Lucinda Law’s Within Art Studio organises Art of Nature Journey annually. If you are a nature lover or peace seeker constantly on the lookout for a getaway from the concrete jungle, this retreat is for you. If you are someone who loves nature-inspired art and wants a chance to learn watercolour botanical illustration from one of the best in Singapore, this retreat is for you.
I have had the opportunity of meeting with and interviewing a lot of artists here in Singapore. They are all extremely inspiring and generally leave me in awe with their passion and perseverance. There are some who are extraordinary – more than just professionals. Lucinda Law is one such artist.
After teaching Arts and Design for more than 14 years, writing travel guides and practising music journalism – in her late 30s, Lucinda decided to take up Botanical illustration as a full-time career and climbed at the top in just two years!
I wrote this blog while attending one of Lucinda's workshop at Pollen Gardens By the Bay.
Lucinda’s work always inspires me. I have attended her workshops, followed her commissions and read her interview features in a variety of media publications. Her art and her personality are both dynamic and awe-inspiring.
But, if I had to choose one experience that will stay with me forever- it would be going to Chiang Mai for the Art of Nature Journey Creative Retreat last year.
This blog is a short personal account of my experiences and inspirations from the Chiang Mai retreat last year.
Before I share more with you about my experiences at the retreat, let me clarify a few things:
- The Art of Nature Journeys is not a tourism package. Yes, it has an itinerary and yes, you will be flying out of Singapore but it is definitely not your usual holiday tour.
- You do not have to be a painter or an artist to go for this retreat. You are more than welcome to learn.
Art of Nature Journey is a once-in-a-lifetime immersive nature and arts creative retreat dedicated to developing your creative expressions and confidence in this 5-day art holiday in the cool montane forest of Chiang Mai between 25th and 29th October. You can also sign up for a minimum of two days to join the retreat.
Let me share some of my favourite things about the Art of Nature Journey with Lucinda Law at Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The exclusivity and exceptional calm of The Ironwood
Filled with the charm of a European-Thai fusion countryside, The Ironwood is an exquisite destination known for its restaurant and four stylish rooms that sit in a botanical garden setting. It is one of the most insta-worthy spots in the valley.
This picturesque accommodation is located at the end of a secluded pathway surrounded by lush green forests near a creek. With a serene river flowing adjacent to the rooms and lush green trees covering the entire campus, the place could not have been more beautiful. One of the best things about this place is that there are many amazing spots where you can sit, relax, and enjoy reading or art.
During my stay, I would sometimes sit on the coffee table next to the window in my room, sometimes on the banks of the river, and sometimes under the shade of verdant trees. It was perfect.
The beautiful mornings
There is something about the mornings at The Ironwood in Chiang Mai. Birds chirping and cooing melodiously, river water flowing swiftly in a rhythmic gush and the sun rising like a bright golden lamp in the East- the view and the setting is surreal.
I had a favourite spot for mornings. It was right next to the restaurant by the river. I would sit there and meditate for hours while watching the sunrise. Sit at this spot and just close your eyes. Do this for fifteen minutes and you will literally feel all the negative energy leaving your body.
The amazing escape to the world of botanical art with Lucinda
I am not an artist. I don’t know how to paint. Despite that, the art workshops were among my favourite things to do during the retreat. That is because the thing about Lucinda’s workshops is that they are more than the technical aspects of holding the brush and making a stroke. Of course, she does teach painting techniques and processes but since nature is her muse- she helps you see the world around you with different eyes.
My appreciation for Mother Nature and her beauty is much elevated today than it was before I met Lucinda. And the times that we are living in where climate change and trash piles are threatening our very existence, nature could definitely use some appreciation.
Amazing food and incredible hospitality
Another amazing part of the entire experience is the amazing authentic Thai food. The meals are a delight! You get to choose from a scrumptious menu of delectable food. The hospitality of the Ironwood staff and the reception by Team Within make the entire stay even more worthwhile.
The Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden
The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai is home to the most diverse flowers and plants that Thailand has to offer. Set in a valley, the Garden is surrounded by rainforest and there different areas that visitors can explore, including colourful flower gardens, lush banana pathways and a host of greenhouses like the Savanna House, Orchid House and Carnivorous Plant House.
Another highlight of the gardens is a 400-metre canopy walkway which is suspended over the jungle canopy and offers breathtaking views from high up in the air.
Trust me when I say that this retreat is a life-changing experience that will stay with you forever. It will help you cleanse your pallet and you will come back with new energy!
Bookings are now open and seats are filling up fast! Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for enquires and registration. Feel free to leave any questions that you may have in the comments section.