Painting Toward the Light (Sunday Arrival)

August 17, 2014 - August 22, 2014
Offered by Five Oaks Centre
Paris ON


Painting Toward the Light

Light speaks to the emotions and spirit, full of beauty and meaning. This painting retreat gives you the opportunity to explore the power of light, and to find new expressive possibilities in your painting. Abstract and representational modes are celebrated. Technical demos, art historical mind-openers, and directed experiments prime students to create compelling works. There will be lots of relaxed, creative studio time – with knowledgeable stimulation and support – to follow your interests and develop finished pieces.

The creative rhythm of the week will include these aspects:

  • exploring the symbolism of light and darkness, in poetry, scripture, art history, and in our own creativity.
  • understanding, through clear demonstrations and instruction, how to create a glowing sense of light in your pictures. How do light and shadow define form? What colour possibilities do shadows offer?
  • responding to the beauty and diversity of Five Oaks’ natural setting. 
  • deepening your sense of symbol and intuition
  • enjoying a balance between structured learning and flexible time to follow your artistic curiosity.
  • sharing the journey of creativity in the supportive and expansive company of others; and
  • finding connections between creativity and spiritual practices that open us to be responsive and alive to the Spirit.

While this week is open to anyone interested in creative exploration, some experience with your chosen medium is helpful. Demos are geared to Acrylic and oils, but watercolour and pastels are welcome.

A materials list of what to bring can be downloaded here.

Leadership: Being an artist has become, for Phil Irish, a way of exploring the world, stimulating imagination, and of sparking deep exchange with others. Phil has been exhibiting as a professional artist for 15 years. Phil earned his BA in art and literature from the University of Guelph, and an MFA in Visual Art from York University. Phil has exhibited his artwork in public museums, commercial galleries, and artist run centres across Canada. Phil has taught painting, drawing, and creativity at numerous venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Avenue Road Arts School, and the Guelph School of Art. He is known both for his inspiring knowledge of artists’ work and techniques through the centuries, and his generous nurturing of students’ individual interests and vision.
Phil lives in Elora. His artwork can be viewed at

This program is being offered as a part of our ‘Arts Week’ where three arts-based programs are being held at the same time. On Thursday evening we will gather for an ‘Arts Celebration’ where participants are invited to share the creative work that has unfolded during the week.

Yoga will be offered once a day for all arts week participants who wish to participate. Please bring a yoga mat.

Our outdoor pool will also be open to participants to enjoy. Bring a bathing suit and towel.

Perhaps you have a friend or a family member who would enjoy creative time at Five Oaks as well. The other programs being offered during the week are Photography and Creative Writing.

Click here for a printable flyer for this program


Painting Toward the Light (Sunday Arrival)

Start: Aug 17, 2014 @ 7:00 PM
End: Aug 22, 2014 @ 12:30 PM


Cost: $665.00

Register here if you wish to arrive on Sunday evening (after supper) in order to be here for the start of the program at 11am on Monday. Breakfast is included.
Please note that the program ends with lunch included on Friday.

Registrations are processed only once we have received your payment – either a deposit or the full amount.
After you fill out the online registration form you will be directed to pay through paypal.
If this payment does not go through, please contact our office at 519-442-3212 to complete the registration process.
You will receive a letter from our Registrar, confirming your registration within the week. 

register for this event
Categories: Retreats  |  Spirituality  |  The Arts