Painting Workshops and Retreats

Creative Adventures in Bellingham, WA

In a harried world, the time to creatively play is more important than ever. Painting workshops offer a respite from the trappings of modern life, so we provide breathing room for the spirit and a chance to grow while creating something of meaning. Our immersive studio painting opportunities are offered year-round, in addition to vacation styled painting and sightseeing retreats, which are perfect for the beginner to experienced painter. We can also custom design events tailored to suit your personal group, alumni or organization's need, and offer professional development clinics aimed at budding and established artists, looking to jumpstart their careers.


Fusing Learning & Fun

Art is accessible to anyone, and ALL human beings are creative, with hard-wired imagination and inventiveness just waiting to be acted on. Unlocking these tireless forces requires letting go of fear, and the negative stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.

It's not who we think we are that holds us back, but who we think we're NOT.

So come on an adventure. Be around good energy. Connect with interesting people. Learn new things and grow.


  • Yvette is a fabulous teacher and I learned so much about different acrylic mediums and techniques. Her studio is absolutely beautiful and she and her husband Derek are gracious hosts. I highly recommend the 3-day abstract painting course and I’m looking forward to taking another course from Yvette again! 💚


  • The dial in my minds’ eye is set to ‘artist’ and I see the design, lines, shapes and colors in all that I see. I have always been a ‘visual’ person, but the knowledge and experience I gained in these past few days, deepened my perception, wow, what could be better than that? 💚


  • The trip to Bellingham was fabulous. Creative Adventures with Yvette and Derek was amazing, very well-planned and perfect in every way. We were handled like friends with V.I.P. privileges at all times, and left each day wanting more. This was one of my most favorite weeks ever – I’m so glad I went! 💚


  • All I can say is WOW – This is the most amazing experience ever.💚


  • I want to somehow convey how much these days of art and creativity immersion have meant to me. Thank you for your generosity of spirit, your willingness to share your talent, heart, and knowledge to make the world, our community and our place in it, more beautiful.💚


  • My week with Yvette and Derek was beyond memorable and a treasure in every conceivable way. I am wowing all of my friends with details of my visit. Yvette possesses many gifts: phenomenal artistic ability, intelligence, boundless curiosity, and a genuine warmth that pours out of every pore in her body.💚


  • I could not have asked for a more fabulous vacation than what I received from Yvette Neumann and her “team” during my 3-day Painting Retreat. Her beautiful and inspiring environment was perfect, and the instruction and support was exactly what I needed to progress along my path toward painting more professionally. (It is a very long path!) Yvette’s service was optimal too, including door-to-door pick-ups, fabulous lunches, excellent wines, and some much needed pet therapy from Logan and Amy –  thank you!💚


  • I will cherish my experience at Creative Life Adventures always! Yvette and Derek Neumann made every aspect of our event memorable with a perfect blend of stimulation and relaxation! Thank you for sharing your talents and spreading joy to others!💚


  • The week was sensational. It was just more than I thought it would be. The process of painting was more intricate than I imagined – Yvette and Derek were great. Yvette’s kind encouragement has made me want to paint again, so I’m coming to work with her next summer for a week.  I think I will learn more from her that week than having somebody here for a year!💚


  • Just returned from one of their ‘custom group adventures’–and every aspect was PERFECT!💚


  • The Abstract Painting workshop was fantastic! With Yvette’s encouragement, I felt safe enough to try a great variety of new techniques and to take creative risks. She is a born teacher, and as a teacher myself, I appreciated how she met the needs of all of the workshop participants right at their varied levels of knowledge and experience. I plan to take her classes again because I learned more in three days than I considered to be possible.💚


  • I am still feeling so uplifted from my “week of art heaven” with you. Thank you again for your individualized instruction in your beautiful and inviting studio space, for the decadent and delicious meals, for all the extras – your extra time in facilitating wonderful visits with other artists, book recommendations, and gifts; it was exactly – EXACTLY – what I needed right now in my life!💚


  • I am still on cloud nine after the extraordinary art weekend with Yvette and Derek. I felt like a kid in a candy store as I walked in the door! A treasure trove of art supplies at your fingertips and the gorgeous work space was “home” for three days!💚


  • Absolutely enchanting retreat. From an orca whale watching cruise to relaxing in a beautiful remodeled old barn, the ambience was amazing to say the least. Yvette’s paintings seemed to always follow the lighting of the day. In the sunlight, crisp, clean and airy. And with the sunset, colors I didn’t notice before, warm, comforting and glowing. There’s not enough I can say about this hidden gem!💚


  • Thank you so much for the glorious experience.  It was a blast!!  I learned so much!💚


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Painting Workshops

Abstract Painting Workshop

Abstract Painting

Spend 3 lavish days creating a personal masterpiece from the ground up, applying key painting skills and a design-driven methodology, under the guidance of a professional fine art painter. Our painting workshops are designed for beginner to experienced painters and follow a relaxed Atelier model. Because students work at their own pace and painting experience level, our program is well suited to both the first-time attendee and returning student painters.

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Painting And Sightseeing Retreats

Art, Local Culture & North Cascades

Devote a fun-filled week, combining the joys of art making and self-discovery with a charming dive into the local area. Spend alternating days in the studio to create a personal masterpiece from the ground up, and in between days touring artful, local attractions and scenic Mt. Baker National Forest. Intimate and tailored for relaxation, each retreat is the perfect balance of art making, arts-inspired tourism, and the great outdoors.

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Art, Local Culture & San Juan Island

Devote a fun-filled week to combining the joys of art making and self-discovery with a charming dive into the local area. Spend alternating days in the studio, creating a personal masterpiece from the ground up, and in between days exploring local city attractions and breathtaking Friday Harbor. Intimate and tailored for relaxation, each retreat is the perfect balance of art making, arts-inspired tourism, and the great outdoors.

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Custom Tailored Painting Retreats

University Of Michigan Deep Blue Series

We’re proud to be partnering with University of Michigan Alumni Travel Office for our 3rd year, to bring an immersive hands-on experience that will inspire, push and enrich all you Wolverines out there! Specially curated and sized for intimacy, this week-long trip isn’t for the passive traveler, and explores hands-on experiences and activities including professionally guided studio painting, visits to interesting local attractions, scenic excursions into nature, and a bevy of Northwest artisan delights.

August 5 - August 11, 2018

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Design Your Own Retreat

Imagine fusing art making, local culture, sightseeing, and great outdoor activities in creative combinations for your group of 4 to 8 people. Talk to us about creating a custom adventure experience, suited to your group’s interests and preferences. Whether an inventive team-building opportunity for your business, a reunion with college friends or cherished alumni group, or simply a planned vacation with family and friends, let us design your unforgettable event.

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Professional Development Clinics

Business for Artists Workshops

Studio Management & Business For Artists 

There's so much to know about being an artist, besides being really good at your craft. Working artists are by default, business entrepreneurs. Therefore understanding how to position, market, and sell work are imperatives to realizing any success. Thanks to the internet, the rise of social media and readily available technology tools, artists now have greater power to effect and access markets controlled by traditional channels in the past. We can help you grow and polish your professional presence, get organized in your practices and processes, and become more strategic in your marketing approach, allowing you to put your best foot forward.

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