Intro to Composition and Design-Driven Painting

    Whether you’re an experienced painter or just learning to paint, creating an original work involves thinking about the many decisions you’ll need to make along the way. While great artists will tell you their life is spent literally perfecting their craft, the good news is key skills are finite, and can be mastered in isolation, with practice.

    Students Say It Best

    • 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!💚


    Painting Workshop Description

    Over 3 days, create a personal masterpiece from the ground up, using essential painting and composition skills and a design-driven methodology. Working with a range of art materials and a focus on form, color, and texture, apply principles and aesthetic considerations of good design to your project. Explore the art and science of color mixing, glazing, and popular textural techniques at your personal interest level and pace. No need for art materials, tools etcetera – all are conveniently provided.

    Activities Overview

    Catered lunches, healthy snacks, and a daily Happy Hour Social at the conclusion of each day, are an ideal balance of creative expression and socializing in a safe, collaborative environment.This workshop is appropriate for the beginner to experienced painter alike, and strives to meet you where you are in your personal practice and stage of painting experience. The outline of this workshop is loosely patterned after the traditional Atelier model, where a professional painter works with a small number of students to train them in visual fine arts. We've developed a meaningfully structured practicum with many different learning levels in mind, to challenge students of all backgrounds and skill levels within a single class. This enables students to focus on personal learning goals of their choice and discretion in a safe and nurturing environment, without the pressure to produce great art. This lightly free-form approach supports students returning again and again, for the purposes of honing key skills and maturing overall painting expertise and experience.

    A Full Service Experience

    Each workshop session has been carefully choreographed behind the scenes, so your days flow effortlessly. A high-level overview of what to expect appears below, where we emphasize ‘slowing your roll’. Upon booking, clients receive a detailed itinerary and more comprehensive information about their specific session.

    Our Time Together

    DAYS 1 THRU 3

    In a harried world, the opportunity to 'recharge' is essential. Our authentic Northwest experience combines the love of art, the great outdoors, and "slowing your roll" in a beautiful way. Connect to the artist within, letting your creativity find its own unique voice and style. Be touched and surprised by what you discover through play and mindful expression, while connecting with other creative spirits in a collaborative and non-judgmental environment.

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    Painting Workshop

    DAY 1

    Arrive at Yvette Neumann Fine Art Studio to begin work on your very own masterpiece. Divided into morning and afternoon painting sessions, the construction process will be broken down into easy, bite-sized lessons, throughout which you'll be offered invaluable prompts and exercises to support the design and composition of your work. Enjoy a tasty, catered lunch on the patio and a relaxing Happy Hour Social in the Gallery and garden at day's end.

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    Painting Workshop

    DAY 2

    Return to the studio to continue refining your work in AM and PM painting sessions. You'll be encouraged to experiment with tools, materials, and techniques that are demonstrated to you, as you explore methods for abstraction, composition, color theory, and more. Progress reveals a maturing work, taking form. Another catered lunch, followed by another soothing Social Hour in the gallery and garden; this is living at its best. You're now two-thirds of the way to completing your visual opus.

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    Painting Workshop

    DAY 3

    Finalize painting refinements on your final day, and with plenty of one-on-one help to put finishing touches on your one-of-a-kind masterpiece, complete the creative process begun on Day 1. Tips for hanging, framing, cleaning and more will be shared, along with vendor sources for materials used throughout your journey. A final intimate lunch, with the rest of the afternoon to paint to your heart's delight. Now comes the hard part - deciding where to hang your new original artwork.

    What's Included

    Art Materials

    All art materials needed to develop your personal masterpiece:
    Level 2 (Artist Grade) and 3 (Professional Grade) acrylic paints and mediums. Sketching + practice materials. Paint apron, brushes, rags and assorted tools. Gallery quality canvas. Supplemental supplies include acrylic inks, pastels + more (Store value $300)

    Local Transportation

    We cover transportation to and from YNFA Studio daily from a central pickup point in Bellingham. Alternatively, students may also drive themselves if preferred.

    Food and Drink

    Daily gourmet lunch, healthy snacks and beverages throughout the day, and two hosted Happy Hour Socials at the conclusion of days 1 and 2. We work with local restaurants to bring you healthful, locally sourced and wholesome foods. Gluten-free, vegetarian, as well as other dietary needs are no problem.

    Friendship and Support

    Welcome gift and other surprises await you - enjoy our studio library, meditation path, (it's a labyrinth!), expansive garden, and feeding a bevy of beloved 4-legged friends.

    Abstract Painting Workshop


    per artist

    *lodging and transportation to Bellingham not included
    Check Available Dates

    Please refer to our helpful FAQ’s for additional information about our popular art-inspired adventures. Space availability for each session is limited to just 8 adventurers at a time, so we encourage you to book early. Travel Insurance helps you plan for the unpredictable, and we highly recommend you obtain policy coverage when booking an adventure with us. Refer to our Policies/Limitations page for any questions concerning your adventure tour booking – a $250 deposit is required to hold your reservation. We will contact you about payment arrangements upon confirmation of your booking with us.