Nourishing Your Soul Retreat
Through Creative Process

This retreat is for ONLY 6 participants

Summer 2024

Embrace Your Inner Artist: Unlock the Depths of Creativity through Artistic Exploration

In today’s fast-paced world, creativity often takes a backseat amidst the demands of daily life. However, it is essential to nurture and explore our creative potential, as it holds the key to self-discovery and personal growth. This weekend retreat offers a transformative journey to dive deep into the unconscious mind using various art forms, liberating you from creative limitations and empowering you to unleash your inner artist. Join me for an immersive experience that will enrich your soul and leave you with a profound understanding of your creative capabilities.

Themes for the weekend include:

  • Understanding the Power of Creativity

    Creativity is a boundless force residing within each of us, waiting to be unleashed. However, many individuals find themselves stuck in the rigidity of routine and self-doubt, unable to tap into this wellspring of inspiration. At our retreat, we firmly believe that everyone is an artist, and we are dedicated to guiding you in discovering your unique creative voice.

    Exploring the Unconscious Mind through Art

    The unconscious mind is a reservoir of untapped potential and hidden emotions. By employing various art forms such as painting, drawing, sculpting, and creative writing, I provide a safe space for you to express yourself freely. These artistic mediums act as a gateway to accessing the deeper recesses of your mind, allowing you to process emotions, memories, and thoughts that may have been buried.

  • Breaking Free from Creative Limitations

    Throughout life, we encounter barriers that hinder our creative expression. Whether it be fear of judgment, self-criticism, or past failures, these limitations restrict our artistic growth. This retreat employs guided exercises, group discussions, and one-on-one mentoring sessions to help you confront and overcome these obstacles, fostering a sense of creative liberation.

  • Cultivating Mindfulness and Self-Awareness

    Artistic exploration is not only about creating visually appealing pieces; it is a journey of self-discovery. Through mindfulness practices, meditation, and reflection, this retreat encourages a deeper understanding of your emotions, desires, and beliefs. This heightened self-awareness will empower you to channel your emotions into your art, creating authentic and meaningful pieces.


In short ...

  • Revitalize your joy in play
  • An Inner journey to discover spirit
  • Rediscover your innate creativity
  • Use the arts for self-expression and communication
  • Connect to the sacred qualities of community 
There are no artistic requirements for this retreat. Even if you have never painted before, you can fully participate. That’s the beauty of it.

Reviews of Spring Retreat

I attended Elisabeth Vismans’ 3-day retreat in West Virginia: Nourish Your Soul (June 9-11, 2023). What a wonderful time! The group of 5 women who attended enjoyed each other’s company so much. Elisabeth created a program that was easy to follow and engaging. We worked on a variety of projects (painting, writing, sculpting, sharing) in different art mediums. The retreat provided a combo of quiet times and sharing/learning from each other. Each attendees was able to address their particular themes/interests with Elisabeth’s full attention and support. I would love to attend a workshop like this one again in the future. Thanks, Elisabeth! Martina Sestakova

I’ve enjoyed taking Elisabeth’s Playing with Abstraction class and attending a personal coaching retreat at her lovely home in West Virginia. Elisabeth is a gifted and gracious teacher and an authentic woman whose warmth radiates and embraces. Both of my experiences with Elisabeth were pivotal for me as an evolving artist and as an individual. I had fun, learned a lot, and developed a lasting relationship with a genuinely creative visionary. I will continue to take her classes and her retreats. Fran Simon, M.Ed.


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My Experience

I have been facilitating workshops for well over a decade with emphasis on intuition and self-expression. I felt the time has finally come to branch out to multiple day retreats where even more can be accomplished.

Where I live is the perfect place for it. It’s a golf community surrounded by 22,000 acres of forest. Hiking trails are practically at my backdoor. I can literally walk to the trails. We will be spending some time there too – weather permitting – and I have the perfect exploration in the woods for you. The goal is to give you an easy way to prime and upgrade your visual awareness and observation skills. With a few minutes of practice you’ll notice your ability to see colors, shapes, textures, patterns & other sensory clues in nature becomes sharper and more natural. 

And not just that. There are more creative surprises.

There are 35 AirBnB’s here, as well as 4 lodges for rent. I have 2 guest rooms and can house some of you without any trouble. 

Location: 622 Tecumseh Trl, Hedgesville, WV 25427 (30 minutes from Hagerstown).

What is this all going to cost?

First a bit more information of the weekend in nature. We will gather Friday at 4pm for a meet and greet with a festive cocktail in hand, followed by dinner. 

Saturday we start at 9am –  5pm

Sunday 9am – 4pm.

Non alcoholic beverages will be available throughout; light and healthy lunches on both days are all included.  

All meals are delicious home cooked with fresh ingredients.

Dinner Saturday evening is not included. With enough interest I can make reservations in a local restaurant. Let me know on Friday if you want to join.

All art materials are included, so you don’t have to bring anything. 

Max seats: 6

Fee for the weekend (Fr/Sa/Su): $385

Cancellation policy:

75% refund until August 1, 2023
25% refund until September 15, 2023

After September 15, 2023: no refund (no exceptions).

Upon registration I can advise about lodging. 

Location: 622 Tecumseh Trl, Hedgesville, WV 25427 (30 minutes from Hagerstown).

Frequently asked questions

Q: Do I have to be good at painting or any other form of art?

A: No. We only work with intuition. It’s not about making “pretty art/pictures”. The learning is in the process, the journey. It’s not about technique.

Friday evening you will receive the whole program and will be asked to think about an intention for the days to follow. You will be focusing on that intention for the rest of the weekend. Of course, you can tweak it as you go. It’s just a way to tell your body what you want from it.

My intention for this retreat is for you to wake up/strengthen your creative instincts in a safe and non-judgmental container. To unleash your Creative Goddess!  

Most important is to keep an open mind and to happily explore, without any self critique. Get comfortable with the  unknown. Your inner wisdom will lovingly guide you.

We already have a fabulous group of women and only a few open spots are still available.

Q: What to wear?

A: Comfortable clothes and shoes to walk on the trail, hat, bug spay, suntan lotion. I will send you an email 2 weeks prior to the retreat with all those details.

Q: Do I have to participate in something I don’t want to do?

A: No. All instructions are always suggestions. You have the option not to do them. Be your own boss! As children we were brought up to do what the teacher told us. Here you can take full responsibility for yourself. If you find that you would rather write than do artwork, or stay seated when moving is suggested it’s entirely up to you to participate or not. You will set you own intention for the retreat.

Q: Can I bring my own journal?

A: Of course. You can bring anything. you like. But keep in mind that all art materials will be provided, incl. a sketchbook for all participants, but if you have something special you would like to work with feel free to bring it. We will be working with water based paint, charcoal, markers, ink, you name it, on large format papers, that can be cut to any smaller size. I will also have clay to experiment with.

Q: Where do I stay?

A: Lodging in The Woods, Hedgesville, WV:

At The Woods, we offer a variety of accommodations to suit your needs, budget, and style. Choose from Meadow Cottage, Pinecrest Cottages, or Vacation Homes.

Upon Registration I can put you on a list for sharing accommodations. 

Keep in mind that The Woods is a popular place in the summer, so my advice is to make reservations early.

Accommodations in The Woods

Visuals of the June 9-11, 2023 Retreat

We started Friday with drinks and dinner. The next morning we dove right in with a movement exercise outdoors, followed by meditation. We spent the morning exploring the power the saboteur has over us and how he’s  holding us back from being free and creative. After lunch we paid a brief visit to the art market here in the park. A local event with live music. Once back at home we had another interesting exercise integrating movement, painting, drawing and clay. Dinner was on the patio of a Thai restaurant. 

Sunday morning we went to the Woods for an exercise priming and upgrading visual awareness and observation skills. Back at the house there was ample time to make art with nature’s treasures in the form of paintings or 3D art. Poems, prose … all was done intuitively.

After the closing round at 3pm everyone went home shortly after 4pm. 

Upon close observation of 144 square inches of forest floor in June during a time of wildfires.

My task: timelessness

The practice of perception. In dappled light, a quadrant of life
defined by twigs,
the boundaries train my eye.

The first citizens are the ants
whose industry does not cease.
Their pathways follow invisible ley lines,
no random route is theirs.

The play of shadow over trembling ferns – with each subtle breeze they dance –
those fronds the alveoli of the forest’s lungs.  

Life out of death is the theme of this symphony’s first movement, whose melody is birdsong and the insects’ trill.

The skeletal veins of dead leaves
form the nurturing substrate of new life.

The tender artistry of a spider’s web suspended over dried grasses.

How audacious is the seedling’s aim
to soar as canopy.
while aphids shade under its newborn leaves.

My kingdom is more dry than lush –
such brittle fare for careless spark’s hungry maw.
New shoots’ brave stand would not endure
a burning rampage swift and sure.
But hope alights despite the threat,
oxygen – our life’s breath – the fuel.

Anne-Louise Bateman Oliphant

June 11, 2023


                   Anne-Louise’s Review

The Art of Being in the Moment 

Retreat with Elisabeth Vismans, June 9 – 11, 2023

The greatest gift of this weekend retreat is the sense of welcome into a creative space to stir the senses: light, flavor, texture, music, and movement. In Elisabeth’s airy refuge in the woods, something delights the eye everywhere you look with lush plants and her vibrant art on the walls. 

Our opening session set the tone of trust, freedom, support, and openness — and the dinner feast that Elisabeth prepared nourished us body and soul. The group shared the joys of warm soothing stew, fresh bread, pie to celebrate, candlelight, and great company. There is a sure sense that exactly the right people are meant to be here for exactly the right reasons.

The first morning’s exercise was a revelation as Elisabeth invited us to inhabit different gender roles using color, movement, and imagination to get centered and use the body to help us be in the moment.

The next work we did on the inner saboteur unearthed deeper truths — challenging me to paint from my intuition and give voice to the old beliefs that hold me back.  Working in clay and with paint for the afternoon session exploring poses reflecting how I feel in my life now — and how I want to feel — generated some powerful insights and meaningful work.  This exercise got to the very root of the bodily sensation of deep emotions — beyond words — and helped focus my conscious mind on the longing that my unconscious body-mind holds, for my life, for my future, and for my legacy.

On Sunday morning, Elisabeth challenged us to observe a square foot of the forest floor in the woods near her home. This full sensory immersion brought unexpected insights and subtle joys as I grounded myself laying on a carpet of soft leaves and tender plants to pay close attention to a small verdant kingdom within the confines of four twigs. A poem emerged spontaneously from my spiritual “field notes” from this time in nature.

As I leave, I am taking with me a profound sense of creative refreshment, nourishment, and inspiration thanks to Elisabeth’s generosity, vision, and example of creativity and grace.

Anne-Louise Bateman Oliphant

Hedgesville, WV

Margaret’s Art and Review