Artist Retreats


APRIL 22-May 9, 2019

We are excited to announce that Master Artist Peter Madden will be joining us as Visiting Artist on our next retreat!

italy 2View from the Monastery

You are invited to step out of your day-to-day life and to be part of an artist’s retreat. This retreat asks you to recognize that the role of the artist is meaningful enough to nurture. Permit your life to revolve around your artist self. On retreat, the days are full, balancing individual studio time, group conversations, and discretionary time for additional work, relaxation or socializing. Several dinners are cooked and shared by the group and additional evenings are kept open for dining out in smaller groups. During studio time, the artists may work alone or near one another, as they prefer. Across the retreat individual conversations will be held as the instructor visits the artist in the field. The surroundings provide magical settings within which the artist may work with the subject and in the style and form that most engages them. Opportunities abound to consider the landscape, architecture, figure, still life or simply the light as a subject. Artists work in many mediums on our retreats including painting, mixed media, drawing, or sculpture. Guided conversations are held on two afternoons (Dialogues with Art) and several evenings after dinner (Artist Vision), where Dowling weaves the community of artists together with elements of story, poetry and the experiences of the day. These conversations may examine issues dealt with by artists such as: experiencing art, learning to talk about each other’s art, our role as artists in our society, accessing and recognizing our vision, special needs we have as artists, and talking about our work with others. years.

This year Master Artist Peter Madden will be  teaching Book Arts

What more appropriate place to create handmade books than in a country where so many spectacular examples of illuminated manuscripts were are painstakingly produced before the invention of movable type by Gutenberg in the mid 1400s. And, more specifically in a town with many tales which, itself, can be completely closed, it’s contents protected, San Gimignano. Hand-in-hand with Boston-based Medicine Wheel Productions, Peter will serve as a visiting Artist during a inspiring, meditative, productive journey!

Spiness copy

Spiness, Peter Madden

Participants in the program are welcome to spend time creating in anyway they find fulfilling, and Peter will  be there to demonstrate, nurture and encourage the many meditative, satisfying aspects of bookbinding: slowly, repeatedly, folding pages, sewing, joining, perhaps writing and telling a story without any of the technology that overwhelms and distracts us daily.  Inspiration, ideas and source material will come from staying in a monastery built in the 1300s and, during the day, exploring, absorbing, and taking in the landscape, history, art, culture and architecture surrounds us.

italy 3San Gimignano at night

italy students

Nel Giardino!

LittleBlue copyLittle Blue, Peter Madden

San Gimignano
Our 18th retreat will be held at a monastery in San Gimignano, a medieval Tuscan village filled with towers and surrounded by rolling hills. The Benedictine Sisters who offer their hospitality have become dear friends during our previous retreats. In San Gimignano, you will find many beautiful places to work outdoors. The monastery offers their private walled olive garden for working as well. Cafés, restaurants and shops are all within a short, if hilly, walk. The views are breathtaking and the light is magical.

Two weeks fees $2500.00*

* Fees do not include airfare estimated at $900. round trip

Fees include

  • Lodging double occupancy rooms in Monastery, each with a private bathroom
  • Continental breakfast, lunch, half of dinners
  • Transportation between airport and lodging, upon arrival and departure, available for selected flight only
  • two night lodgings in Florence
  • day trip to be determined extra $90.00
  • Tuition

Key dates
Sign-up opens:

  • $700.00 Non refundable Deposit due: December 15th, 2018
  • Flight booked: to be determined
  • $1800.00 Balance due: February  15, 2019
  • for more info call 617-268-6700 or 617-872-6065
  • or email

Last two nights Florence


Valdez Scholarship

Domestic Retreats at Glastonbury Abby, Hingham


$300 one weekend
$550 two weekends
$800 three weekends
$1000 four weekends


  • Individual and group instruction with Lodging double occupancy rooms with single and double beds and shared baths.
  • breakfast, lunch,and dinners.
  • fees do not include transportation

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administrated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events.

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