The Inspired Landscape - Acrylic & Pastel (5 Day Tyalgum Art Retreat) with John Turton

This workshop will move you away from straight 'copying' and into the 'Imagined Landscape'. You will have the opportunity to work in acrylic on canvas with bold colour use and to also learn John's techniques for pastel using an underpainting. Our Tyalgum Art Retreat brings together the arts community like no other with a whole 5 days dedicated to your arts practice whilst meeting new friends and learning from the masters. Price shown is for deposit only. Full price is $1395pp

This workshop is designed to challenge you to let go and start making some bold decisions around colour in the landscape. You will enjoy full days in the studio creating large scale (minimum 1mx1m) sized artworks as well as time to work through John's incredible colour usage with pastel.

If you need a teacher to 'tell you what to do' or even to explain why they have done something, then this is not the workshop for you. John works from instinct drawing on his creativity in the moment and encourages others to do the same. Bring your brave self and your creativity and see why people leave John's workshops somewhat 'changed' by the experience.

In this 5 day workshop, you will:

- Work on your own large scale landscape artwork using acrylics

- Use your own reference or work from one of John's paintings to 'imagine' your landscape into existence.

- Break the habit of creating copies and start to get original

- Pick your favourite colour choices in art that you like and get help from John around colour choices & compositions

- Learn John's amazing process where he creates an oil underpainting on pastel paper before using pastel



To introduce artists to working loosely. If you are ready to use your reference as a guide only (or even to work from imagination) and to work large and loose then this is the workshop for you. John provides demonstrations and one to one guidance in his teaching working with each student individually, rather than providing a step to step guide on what to do. This workshop is designed for you to explore your own creative process using both a large scale acrylic as well as working with full pastel sheets. If you have never used acrylics before, you are better suited to Jenni Kelly's Funtastic Acrylics workshop.


Please note that this is John's list of paints for students that like to know EXACTLY which colours he prefers to use. The exact colours are not essential. You can bring along whatever acrylics that you have and love to use. Make sure you have a good range of darks & lights.

ACRYLIC PAINTS (any good brand) Atelier, Matisse

  • White, Antique White, (Matisse Structure) Small Black.
  • (warm) Cadmium Red, (cool) Alizarine Crimson
  • (warm) Cadmium Yellow, (cool) Lemon Light Hansa
  • (warm) Ultramarine Blue, (cool) Pthalo Blue
  • Bring along any oil paints that you have on hand - John uses oil paints underneath his pastels (usually dark colours - pthalo green & pthalo blue are good) and also as a final coat on the top of his acrylic landscapes (colours to match your painting).
  • Other Favourites :(Mostly Matisse colours)
  • Red Gold, Paynes Grey
  • Dioxazine Purple, Australian Sienna, Pthalo Green
  • Turquoise, Southern Ocean Blue
  • Bring along any colours that you really love.
  • Other items to bring:
    • At least 3 canvases of various sizes (pick what you like to work in). You could do a diptych (2 canvases side by side) or triptych (3 canvases) or even a large scale canvas. 
    • One large palette knife (approximately 4cm by 10cm length)
    • A range of brushes, Hake brushes (stiff bristles, not watercolour brushes) are great for blending, 2-3 inch flat to a linear brush
    • Water spray bottle, Chux rags, and a good size water container
    • 3 x Full pastel sheets in non-white for coloured backgrounds and/or white for things like beach scenes (best to buy this at the retreat)
    • Set of coloured pastels - choose your favourite colour scheme. Schminke are the brand that John uses. Cheap pastels won't necessarily get the same effects. Art Spectrum has great colour sets out in squares.
    • Workable Spray Fixative

    Day 1. Introduction to working with abstract acrylic landscapes

    Day 2. Continue working on Large scale Acrylic.

    Day 3. Introduction to John's Pastel Technique - Full sheet pastel paper.

    Day 4. Day two - working on Pastel Full Sheet

    Day 5. Student choice - another smaller acrylic or full Pastel Sheet artwork

    All canvases are to be primed with 2 coats of Gesso (or old water based house paint in a non-white colour before we start. Bring along printed out reference photos or even copies of John's prior artworks and colour schemes that you like.

    We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.


    This workshop is being held as part of our 5 Day 'Best of the Best' Art Retreat at the Tyalgum Ridge Retreat. We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment. *FULL WORKSHOP PRICE IS $1395 - YOU NEED TO BUY YOUR WORKSHOP PLACE USING THIS LISTING TO PAY YOUR DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE 31 MARCH 2019.


    Please note that the Tyalgum Ridge retreat is located at 783 Tyalgum Creek Rd, Tyalgum Creek NSW. You will need to head to the end of Tyalgum Creek Road and continue onto a dirt road for about 100m before you reach the retreat. Please note that there is no internet reception so make note of your directions before you leave Tyalgum.

    There is parking to your right as you arrive. The building is located over 2 floors so there are some steps involved.

    Tyalgum can be reached from the coast via Murwillimbah or from the north through Chillingham and the Numinbah Valley - both are beautiful scenic drives.

    From Tyalgum take Tyalgum Creek Road (runs between the Tyalgum Hotel and the service station) for 9kms. The last kilometre is a good quality gravel road. The retreat is the last property (no. 783) at the end of the road.

    We are 30 kms or 25 minutes from Murwillumbah.

    The drive from the Gold Coast Airport takes about an hour.


    Students must be 16 and over for all adult classes unless arranged otherwise with Artable. The enrolment form for under 18s who are attending an adult class must be signed by a parent or guardian. Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult if they are staying in the accommodation.



    Bookings for workshops will be in the order of bookings received on our website and paid in full at the time of booking. Artable bookings via the website give you an automatic confirmation via email. You need to write in the notes section of the booking form if you wish to share a room with a specific person or persons.


    Telephone bookings must be accompanied by full payment via credit card or direct debit and all booking conditions apply as per website descriptions.


    Artable reserves the right to cancel a class if minimum enrolments are not reached by 1 June 2019 or for circumstances beyond our control. Students will be offered placements in an alternative workshop or a refund of all fees.

    Artable relies heavily on group numbers for this retreat and we are contracted to our accommodation provider. Therefore Artable charges the following cancellation fees if you choose to cancel or do not attend:

    On or before 15 March 2019: FULL REFUND

    From 16 March – 16 May 2019: 25% of workshop fee

    From 17 May – 1 June: 50% of workshop fee

    From 2 June: NO REFUNDS


    Registration is from 8-9.30am on the first day. We will gather together for orientation at 10am on the first day in the main hall. Classes commence at 9am and conclude at 4pm each day. Lunch is for 1 hour and held from 12.30-1.30pm. Dinner is held from 6.30-7.30pm in the Dining Hall.

    Morning and afternoon teas will be permanently set up in the dining hall and tutors can work around their own times for these breaks.


    Evenings will combine tutor discussions, art demonstrations, product demonstrations and more. You will be presented with a weekly timetable of events when you arrive and register.


    Shared Dorm Room: Dorm accommodation is in basic shared room accommodations (male and females are kept separate) with basic shower facilities. All linen is provided, however you are encouraged to bring your own doona/blankets for extra warmth. If you are traveling interstate, we will arrange bedding on your behalf (advise at time of booking). Rooms are shared between 2 and 4 people.

    Please note that we are unable to offer single rooms at the retreat due to the limited number of beds available. If you require a single room, we recommend

    Camping On Site (Campervan or Tent): You can choose to camp onsite. There are shower facilities available for your use.

    External Accommodation $150 Discount Applies: Feel free to make use of local Bed & Breakfast Options if you would like either your own room, or more comfortable accommodations. Please understand that there is very little discount as fees are set by the Tyalgum Retreat and include 3 meals a day, morning/afternoon tea, linen hire and venue hire fees.

    Please advise us in the notes section at the time of booking if you do not want to be allocated to a dorm room. You will be asked to fill in a registration from after booking and will be able to stipulate who you would like to share a room with.


    All students must register at the front desk upon arrival and before heading to their room or workshop. Registration is between 8 and 9.30am on Wednesday 4 July.

    All course, accommodation and events information will be provided at registration.

    By purchasing this workshop, you agree that:

    You have read and agree to the above conditions.

    A class without meeting minimum numbers may be cancelled and you will be given a full refund.

    If you choose to seek external accommodation, you will have $150 deducted from your workshop fee.

    Cancellation fees apply from 16 March as outlined above.

    Artable may take photographs & video throughout the 5 days to be used for marketing purposes.


    Tyalgum Ridge Retreat

    Book online

    $300 per person

    Meet the Teach

    John Turton

    John Turton holds an array of awards, residencies and teaching experience spanning 4 decades. A master of capturing the essence of the Australian landscape, John's artworks hang in numerous galleries including The National Gallery in Victoria and numerous Council, Private and Overseas collections including Robert Holmes A Court (WA). John has been published in a number of magazines and now brings his wealth of knowledge of the Australian landscape to Artable for his 2 day weekend workshop. 

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