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Winter Art Retreat Melbourne

King Valley Winter Art Retreat Melbourne 2023

Jul 04, 2023 (12:00 AM) - Jul 09, 2023 (11:59 PM)

Melbourne Art Retreats

For those who have only painted a little or for the advanced artist, The King Valley Art Retreat provides a rich learning environment.  Tuition takes place in the outdoors as well as in the classroom and there are several opportunities to paint each day.

Participants enjoy several days of solid tuition, delicious home cooked meals and basic yet comfortable accomodation all in a nurturing, relaxed, friendly environment. A feature of the experience is always the camaraderie of the group.

NOTE: Ticket will open 8 weeks prior to the event date.

Retreat Dates for 2023

Autumn Retreat   2nd – 7th May
Winter Retreat     4th  – 9th July
Summer Retreat  5th – 10th December 

Each Retreat begins with the Tuesday evening meal and finishes after Sunday brunch. 

I have managed to hold costs for a few years, but now unfortunately prices have increased a little.  New prices are below:

$895 pp all included
$585 partners (no tuition)

Weekend rate (any two days/nights during the retreat dates)
$385 pp all included
$260 partners (no tuition)

Places are limited so I advise you to book and pay early. Payment secures your place. Once tickets open you can book your tickets at the bottom of this page.

Once you have booked your place further instructions with a more comprehensive schedule, materials list, directions, bedding etc. will be sent to you. I am very excited about our 2023 Summer, Autumn and Winter Retreats and ‘getting away from it all’ – hope to see you in 2023!

Ben Winspear

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation must be in writing to ben@benwinspearart.com

Cancellation up to six weeks out from Retreat start date  75% of fees paid will be refunded
Cancellation up to three weeks out from Retreat start date 50% of fees paid will refunded
Cancellation up to tens days out from Retreat start date no refund will be given

COVID-19 Policy:

If the Retreat event is cancelled due to covid-19 a full refund will be issued less a small administration fee.
Ben Winspear Art is an all-inclusive business and welcomes everyone.  We do not discriminate against anyone based on their race, gender, religion, medical status – including vaccination status, or on any other basis.


King River Camp Retreat – Frequently Ask Questions

Q 1.  How cold does it get at the Winter Retreat?
It does get cold in King Valley area and there is an option to paint outdoors throughout the day.  A few students have purchased a heated jacket and cold weather boots that help to keep them warm.  A product called ‘Hot Hands Adhesive Body Warmers’ can be purchased from pharmacies and can be applied to toes, tummies, hands etc. and are a disposable cost effective product.  Woollen undergarments are a must, a hat, coat etc.
Cold weather foot ware see www.anacondastores.com/search?text=snow%20boots
Heated Jackets see website www.ororowear.com/collections/heated-jacket  or  www.totaltools.com.au/power-tools/heated-clothing

Q 2. Can I stay off site rather than at the King River Camp Accomodation?

No, as the camaraderie is such a positive feature of the retreat as we paint, eat and hang out together, engaging in many great informal discussions; I do not want anyone to miss out. On occasions the schedule will change due to weather, learning needs etc. We need to stay as a cohesive group with no-one feeling left behind.

Q 3. What is the Accomodation like?

The accomodation is quite basic as you would expect going on a school camp or girl guides/scout camp.  There are various rooms with mostly single bunk beds which are comfortable.  Rooms have heating and cooling but not all have en suites so shared bathrooms are used.  There is a large common room that has a microwave oven, tea and coffee facilities, as not all rooms have a kettle and microwave.  The focus of the Retreat is the art and we not in our rooms other than to sleep.

Q 4. Can I have a single room to myself?

No, the accomodation is shared. There is a separation for males and females (not applicable to couples). You can choose who you have as a room mate to some extent but this is something you can arranged.

Q 5. Can I stay in my own van or tent?

Yes, the King River Camp has plenty of space for a tent or three and has powered sites. Please be aware that the fees remain the same.

Q 6. Can I stay just for the weekend?

Yes, much can be learnt in one weekend, with solid tuition, en plein air painting opportunities, artful discussions etc. Refer to the most recent document outlining the retreat fee structure for a two night stay. You can stay any two nights you choose.

Q 7. What if I have dietary requirements?

This is not a problem. Please liaise with Geoff who runs the King River Camp and is also the resident chef. He will accomodate your dietary needs for you. You can email him at https://kingrivercamp.org.au Please do this at least 10 days before the camp so food can be purchased inline with his meal planning.

Q 8. Can I bring my dog?

No, animals are not allowed on the camp other than the studio dog we all know and love – Toby. Animals are a distraction and can inhibit the freedom to paint outdoors, particularly off site.

Q 9. What art supplies should I bring to the retreat?

See the materials list provided (once payment is made).   A simple well functioning set up is certainly desirable, but this is something that evolves over time. I will talk more about this at the retreat.

Q 10. Is alcohol allowed?

Yes, in moderation of course. Often of an evening a glass of wine is enjoyed as we sit by the fire and talk about art. The area boasts many wineries and a beer garden.

Q 11. Is there something for my partner to do as they are not an artist?

Yes, absolutely! The area has many activities for non artists. I can suggest site seeing, fishing, galleries, sitting by the fire with a book, walking, photography, visiting vineyards to name a few ideas.

Q12. I don’t paint using oils, so will there be any tuition for me?

Yes, I tutor in oils, watercolour and pastel. The tuition I offer at the retreat is applicable to any medium with a strong emphasis on drawing. There is always opportunity to ask questions at any time regardless of your preferred medium as I teach the solid principles of creating good art. The Pop Up Shop will have some watercolour and drawing supplies too.


Melbourne Art Retreat Reviews

Attending the end of year retreat was the best decision I made in 2020; five full days of immersive painting, tuition and camaraderie was exactly what I needed. The accommodation was superb – especially the catering. The valley offers breathtaking views and subjects to paint such as Powers Lookout and Paradise Falls. Each year the retreat provides something fresh and exhilarating. Can’t wait for next year!
Michael Watson

To immerse myself in painting for five days, without interruption is such a luxury.  The daily tuition is fantastic, Ben is so generous with his knowledge.  To watch him paint is a lesson in itself.  We had so many opportunities to learn in ways that would not present itself in a classroom setting.  I benefit most from jumping in and having a go, which I would not do on my own.  The accomodation and environment is perfect for artists and the scenery is so inspiring.  I am counting down till the next retreat!
Caroline Lewallen

There is nothing like escaping the city and all of the usual irritations of daily life and heading up to the beautiful mountains, rivers, and lakes of the King River Valley. To be painting every day from dawn to dusk and beyond is such a rare treat for this usually housebound bod. Ben Winspear galvanizes the group of like-minded artists in such a positive way and great friendships are made that there is real regret when the week is over. The accommodation is basic but clean and the food is plentiful. What more could you want?
Denise Tomlinson


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4th July, 2023
9th July, 2023
$260.00 – $895.00
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King River Camp
953 Upper King River Rd
Cheshunt, VIC 3678 Australia
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(03) 5729 8258
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