Artists' Retreat Week

Mixed Media - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Remember and revive your reasons for making art and reboot your practice. As part of a small group, benefit from directed exercises, peer feedback and 1-1 mentoring from two professional artists.

Get a fresh perspective on how and why you make art. As part of a small group, reflect on your practice and make new work in an inspiring environment. As well as directed exercises, peer feedback and independent time working in the studio benefit from -1 mentoring from two professional artists.

In a safe and creative space challenge yourself and progress your practice.   Please bring any current sketchbooks and works in progress which you wish to refer to during the course or discuss in your individual tutorial.

This is an ideal course if you feel you need support to move your work on and would benefit from the time and space to ask questions and challenge yourself. The week will be a mix of creative group work, individual practice and one to ones. An important part of the experience is the input from your fellow students who will offer peer support and critique. To get the most out of this week you must value the feedback of the group as well as your tutor and be open to taking risks. If you feel isolated in your practice and would value a critical outside eye this could be what you need.

This also might be the right time to ask questions about what kind of artist you want to be and where your work needs to go next. You should leave this focused time with increased motivation, confidence and clarity.

Each retreat week will be taught by two of our regular Artist Retreat Week tutors whose specialism is helping artists develop their personal practice.

The 18th – 22nd March 2024 will be led by Camilla Dixon and Ilker Cinarel.

The 9th – 13th December 2024 retreat will be led by Liz Hough and Ilker Cinarel.

Artists’ Retreat Week

Mixed Media – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Camilla’s Work

I find tutoring to be a constantly evolving project. It supports my creative work as it requires that I not only understand my processes but can apply them in a way that is useful to other people in their quest for creative flow. Harnessing a fluid and responsive working method, can address all sorts of practical or emotional obstacles that students face. It can be quite literally life-changing.


View Ilker’s Work

I love sharing my knowledge and life experiences with others. My unique approach is to try to create individual, authentic voices in the curriculum within a conceptual and non conceptual framework. It’s great to be part of an historical, internationally renowned school.

My research for the online courses helps me to contextualise the rich history of the artists and landscape in and around St Ives. It is important for students to discover what sort of artist they are; I focus on what the student has to say, helping them to develop their own language, and to “find their own voice.” 

What to Bring

Our studios are fully equipped and we provide you with all the materials you need for your course. However, if you have a favourite set of brushes or any specialist materials that you would prefer to use, please bring them with you.

In order to get a head start of what will be an exciting and fast paced week, we would like you to think about the following elements to bring. Other than examples of your work, these are not compulsory but it would be hugely beneficial for you to at least think about them and help facilitate getting the most out of this week:

  •  A small ‘portfolio’ of work, with the best/latest examples (this could be digital)
  • Sketchbooks or (optional) diary or journals – these will be used for your reference in some of the exercises and you will not be expected to share them.
  • Think about what is happening in your existing artistic practice and how this reflects/connects/distracts/supports what is happening in your life in general. 
  • A list of your ‘desires’ and your ‘needs’.
  •  What artist (hard to pick one I know.) have you most admired and why?

Timings and Breaks

The first day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm, please aim to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the start time.

All course days after that start at 9.30am and finish at 4pm and there will be an hour for lunch. There are plenty of nearby places to eat and we will serve tea and coffee at break times during the day.


What our students say

Inspiring instructors… Ilker Cinarel and Camilla Dixon made for a brilliant week of individual creativity and group discussions that went beyond art into emotions.



Studio Courses

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

How do I get my work home?

Tutors have special techniques for transporting oil paintings and the school has plastic folders available in our shop for £3.50 or do bring a portfolio.

For international students we are happy to arrange transportation of your work back home.

What do I need to bring?

Absolutely nothing! All materials and aprons are provided although some people do like to bring their own set of brushes.

What do I do for lunch?

Courses allow an hour’s break for lunch and there are numerous places nearby or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch into the studio.

What times do courses run?

Most of our courses start at 10am and end at 4.30pm on the first day. Subsequent days we start at 9.30am ending at 4pm.

Weekend Courses run 10am – 4pm on the first day but the final day starts at 9.30 and ends at 3.30 with a short lunch break to enable people to get home that evening.

Do you have to be experienced to come to the School?

The School is a very friendly and welcoming place for all ages and experience. Our drop-in life classes and August half-day workshops are ideal for those wanting to have a go for the first time. Most of our longer courses are also fine for novices.

If any of the courses do need a bit of experience we flag this up in the brochure and on the website.

Booking a Course

Can I pay by cheque?

Please get in touch by phone and we can hold your place for a few days whilst you post your cheque (made payable to: St Ives School of Painting) to us at St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios. St Ives TR26 1NG

How can I reserve a place?

We will hold a provisional reservation for 24 hours if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.

You can reserve a place with a £100 deposit; balance is due 12 weeks before course start date.

About St Ives

Where do I park?

The nearest long stay public car parks are the Island and Barnoon both 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at the big top car park by the leisure centre and walk down into town. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill at the end of the day there is a shuttle bus which runs from outside the cinema.

How do I get there?

Public Transport: If you are coming from further afield the main train line runs into St Erth which is a 15 min taxi ride away or you can take the St Ives Bay Line which runs approx. every 30 minutes. The School is a 10 minute walk from St Ives station.

Driving: M5 will take you to Exeter where we recommend that you take the A30 across Bodmin Moor and into Cornwall. After passing Hayle, leave the A30 at St Erth roundabout for St Ives. Turn right at the second roundabout. This road will take you through Lelant and Carbis Bay into St Ives.

Where can I stay?

St Ives has a huge selection of hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation to choose from. Please browse the art holidays St Ives section on our website and give us a call if you would like any help.

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