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  1. VIP Retreat


  1. One Day
  2. Multiple Days


  1.  Art Classes
  2.  Coaching & Art


VIP Nourish Your Soul Retreat - Hedgesville, WV - June 7-9, 2024

In today’s fast paced world creativity often takes a back seat 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. Many people  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. Working with various art forms such as painting, drawing, clay sculpting, and creative writing, will 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
  • Strengthen you Emotional Intelligence
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 the 2023 Summer Nourish your Soul 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.

Nourish your soul Retreat

A Unique Retreat Experience

With over a decade of experience facilitating workshops centered on intuition and self-expression, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of immersive experiences firsthand. Now, it’s time to take that journey to the next level with multi-day retreats designed to unlock your creativity and deepen your connection with nature.

Nestled within a picturesque golf community surrounded by 22,000 acres of pristine forest, and only 90 minutes from Washington-DC, my retreats offer the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of every day life and immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world. Step outside my doorstep, and you’ll find yourself on hiking trails teeming with inspiration and exploration possibilities. 

If the weather plays nice, we’ll venture into the woods for a hands-on exploration of nature’s wonders. Through guided exercises and immersive experiences, you’ll learn to sharpen your visual awareness and observation skills, unlocking a newfound appreciation for the colors, shapes, textures, and patterns that surround you.

But that’s just the beginning. Prepare to be surprised by the myriad of creative opportunities that await you during your retreat experience. With 35 AirBnbs and 4 lodges available for rent in the area, accommodations are plentiful. Plus, with two guest rooms available in my own home, finding a cozy place to rest your head won’t be a problem. You will also enjoy the healthy home cooked meals that will be provided.

Embark on a journey of self-discovery and creative exploration unlike any other. Join me for a retreat experience that will leave you feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and ready to unleash your full creative potential.

Check out the reviews of the last retreat and a few workshops on request.

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

What's included?

Our weekend immersion begins with a warm welcome on Friday at 4pm, where you’ll enjoy a delightful meet and greet accompanied by a festive cocktail, and a welcome gift package, followed by a cozy dinner. During this time, you’ll have ample opportunity to acquaint yourself with fellow participants, review handouts, and discuss your expectations and motivations.

The main program kicks off on Saturday at 9am, running until approximately 5pm, and continues on Sunday from 9am to 4pm.

Throughout the weekend, refreshments will be readily available, and both days will feature light and wholesome lunches made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredient.

All meals (European cuisine) are lovingly prepared in-house, ensuring a delicious culinary experience. While dinner on Saturday evening is not included, arrangements will be made for those interested in dining at a local restaurant. Simply let me know on Friday if you wish to join. It will be fun.

Rest assured, all art materials needed for the retreat are provided, so there’s no need to bring anything except your enthusiasm and eagerness to create. 

With a maximum capacity of six participants, our VIP weekend experience offers personalized attention and ample opportunity for growth and learning in a warm and supportive group of women.

Cancellation policy:

. 75% refund until May 10, 2024

. 25% refund until May 24, 2024

. After May 25, 2024 no refund (no exceptions).

Summer 2024 - Retreat

Nourish Your Soul Retreat: June 7-9, 2024 (2,5 days):


Questions Answered

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 weekend. You will be focusing on that intention during the retreat. Of course, you can tweak  it as you go. It’s just a way to tell your body what to expect.

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

Our Retreat Experience: A Recap

Our retreat weekend commenced with a delightful Friday evening gathering on the porch, where we all mingled over drinks and enjoyed a delicious dinner. The following morning after breakfast we started with movement and an interesting icebreaker. Throughout the morning, we delved into an exploration of the inner saboteur’s influence on our creativity and freedom.

Over lunch, we took a brief excursion to the nearby art market in the park, immersing ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere and live music by a local band.

Returning to our retreat space, – indoor or outdoors was the choice -, we engaged in a captivating exercise that seamlessly integrated. movement, painting, drawing, and clay sculpting. As evening descended, we savored a delightful dinner on the patio of a local Thai restaurant, further deepening our connections.

Sunday morning brought a rejuvenating trip to the woods, where we honed our visual awareness and observation skills through immersive exercises. Back at the house, participants had ample time to create art inspired by nature, using found treasures to craft paintings or 3D sculptures, and express ourselves through intuitive poems and prose.

As the day drew to a close, we gathered for a closing round of reflection and gratitude before bidding farewell at 4pm, enriched by our shared experiences and newfound inspirations.

It was hard to say goodbye after such a weekend of deep connections and group bonding.

More Reviews - Nourish Your Soul Summer 2023

Highten your awareness exercise.
Artwork at Nourish Your soul retreat
Art made during the Nourish Your soul retreat

Upon close observation of 144 square inches of forest floor in June during a time of wildfires.
Poem by Anne-Louise Oliphant

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 o 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


Hedgesville, WV

Small retreats of 1,  2 or 3 days will be tailored to your wishes, goals, and interests. It’s a whole package just like the annual Nourish Your Soul Retreat. The difference is that you can schedule it on a date that is convenient for your schedule, 1, 2, or 3 days.

Few pictures of a 2-day Abstract Painting Workshop August, 2023. One local participant with her friend from Germany.

It was a fun couple of days with lots of painting and delicious and healthy home cooked meals.

April 19-21, 2024

Another fabulous 3 day retreat with 2 participants. Here the focus was more on coaching and painting feelings. Learning the difference between feelings and thoughts. This knowledge gives you better control over automatic behaviors.

“I just like to thank you again for the wonderful weekend. You are an excellent cook, a gracious host, a great coach, and a gregarious friend. . I am brimming with energy and creativity. Be well!”  F.S.


Hedgesville, WV

If you like to schedule a private painting class. This can also be tailored to your wishes. It can be just painting, or painting with coaching. Or just coaching.

Are you interested in learning the techniques of painting with oils or acrylics in abstract or realistic form you are at the right address. 

I teach on Zoom but also in my studio in Hedgesville, WV.

One day Private Abstract Class – A Relaxed day.

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