3-Day Abstract Painting Retreat (in-person)


Would you like to experience the joy and freedom of abstract painting? Learn to paint colourful, joyful abstracts with award-winning artist Cassandra Gaisford. Small, social, in-person workshops.

The purpose of this workshop is to inspire you with new ideas, whether you are revising your work, beginning afresh or embarking on a new direction. This is why this workshop applies equally to beginning and advanced artists. It covers core principles, including composition, values, colour harmony, texture, inspiration and other important elements of abstract art.

Over the course of this workshop, you will discover the unique process of intuitive painting, including mark-making, action paintings and engaging with a blend of tools to unveil countless approaches to create cohesive and joyous work with colour and composition. All while loosening up and losing yourself in the field of colour.

Beginning artists will receive support and encouragement. Cassandra will be with you every step of the way as she teaches and provides one-on-one guidance and feedback.

Emphasis will be placed on the skills necessary to complete simple and engaging artworks. You will be encouraged to work together as well as receive one-on-one instruction. Each participant can expect to create two small abstract paintings and one medium-sized painting they love!


If you can’t make it to my in-person class you will love, love, love Play Dates—the 6-week online course I’ve created just for you 


Workshop Dates


Friday 24 to Sunday 26 Nov. 2023. Arriving Friday, November 24 and departing Sunday November 26




“The whole experience was totally enjoyable! I enrolled in the workshop wanting to learn how to relax into the creative process and how to playfully explore the new (for me) medium of acrylic paints, letting go of any concern about results. I did this. I was totally lost in the process… in the magic ‘timeless zone’. Cassandra was a wonderful facilitator who was very intuitive. We were all encouraged to fearlessly follow our own passions. Theory and technical skills were explored through quick ‘play date’ activities followed by reflection. The small group meant we got a lot of individual support from Cassandra as well as encouragement from the other wonderful participants. I took away some paintings on canvas. I will continue to keep exploring. The environment was also magical.”


Lyn review abstract painting

“I feel more confident and feel that as I continue to ‘play ’ and experiment my work will evolve more and more. It’s a great feeling knowing I have this creative outlet in my life, especially nowadays.”


“I’m 72, I’m young at heart and still trying to learn as much as I can so that I can push my art-making to its potential. Thank you for being such an inspiring person.”


carol testimonial

judy testimomial

Ali testimonial 3 day art retreat






Do I need experience?

No this is an all levels course—beginners are welcome as are experienced artists. You are totally in safe, non-judgemental and skilled hands. A willingness to experiment and play is the only pre-requisite

Is there an age limit?

Anyone over the age of fifteen is able to participate in the workshop.

Can I extend for some one-on-one time?

Definitely, consider combining one-on-one time with something truly bespoke…perhaps a wine and art tour enjoying the best the Bay of Islands has to offer. Gourmet food, award-winning wine, personalised tuition and more! $900 per day.

Once I enrol can I change my workshop/ one-on-one date?

This is a non-refundable payment and the workshop/one-on-one date selected cannot be changed or swapped for a future day.


Is this a residential art retreat?

There is a wide range of accommodation options in Kerikeri. Click here to view a couple of affordable and comfortable options for you to consider>>

The Joyful Artist