Art and Spirit near Taos New Mexico- May 14 – 20 2024


I love the southwest, and the Taos area of New Mexico in particular.  It stole my heart the first time I visited many years ago and I keep returning to visit the spots I love and to paint.  The views where we will be in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are spectacular.  The flamboyant sunsets will captivate you.


You do not need any prior art experience to attend

Those of all levels attend  my workshops including many who have never picked up a crayon.  I’m delighted to work with you at whatever artistic level you find yourself, including those of you who would like to give it a try but have not had the right environment.  I enjoy creating a nurturing non intimidating atmosphere so that you can feel safe.

If you have a desire to visit the Southwest AND love to paint (or would like to try it) this is a wonderful opportunity.

I’ve put together a rich time of painting, visiting local places of interest, and option of some chill time at hot springs in lovely accommodations with great food.  We are secluded in our own nest on 40 acres of forest near Taos where the nearby mountains provide an incredible backdrop.

We will mix up our days with painting, visiting hot springs, Ghost Ranch (Georgia O’Keefe’s place), places of cultural interest and of course a bit of shopping so you can take home some cowgirl boots or any other treats ;-).


  • Workshop instruction
  • Six nights lodging
  • All meals unless we decide to do any out
  • Daily meditation circle
  • Art instruction/demos
  • A circle of like minded souls who, like you, are willing to take a risk and make time and devote resources to their dreams – you’re going to make some new friends.
  • A private Facebook page to get to know each other beforehand (share rides! save money!)
  • supply list
  • fees for visits to cultural places of interest except local hot springs


  • Travel costs / Airfare
  • art supplies
  • Any Additional nights lodging you may choose to add on
  • alcohol

I am hoping that some of you may drive together from Albuquerque airport which I can help co-ordinate.  I will work this out as we go along.

I’ve found us a marvelous gourmet chef


Cancellation Policy

With months of planning to make this a most special retreat, I will do my best to honor emergencies. A refund will be offered for any medical issue and/or emergency, less a $250 administrative fee.

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. 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. Written cancellation is required to process a refund. There will be a $500 non-refundable cancellation fee for any cancellations other than medical emergency. Please contact me before you register if you have questions.  All participants are required to purchase travel insurance.  In this way you will be covered for any and all issues, including the cost of the retreat if you need to cancel.

Your cancellation charges follow:

Up to 90 days before the retreat 50% refund

Less than 90 days prior to departure: no refund (purchase travel insurance with “cancel for any reason” option

Trip Cost: 

  • For payment by CHECK(preferred and no credit card commission or admin fees).
    • Single Casita  private bathroom $3,290 or 4 payments of  $822.50 – SOLD OUT
    • Single- private  bathroom  $ 2,990 or 4 payments of $747.50
    • small single private bathroom  $2,372 or 4 payments of $593 – SOLD OUT
    • Single shared bathroom (one other person) $2,672 or 4 payments of $668
    • single no plumbing  $2,446 or 4 payments of  $612
    • shared room shared bath (one other person) $2,513 or 4 payments of $628.25


    • Single casita  private bathroom $3,388 or 4 payments of $851.50 – SOLD OUT
    • Single- private  bathroom $ 2,888 or 4 payments of $721.50
    • small single private bathroom $2,455 or 4 payments of $614  SOLD OUT
    • Single shared bathroom – (one other person) $2,755 or 4 payments of $688.75
    • single no plumbing $2,531 or 4 payments of  $633
    • shared room shared bath -(one other person) $2,601 or 4 payments of $650.25


Make checks out to Melissa Harris and send to PO Box 56 West Hurley, NY 12491.  Please email me to reserve your spot and to let me know you are sending a check right out.

For payment by credit card:

$633.00$3,088.00Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page


What people have to say about Art & Spirit Retreats

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

From the previous Art & Spirit in New Mexico Retreat:

A gathering of women coming together to learn, share, heal and create watercolor art, in a safe hide-a-way. Not really knowing anyone there, the reception into the group was organic. Spaces were opened to allow people’s truth to unfold—being supported by others understanding.

Laughter, tears, hugs blending our colors into a cohesive dynamic group experience. Sacred spaces and sweet blessings enfolded daily. Open hearts with gifted hands greeted us at every turn, offerings of drums, turquoise encrusted silver jewelry, pottery and artwork, original artistic creations teasing our pocket books open. We were walking on Sacred Ground, the Natives history written upon the land. A true story of tenacity to survive, from Spanish and European infiltration. We all left there a little humbled.

The “Ghost Ranch”, Georgia O’Keefe’s sacred spaces, a quiet refuge from the world’s insanity. The ever changing vistas were an orgasm for our eyes.

The Rio Grande Gorge —painters eye candy. Rising at 5:30 a.m. for an optional surreal Plein Aire experience as I sat on the ground trying to capture the mountains at sunrise.

So many hours in the studio, learning how to be free of my artistic linear constraints. Melding with my fellow artists, following Melissa Harris’s extraordinary counsel. Melissa guided us through multidimensional mind exercises, to help us connect with our creative force.

We were served luscious organic fare, prepared by loving hands. Everyday was an adventure for our palate.

Melissa Harris is an extraordinary woman and artist. I will be forever changed from my experience in her watercolor workshop. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about attending one of her classes to sign up!

IS THIS FOR ME????????

I sooooo understand. I make a commitment and then I wonder,  “What was I thinking??? I don’t know anybody!  What if I don’t like the people?  What if I don’t like the food?  I’m not that social.  What if I need more alone time?

Perhaps you feel less than confident about your creative abilities………. Or less than confident about anything for that matter.

EVERY TIME I have answered the call and taken the risk I have come away with a rich experience and more confidence in myself and my ability to make good decisions that will take me further along the path I want to follow.

If you are willing to nurture or boost your creative spark – join me and a few other like-minded women in Taos.

I look forward to meeting you.

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