Joy - Exploring Creativity Through The Senses Greece 2019 - Carla Coulson
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Joy – Exploring Creativity Through The Senses Greece 2019


All Photographs Copyright: Claire Lloyd

Dear Fellow Creatives and Photographers,

I am so excited to launch this beautiful retreat on the island of Lesvos.

Three great friends invite you to explore your creativity through your senses.

Creatives Claire Lloyd and Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs live the ultimate creative life in a small village on the island of Lesvos, painting, illustrating, photographing, designing, sculpting and creating nurturing spaces.

Lesvos has been their home since 2010 and it is in the atmosphere of their authentic Greek Village along with Carla Coulson,  we invite you to slow down, nurture your senses and discover a creativity you may not have yet explored.

This retreat is a gentle unfolding with Lesvos as the backdrop, a dip in the water to a creative life all experienced through painting, illustration, interiors, photography and creating from found objects. There will be swims in the sea, sunset dinners on the beach and the tinker of sheep bells as you head to a private courtyard for breakfast. Traditional Greek lunches under a 100-year-old tree in the local platia and open-air classrooms for painting, illustrating and photography.

It is a hands-on experience for closet creatives who have always dreamed of picking up a paintbrush, wanting to know more about creating spaces or learning to illustrate but have never dared. It’s also for creatives who have wanted to try other creative arts but have never found the time or occasion.



In a world where we are surrounded by technology and screens we have the sensation we are always busy. It has become even more important to use our hands and it is in the process of using our hands to create that allows our spirit to slow down and us to create consciously.

Opening the door to your creativity allows you a deeper connection to yourself. When we step out of fast paced lives, slow down and make time for creativity, we connect to our true desires and the more we are connected to our desires the easier it is for us to live a life authentic to us and filled with joy.

We will show you how we access our six senses to live lives that are in alignment to our core desires. We will show you how we continue to find inspiration in sound, touch, taste, vision, smell and intuition and the ultimate state of wellbeing – joy and how it plays out in our creativity and how you can apply it to your life.

All of this will be taught in a local village on the island of Lesvos. Staying in simple but beautiful village houses with only the sounds of local village life. It’s a chance to step away from technology and open your creative heart.



Claire Lloyd aims to create beauty in everything she does whether it is cooking a meal, creating an interior or taking photos. Claire is a passionate creative who has worked as an art director on magazines such as Australian Vogue and the World of Interiors and is passionate about creating nurturing spaces. She has photographed and written two books Sensual Living and My Greek Island Home and worked as a freelance creative director for brands such as Jo Malone, Liberty, M&C Saatchi, Dulux, Connolly Leather, Joseph, Wild at Heart, The Dorchester Hotel, Next, Conran, Garrard Jewellers and Harrods.

Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs There is no art form that Matthew Usmar Walkswithdogs hasn’t mastered. For the first 20 years of his career he worked at the Royal National Theatre painting backdrops, then as a freelance artist creating sets for magazines such asWorld of Interiors and Elle Decoration. Matthew has painted West End sets and backdrops for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Macintosh and travelled the world creating sets for The Rolling Stones and ACDC. He has also worked as a fine artist and his work is the British Government Art Collection and the Israel Contemporary Art Museum and is a master print maker.

Carla Coulson is a photographer, author and creative coach who is deeply passionate about all things creative and how it can enhance our lives. She has published 8 photographic books with Penguin Australia of which she wrote and photographed 3 and her work has been published in Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Gourmet Traveller and Vogue Living. Carla came to creativity late in life at the age of 35 and her mission is to show others that creativity is for everyone and everyone is creative if you dare to try.  She teaches workshops Internationally.



  • Authenticity with a capital A. We will be staying in simple but beautiful self-contained village houses scattered around an authentic Greek village far away from the bustling crowd so get ready to disconnect.
  • Each day will be a mix of creativity, eating delicious home-cooked Greek meals and adventures around Lesvos. There will be open air painting, illustrating by the sea, photography in ancient port town, being challenged with sound, touch, taste and other senses to create the unexpected.
  • Learning to see with new eyes and discover the beautiful way Claire Lloyd puts together her unique nurturing spaces and learn her secrets of what’s in the details.
  • It’s a chance to slow down to the pace of a Greek Island, to see another way of living but at the same time accessing a deeper creativity through exploring many art forms.
  • There will be daily inspiration sessions for deeper ways for you to connect to your intuition, ground yourself into your core desires and become more conscious of choices and your senses.
  • Excursions to beautiful parts of Lesvos including villages, beaches and monastery to be inspired by traditional art and architecture and nature.
  • Simple beautiful Greek cuisine served in local settings, tavernas, beach restaurants and home-cooked meals
  • To create and go home with a journal full of designs and memories, paintings, photography tips and art creations. A new found creative confidence, fresh eyes,  refreshed and recharged with new vitality and joy.
  • A chance to disconnect from the world and go within



  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 5 days of tuition
  • All painting and art materials
  • Welcome night dinner
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the 5 days
  • All transfers from arrival at the airport in Mytilene and return to the airport
  • All transfers during the workshop
  • And loads of creativity, dancing, friendship and fun!!


All Photographs Copyright: Claire Lloyd

For full details please check out the workshop HERE

I hope to meet you in Greece!

Carla x

1 Comment
  • Beautiful beautiful idea xxx

    September 21, 2018 at 8:53 pm