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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 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 

  • We begin at circle in the morning –  with sharing and a teaching by Melissa 
  • Delicious healthy lunch and – weather permitting – relaxing out on the warm stones in my big fire circle
  • Dinner either together at a nearby restaurant or on your own
  • Fire circle – weather permitting

What materials do I need?

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.

Some Logistics

We begin Friday around 5:30.   Plan to have your dinner before – but I will have some snacks on hand.

I have a friend sometimes can accommodate you for lodging at a nominal fee.  There is a Best Western in Kingston NY just 5 minutes down the road that is reasonable- as well as numerous airbnbs and other hotels in Woodstock.  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. Exceptions will be made for Covid illness.

Upcoming Workshops

Jul
12
Fri
Art and Spirit: Art-Making Workshop
Dragonfly Acres Woodstock NY @ Melissa's Woodstock NY Studio
Jul 12 @ 5:30 pm – Jul 15 @ 4:00 pm
Workshop Photo In my Art and Spirit workshops I combine my extensive background in painting with meditation to help you to work through creative blocks and learn or refine technique. Come and join a like minded circle as we explore what wants to emerge.  My large light filled studio and acres of forest and meadow is the ideal location to support you as you relax and explore your creative process. The workshop is for those with no experience as well as those who would like to improve existing skills. . A supply list will be provided upon registration.  Workshops include lunches. Weather permitting we often gather at Melissa’s fire circle in the evenings for some song, laughter and treats.

What a typical workshop is like Friday night session 5:30 – 8:30 with intro and painting Saturday 9 – 5  morning meditation and painting discussion- art demo in watercolor although participants are invited to work in watercolor or acrylic. Sunday  9 – 4 or 5  morning meditation and painting discussion- art demo and painting exercises Monday optional unless the workshop is specifically for 3 days 9 – 4 or 5 Participants bring their own supplies or purchase from Melissa for a $25 materials fee.  Melissa will send a supply list upon registration 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  Greenwood 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

Take Covid precautions as you like.- mask optional .  Your registration acknowledges that Melissa is not responsible for any illness 

                There are many accommodation options. I have my own airbnb here on my property which gets reserved quickly so inquire right away if you are interested.  There are many hotels and airbnb’s nearby.   Ask Melissa about accommodations. Stay or come early and explore the infamous and cute town of Woodstock. Click here for a full description of the Retreat. Save the fees and pay by check –  ( $475 for three days)  Make it out to Melissa Harris and send to PO Box 56 West Hurley, NY 12491. If paying by check, contact Melissa to reserve a spot.
 
Sep
16
Mon
Art & Spirit in Ireland September 16 – 27 2024 @ Two Magical Locations
Sep 16 @ 6:00 pm – Sep 27 @ 10:00 am

 

Art & Spirit in Ireland   – 11 Night Watercolor Retreat to Sacred Sites in Magical Ireland –  September 16 – 27  

This is a very small group-  (maximum 10 ) providing for an optimal small group experience

A special advantage of this retreat is that we will be staying in two different locations so that you get a larger taste of Ireland, compared to other art retreats in Ireland.  Both places are on the water, one is lakefront, the other right on the ocean.  

“I’m in heaven!  If you ever have a chance to go to a workshop with Melissa, do it. Her inspiration, guidance and teachings have changed me. The retreat was one of the best things I have done!”      Katie Crommet – MA

“I am still LIVING ON FAIRY DUST!    IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST TIMES OF MY LIFE !”  Connie Judson   Montauk, NY

“I have no words… . The time in Ireland was life changing for me. I was opened in a way I still do not completely understand… I feel a ‘power’ flowing through me that I no longer question… I feel more connected to those around me because of a ‘knowing’ and I feel a strength that I have never felt before. My “welcome sister” as a part of the stone circle  was both life changing and life affirming… a gift from the goddess and all the women that came before.  The retreat was a reminder of the importance of being open to the universe, of ritual, and of gathering and sharing space with those we were meant to know.  You are an amazing human and I am grateful and blessed for the experience of spending time with you. 💕 ”  Sharon G  Benzonia, MI

“I loved the Irish music, it was authentic and in a really intimate setting – wonderful.  Seeing the sheep grazing – I never realized that the sheep could make such an impact on me.   And of course the ocean and Dingle – the breath taking views, breathing the salt air and walking the beach. AND the food!!!”   Linda S.  Woodstock, NY
This is an invitation to those of you who would like to explore your creativity with like-minded, adventurous women in magical Ireland.  Come with us and experience the beauty of Ireland  and the dazzling coastline welcomes us.  We will delight in the charm of old Ireland, visiting the ancient sacred sites with some humorous and knowledgeable guids and listening to some authentic Irish music while learning or fine- tuning the art of watercolor.  This is a retreat where one enhances (or learns) painting technique by integrating some meditation and circle sharing.  Some plein air (art made right on site) painting will be mixed with painting in a studio space.   No previous experience in art or with this medium is required.  A supply list will be emailed to you upon registration.  You are welcome to use a “simple” supply list if art is not an on-going interest.

Don’t allow your fears of “I’m not an artist” or “I haven’t painted in years” to prevent you from missing this opportunity of a lifetime.  My gifts as an intuitive help me to create nurturing environments for the part of your spirit that wants to emerge to blossom.

We will convene in circles and at sacred sites to encourage our creative visions to emerge.  Meditation at these places will help us to connect with the spirit of the land.

With each year I’ve taken this journey I’ve added more places of interest and fun activities to make in an especially magical and rich experience.

To reserve your space please remit your first payment and sign and return the Travel Agreement.

 

This will be a very small group.   If you are interested register early!

 

 

 

  

 

 

paint overlooking the lake or ocean!

 

Ireland is a very “thin place”.  What is a thin place?  It’s a place where the veils between this world and others are thin, a gateway to the other world, if you will.  Thin places are subjective.  For example, I may not feel particularly sensitive to strong energies in the same spot that you might.  I have selected places for us on this tour that affected me profoundly; I’m enthusiastic about sharing them with you.

My nomadic nature has taken me to locations that have tugged at the edges of my soul, including numerous thin places. The oldest Goddess temples in Malta, the many sacred sites in Cornwall England, Findhorn, and other thin places in Scotland have beckoned and received my curious spirit.  I’ve spent hours meditating at these spots, allowing the mystery and energies of the places to soak in while painting on site.  I’m forever changed each time I do this.

 I am excited to bring the richness of this experience to you!

During our days together I will be sensitive to your need to stay quiet at times or rest.  You will not be required to do more than you are comfortable with and I am including some time to be still and integrate.  You are welcome to opt out on any given activity if your body/mind says “stop, I need a break!”

What our time together will look like:

Arrival night in a cozy hotel near Shannon airport in order to rest and recover from jet lag- then—

Killarney 

  • 4 nights in a luxury hotel.  Here we will be able to relax and be pampered with delicious meals
  • Beautiful lakefront grounds,
  • Touring Sacred sites (circles, burial cairns etc.) with knowledgeable guides
  • watercolor painting in a beautiful space instructed by  Melissa (no previous experience required)
  • Authentic Irish music

Next, we are off to Dingle Peninsula .  There are surprise visits along the way!

In Dingle we are housed in a large retreat center near the town of Dingle complete with conservatories and a large lounge with spectacular views over Dingle Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Ireland’s highest mountain range, the MacGillicuddy’s Reeks. The lodge has a huge private kitchen.  We will pitch in making breakfasts and lunches (lunches when we are not on outings).  Dinners will be at a local Inn or out and about.

  • Time at Inch Strand –  This stupendous beach has attracted film directors as well as surfers– it has appeared in the movies Ryan’s Daughter(1970), Excalibur (1981) and Far and Away (1992), among others.
  • meditation in the beautiful sun room before we begin our creations, both inner and outer
  • scenic drives and tours to sacred sites – with knowledgeable guides
  • retail therapy in the shops
  • enjoying some traditional Irish music at pubs.

I’ve managed to put this amazing retreat together at a very reasonable price.   I will do my best to accommodate your sleeping requests.  First come, first serve.

For payment by CHECK. (preferred and no credit card commission or admin fees).  Shared accommodations (single until shared the last 6 nights)  ~One- time payment of $3550 ~ or 4 payments of $887.50  SINGLE  –  one payment of $4150 or 4 payments of $1037.50

Make checks out to Melissa Harris and send to PO Box 56 West Hurley, NY 12491. No need to fill out payment form online, just email me to reserve your spot and to let me know you are sending a check right out.  If you are choosing to make payments, the balance will be due by August 1.

For payment by credit card there is an additional charge to cover cc fees

$931.75$4,357.00Select options

If you need to make different arrangements connect with Melissa info@melissaharris.com. Call 845 340 9632 with any questions


What is included: 

  • all accommodations
  • all breakfasts, 3-4 lunches, and 3- 5 dinners 
  • 2-3 Sacred site tours with knowledgeable guides
  • transfer from each location to the next
  • entry fees to sacred and cultural sites and gardens
  • my watercolor instruction and circle leadership, meditation
  • pub visits with authentic Irish music 

 What is not included:

  • airfare
  • short taxi ride from Shannon airport to hotel or transport by bus from Dublin airport if you prefer to Shannon hotel
  • lunches or dinners out . Restaurants in the areas are reasonable
  • transport to your departure airport (either Shannon or Dublin – Melissa can make transport by van arrangement 
  • hotel in case you need it before your departure flight

Cancellation Policy – 

A refund will be offered for any medical issue and/or emergency, less a $600 administrative fee. Non-refundable payments have been issued in advance to my vendors making it necessary for me to retain partial payment to cover these costs. With months of planning to make this a most special retreat, I will do my best to honor emergencies. 

Your first payment authorizes that you understand this refund policy, commit to payment in full and take full responsibility for your personal choices and safety while you travel. Travel insurance is required. It is suggested that you purchase this upon booking.  Check to make sure what your insurance covers.

  • If you need to cancel before July 15, 2024, your payments less a cancellation fee of $750 will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after July 15th, 2024.
  • If it becomes necessary to cancel the retreat for any reason, all payments will be refunded in full

In the event of cancellation, you may find another person to take your place on the trip provided they agree to the terms of this agreement and after an interview between the person and Melissa whereupon it is decided that the trip is agreeable with both parties.

Melissa can make suggestions on travel.  .  For any travel questions consult Melissa    info@melissaharris.com

$931.75$4,357.00Select options

Oct
18
Fri
Art and Spirit: Art-Making Workshop
Dragonfly Acres Woodstock NY @ Melissa's Woodstock NY Studio
Oct 18 @ 5:30 pm – Oct 20 @ 4:00 pm

Workshop Photo

In my Art and Spirit workshops I combine my extensive background in painting with meditation to help you to work through creative blocks and learn or refine technique. Come and join a like minded circle as we explore what wants to emerge.  My large light filled studio and acres of forest and meadow is the ideal location to support you as you relax and explore your creative process. The workshop is for those with no experience as well as those who would like to improve existing skills. . A supply list will be provided upon registration.  Workshops include lunches. Weather permitting we often gather at Melissa’s fire circle in the evenings for some song, laughter and treats.

What a typical workshop is like

Friday night session 5:30 – 8:30 with intro and painting

Saturday 9 – 5  morning meditation and painting discussion- art demo in watercolor although participants are invited to work in watercolor or acrylic.

Sunday  9 – 4 or 5  morning meditation and painting discussion- art demo and painting exercises

Monday optional unless the workshop is specifically for 3 days 9 – 4 or 5

Participants bring their own supplies or purchase from Melissa for a $25 materials fee.  Melissa will send a supply list upon registration

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  Greenwood 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

Take Covid precautions as you like.- mask optional .  Your registration acknowledges that Melissa is not responsible for any illness 

 

         

   

There are many accommodation options. I have my own airbnb here on my property which gets reserved quickly so inquire right away if you are interested.  There are many hotels and airbnb’s nearby.   Ask Melissa about accommodations. Stay or come early and explore the infamous and cute town of Woodstock. Click here for a full description of the Retreat.

Save the fees and pay by check –  ($395 for two days,  $480 for three days)  Make it out to Melissa Harris and send to PO Box 56 West Hurley, NY 12491. If paying by check, contact Melissa to reserve a spot.