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 Esté MacLeod
& Anna Kwiecinska

27 September - 5 October 2024
contact Anna to book or enquire now 


9 days/8 nights

Day 1- arrival day - Welcome dinner

Day 9 - departure day - no program

  • 6 Full Days of Art Program + free time

  • 1 Full day tour to UNESCO sites of

  • Epidavros and Mycenae



We're offering another art retreat on Hydra to meet demand!

For many artists, for hundreds of years, a stay on Hydra, the enchanting, some say magical, Aegean island, was a significant part of how their art was created.


We’re choosing to be there, for that reason… the richness of the artistic legacy… and for the chance that such exceptional surroundings will be your muse, too.


On Hydra, writers, painters, songsters, musicians and dreamers of all types, found a place that inspired them. From its shores, looking out to the Aegean or inward to their artistic dreams, poetry, novels, avant-garde texts, masterpieces in paint and word, emerged. Be there, with us, and find your own threads of inspiration. 

(a big thank you to wordsmith Shelley Kenigsberg for this description of artistic life on Hydra ... a good place to mention that Shelley will hold a writing retreat here in late August 2024)

The Background

Anna lived on Hydra for two wonderful years, and during some of that time worked as an arts instructor.

Esté and Anna have been presenting Art and Yoga Retreats in Sri Lanka (202), and Bali (2022,'23), and now we are thrilled be able to bring two lifetimes of experience to this fabulous week on Hydra - at the very best time of the year.


It's the end of summer, the locals are relaxed, you've arrived onto one of Greece's most picturesque islands - one with no vehicular traffic, only donkeys, water taxis and meandering footpaths - and you have ahead of you a week of making art with Esté MacLeod.

With the water still deliciously comfortable for swimming, cool evenings exploring the many charming seaside tavernas, and quay-side accommodation overlooking the famous port of Hydra, you'll need to be quick to secure your place on this special week with only 12 places available - staying in your very own room in beautiful accommodations hand-picked by Anna >>


We can't wait to share the magic of Hydra with you!


Many thanks for a magnificent experience!


Glenda W. Melbourne Australia, 

Florabunda with Este macleod 2022


This 9-day/8-night retreat offers you a delicious week to focus on making art with the guidance and inspiration of internationally renowned artist Esté MacLeod.

With 30-hours of tuition (5 hrs art time per day for 6 days, in various settings) sharing Esté's techniques and processes for images inspired by your surroundings you will be mainly using a variety of enhanced print techniques, which can be layered into deceptively complex imagery and designs. 


You will take home a collection of works on quality paper, in a specially-made folder, providing not only souvenirs of a memorable late summer holiday on this unique island, but as a compendium of techniques which you'll be able to elaborate on in your own studio work.

  • Use 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 day in secluded Mandraki Bay to swim,

  • Enjoy a taverna lunch at Mandraki, and all day to make art with Este.

  • Boating is included on our exploring days to bays on Hydra and Ermioni

  • Your choice of accommodation and breakfast for 8 nights (details to be  shared in the Early Bird newsletter)

  • Boat from Piraeus Port (Athens) to Island of Hydra (2 hours by 'Dolphin' hydroflight vessel)

  • Boat trip to Ermioni on Peloponnese for a day of painting off the rocks besides pristine clear waters, perfect for jumping into refresh before lunch.

  • A FULL DAY TOUR (with all boat and coach transport included), as well as entrances to 2 UNESCO World heritage sites:

  • EPIDAVROS amphitheatre

  • MYCENAE archaeological site and museum


  • 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 will add to your repertoire of print processes and techniques that can evolve from them.

A relaxing week where all you need do is turn up each day after breakfast (and perhaps an early-morning dip?  ... the water is still very inviting at the end of summer).

Choose from three beautiful accommodations carefully chosen by Anna >>

Esté and I warmly invite you to join our group in 2024 for this exceptional art experience by the sea on the legendary Greek island of Hydra.


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 around 10 am 

ART SESSION I                10.30 -12.30 with morning tea

LUNCH BREAK               12.30- 2.00

ART SESSION 2               2.00 - 5.00 with afternoon tea                                

DINNER                            Enjoy discovering Hydra's many tavernas on the port, walk to Kamini or find a spot up on high


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

see all the inclusions > 

  • Accommodation with Breakfast for 7 nights in your choice of hotel or guest house

  • 30 Hours of Art Tuition with Este 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 

  • transit by boat from port of Piraeus (Athens) to Hydra by hydroflight ('Dolphin')

  • Accommodation for 8 nights on Hydra  - SEE ACCOMMODATION

  • Breakfasts 8

  • Taverna Lunches 1  

  • Welcome Dinner at Port Hydra

  • Final Night Dinner on Hydra

  • Boat Trip for painting day on ERMIONI or SPETSES   (depending on the weather, i.e.,  seas)

  • Full day tour (includes boat travel, coach and all entrances) to the mainland of Peleponnese  to vist 2 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES:

  • The classical amphitheatre of Epidauros

  • The site of Mycenae


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 Este MacLeod  in Bali 2022

What's not included
  • airfare

  • travel insurance

  • personal expenses 

  • return taxi after arrival at Piraeus port on retrun

  • return boat from Hydra to Piraues as you may wish to stay on Hydra longer (this can be organised by Anna for you)

  • 5 dinners 

YOUR RETREAT STARTS at THE PORT OF PIRAEUS on DAY 1 when we all travel to Hydra together

The retreat FINISHES after breakfast on DAY 8 and the check-out time from your hotel.

Extra nights at may be available - enquire with Anna - please mention this on your booking form.

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