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If you love the idea of an entire indulgent week of art, yoga, good food, sea swimming and restorative Balinese massages in a tropical island paradise, then Baliesque might be just for you.

All you need do is bring your intention and a curious mind - Anna and her team at Villa Nilaya do the rest so that you can give your full attention to making art with Esté.

Villa Nilaya, and your very own room in our lovely beachfront accommodations are tucked away in a quiet cul-de-sac, surrounded by coconut palms, on the edge of sparkling sea.


The swimming is delicious, we have sea turtles swimming just at the front of the villa, and we'd love to take you snorkeling to discover the beauty of the reefs at the bottom of our garden ... wonderful inspiration for tropical-infused works - sea gardens! -  which, in 2024, will involve print techniques to get you past that white page from Day 1. 

So, even if you've joined us in the past for Esté's Florabunda Retreats, 'Baliesque' will show you new techniques and processes which you can involve in your own work, whatever style you like to paint in.

Our program includes daily meditation with Anna and a beautiful sound-healing event with Eva Kroes.

Please note that there is only 1 retreat with Esté in Bali this year, so only 12 places are available, and this retreat will not be available in 2025.

See you there!


Many thanks for a magnificent experience!


Glenda W. Melbourne Australia, 

Florabunda 2022 with Este Macleod

This 9-day/8-night retreat offer you an expansive week to focus on making four multi-layered canvases with the guidance and inspiration of internationally renowned artist Esté MacLeod.

Not only a deep-dive week with 35-hours of tuition sharing Esté 's detailed techniques for creating rich and complex layered artworks on paper and canvas, inspired by Bali's unique culture and abundant botanical beauty. 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 ).

  • A half-day tour into the hidden nooks of beautiful East Bali  

  • Cooking'n'Cocktails with our executive chef - cook your own 7-dish megibung with tips and recipes to be able to make it at home - plus our Signature Nilaya cocktails and snacks as you stir the sauce! 

  • A stylish night out on the town with fine dining and cocktails

  • Morning practice with sound and meditation

  • A 60-minute deliciously restorative Balinese massage or reflexology treat with our expert masseuses using Sensatia's pure sweet almond oil infused with restorative essential oils where you choose your favourite scent - Meditation or Relaxation.

  • A yoga session followed by a heavenly, live sound-bathing experience (some call it 'sound therapy' or 'healing' - we just call it divine)  that will have your senses and imagination floating ... 

  • plus your choice of accommodation and breakfast for 9 nights + airport collection 

  • All lunches and half dinners at Villa Nilaya, the retreat hub

  • Cute restaurants in easy walking distance of your hotel for other meals, a coffee or time out

  • and time to yourself with the last afternoon free for shopping or more pampering 

  • Here's a selection from 5 retreats in Bali with Este Macleod - mostly works in progress ....

A luxurious week where all you need do is turn up each day after breakfast (and perhaps an early-morning dip? ... the snorkeling is fabulous), having taken the short walk in our pretty village to Villa Nilaya.

Calm and focusing breathwork - pranayama - and then to art. Our days together begins with 20 minutes with our yoga teacher whose gentle breathwork will invite you into the art-making to follow with gentle ease and inspirational guidance.


Flowers are integral to Balinese spiritual life; colours signify cosmic directions and the gods residing there. The many-layered spiritual world of the Balinese people - Hindu, Buddhist and animist traditions all combined into a distinctive form of island Hinduism. This week, you too will embrace these beautiful blooms to create an abundant and multi-layered vision of Bali.

A deeply restorative, full, luxuriant yoga class on our beautiful teak-floored yoga space on DAY 1

Stretch, breathe and relax deeply ... drift off to sleep, perhaps, to the sound of the lapping sea at the end of the garden .... before padding downstairs as evening gathers.


Three peaceful evenings to spend discovering the seaside dining venues in our village of Mendira near Candi Dasa


  • boat excursion with swimming

  • cooking and cocktails class

  • Two Half-day art excursions 

 Choose from one of three accommodations - from cute Balinese bungalows to luxe-plus resort suites, all venues have dining facilities if you fancy a night at home.  Your 8-nights' accommodation with breakfast is included in the retreat price. There is nothing else to pay, except for a few nights; dinner See the Accommodation

Esté and I warmly invite you to join our group in 2024 for this exceptional art experience by the sea in East Bali.



  • 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!​

  • The YOGA is suitable for ALL LEVELS of experience, including novices and for those with restricted movement we'll have  a 'chair yoga' alternative for you. 



With 35 hours over 7 days of dedicated tuition time with Esté you'll expand your skills in design, planning and creating sophisticated, multi-layered works on canvas and paper using  a variety of printing, stamp techniques and painting as an enhancement of these processes.

You will create four principal artworks on medium sized canvases, with, of course, sketchbook explorations of flowers and floral forms nature, inspired by Nature, and using Esté 's signature Creative Leap method of drawing as well as other 'hacks' to create an endless repertoire of imaginary forms that will lead the way for the creative processes to follow.

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.

Watch Esté  work on a large 'masterclass' canvas so that you can see all of the techniques in action, and evolving through the week, as you paint side by side with this acclaimed artist and designer whose online classes attract 1000's of enrollments.

Techniques and processes which you will be incorporated into Baliesque

  • This year Esté’s art program will focus on design and print. Techniques incorporated are printing, stamping and layering along with mixed media processes. You will create rich and detailed artworks inspired by the beautiful tropical surroundings and the unique Balinese batik and ikat textiles 

  • Drawing from nature and patterns found in Bali and a visit to a traditional textile village.

  • Learn specialist print techniques 

  • Painting with GOLDEN High Flow to develop ink-like marks and stamping.

  • Painting with GOLDEN Fluid and mediums to explore translucent and opaque layering.

  • Mono-printing with inks and GOLDEN OPEN paint

  • Detailed focus on carving surfaces for printing processes.

  • Collage with hand-painted deli sheets

  • Work on paper and four canvases (40 x 40cm) (can be de-stretched for travel

  • we will pack theses for you and recommend that you simply check them in as 'fragile' baggage as long as they fit within your luggage allowance)

  • Mixed media sketchbook required for drawing exercises.


All of the materials you will use here 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, bearing in mind that the emphasis of this retreat is on printing

  •  Sketchbooks and Canvases

Your finished works on quality, deep stretched canvases will be hung for the final night exhibition ... we call it 'floaty dress night' ... it's a distinctly Balinese-style cocktail evening celebration of your achievement with a fabulous night of entertainment.​


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. 


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.

The practice of yoga has under-pinned Creative Living Retreats, as a source of focus for creative inspiration - so whether you join us as a novice or a yogi, each day presents a new yoga journey with our intuitive teachers to Live Creatively.

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


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 is a little different, but the working part of our program is like this:

Read More.....


BREAKFAST                    At your hotel.  Walk to the retreat hub, Villa Nilaya - about an 8 -10 minute walk away.

​MORNING                        9.30 - 9.50 am on all mornings other than day tour and boat trip days

BREATHWORK                yoga 'pranayama' to calm, meditation to focus, 'sound bathing' to inspire

ART SESSION I                10.00 -1.00 with morning tea - AND VARIOUS EXCURSIONS and ART TRIPS

LUNCH BREAK               1.-2. healthy fresh lunch at the villa with time for a swim in pool or the sea

ART SESSION 2               2.00- 5.00 with afternoon tea

DINNER                            6.30 When at Villa Nilaya, dinner follows yoga, and is a buffet of Balinese dishes, zesty, but not spicy hot


Speaking of food ... 

Balinese food is very flavoursome, with complex flavours that you'll learn about in our chef-led cooking experience. Even spicy food is not fiery, but tangy with galangal, lime, coriander and ginger.  

Let Anna know of your special dietary requirements at booking.

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

see all the inclusions > 

  • A/C Airport Taxi collection with name board on arrival at the International Airport

  • Accommodation with Breakfast for 9 nights in your choice of beachside hotels and bungalows

  • 35 Hours of Art Tuition with Este Macleod over 7 days.

  • All Art Materials  (value approx. GBP 150 )  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 

  • Daily Yoga  with our qualified instructor – gentle stretchy, restorative and deep relaxation yoga suitable for experienced yogis as well as those looking forward to trying yoga for the first time, and more advanced for those wishing to extend their practice. 

  • Breakfasts 8

  • Lunches 6 - buffet, provided at Villa Nilaya during the retreat. We serve really fresh food, with an emphasis on vegetarian, tofu and seafood protein, and not too starchy (quinoa and red rice often replaces white rice).

  • Morning and afternoon teas each day

  • Bottled Water available throughout the retreat

  • Dinners 4 including:

  • ‘Welcome Dinner BBQ' at Villa Nilaya (dietary restrictions catered for - please advise)

  • Exhibition Night Dinner and concert performance

  • Cooking and Cocktails with our executive chef Pak Dewa Ardika

  • A fine dining experience in town 

  • Balinese Massage or reflexology treatment in house at Villa Nilaya

  • a sound-bathing event (some call it 'sound healing or sound therapy ... we just call it divine!) 

  • and surprises along the way,,,,,


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 with Esté Macleod  2022

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