Amanda Houston

Tue, November 5 to Sun, November 10 2024

Discovering Your Voice Creativity Retreat with Amanda Houston

Medium: Pastel

Level: All Levels

Location: Studio

Status: Open For Enrollment

Instructor's Website:

  • Hudson Valley Art Workshops Slideshow
  • Hudson Valley Art Workshops Slideshow

This is not your typical painting workshop. This retreat will awaken your creative juices on many different levels: Art, writing, movement, goal setting, group discussions and meditative exploration. A time to connect with others and to dive into your own creative process, so you can let go, be free, do you and have fun!

Days will be filled with morning guided meditation, keynote talks, demos, creative art exercises, time for writing, studio painting for individual painting time and group collaborative pieces.

This workshop will combine pastel painting techniques as well as intuitive creative painting processes. It will go beyond the “how-to” steps of create radiant landscapes and sky paintings from photographic references and will explore the intuitive creative process while still covering the foundation of good design and composition. We will focus on a series of small scale paintings. You will explore your own mark making and undergo a deeper self discovery to define your own unique painting style. Learn what habits hold you back so your true voice can come out.

Amanda will show a variety of different techniques working with the pastel on a variety of different  surfaces  so you can explore new possibilities in your own work. We will focus on simplifying our subject matter, in 4-5 values, refining our shapes,  harmonizing our color palettes and strengthening your overall composition.

You will learn to analyze your own mark making, work on a series of smaller paintings, explore variations to a theme, and see how your unique creative spirit can flourish. This workshop is a unique balance of left and right brained exercises parring you to paint with a composition authority and creative curiosity. Be prepared to walk away with a collection of small pieces and your creative juices flowing.

Note: While Amanda is a pastelist and will demo in Pastel and combine mixed media, participants can use take this class with little to no pastel experience. The morning creativity exercises will require a small amount of pastels to participate but other mediums are welcome to register.

Supply List


About Amanda Houston

Growing up on three continents, Amanda has been inspired by much of the world. She now lives on 30 breath-taking acres in Cornelius, O.R. capturing the beauty of the landscapes that surround her.

As a child living in Africa and Saudi Arabia, she remembers watching her mother paint oil landscapes as a hobby. Both her parents were educators and encouraged her to follow her creative passion. Amanda was educated in New England and holds a B.S. in Apparel Design & Merchandising (honors) from University of Vermont and a graduate degree in Textile Design (summa cum laude) from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.  She was L.L. Bean’s first apparel designer in the 80’s, Nike’s first Apparel Innovation Director in the 90’s and then helped launch Nike’s first e-commerce business ( during the dot-com boom.

After 20 years of corporate America, traveling, designing, and merchandising sports apparel for big global brands, she found she was creating less and managing more.  In 2004 she took the leap, embraced motherhood and allowed the artist in her to finally come out. Amanda has been painting and refining her craft ever since and been sharing her knowledge as an instructor since 2016.

She lives in the Willamette Valley wine country of Oregon in an old historic hunting lodge west of Portland on 30 glorious acres overlooking vineyards and rolling cultivated with her black lab. As a retired Nike Triathlete, and now having finished raising her two adult sons, when she isn’t painting, she loves to spend her past time riding her bikes, doing yoga, swimming, cooking, gardening, and traveling.   She splits her time between Cornelius, Oregon and the San Juan Islands and squeezes painting time in whenever she can.  She is a Master’s Circle Member of IAPS (International Assoc. of Pastel Societies) and a Signature and board of member of the NW Pastel Society and American Women Artists, where she participates in museum shows each year. She also participates in national shows as a member of the American Impressionist Society and Pastel Society of America.


Rates & Enrollment

Day Student Tuition: $788.00

Full 4-Day Package*: $2,124.50-$2,302.70

*4-Day Workshop Package includes: Tuition for 4 full class days, 5 nights of dinner, lodging, breakfast, daily cookie and fruit breaks, unlimited coffee and tea, and welcoming wine and cheese reception. Your choice between a room to yourself (single occupancy) or bring a friend and split a room (double occupancy).

Get more information about your options to enroll here.