Ocean Spirit ~ Meditative Painting Retreat Weekend for Women

Ocean Spirit ~ Meditative Painting Retreat
2020 retreat on HOLD due to Pandemic.

3 p.m. Friday afternoon through Sunday after lunch

*(option to add-on Sunday night for un-programmed recreation, rest, and more painting time.)

The oceanside calls to me, its ever-changing tableau of calm turquoise lapping on sandy beaches to steel grey waves crashing on the rocks. Morphing patterns and colours of sky and water, waving grasses, shifting sands, rugged rock formations, wild roses, seabirds and seals, the mysteries beneath the surface, the scent of salty shoreline. Barefoot on the sand and grass and in the Atlantic waves… Breathing in…. I think I’m in heaven! Exhaling…. I relax and let go.

I give myself permission to create!

Come join me, Mary Dixon, artist, and certified Creatively Fit Coach and Soul Coach, in one of my favourite places on the planet not far from my home, for an immersive women’s painting retreat, Friday September 13- Sunday September 15 (option to add Sunday night). Charming and rustic, MacLeod Cottages are tucked along idyllic Green Bay, a favourite summer vacation retreat for generations of families on Nova Scotia’s beloved South Shore. In this gentle and beautiful seaside community, just a half hour from Bridgewater, we’ll enjoy two days of meditation and inner exploration to feed our intuitive painting practice, as well as sisterhood and relaxation by the beach.

Guided morning meditations on lovely crescents of white sand, creative exercises designed to get you in touch with the intentions you wish to bring into your life, and symbolic, intuitive painting with acrylics, we’ll call on the energy of the ocean spirits: the wind, water, shore, and sky as well as the beings who inhabit those spaces. What do whale or dolphin, seal or seagull, turtle or octopus have to say? Maybe the seabirds have something to call out to you. What is the expanse of ocean and sky, the ebb and flow, the light and dark, calling you to bring forth in your life?

We will meditate to connect with the spirit of the land, sky, and sea, and the creatures that call the ocean and oceanside their home. Through symbols, colour, shape, words, we will build the layers on our canvas to radiate the energy we wish to infuse into our lives.

Painting itself becomes a meditation, as we engage quietly in the creative flow; painting becomes self-coaching as we test our beliefs, self-concepts, perfectionism, and more, when we face the blank canvas, and experience the messy middle; painting becomes energy work as it flows through us through the intentions we focus on, and radiates back to us in the finished work.

Gathering for meals, sharing stories and insights, and taking alone time to meditate, reflect, and integrate, you will experience both learning and stretching yourself, inspired creating, as well as deep relaxation in the salty air. Have a look here:

Here’s another video of the beach and my talking head if you want more of a feel for the place (and me… I am pretty low-key! No media star.)

Please note this is a rain or shine retreat, but we’re counting on lovely September weather to support us. In the event of rain we will re-jig to paint inside or under a tent if possible, and gather around the wood stove at night.

Will I see you there?

I am a partner in Mosaic Healing Arts Institute based in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. My Facebook handle is Mary Dixon Works of Heart, and my web site is marydixon.com (that’s dixon) You can find all the details and more under the workshops menu at marydixon.com or in the events on Mary Dixon Works of HeART on facebook.

Don’t delay if you are interested. I am offering this at short notice and there are only 6, possibly 7 spots available for this retreat unless another cabin becomes available. I would not like to go bigger than 9.

I hope to hear from you!

EMAIL: mary@marydixon.com
(Registration details near the bottom)

General schedule:

Friday (to be determined… We’re in a Pandemic Pause)

3-5 p.m. Check in/arrival  take this time to unwind, get settled, set intentions for your time there. A chance to unwind by the shore, soak in the sun and sea breeze, maybe even a dip in the ocean as end-of-summer water is warmest.

5 p.m  Program begins…

6:30 -ish  Dinner

Evening:  Guided meditation and a creative exercise or two to get you in the flow of the weekend. Social time or rest or contemplation as you wish. Cabins and rooms are small but there is a small lawn and multiple small crescent beaches all along the shoreline to escape to.

Saturday: Begins with a guided meditation on the white sand, maybe a quick dip or some light stretching, followed by a light breakfast (some minor sharing of duties may be invited) and then we begin to paint!

Starting with simple 4-step process created by my mentor Whitney Freya that I use in my Into the HeArt of You monthly painting workshops, we start to build the multiple layers of our ocean-inspired image. We are not painting from nature as such, these are intuitive “soul-splorations”, working with meditative imagery, symbols, colour, and animal totems, to infuse our canvases with the energy we want to paint into our lives.

This is not an “art class” or “how-to-paint,” although you will learn a method with which to approach the canvas and basic guidance to get your paint on the canvas and some artistic principles to work with. This is really SOUL-work, learning how to create at the canvas your “Life as a Work of HeART”.

There will be breaks for lunch and dinner, some meditation and journalling and a little beach time and snack breaks as needed.

Sunday: Similar to Saturday, formal program wraps up after lunch Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m. Optional stay over Sunday night for additional charge, no set program, more painting time or R&R, possible optional carpool to nearby artist friends and winery around 3:30 p.m.

What’s Included:

~2 nights shared accommodations (shared bathrooms and some bedrooms, will be max. 2) in adjacent cabins at MacLeod Cottages at Green Bay, Lunenburg County, NS  (more details below).

~All meals: Dinner Friday evening, breakfast, lunch, & dinner Saturday, as well as snacks, breakfast and lunch Sunday. Meals will be along the lines of vegetarian lasagne (can be gluten free) , grilled chicken, a variety of salads, wraps or salads for lunch, fruit, yogurt, granola, possibly eggs/mini quiche for breakfast, etc. Most will be prepared off-site and brought in. Please advise no later than 2 weeks prior to the retreat if you have any food allergies or aversions or concerns. We will try our best to accommodate you.

~Group facilitation from Friday through Sunday with guided and silent meditations, teaching to lead you through the layered painting process, creative exercises, sharing circles etc., by Mary Dixon, certified Creatively Fit Coach and Soul Coach.

~All paint, art supplies, and tools for acrylic painting as well as other creative exercises including welcome goody bag, EXCEPT your CANVAS.
I recommend you bring a 24” x 36”,  30” x 30” or even a 30” X 40” stretched canvas, preferably 1.5” profile. Do not go smaller than 24” x 36”.

*** IF you happen to fly into Nova Scotia rather than drive, advise ASAP and I will endeavour to find you un-stretched canvas so you can roll it up to take home (will add on price for that.)

~Note: at this time easels may not be available. Painting will be done either on tables or on the ground on tarps. Make sure you are comfortable and capable physically to be able to do that. (Will advise if we can obtain enough easels.)

~Amazingly restful beauty by the beach, fresh air, peace, water, sky!

~Option to book for Sunday night, this gives you more time to paint further, relax and integrate, and to socialize. No official programming after Sunday afternoon, but we can arrange dinner for Sunday evening. Monday checkout will be in the morning. Advance notice required. You won’t want to leave the beach!

Specific cabins are not guaranteed at this time, but there are at present in one confirmed cabin, 2 rooms with a double bed in each, and one room with two singles, and in the other cabin there will either be a room with a double and a single or one room with three singles available. (Unless three friends book,  I will only put two in the triple-bedded room.)  The rates quoted will be a flat rate whether you are in a one-bedded or shared room, but preference of choice will be given to the first who register with full payment.

That is your incentive to book now! Dibs on the single rooms! If you are happy to simply share a room with a friend or one you have yet to meet, please let us know. That makes life easier and we appreciate that!

These are rustic but clean cabins, fully equipped with the basics, linens, towels, kitchen equipment. The beach, the scenery, the vibe, the water, the air in this beautiful and peaceful place are the star attractions. If you are thinking “spa” or “resort” you are in the wrong place. If you are thinking “the opportunity to create, experiment, look inward, and share with others amidst natural beauty, white sandy beaches, sunrises, and casual relaxation”, you are in the right place!! You won’t be disappointed.

There is no WIFI available at the cabins (possibly nearby at the canteen which will be closed for the season by then…maybe usable outside) and limited cell service in the area. I suggest you treat this as a chance to enjoy a digital detox which will in fact greatly enhance your experience!!

Please dress casually and comfortably appropriate for and end of summer at the beach time.

Things to bring:

~Clothes you don’t mind messing up with paint, or a smock or apron for that,

~comfy wear if you want to stretch, do yoga (no instruction but we may do some spontaneous sun salutations) or for sitting for meditation and bending or kneeling for painting;

~light layers for variable weather and often cooler evenings and mornings at the seaside, possible rain gear or umbrella (just in case),

~flip flops, TEVA-type sandals, or sneakers for beach walks and rock sitting,

~a bathing suit for a swim (it is not the Caribbean but end of summer can bring warm-ish water to these shallow sandy beaches) and a bigger beach towel would be good if you have room to bring it as bath towels provided are smaller and limited.

~Bug spray or essential oils of choice perhaps for bugs since we’ll be outdoors a lot.

~ Your toiletries and personal needs etc. Don’t worry about being made-up. We’re at the beach painting!!    

~ Bring a personal journal to record your thoughts and insights as you move through this weekend and afterwards.

~A camera (or phone) to record your experience (you might like to document the progress of your painting), and the beautiful area both at the beach and on your way to and from down the lovely LaHave River.

The area:

Green Bay is about a half hour drive from Bridgewater, down the lovely LaHave River.  You might also come via Lunenburg, through Bayport/Rose Bay/Riverport and across the LaHave by ferry. The communities of LaHave and Petite Riviere are full of painters and potters and other artisans, bakeries like LaHave Bakery, and the Ploughman’s Lunch in West Dublin, gorgeous Crescent Beach and the Bell Island Marine Museum, Risser’s Beach Provincial Park and it’s lovely boardwalk through the marsh and expansive sandy beach; and Petite Riviere/Green Bay with more artists and crafts, and the nearby Petite Riviere Vineyard (a short drive). So if you have time to come down the shore early on Friday or meander home on Sunday or Monday there is much to do and see.

If possible I will arrange an excursion to visit artist friends up the road and on to the winery on Sunday afternoon, or you can guide yourself if you choose not to add on the Sunday night.

A weekend is really not long enough to fully experience this place and this process, people always leave here wanting more, but it will be a start, and depending on response, perhaps we can consider something longer and a deeper dive next summer.

Your Investment:

2 nights shared accommodation in one of two cottages, 2 dinners, 2 lunches, 2 breakfasts and snacks, workshop tuition and facilitation, all activities and painting supplies EXCEPT for your 24” x 36” or 30” X 40” canvas:

Early-bird registration:  $597 (Cdn) (includes 15% hst)

Full price :  $647 (Cdn) (includes 15% hst)

Should you wish to add a stay-over after lunch for Sunday night, with no programming except continuing to paint on your own and a possible carpool to my nearby artist friends and winery,
add: $99.00 (Cdn) (includes bed, dinner, and 15% hst)

Deposit of $300.00 (Cdn) required to hold your spot.

Payment in full required by (to be determined)

REGISTER HERE via email: mary@marydixon.com
I can send an invoice via PayPal, we can do an interac e-transfer, or take credit card via telephone.

Refund Policy:

Before September 2, 2019:  Refunds of all amounts paid, less $100, will be available if you have to cancel.

No refunds after September 2, 2019 except in case of hurricane or tropical storm warning, or cancellation by workshop host due to unforeseen events.

Note:  We will be living close to the outdoors for most of it. All activities, including swimming, climbing over rocks, painting, meditation, inner soul work, bug bites, etc., are at your own risk. Retreat experiences, with or without coaching, may be life-changing. All consequences of this retreat experience are your responsibility and Mary Dixon and Mosaic Healing Arts Institute assumes no liability for how your life may change.