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THEY SAID

Ian

UK

5

2021

Oct

What a joy to visit the Bleverde estate for an art therapy retreat with such a beautiful group of people. Our host and therapist, Penelope created such a safe place for us to play, have fun and reflect on so much as individuals and as a group. In sharing our art as well as our life experiences we were able to explore deep old wounds we all carried and helped our inner demons to fly a little freer. Tara guided us each morning and I saw how yoga may help my own recovery from some chronic health problems. visiting the local ceramist was a privilege. The food prepared by Eleni was packed with lot of nutrition and love. The loukoumades were quite the hit! I needed more time at the retreat. More time to paint, reflect, share and digest all that materialised.

Aimee

Switzerland

5

2019

Crete

Overall amazing and complete experience - venue, food, accommodation (i.e the essentials) were all flawless. The activities had a good balance of fun, light, deep, rich with excellent prompts. The group exchanges were fruitful. The outside activities left a memorable taste of local culture. The visit to the artist's house was one of a kind. There is really nothing I can say to improve further this experience. It was awesome! If I had really to say something, it could be interesting to explore some light movements in between the sessions. I will finish with a simple THANK YOU!

Lisa

UK

5

2019

Crete

This retreat has been everything I had imagined and so much more. My heart skipped a beat on arrival as I truly realised that the villa, surroundings and views were everything that my soul had been craving for, for such a long time - an escape, a sanctuary, somewhere I could breathe my troubles away. That first day in the studio I had that excitement of the first day of school, wanting to be that eager student, getting things right, giving the right impression, wanting so much to be liked immediately. I felt this experience was going to be so much deeper. I could feel myself curling inside (tighter) because I knew this would have to get emotional if I was going to make any progress - it was necessary to work. I realised how much I had been holding onto. Through the encouragement of Penelope and her asking all the right questions, I found the impact profound and also I could feel the energy in my heart and not from my mind which often feels great overwhelm. Through a supportive, strong, warm, group of women who genuinely want the best for one another I gained so much clarity and comfort. I can not fault a thing. I love it all and the experience will stay with me forever! Thank you so much!

Steve

UK

5

2018

Crete

Before: I didn’t know quite what to expect with the art therapy but the thought of 6 days in the sun in Crete accompanying my sister, providing her with some moral support, seemed a good enough reason to go along – she being the one into art therapy. Added to that we both brought musical instruments so we could play together. Also having dabbled with art over the years, but never producing much, I thought this would be an opportunity to produce something worthwhile … and I took along some books just in case. During: All the promises of the brochure were met – the beautiful Bleverde estate; the comfortable, airy rooms; the wonderful, delicious food; the interesting and absorbing art activities; and no need to be good at art either! But there was much more that wasn’t in the brochure. Very quickly I met and made friends with the rest of the group, and because of the openness of the exchanges in the art therapy, an empathy quickly formed between everyone in the group. How could this happen with people I had not known two days before? The direction of the two therapists was exceptional. The skill Penelope and Romny showed in drawing people out in an amazingly supportive environment, whilst at times dealing with some difficult emotions, could not be faulted. Yet they also managed to be challenging, getting you to think deeply about what you had painted and what you had said and what it meant. What was so fascinating and entertaining was the understanding which emerged so clear and meaningful both to the ‘artist’ and the observers. Literally the penny dropped with people on what it meant as they were describing what they had painted. I just didn’t expect things you unconsciously did to be so related to your character and outlook. I never would have expected it. And yet if this sounds like it was a bit heavy and serious – not at all! Most of the time we seemed to be laughing. It was an amazing experience and I looked forward to each day. Finally because of the relationship Penelope has with her various suppliers and partners when we went outside the estate on visits to the home of the distinguished potter and artist, the taverna, the medieval chapel, it felt we were visiting as friends rather than visiting as tourists. So it didn’t turn out like I expected at all. We did get to play the instruments – not only with my sister but also a delightful evening of singing and playing with the rest of the group. I didn’t get to read the books and didn’t get to do much ‘real’ painting, but instead I was totally absorbed and drawn into the activities – the painting, talking and even the yoga which I did for the first time. After: So what difference has it made ? I returned to England more focused and clearer about my own future. I have some brilliant memories from the holiday – watching migratory swallows swooping to drink from the swimming pool, walking back from the village after an evening meal under all the stars in the milky way; a firm feeling of friendship with the other attendees; a brilliant meal at Penelope’s secret taverna where the food the host promised would be on the menu was completely different from what his wife had actually cooked! Finally I amazed myself by completing 12 paintings on a family holiday 3 months later. I would definitely go again.

Eli

Norway

5

2018

Crete

Looking back on my stay at Bleverde – I remember exquisite days, offering the rare opportunity to disconnect from daily routines, and merely focus on my creative power. Bleverde artful retreat provided facilities that made it easy to express oneself freely. The other group members and our counsellors were extremely supportive and contributed to -on my part- that I felt safe and valued. The yoga lessons every morning initiated interesting processes, which I could profit from in my art making. The property – Bleverde – is located in an area which offers tranquility and beauty. To top it all – the food was amazing, healthy and very tasty!

Jean

UK

5

2018

Crete

I just wanted to say a VERY BIG Thank you for the fantastic time we had at the retreat in Crete in May. It is impossible to put in words how much I enjoyed it and how very much I felt and still feel part of a family. It was a very enlightening and enjoyable experience I will never forget. Thank you and Thank you again from the bottom of my heart which is where I hold you both!

Ruth

UK

5

2018

Crete

You created a safe space and allowed us to go at our own pace emotionally - which was really great. The directives and the pace of the program was inspiring and invigorating, a fantastic achievement with such a diverse group and in such a short time. A big Thank you!

Catrina

Switzerland

5

2018

Switzerland

This retreat was a wonderful discovery of a whole new world. Endless possibilities seem to sprout or pour from a deep source. I haven't (maybe) ever felt so deeply connected with shape and colour as a mirror to my own self. I hope to carry this experience to my daily life taking the time to emerge again to the space you guided us in. You are a great guide so respectful and full of love. Thank you so much!

JeongEun

Korea

5

2018

Crete

It was a great journey to look and reflect about myself. All of the artwork touched me and made me think deeply. Helped me in so many ways to face my worries and give answers. I loved the meals, the accommodation, the people, the kindness. It was my first time in Greece and with the artwork and unforgettable memory. I really thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in this retreat. Actually I had no confidence in darwing but now I feel empowered to draw my memories and my feelings. So much Thank you!

Michael

Germany

5

2018

Switzerland

It has been a beautiful retreat and an amazing journey in the space of 3 days. I rediscovered myself! Thank you for guiding us through this process in such a kind and warm hearted way. Great location! Great food! Great yoga!

Danae

Greece

5

2017

Crete

I came to this retreat coming out from a very painful accident in my life. I did not know at all what to expect and had no connection with art whatsoever. Penelope’s charismatic personality convinced me to take part to this retreat. This unique experience through art was a revelation to me in many ways. Firstly art has now come into my life and that is for good. Second this creative process so well orchestrated by Penelope and Romny in an ideal natural scenery revealed another me. A creative me that can face my emotions, accept my imperfections and vulnerabilities without judgement and finally achieve the unachievable … let go!

Iris

Greece

5

2017

Crete

It was an unbelievable journey. To be totally honest I had doubts if this process would have impact on me. At start I was hesitant and found it difficult to express my emotions through my art but I ended up making art without thinking a lot and enjoying enormously the process and the moment, liberated from all my emotional weights. I felt privileged to be part of a wonderful group of women very different from me that after 4 days of sharing I felt very close to them but also much closer to my own self. I would embark to this journey again any moment again.

Lynell

South Africa

5

2016

Crete

thank you for allowing me the opportunity to show you me, without fear and with all the vulnerability that I would share only with my family. For that you and Greece will remain forever etched in my heart

Beatrice

Switzerland

5

2016

Switzerland

New paths to colours and oneself. I feel lucky! Lucky to paint, lucky to share, lucky to listen, lucky to eat, lucky to walk, lucky to do yoga and grateful for all that!

Celeste

South Africa

5

2016

Crete

most of all I am most grateful for the insights I gained about myself. Thank you for showing me this new way of looking art making, outside of my 'well ordered' box

Marianne

Sweden

5

2016

Crete

This art retreat has been such a pleasure in so many ways! Thank you for taking such a good care of us, for your great hospitality and your guidance. In art I was encourage to lose up and when I managed I enjoyed so much the process and the result. I want to do that back at home in art and in real life