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“Melissa…….Your studio workshops are unique in providing a beautiful working studio space filled with inviting sunlight and loving energy that invites the imagination to come out and play.  Your unique blend of psychic intuitive and compassionate teacher gives you the ability to tune in to each individual and honor the spirit of their exploration.  Your encouragement of our longing to express what calls to us is the magic wand that erases the fears and doubts and allows the inner child to explore the possibilities without being judged. 
Your workshops are always spirit centered and light hearted as you role model the steps in the creative process and provide the conditions that invite the imagination to explore the inner and outer worlds.   More importantly than how to paint, you have honored my process and showed me how to create sacred space within which I can paint whatever I choose or whatever chooses me as a vehicle. Because of your warm-hearted encouragement I feel more confident with each new painting and am starting to find my own unique expression at long last.’ -Ruth Cook, Gloucester MA

I’ve been gathering folks (mostly women) together since 1990 to celebrate, explore, discover and enjoy expressing what wants to emerge in an art-making capacity. I started out teaching weekly classes in my lower East Side New York studio and have continued to this day here on my gorgeous 9 acres in the Catskill mountains. Planning these gatherings is one of my favorite things to do!

My land is forest and meadow and a lovely location to plant yourself for a retreat. We have lunches in my funky but nice and comfy old farm house. The groups are small ( usually 5 – 9 people) in order to be comfortable in the space as well as for me to give you lots of personal attention!

I invite you to join us as we gather together in sacred space, in a nurturing environment to discover what wants expression. I do not have an agenda for how your work will look, rather I prefer listening to you tell me what excites you and help you find your own unique language of expression.

What Will We Be Doing?

Here is sample of a workshop at Melissa’s – other locations will vary a bit:
  • We always begin at circle in the morning – doing a sharing that relates to our theme for the weekend and a teaching by Melissa you get lost in your yummy art-making process
  • Delicious healthy lunch and – weather permitting – relaxing out on the warm stones in my big fire circle
  • Circling up with a meditation and teaching by Melissa
  • Dinner either together at a nearby restaurant or on your own
  • Fire circle – weather permitting

What materials do I need?

I recommend bringing your own materials but there are basic oil pastels and acrylics and paper here. You may work in whatever you like except for oil paints since some people may be sensitive to the solvents. You are welcome to speak with me individually to discuss what to work in and I will send you more info after you register.

Themes vary with each workshop.

Out of town folks usually arrive on the Friday evening before. I have a few local folks who will accommodate you at a very nominal fee but it’s first come first serve and these spots fill fast. There is also a Quality Inn in Kingston NY just 5 minutes down the road that is reasonable. If you are looking for quaint luxurious Woodstock lodgings let me know and I will make some recommendations but they will be more pricey. My place is just 8 minutes from exit 19 off the New York thruway. You will receive detailed directions after you register. Sometimes folks like to come early or stay an extra day to visit the charming town of Woodstock.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time there! I adore how you are flexible with sensing the groups emotional needs, yet rigid with the wisdom to know discipline and keeping people on task is important when it comes to producing art. Of all the art instructors I’ve had in my lifetime, you are only the 2nd one I’ve ever experienced that “gets” this and utilizes it effectively.  The circle and spiritual time only adds icing to an already well built cake! I felt so comfortable and like I had been part of your group for lifetimes. I admire your style of teaching and hope to emulate it when I start teaching children again in the spring.    Marguerite  – MA

“I just returned from an amazing weekend surrounded by art, nature, love, talent and friendship. The retreat was everything I wanted and more. Time seemed not to exist while working on the process of getting in touch with ourselves. Through meditation and introspection we explored  the creative process. Melissa guided us gently, and enabled us to push past our own limitations.  The group of us worked blissfully..enjoying the breezes and music, surrounded by Melissa’s inspiring artwork. If that wasn’t enough, we were served a beautiful healthy lunch every day. with fresh mint tea and amazing brownies for dessert.  The experience was enlightening and inspiring. I can’t wait to do it again!”  Alison  Greenwod Lake, NY

“I am still gratefully  basking in the glow of the weekend!  I always feel brand new every time I come and I am always nourished and enlivened by the creative hatchery that you fill with love, laughter, music and guidance. I was able to go deep and allow the energy to percolate through me in different and fun ways this time.  Thank you for sensing my need to listen and feel from the inside out and savor what comes through where you can help me see different options to pull it all together in harmonious ways that both honor the original impulse and basic design elements. You are so so good at tuning in and watching the creative babies being born and training the midwives in delivery.”  Vickie Dash PA

“Nobody gets me going creatively like you do.  Your suggestions always move me miles down the road….Thank you so very much Melissa”      Robin R.  Bangor, ME

“Your workshops are unique in providing loving energy that invites the imagination to come out and play.  Your unique blend of intuitive and compassionate teacher gives you the ability to tune in to each individual and honor the spirit of their exploration.  Your encouragement of our longing to express is the magic that erases the fears and doubts”.  Ruth Cook, Gloucester, MA

Cancellation Policy

I am a small business. Much of my work-time takes place on weekends. If I know ahead of time that I don’t have enough participants for a workshop there is often time to schedule other work. Because of the nature of this work life I am unable to accommodate cancellations. I can give you credit for another workshop to be used within a year from the workshop you miss. I understand that things change and problems occur so that if you do need to change your plans you can attend another time. If you decide need to do this you will need to let me know at least two weeks before the workshop in order to redeem a credit. Thanks for your understanding. I look forward to working with you.

Upcoming Workshops