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 ©

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with

 Esté MacLeod
& Anna Kwiecinska

  
 

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21 - 26 April, 2025

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This is a full 6 days of Art & Cultural exploration in MARRAKECH

  • The preceding day (20th) is the LAST day of the 1st Tour (north)

  • The following day (27th)  is the FIRST day of the 2nd Tour (south)

ABOUT

THE 2024 ART RETREAT  in FES, MOROCCO with ESTE MACLEOD

This new retreat + cultural tour offering is similar in style to that which Esté and I offered in Sri Lanka in 2021.

It takes advantage of Anna's familiarity with the location - she has been living on and off in Fes for the last seven years and has designed and led several 17-day tours throughout Morocco since 2016, having first visited Morocco in 1986.

Fes is the most beguiling of Morocco's exotic walled cities.  The entire old medina, some 1400 years old, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, its 9400 alleys and 'derbs' an intoxicating labyrinth of archways leading into ancient riads whose mosaic courtyards are wonders of craftsmanship, design, and fantasy.

As such, you'll find Fes a centre of excellence for mosaics, pottery, painting, embroidery and wood carving, all of which you'll witness, often being worked in streets or tiny studios. Fes is also the home of the tarbush - the distinctive red cap!

Most tourists spend two nights and move on, missing the secrets of Fes, so we look forward to sharing this week with you, taking time to discover, making space to be inspired as you spend around 5 hrs/day into making art with Este MacLeod in our gorgeous riads - grand, private courtyard homes which Anna has secured for the exclusive use of our group ... we have room for 12 participants only (and partners are welcome).

You can flight directly into Fes (the airport is called Fes, Saiss), or Casablanca and take a bus or train to Fes OR! join the pre-retreat tour:

MARVELLOUS IN MOROCCO tours with Anna 

Anna has curated 2 tours with an arty feel to them - and they are designed to dovetail perfectly with the retreat in between, again we have space for only 12 participants (plus partners are welcome), so booking preference will be offered to those who combine a tour with the retreat - or even both tours, as the north and south of Morocco are  completely unique from one another.

All of the beautiful hotels we stay in are chosen to accommodate only our group (except in Essaouira, our last stop, where we stay in the fabulous Relais e Chateaux 'Blue Palace'. Each is chosen for its unique design, excellent service, functionality, cuisine, and good value.

This is a dream project which I very much look forward to sharing with you!

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Many thanks for a magnificent experience!

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Glenda W. Melbourne Australia, 

Este's Florabunda Retreat, Bali  2022

INCLUSIONS

These 6-day/6-night art holiday/retreat offers you an exploratory week to focus on making art specifically inspired by the art, architecture and and artisans whom you'll see and meet during this unique week, with the guidance and inspiration of internationally renowned artist Esté MacLeod.

With 30-hours of tuition over six days,  Esté's curated techniques, specifically chosen to help you respond to what you see here will include print and stamp and paint processes for creating works on paper and wooden panels which will be not only souvenirs of your week in Fes, but create a compendium of techniques and processes which you can draw on for your own work, no matter what  style you paint in.

 

This really special retreat also includes:​ All your artist-quality GOLDEN materials - Esté is a Golden Artist educator; we will be using the same materials and products she uses in her professional practice. (You just need to bring a sketchbook ).

There's no doubt that a great part of the pleasure and inspiration of this week will be derived from your stunningly beautiful hotels; we have two riads entirely for our group.

WHO WILL THIS RETREAT SUIT?

  • Coming to this course with an open mind and a preparedness to get the most out of the detailed instruction, even as a complete beginner, you'll find your way into making surprisingly sophisticated artworks.

  • If you have some prior art-making experience at any level, then this retreat is rocket fuel for your practice!​

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WHAT YOU'LL DO

With 30 hours over 6 days art sessions of dedicated tuition time with Esté you'll be encouraged to look to the arabesques, geometries, sinuous architecture, mosaic interiors, carpet designs on rugs in the souks, even the stitches used by women to make the unique Fessi embroidery ...  a plethora of pattern exists to ignite your imagination ... Anna will lead you into the medina to find fabulous examples and meet artisans, and Esté will show you how to incorporate what you've found into your own artworks.

Esté 's instruction is detailed and specific - this is the basis of her success as an online arts instructor.

You will use a variety of professional acrylic paints and mediums and experiment with different printing and stamping processes as well as mixing of paints to expand your sense of colour and a deeper understanding of more advanced creative processes.

ALL ART MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED - just bring a sketchbook with you 

All of the materials you will use are the same materials that Esté uses throughout her work.

  • Paints and Mediums

Golden Paints is a professional artist quality acrylic paints and medium, You'll mainly be using their versatile and intensely pigmented water-based 'Fluid' and 'High Flow' paints, plus OPEN medium acrylic for the mono-printing part of the course. 

  • Brushes

Using the best brushes is a great way to ensure a head-start on quality mark-making. Your pre-retreat information will include the brushes you'll need for this retreat. If you have them, please bring them along, or opt to buy a new set which Esté will bring for you ON REQUEST

  •  Sketchbooks - detailed information will be supplied when you enrol.

ESTE
MEET ESTE MACLEOD

Esté MacLeod is an acclaimed British artist and designer whose  way of teaching will show you ways to turn the things you notice into expressive, sophisticated artworks on paper using new dynamic painting and mixed media techniques.

Her way of teaching will spark your imagination, get you in a creative flow and show ways to broaden your art practice as anyone who's experienced Este's popular on-line courses will know.

Read More...

Esté is a free-spirited artist with a background in textile design. She has been teaching on-line art courses since 2015, focusing on processes and concepts to make individuals' creativity blossom. These courses have gained an incredible following, as Este combines carefully-selected materials and techniques and shows different methods to be used for continued exploration. 

"When I teach, I keep guidelines tight and simplify processes, the knowledge gained enables the flourishing of new ideas when applied to individual art practices."

Este is a professional artist and designer. In addition to her paintings sold in galleries in the UK and internationally, her work is used in a variety of products ranging from wallpapers and textiles, homeware, ceramics, puzzles, stationary and book illustrations.

Born in South Africa, Esté has been living in the UK since 1999.

Her educational background includes: HND Textile Design, Fine Art Printmaking, BA Hons Ceramics and Glass, MA in Contemporary Jewellery Design.

Creative Living Retreats by Anna Kwiecinska

With a background as an art historian and art gallery owner, my collaboration with artists continues to be a fascinating career which evolved into specialist art retreats designed to combine seriously good art tuition with authentic cultural experiences.

Over a decade, many retreatants have returned for our thoughtfully curated weeks of supported creativity, and I genuinely look forward to welcoming you to experience the depth of wellbeing that Creative Living Retreats have become known for, More info

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Loved the whole thing. Food was amazing and plenty of variety. Staff amazing ... I just thought you did the retreat so well. I felt totally satisfied with the way you made it all happen and made us all feel very special. You really were the glue. Very professional.

 

The exhibition was just so beautifully put together. 

Lyn Mowday, Busselton, Australia, 2019

How does the retreat work?

With our varied evening programs, each day will be different, with each day focusing on a different artisnal work located in a different areas of the media, or just outside (potteries and mosaicists).

You'll combine exploring the medina, with seeing and meeting artisans, as you learn the history of the various epochs which define Fes' development and the extraordinary legacies of art and architecture each dynasty left behind.

You'll either dine out for lunch, or at our riad, before embarking on art making in the afternoons.

Three days are dedicated to making art from  after breakfast, leaving the walk 'til the evening, instead, where it will lead us to some glamorous destinations for drinks, dinner and stupendous views across the medina, the hills that surround Fes (and why it was chosen as a capital city  - the farthest reach of Islam on the African continent, in the 7th century.

 A word about feeling safe and being in an Islamic country

Morocco is an Islamic country with a king who reigns as the head of the religious life in this kingdom most 38 million. It is a conservative, observant country, but it is not a fanatical one. The day is punctuated by the azan - the call to prayer- and people dress, other than the most progressive in the cities, in traditional garments, lending to the overall charm and sense of 'timelessness' which many love about Morocco.

Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and again, in the medinas you'll find this adhered to, the new towns beyond the ancient walls may offer a different perspective ... it's an evolving society. Along with this conservatism, from my own point of view and experience is a general sense of respect, if respected, and safety. I have never felt unsafe, but I feel most comfortable covered up with my dress, although I don't bother with a head covering, and you don't have to either.

Yes, you can drink alcohol, and our evenings out will feature excellent facilities in which to enjoy stylish evenings with Moroccn flair, music and storytelling ....  and more (but that's a surprise!)

Foreigners are not permitted into mosques, but there is plenty of art and architecture to enjoy outside of these holy buildings.

Food is delicious, healthy and wholesome with tagines and couscous the most distinctive preparations, although in Fes, the art of pastry baking is taken to extremes and you won't taste finer almond, rose and pistachio  pastries than at some of Anna's favourite spots.

What does your Retreat include?  Practically everything except your airfare !

see all the inclusions > 

  • Accommodation with Breakfast for 6 nights in your choice of riad  SEE ACCOMMODATION 

  • 30 Hours of Art Tuition with Esté MacLeod over 6 days

  • All Art Materials (these are the same professional materials that Esté any level uses in her professional work. Bring your brushes or pre-purchase from Este for delivery at the retreat)

  • You should bring a sketch pad - more details in pre-retreat information 

  • Breakfasts 6

  • Lunches 6 

  • Morning and afternoon teas each day

  • Dinners 3 including:

  • Welcome dinner in the medina

  • Dinner and live music at Riad Inaya

  • Farewell Dinner and music at Riad Batchisarai

  • Music Beneath the Stars with Cocktails

  • An evening of storytelling with Cocktails

  • Guided tours through the Fes medina and its immediate environs

  • all entrances

  • optional early morning trip to Sefrou

  • and more surprises along the way,,,,,

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You made Florabunda a multisensory success. The program was beyond special.

I thank you Esté for your professionalism, your generosity in sharing all of your secrets and of course, your amazing talent.

Thank you Anna for convening this fabulous experience.

Your style, grace and attention to detail made everyone feel important. Sharing your home for those days of art and food and armchair yoga will be a special memory for me to hold. 

You have gathered an amazing staff around you ... thank you again.

I loved Florabunda.

Gloria C. Queensland, Australia. Florabunda 2022

COSTS
What's not included
  • airfare

  • travel insurance

  • personal expenses 

  • 3 dinners 

The retreat dovetails exactly with the two Marvellous in Morocco Tours with Anna

YOUR RETREAT STARTS at 9 am on DAY 1  (21st April) - the day immediately after the conclusion of TOUR 1

The RETREAT FINISHES after breakfast on DAY 7 (27th April)

- if you are NOT joining TOUR 2, then your retreat ends after breakfast and your checkout time from your hotel is 12 pm.

We will ensure that you have a taxi to the Fes airport, or that your onward plans are organised.

 

- if you ARE joining TOUR 2, then the tour will commence immediately after breakfast on the 27th, heading to the Sahara, with 3 nights in the desert before heading westwards to Skoura Oasis (1 night), Marrakech (3 nights), Essaouira (2 nights).

From Essaouira, where the tour ends, you can either return to Marrakech (2 hrs drive) for a flight or further exploration, or drive to Casablanca (5 hrs) for a flight - speak with Anna for ideas.

Accommodation details for MOROCCO  available HERE

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We're sorry that there are no ore places left on the art retreat, but you are welcome to join us on tour! (just click on images below for details)

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4 ROOMS  LEFT
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 6 ROOMS/ TENTS LEFT
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