Art Retreat with Gwyn Ardyth: 20th - 26th June 2015
Welcome to Settimo Cielo Art Retreat! Here you can immerse yourself in a week of art, inspiration and warm Tuscan hospitality, with artist and inspirer Gwyn Ardyth and host Karen Hargadon-Feeney. Have fun with drawing, painting and mixed media, using the beautiful Tuscan landscape as an endless source of inspiration.
"If you're looking to expand your mind, to step away from the day-to-day grind, you couldn't think of a better place to do so. Nestling in the Italian hills of Monte Vignale, Settimo Cielo offers creative retreats, which include photography, writing and art. A bit like that well known supermarket brand (!) this isn't just any retreat, this is a place where the host and her family throw open the door to their home, hearts and minds. You leave feeling you've made new friends for life." - Tracey Jefferies
Who is the Art Retreat for?
The Art Retreat is for individuals of all levels, from experienced to beginners, and to those simply wanting to create in a relaxed, safe and sunny environment.
What will the days include?
Each day will be leisurely, and allow time and space for you to be inspired by your environment. After breakfast, mornings will begin with a meditation followed by a guided drawing or painting session to get the ideas flowing. We will try a variety of art techniques suitable for all levels. Whether you’re already a practicing artist, or whether you’ve never picked up a paint brush before, we aim to create an environment where you feel safe to explore new ideas or discover your 'artist within'.
Following a relaxed lunch of delicious locally sourced produce, the afternoons can be used as free time to draw or paint on your own or with the group as you desire. The art retreat is a safe and gentle environment to help you relax and enjoy the creative process. So, you might just wish to find a corner of the garden to paint, or explore the surrounding woodland to find your own muse. The evenings will include a delicious home cooked meal and time to relax and share the day's discoveries!
As the evenings draw in the fireflies come out offering a truly magical display of sparkling floating ‘fairy’ lights all around. The time at dawn or dusk, between day and night, can be particularly inspiring, transient and yet full of potential. Be open to all experiences while staying at Settimo Cielo. This mountain top retreat is perched above the valleys and the night skies are just as spectacular as the surrounding mountain peaks and the rolling hills below.
This is a time to nourish and nurture your artist self, away from the demands and distractions of everyday life. A time to slow down and feel warmly welcomed within a small group of like minded people.
Will there be an opportunity to explore the surrounding area?
Your Art Retreat itinerary will include an optional day in Monterosso, a beautiful seaside town in the famous Cinque Terre region of Tuscany. You are sure to find endless inspiration here, and plenty of opportunity to draw in your sketchbook, relax in the sparkling sunshine, shop or take a dip in the sea.
There is much to see and explore in Tuscany, and if you wish to extend your stay at Settimo Cielo for additional day trips, please contact your host Karen to make arrangements.
How many people will be on the retreat?
Places are limited so we can give everyone the attention and space they need to create. There will be a maximum of 8 participants on this retreat.
Can I bring a non-artist partner/friend?
Yes. A limited number of places are available for non-artist partners/friends sharing your room with you, at a reduced rate. Please contact Karen for details.
Is absolutely all our food included in the cost?
There will be three wonderful home-cooked meals a day based on the fabulous local produce, aperitivi and a glass of wine with dinner. There will also be plenty of soft drinks and bowls of fruit scattered around so you can have something when you feel like it. We will also be having a meal out at the fabulous local pizzeria – people come from miles around to visit it! No extra cost to you as the set menu there will be included in the price.
The only meal not included in the price is when we go to the Cinque Terre for the day. There you can choose where you want to eat your lunch and you will need to buy it yourself.
*Please let us know about any special dietary requirements in advance*.
Tell me more about the accommodation.
The accommodation is in two adjacent buildings -- Karen's house (Settimo Cielo) and the Torre di Monte Vignale. The setting is stunning and the accommodation luxurious. You won't want to leave. At Settimo Cielo, all rooms are ensuite. The Torre is a charming independent house with two bedrooms, a living space & kitchen, and a separate bathroom plus a second loo both shared between the two bedrooms.
Please also be aware that this is a countryside setting and there are animals around, including very friendly small dogs, cats, and chickens! You will also very likely hear owls!
*Please let us know if you have any access concerns as there are steps to some of the rooms and bathrooms. Please also let us know of any allergies that may affect your stay.*
Can we extend our stay?
Yes of course. Please let us know and Karen can quote you for extra nights. The Lunigiana is a beautiful, undiscovered area of Tuscany with loads to do and see in the mountains, by the sea and within the wonderful towns and cities.
Will I be asked to help out with household chores?
No. On many creative retreats, there is an expectation to help with cooking and other household chores. Not here. Everything will be done for you.
What will the weather be like?
The Tuscan lifestyle is all about the outdoors, so wherever possible, we will be working outside and dining al fresco. June is a lovely month in Tuscany, and can get quite warm. However, in the mountains we do get variable weather and we might get a refreshing downpour on occasion. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a rainproof jacket, and if you enjoy a dip in the sea, bring your swimming costume for our day in Monterosso! You may also want to bring insect deterrent.
If you're a walker, bring some walking shoes/boots as we are in prime walking country.
Your hosts are:
Karen Hargadon-Feeney, owner of Settimo Cielo, photographer and creative artist.
Gwyn Ardyth has been painting and exhibiting art for more than 20 years. With a BA(Hons) in Drawing and Applied Art, she has taught art workshops to adults and young teens, believing everyone has an innate creative ability which can heal and inspire. She has co-led the Painting Pan’s Kingdom creativity workshops at the Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury since 2011. These workshops focus on Nature as a way to discover one’s own intuitive creative expression using fun and simple drawing and painting exercises, creative play, meditation and guided visualisations.
For more information visit www.gwynardythart.com or www.paintingpanskingdom.com
Gwyn Ardyth was born in California, USA and has studied and exhibited drawing, painting and fine art in California, New York and England.
Art Retreat 2015 Dates
Saturday 20th June (arrival) – Friday 26th June (departure):
Art Retreat 2015 Prices:
Prices are inclusive of:
NOTE re Art Materials: While some basic art materials will be provided, please bring your own sketchbook and any favourite art materials you have which are suitable for travel (check your airline, as some forms of paint may not be allowed in your carry-on luggage).
Do I need to send a deposit?
Yes, a deposit will be required to reserve your place on the Art Retreat. Details will be provided with your Booking Form.
How do we get to Settimo Cielo?
The nearest airport is Pisa. Once you've arrived in Pisa, we recommend taking the train from Pisa Centrale to Aulla Lunigiana, where we will pick you up. Easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways fly into Pisa.
The train is easy, fast and cheap and you can buy tickets at the airport or online. Use the Trenitalia website. It’s in Italian but this link should take you to the English translated www.trenitalia.com
Until the end of 2015 the Pisa Airport to Pisa Central Train Station transfer will be provided by the PisaMover Bus service with a timetable departure of every 10 minutes and a journey time of just 8 minutes. Tickets can be bought at the kiosk in the airport arrivals hall or at Pisa Centrale (on your return journey), and cost €1.30 each way. Alternatively, you can take a taxi for around €10.00.
The journey time between Pisa & Aulla varies depending on the train route so look for the quicker, direct trains that take around an hour or so. Alternatively you may want to hire a car from Pisa in which case, let us know so we can send you driving directions.
What flight arrival times should we aim for?
We recommend booking a flight which arrives in Pisa either morning or midday. Be aware that flights arriving in Pisa in the late afternoon or evening may cause transfer problems, because trains to Aulla Lunigiana generally do not run in the evenings. There will be a welcome drink/aperitivo around 6pm on the first night, before a delicious dinner cooked for you by Karen!
I love the sound of this. Where do I sign?
To book, or if you have any more questions, please contact Karen.