Queenstown workshop: Saturday 7th October

Saturday 7th October 2023
10.30am – 4.00pm
Te Whenua Retreat, 2277 Gibbston Hwy, Gibbston
20 minutes from Frankton

$275 Earlybird (ends Saturday 30th September)
$325 Standard

Set in the peaceful & transformative Te Whenua retreat in the Gibbston valley learn how to trust your creativity, release emotion and create intuitive abstract watercolour paintings. From the moment you enter the driveway to the retreat off the highway you will feel a relaxed presence starting to fill you. This will only continue to expand as I take you on a creative journey for the day.

You will be surprised and thrilled to be taught as well as experience the tools that I use to get into a creative flow. I will teach you that you don’t need to wait until inspiration shows up but rather that you can manifest creativity through regulating yourself with calming and soothing practices such as breathwork, dancing combined with shaking and drawing. These will all help with creating the desired connection to self. 

You will be taken on an art experience that sees you feel filled with clarity and inspiration to create abstract watercolour landscapes under my calm guidance.

If you feel apprehensive about creating in watercolour I will show you how to let go of that fear by connecting to yourself first. Then your creativity will shine.

If you feel excited and inspired to create but simply don’t know how the watercolour process works, I will show you how to capture that passion and channel it into trusting that you might make mistakes but that it is all part of the process and that surrendering to that mistake is where your magic starts to unfold in a painting.
You will take home 1 - 2 finished abstract watercolour paintings. We will do breathwork and meditation in the garden outside as well as try to do most of our painting in watercolour outside if the weather is ideal. If not there is the perfect cosy indoor upstairs studio for creating within the retreat. Bring a selection of clothing to match the variable spring weather we receive in October. It could be beautiful and warm or it could feel wintery and cold. Either way I will ensure we are in the best environment on the day for connecting within and fostering creativity.


10:30am: Welcome, hot drink and biscuit
Introduction – about me and my art
Line drawing + laughter
Art demo
Dancing, shaking and silliness
Painting – 1 hour
1pm: Lunch + connection – 1 hour
Talk – overcoming failure 
Painting – 1 hour
4:00pm: End


Nourishing lunch, snacks, hot drinks and refreshments.
All materials provided.


A sense of openness to learn and to connect
Your own water bottle (to stay hydrated!)
A image of your favourite landscape or sunset/sunrise (optional)
A notebook (optional)
Anyone seeking a creative, inclusive art experience
A beginner artist with no or very little experience in watercolours
An artist established in another area but wishing to explore a different medium and to learn tools for channeling creativity.
Ages 15 and above.


If you are from out of town you may consider staying at this beautiful retreat.  If you wish to stay on the evening before or after the workshop please enquire with Jenny for availability: jenny@tewhenuaretreat.co.nz Te Whenua Retreat



Enter the code COLLECT at checkout to receive free shipping for your ticket. I will post your ticket to you so please enter your address in the notes at check out.

Payment plans available. Pay for the Earlybird ticket in 3 payments of $85.
Please email me direct to set this up and secure your place in the workshop - sophie@sophiemelville.com

Workshop photos taken in Wanaka by Anneke Photography