explore how you can use complements and analogous hues, focal point colors, color value, and color design to strengthen and expand your landscape painting skills. There are many stunning locations to select from depending on the weather and time of year.

 

3. Intuitive Experiential Painting: Level: beginner to advanced,  Materials: Acrylic, Mixed Media & collage 

We will use a variety of approaches to abstract painting as you would a journey, with curiosity, confidence, and inspiration.

  • How to build up your layers of paint by applying a fusion of intuition and good design and composition, and to find your individual style. How to step back and assess what may be needed in the next layer.

  • How to improve your brushwork and practice with surface textures to achieve variety and interest.

  • We will look at the main elements of art and the principles of design like color, light, shape, value, texture, and pattern and explore them as your intuition also guides you.

  • The importance of contrast as you work and a deeper dive into design and composition.

  • Above all, the aim is to have fun and enjoy the process, as well as improve technique and learning to develop your paintings!

 

4. Portrait Painting: Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Materials: charcoal, pen, Watercolor, oil or acrylic

We will start by learning how to quickly and easily draw the human head from any angle using a system created by Andrew Loomis, then layering rich colors which capture the beauty of your subject.  We will discuss the importance of composition, color, technique, composition, etc., and the gaze and stance of the subject. You will learn to combine achieving a good likeness with capturing the personality and perhaps even the soul of your subject. You will also learn the importance of backgrounds, texture, simplification, and how to add depth to your portrait.

 

5. Paint the Buddha's Smile:   Level: Beginner to Advanced, Materials: Mixed Media

Use the sacred image of the buddha for your own meditative mixed media painting using your choice of techniques as I guide you step by step. This can also include elements such as mixed media and collage.

 

6. Embellished Yantra: Level: Beginner to Advanced, Materials: Watercolor, gouache, marker

In Sanskrit, the word “yantra” comes from the root word “yam,” which means “instrument” or “support,” and “tra,” derived from “trana,” meaning “release from bondage.” A yantra is an instrument, or tool, for meditation and contemplation which supports spiritual liberation. A yantra is also a mystical diagram, mainly from the Tantric traditions of the Indian religions used for the worship of deities in temples or at home; as an aid in meditation; used for the benefits given by their supposed occult powers based on Hindu astrology and tantric texts.  We will select a yantra for its special power and draw and embellish the design with paint and markers while listening to the accompanying sacred meditative chant.

 

7. Travel Journals: Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Materials: charcoal, pen, colored pencil, stamps, watercolor, gouache

This class is an introduction to the wide variety of techniques and approaches you can use to capture your South Florida experience while developing your own style. We will gather all sorts of ideas, themes, and inspirations, using all the senses, which can then be recorded in your journal using sketching, color, mixed media, photos, and all sorts of items from your adventures, as well as written accounts.

 

8. Let In The Light: Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Materials: pen, Watercolor or oil paint

A drawing and painting workshop on understanding how to employ light and tonal value to create artwork with more dimension and impact. Light is the most important factor in determining how and what we see, the mood of the piece, and its impact on the viewer.

 

9. Clear Composition Cues: Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Materials: Materials: pen, Watercolor, or oil 

4 steps to make most of your important decisions before you go to your final paper or canvas. Includes many shortcuts to reduce your struggles later on. 

 

10. Depth of Space: Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Materials: Materials: Watercolor, Acrylic, or oil paint

 A review of the cues for making believable three-dimensional space appear inside a two-dimensional format.  These can add depth to abstracts as well as landscapes from observation. 

 

11. Discovering your Style: Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Materials: Materials: Watercolor, Acrylic, Mixed Media, or oil paint

Techniques and ideas to discover your personal themes in painting or journaling to make your work sing, resonate and become uniquely and authentically yours. Especially for those who find it hard to generate new ideas, or feel blocked. We will look at working in a series and the importance of layering and developing your composition and digging deep into your memories and experiences and how to apply them expressively and authentically.

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • A simple lunch will be provided at the studio with beverages. 

  • The recommended hotels have nearby restaurants for an evening meal

  • Coffee, herbal tea, water, light snacks & fruit

  • I will offer each person who needs it a ride to and from the hotel once a day 

  • Wifi

  • Materials required for the projects in each experience

  • Canvas up to 16” x 20” 

 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • I am happy to send your artwork to your home address after you leave at reasonable rates.

  • Canvases, larger than 16” x 20”  or specific shapes can easily be ordered in advance for an extra fee.

  • Accommodation

  • Airport Transfer from Miami

  • Flights

  • Trips/Excursions (see below)

 

RECOMMENDED ACCOMMODATION (not included)

I recommend the Sheraton Suites or the Sonesta ES Suites which are the nearest hotels to the studio. Morning pickups and evening drop-offs are included in my daily rate.

Alternatively, you might like to consider luxury beachfront hotels such as Lago Mar or the Fours Seasons Fort Lauderdale about 8 miles from the studio (transport can easily be arranged to and from) or you may choose to rent one of several Airbnbs or similar in the area (preferably within a 5-mile distance from the studio if you need transport, otherwise an additional charge will be added).

 

I can meet you at the airport (Fort Lauderdale Hollywood airport) on arrival (see below), and take you back when you leave. I am happy to give the occasional lift to the supermarket etc, but I advise car rental if you plan to include independent sightseeing or touring.

 

TRAVEL & TRANSPORT:

The best airport to arrive in is Fort Lauderdale Hollywood  (FLL) airport, an international airport served by many different airlines. Miami (MIA) International airport is about an hour's drive depending on traffic.  

 

I am happy to meet you at the Fort Lauderdale airport if you are coming for the Art is Life Experience, (unless you plan to rent a car), and take you directly to your hotel to rest and relax. I recommend that you try to arrive at least the day before the workshop or studio sessions open, to give yourself time to recover from the trip, though I realize that this may not always be an option for you.

 

Pick up and Drop off at Miami Airport is $75 each way (per trip not per person)

 

You may wish to rent a car for the duration, especially if you are accompanied by friends/family/partner, or you want to extend your stay – in which case I will come and meet you at the hotel to check that all is well. Car rental is best arranged with your flight booking, as the rates are cheaper, and you collect at the airport.

 

At the end of your experience, I will take you to the Fort Lauderdale airport if you are traveling directly from the studio.

 

FORT LAUDERDALE:

 

Fort Lauderdale is a coastal city located in the U.S. state of Florida, 25 miles north of Miami along the Atlantic Ocean. It is the county seat of and largest city in Broward County with a population of 182,760 as of the 2020 Census making it the tenth-largest city in Florida

 

Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches, arts, culture, and events. The city is the capital of the worldwide yachting industry as well as an important shipping and cruise port. There is Fort Lauderdale's landscaped beachfront promenade, with its signature white wave wall and paved brick path, and, across the street, luxury hotels and restaurants.  Its beaches offer 23 miles of golden sand, lively with the spirited antics of happy vacationers. The city was once known as a haven for spring break crowds and now attracts a more upscale crowd of shoppers and tourists from all over the world.

Brimming with charming boating canals, Fort Lauderdale has rightly earned the nickname “The Venice of America”.  A trip aboard Fort Lauderdale's water taxi provides a prime view of the mansions and yachts dotting Millionaires Row. Sail the blue-green waters on a chartered catamaran, sport-fishing boat, or dive beneath the surface to meet and greet the local sea life. Shopping and dining al fresco on Las Olas Boulevard is one of Fort Lauderdale’s greatest pleasures, thanks to the trendy shops and prime people-watching. 

 

The Life is Art Studio is located in Plantation a western suburb of Fort Lauderdale near the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.  Plantation is known for its green trees and beautiful parks.

 

 

THE LIFE IS ART STUDIO:

The studio has tables for up to 6 students. There is also a painting area on the covered porch overlooking the pond for days when the weather is cool enough to work outside. Sliding doors open out onto the patio and sun terrace area, the swimming pool, and the garden with fruit trees for chilling out and a dock for Yoga and/or meditation.

 

There is a kitchen with a stove and a large fridge for storing snacks and drinks, and a double sink for cleanup with constant hot and cold water. 

 

I have a large collection of art, painting, and mixed media books as well as books on art in general and artists, for people to read and relax – which they can do outside or in the quiet living area, which has a large sofa. This area can also be used for group teaching, chats, and group sessions.

 

Wifi is available throughout the house.

 

The studio is centrally cooled and heated. I have tried to make it light, spacious, and full of the ‘wow’ factor with a touch of zen!


 

PRICES:

The price may vary according to numbers and materials, but these figures will apply for bookings of 1 to 5 days.

 

   One person:                  $80 per hour  (4 Hour Minimum per day)          

   Two people:                  $60 each per hour (4 Hour Minimum per day)

   Three/Four people:         $40 each per hour (4 Hour Minimum per day)

 

Note that morning classes usually run from 9.30/10 am to 2:00 pm and afternoon classes from 2.00 pm to 6:00 pm (very flexible).

 

Payments and Cancellation Policy for the Life is Art Experience

  • You may pay the full amount on booking, or pay 50% on booking and pay the remainder up to six weeks before arrival.

  • There is a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total

  • If you choose to pay in installments, this deposit is included within the first installment

  •  I advise that you purchase travel insurance to cover last-minute cancellations and unforeseen circumstances

  • The last installment will be due six weeks before any workshop commences. 

  • If you register after this date, please make the full payment

  • If you need to cancel up to six weeks before the course begins, I will refund all payments made until that date, minus the 25% deposit. If you cancel between four to six weeks prior to the course start date, then I will refund 50% of the payments, and this will become 25% if you cancel within less than six weeks. However, do get in touch should this situation arise, as it may be possible to arrange alternative courses, or find a better solution.

  • You can book any trips or excursions at the time of booking the studio, and the cost will be added accordingly.

  • If you would like to stay for a much longer period of time, from over five days to much longer, long booking discount rates will apply. Let me know if this is the case and I will send you the hourly rate for you.

  • Payment can be by Zelle, Venmo, or CashApp.

 

I am very happy to chat by phone, email, or Zoom to discuss what you would like, and see if we can arrange this… the whole idea is to make the retreat EXACTLY the kind of art retreat you are seeking.

 

Please email me with any questions, or make a booking, at SusanConvery.Art@gmail.com 

 

EQUIPMENT LIST:

The studio has everything most artists and students need for painting. Whenever possible, I will organize extra materials specific to a particular workshop and will advise in advance if a small extra payment is required. 

 

Please ask me about any item you do not see listed, or you would like to try. I stock the studio as fully as possible for a range of activities, such as acrylic, watercolor and oil painting, mixed media, journaling, drawing, and sketching. While not a complete list, the following gives a good idea of the supplies provided:-

  • a range of smaller stretched canvases and canvas boards (please check with me if you are interested in a specific size/type and I can arrange this in advance. Larger canvases, above 16” x 20”  or specific shapes can easily be ordered in advance for an extra fee.

  • A wide range of paper substrates including watercolor and mixed media

  • Floor and table easels

  • A full range of quality acrylic paints and inks, oil paints, and watercolors. If you only work with a particular brand or have a strong preference you are advised to bring a small selection of your favorite materials.

  • Artisan water-based oils are the only ones I use inside the studio for their ease of cleanup and nontoxic odor.  If you need to use traditional oil paints please bring your own supplies.

  • A wide range of brushes for oil, acrylic, and watercolor

  • Range of acrylic and oil mediums, pastes, and gels

  • Materials for printing, stamping, and stenciling 

  • Full range of pens, pencils, and markers, including Pitt pens and Tombows, 

  • oil and soft pastels, charcoal, felt tip, and acrylic markers. 

  • Brushes & bamboo pens for calligraphy.

  • Basics such as scissors, erasers, glue, sharpeners, and rulers.

  • Range of found and made collage papers

  • Full range of brushes, jars, and palettes

  • Water jars, spray bottles, wipes, paper towels, rags, and other tools

  • Rollers and brayers. Texture tools. Gelli plate.

  • Gesso

  • Spray varnish and sealants, spray fixative

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