I hope you will join me in this wonderful adventure in Costa Rica! If you are not familiar with my work and career, simply put, I am an East Coast oil painter known for for my vibrant, still lifes and landscapes. I recently earned my MFA in Painting from the Laguna College of Art and Design in California. This week long workshop is inspired by my thesis work which explored the power of imagination upon representational painting. But you won't have to wade through any research or bend your mind around science and philosophy. Just come and experience art and mindful mediation in a magical faraway place. 

When I teach, I encourage being present (not perfect), observing the world with love (not judgement), and learning to convey emotions through the beautiful language of color and gesture. When we infuse our work with the spirit of curiosity, we can create a lifelong, sustainable art practice. 

5 Days of Creativity:

1. Morning: Mindful Drawing Exercises - 

    Afternoon: Drawing What You See - Drawing An Pura Vida Altar, Interior, or View. 

2. Morning: Finding the Abstract in with Paint

    Afternoon: Exploring the power of Shapes through Collage

3. Morning: Painting from Life - A single object

    Afternoon: Drawing and Collage Your Inner Self

4. Morning: Still Life Painting - Tropical Fruit 

    Afternoon: Landscape Sketching 

5. Morning: Still Life Painting - Tropical Flowers 

   Afternoon: Students choice of painting, collaging, drawing

About these classes: 

These 10 sessions are designed to help you drop into the beautiful retreat, and gently build skills for convey artistically what you see and feel. 

On Day One  we start the morning with drawing exercises that connect our breath with the movement of our bodies when we draw. We will explore the many ways we can make marks on paper with our hands to create shaped of what we feel, and that our eyes, in turn, can interpret. In the afternoon, we will meet with our sketchbooks again, to sketch our environment, and end the class with a lighthearted collaborative drawing exercise to get us ready for a fun night. 

On Day Two we will jump into painting! Pre-toned canvas boards and palettes of premixed colors will help us bypass the overthinking of art making as we create a number of quick studies to distill what we see in the simplest shapes. You will be challenged to see your canvas not only as something fun and inviting, but also as a whole. So, instead of letting lost in detailing objects as isolated entities, you'll be able to start looking at what you see with oneness. In the afternoon we will meet to collage with paper, printed material like labels and postcards, and even our drawings. As students learn to power of shapes and placement, they will gain knowledge in order to create flow and movement in any image they create. Again, we will end with a fun exercise to create a Costa Rican souvenir for each student.

Day Three, we will paint a still life drawing on the knowledge we've picked up from the previous days: variation of mark making, grounding ourselves to connect to where we are, how we feel, and what we see, as we observe life around us, seeing the general to the specific in terms of shape, line, and composition. We will paint one object that is important to us, like a stone, shell, or flower, with attention to foreground, middleground and background, light and dark, and color. The afternoon will focus on gaining a more inward focus on ourselves in a challenging but relaxing portrait exercise that will incorporate spontaneity and impulse.  

Day Four in the morning a still life of tropical fruit will be painted, as we build on our knowledge of color and shape, composition, brushstroke, and all that we’ve been learning--and experiencing--throughout the retreat. By this time students will have gained technical skills, developed and explored personal styles, and be able to bring a curiosity and focus to this challenge of articulating objects in space. In the afternoon, we will sketch the landscape from the shade of Pura Vida’s shelter--location to be announced--as we bring our attention to responding to the beautiful chaos of nature. 

Day Five we will explore painting Costa Rican flowers, focussing on gesture and color so that our still life is active! We will bring our attention to the many meanings and symbols that flowers have: fertility, beauty, offering, healing, growth, and more. The delicacy of flowers will challenge us to stay loose, abstract, and depict them as we organic imperfect shapes see them in space, not as we know them to be in a decorative sense. We will stay in the present to work from the general to the specific, the abstract to the rendered, whatever personal style we work in. Our afternoon meeting will focus on what we have learned about our relationship to art. This will be a time to choose a word, phrase, symbol or image that may express our individual retreat experience--and illustrate it! Collage and drawing materials will be supplied, and artists may create works that embody Pura Vida to use for your sketch book's cover, frame on your wall, prop on your bureau, stick to the fridge, or share with someone you love. 

In the morning sessions, artists may work in any media they wish to bring, as long as it is clean and non-toxic. We invite you to paint in acrylics, and hope that you do, but if you get hooked on drawing or collaging, we want you to feel unfettered and free!

Along with the instruction you will receive throughout class, I'll read guided meditations and poetry, and  David will come by to add mindfulness, music, and fun. 

I strongly urge you to bring a folder of personal collaging items, like photographs, postcards, fabric, and any other objects that are easy to cut, glue, and clean up!


taking care that you can easily clear up after yourself, and they will not be toxic to the environment. 

Join me for a

   Costa Rican Retreat

" A R T and S O U L " 

at the beautiful

Rio Chirripo Retreat and Lodge

​March 3rd - March 9th

with Yoga, Movement, and Meditation Instructor

David Jewitt


​Everyone is welcome, even if you are completely new to visual arts and meditation. 

​​​​​​​​​A TYPICAL DAY....

Every morning David will lead meditation, movement and breath practices designed to cultivate awareness, presence and focus for your artistic journey.Each day there will be two art classes/experiences.  

Following a breakfast of local coffee, freshly baked bread, tropical fruit and delicious local dishes, you will be guided by Elizabeth in drawing and painting exercises designed to let your hand create and express what your soul sees.  You will be given personal  instruction in easy drawing and painting exercises designed to access and express what you see.  

In your afternoon workshop Elizabeth will invite  you to play with your artistic spirit of curiosity though the creative investigation of collage and sketching. This will be a time to collaborate, unwind and have fun!

Throughout the week you will have the freedom to express the inner and outer landscapes that call to you from the grounded present moment. You can join each session, work in the studio on your own, or venture out for hikes to waterfalls, visit an artisan chocolate shop, get a massage or relax by the pool.  You are free to let your day unfold as you like it.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ART SESSIONS, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Art supplies will be provided and you are also invited to bring your own objects of personal significance for collaging.   For more details on the Art Instruction Elizabeth has planned for the week, please visit www.elizabethcongdonart.com 
At the end of the retreat, your portfolio will be filled with your own works of Art and Soul including an  8” x 10” sketch pad, 6 canvas 10” x 12” boards, and a bound notebook of each lesson. This will be a packable, easy to store portfolio for you to take home.​ur paragraph here.agraph here.

​This inner artistic journey joins Art and Mindfulness Practice

to awaken our soul's longing for expression and beauty .


Before FEBRUARY 1ST,  prices start at $1,999.00 USD Dbl occupancy.  

Single rooms available. After February 1st add $250.   

first nights accommodation in San Jose, at Hotel Luisiana with breakfast  ground transportation to and from San Jose; all accommodations and three  gourmet meals each day at the lodge; all necessary art supplies and meditation classes.

Air fare to and from Costa Rica

Alcoholic beverages

Local excursions, such as: 
~ Nature hike Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. 
~ Make your own chocolate with Artisan Chocolate Maker
~Visit our local organic dairy and cheese maker or our local ice cream maker 
~ Dominical Beach, surf, swim, and relax
~ Nuayaca Falls day long excursion

~ Massage at Spa Rio
~ Visit to live Butterfly Dome 

For more details on the types of accommodation available,  prices, and registration please contact davidjamesjewitt@gmail.com 

For 38 years David has been been a Labour and Human Rights lawyer in Canada while following his spiritual life path. He is currently engaged in  Arbitration and Mediation work and also facilitates Mindfulness Workshops  for Lawyers in Ontario. He has practiced and taught yoga and meditation for over 20 years having studied with Richard Freeman, Sarah Powers, Anyen Rinpoche amongst others.  For 10 years David was owner of Santosha Yoga studio in Ottawa and has led retreats in Costa Rica since 2007. David brings his humour and spontaneity, and Buddhist based knowledge to help us create our own personal mindfulness practice that we can apply in our daily life.

Art and Soul will take place in the Pura Vida land of Costa Rica at the 

 Rio Chirripo Retreat and Lodge, a stunning resort facility, located in the magical Chirripo River Valley that runs through the Southern Pacific mountains of Costa Rica.  The lodge is surrounded by spectacular vistas, flora and fauna that inspire and nurture our true nature and passion to create.