Art Making in Morocco

In my recent post about our transformative retreat to Marrakech, Morocco last April, I talked about our daily routine there and the things we saw and did, but I did not dive deeply into our art making practices there. I felt like that deserved it's own post! The magic, the other worldliness, of that place washed over each of us from the very moment we arrived. 
As we absorbed all of the foreign sounds, scents, colors, patterns & motifs, I really could not wait to get working in our painting pavilion.... a beautiful tent that Peacock Pavilions offered us for our use as a studio space during our stay! On our second day there we jumped right in, I unrolled a huge piece of canvas and we created a communal painting, each of us adding drawings, and then pouring washes of colored paint on top.

Like everything that we experienced on our journey, painting together was deeply bonding and fun with these adventurous women. Each of us was so open to every beautiful experience that we shared during our time together...

With each visit out and about around Marrakech and beyond we gathered inspiration in details, small motifs, colors, and especially the good luck symbol of the hand with an eye at the center of the palm, called a Hamsa.

Back to that first painting session in Morocco... Our communal painting turned into an act of worship as we carried it outside to allow the paint to dry. Once outside we began to rub handfuls of the local red earth into the surface of the piece, and then we scattered handfuls of flowers over the top of this.

Spontaneously our group gathered around the painting, a bunch of us sat crosslegged, holding hands while offering tears and prayers up. It was truly a moment I will carry in my heart always. A moment of pure blessed gratitude.

Later on in the week we cut that large communal painting up into squares for each of us. These we continued working on, turning them into dream catchers by stitching them onto a large hop which we decorated with ribbons, tassels and pom poms.

I know that many of these dream catchers have gone on to decorate sacred spaces and personal altars in these women's homes. I hung mine in my favorite room, our screened in porch, where it daily offers me reminders of this beautiful experience!

I can not wait to journey back to Morocco in October and see what new creative adventures await! Find out all the details about our autumn 2017 Marrakech retreat here!

And check out my first post on our amazing 2016 retreat to Morocco right here

Costa Rica Gratitude Offering

Hi beautiful!
How are you feeling right this moment? Every year, when December comes I feel like time speeds up, and I have to remind myself to slow down by making an effort to be in the NOW, even as my mind is jumping ahead. One of the fun ways that I'm welcoming "now" this year is through creating a Botanical Advent of painted leaves for each day in December, and taping them to our dining room wall, just a small thing that's bringing me a heap of inspiration in this busy season!
I'm looking forward to stepping back and taking time off over the next few weeks to celebrate Solstice, Christmas and ring in the New Year with my family! Before that happens there is still time to order from my shop, I'll be shipping gift orders up until Friday, December 16th, that's one more week to order prints, originals and cards....after a huge shop update everything in my shop is looking full and beautiful, including my new abstract original Passages series. Come have a look around.
Connecting with you over the past year has made my heart swell, thank you for your amazing support of my work, as a HUGE thank you I'd like to share a gratitude invitation for you.
As I look ahead to 2017, one of the things I am most excited about are the retreats that I'll be teaching in Costa Rica in the spring, my time there every year is full of refreshment, renewal and creative discovery....
Today's AWESOME Gratitude Offering: 
Today's epic offering is the COSTA RICA retreat, that I teach with Mati McDonough, in March, 2017!! We sold out our April 2017 retreat immediately, so we added a 2nd retreat!! We have not spread the word yet very much, so we are eager to let you know that we have spots and have an EARLY BIRD PRICE!
Join us in Paradise....
Until Christmas, we are offering $300 off the final room price! We will deduct it from the balance after you pay the initial deposit (discount not reflected in prices)! There are limited rooms available, so put it on your Christmas list and gift yourself relaxation, refueling and escape in March!
This will be 3rd time we're running this retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica and it has become something I look forward to all year round!! Please shoot me an email with any questions! No experience painting necessary, just a desire to play with color and inspiration abound:) We would be thrilled to runaway to paraiso with you for the week at the Jungle Beach House! Dining on fresh fruit and delicious food by our chef Marta, painting in the open air, dips in the pool and a private path to the beach.... Pura Vida!
Sending you HEAPS of inspiration and creative fuel for whatever projects are calling you. May blessings multiply in 2017!

Sacred Insight Retreat in Morocco

We have just announced that we are going back to Morocco! Mati McDonough and I are leading another group to gather inspiration in this amazing place, find out all the juicy details here !

I wrote this post at the end of 2016, reflecting on all the beauty that we experienced during our first art retreat in Morocco!........

Here we are in the final month of 2016, a year that felt especially fast to me as I not only did so much traveling, to England, Morocco, Costa Rica and Hawaii, I also wrote my first book on painting which was a whirlwind of deadlines sprinkled in throughout it all! In April I ran my first retreat in Morocco, along with my co-leaders & friends Stephanie Perkinson & Mati McDonough, we welcomed a group of 12 women to Peacock Pavilions a boutique hotel outside of Marrakesh for the Sacred Insight Retreat.

We booked the whole dreamy property for our group and what a gorgeous week of sumptuous experience it was. Peacock Pavilions is dripping with details that the owner Maryam Montague has gathered on her many travels, sculptures, textiles, beads and many of the walls and floors are hand painted, with beautiful patterns at every turn. We dined in a special dining tent, sitting on the floor on pillows, and painted in another pavilion dedicated to our art, set amoungst an ancient olive grove. The air smelled constantly of orange blossoms.

We enjoyed delicious traditional Moroccan meals, as well as a traditional henna experience one evening before going into town for dinner.

I had always dreamed of visiting Morocco, the exotic beauty has appealed to me for as long as I can remember, and everything I imagined was real....being there felt like a wild carnival of humanity, a riot of color, pattern, fabric, mystery, dust & desert, so very different than anywhere else I've ever been. My favorite part of our time there was wandering the narrow streets of Marrakesh as we explored the Medina and adventured into little shops and restaurants during our days out in the city.

On a beautiful day trip to the coastal city of Essouaria, we experienced the highlight of our time in Morocco...a golden hour camel ride on the beach, caravan style with each of our camels following another, draped in colorful blankets, we passed ancient ruins, stray dogs and playing children. For those moments I felt outside of time, lifted up by the sparkling sunshine dancing on us over the dunes.

We were blessed with an amazing group of adventurous shining souls to share this experience with, each of them has a piece of my heart and our shared Moroccan adventure is something we're forever bonded by. Now Morocco is under my skin...I'm dreaming up what a return trip will look like, as we plan what new adventures Mati McDonough and I will explore when we lead another group in this amazing place.
 We are returning in October 2017, find out all of the details on my website!
Along with all of the adventures that we had, we also created some beautiful art together, come on over and read my post about our art making in Morocco!

Artists For Love

What a heavy week it has been, so much fear, sadness and shock all around. As a very empathic person I have felt the weight of all of it deeply, and I have been further saddened by the verbal attacks that I have seen on social media. Rather than continuing the cycle of anger I see what is happening currently as a rallying cry for more peace and more love no matter what side of the fence you stand on politically.

A dear friend said something recently that resonated with me deeply, in light of current events, that she has never believed that it is more vital to make art.

In times of distress, when we need to see the light but it is hard, each of us needs to turn within and seek out that which makes us feel most alive. Bringing more of what makes you feel most alive out into the world will in turn light others up. As Martin Luther King, Jr. so famously said darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that. Let us be a light for each other!

In the effort to create more compassion and love in the world, I'm joining other art sisters in the online community in creating this poster for LOVE. By doing this I do not intend to create a further divide with anyone, this is intended as a holy offering of love, a bridge to unity and inclusivity.
Join the #artistsforlove movement by creating your own image of love, and sharing it under the #artistsforlove hashtag, and by CLICKING HERE to get a free downloadable PDF of this image, print it out as many times as you like*, post it in your home, neighborhood, any where that could use a bit more love.

With wishes for many blessings,

*This PDF is for your own personal use and can not be sold, image copyright and all rights reserved Faith Evans-Sills.
Hello Beautiful One,

Do you feel the change in the air? At the start of every Autumn season I feel myself turning inward, looking back on the busy beautiful summer and reflecting on the quieter season ahead. Summer for me was a busy one this year, in August I finished my book Painting the Sacred Within, co-authored with my dear friend Mati McDonough. The book is full of all of the inspiration that we've gathered in two years of co-teaching our year long online class Painting the Sacred Within, covering so many topic close to our hearts from inspiration gathering, step-by-step layered painting projects, abstraction techniques, mandalas, and so much more! The book with be published through North Light Press in May 2017, we'll be announcing some pre-order specials and sneak peaks of the book in the coming months, along with a summer book tour!!

As we turn the corner into Autumn our first retreat here in Charleston is just a few weeks away! Mati and I have so much beauty planned for this painting retreat, spots have filled very fast and right now we only have two spots left!

Join us as we spend a weekend diving deep into soul filling painting at a mansion by the beach in Charleston, South Carolina.  We will spend the weekend down a dirt road, just a short walk to the ocean—gorgeous Folly beach. We'll have expansive marsh views from our large deck, a private pool, and so many chairs and hammocks. This will be a time to relax and enjoy gathering inspiration at every turn. We've designed the painting projects to be for all levels. In our paintings we'll explore a sense of place, bringing the local beauty into our work through mark making prompts, local color and exploring layered painting techniques. We'll take breaks to enjoy yummy catered food, and even have the option of dreamy portrait sessions with photographer Andrea Jenkins who will be with us all weekend!

Nothing makes me feel so honored as when women bravely join us on these retreat adventures. I know it's bold, and a bit scary to step in faith into a group of unknown women, to create with them, bare your soul with them in an unknown place. Over and over again now, as I have been doing the heart work of hosting these groups of women on art retreats for a few years, I have seen the beauty that unfolds as we unveil ourselves to each other within the safe space that these retreats create. Each retreat feels like a space outside of time where we step out of our day-to-day lives and allow ourselves to notice, to feel, to receive support and encouragement of other women.

Our Pura Vida Retreat in Costa Rica has become one of my favorite times of the year, this coming spring will be the third year that Mati and I have painted in Paraiso in Costa Rica with a group of women there at the Jungle Beach House...the magical property that we take over with its open air workspace, private path to the beach, and of course Marta our amazing cook and "mother" to all in the group. The beauty of that place, and the relaxation that I feel there, seeps into me and I carry it with me for the rest of the year. In June we announced our Spring 2017 Costa Rica retreat which will be April 3-9, 2017 and the retreat sold out incredibly fast! We love our time there so much, and want to be able to share the wonder of that place with more of you....

We are so excited to announce that we have added a second week in the spring, yipee!! Registration went live yesterday for:

If you've ever thought about joining us on this beloved retreat now is your chance!

Really these retreats nourish me in a way that my soul deeply longs for, I know that if I'm not taking care of myself then I'm no good for all those that depend on me. Sending wishes for more of this soul joy for all of you, along with love and courage as you approach your heart's work in the season ahead,

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