Painting courses for beginners to advanced in a beautifully restored 19th century Irish cottage

Relax and enjoy creative painting courses and retreats in the hills of Inishowen, County Donegal, Ireland.

A landscape painting by Sinead Smyth
Sinead Smyth teaching art to a class
An artists' studio sink
An oil painting of a coastal landscape
People studying on an art course

Inishowen Artists' Retreat and Studio

Our art courses are designed to suit all abilities. We take only six participants for each course so, whether complete beginner or professional artist, there's always something to learn and good company to be had.

Sinéad's experience and knowledge (not to mention her eye) is wide and varied and we are confident you will progress in your work.

We also offer tailor-made art classes to suit your group or organisation. 

Spring in the Walled Garden – A unique outdoor painting experience

special event

28th April 2024

An opportunity to access and paint in the historic walled garden and surroundings of Brook Hall Estate & Gardens on the periphery of the City of Derry in the company of other artists.

Your tutor for the day will be artist Sinéad Smyth, who has vast experience in facilitating and teaching en plein air painting in both oils and acrylics. Participants are to bring their own materials and easels. A suggested materials list will be available after booking.

Sinéad Smyth teaching painting in Brook Hall House Estate and Gardens, Derry

Some thoughts from one of our course participants

Blog

Some thoughts from Sinéad that might help develop your creativity and artistic skills... or may just be a good read.

Bennery Rickard
Bennery Rickard
20 June 2023
We had the best weekend ever. Beautiful retreat, lovely cottage and studio. I really enjoyed painting with Sinead very encouraging, sensitve teacher and what can I say about Inniseoin its magical. Bennery
Sarah Rigby
Sarah Rigby
16 May 2023
A lovely place to stay -Donegal has the best beaches. The art tuition from Sinead was brilliant-it was even fun painting in the rain! It was a real bonus to be able to work in the studio as well.
Amanda Kelly
Amanda Kelly
21 March 2023
Beautiful, picturesque and homely. A warm space to feel welcomed and at peace. Inishowen Artists Retreat is an instantly comfortable and comforting homeplace that provides generous, warm hospitality and conversation. Sinead leads the creative process with gentle, yet adventurous mentorship in her bright, airy studio. A place to learn and feel welcomed.
Fionnuala McCullagh
Fionnuala McCullagh
30 November 2022
My teenage godson, niece and I spent a wonderful afternoon here. Sinead created a bespoke session introducing us to the wonders of painting with oil-paint. The studio itself has an aura of calm and welcome - the perfect environment to bring out your inner creative. Sinead is a fantastic teacher, striking the right balance between letting you lose yourself in the piece and giving you a gentle, supportive nudge when you need it. The three of us came out glowing and smiling. Can't recommend this enough as an experience. A wonderful present to each other for some family members or a group of friends. Would love to have a longer session there!
Shannon Mahoney
Shannon Mahoney
18 November 2022
Where to begin? The Retreat offers an experience like no other. If you are considering booking a stay, a workshop or a class, I can tell you wholeheartedly that you will not regret it! In fact, I can promise it will forever sit in your treasure box of unmissable life experiences that change your heart, mind and creativity for the better. Whether it's the beauty and warmth of the lovingly restored cottage, the hospitality of Sinead and Andy, or the spectacular scenery of Inishowen... you will be gifted with inspiration big and small in every moment. During my stay I simultaneously felt so at home while off on an enchanted adventure. There is so much to see in the surrounding area and so much magic in the land. The beaches are mythic and the countryside is charming and alive with the plants and animals that call it home. Sinead is an expert guide on the area and can point you to whatever strikes your fancy. Her artistic tutoring is thoughtful and encouraging and she is a master at blending helpful technique with personal insight and expression. The groups she draws to her workshops are lovely and supportive and she sets the tone for a very free and experimental space for all levels of ability and experience. I was personally coming in from a long long hiatus from any kind of painting and felt supported in every way. As a traveler from California, I can say that it is unquestionably worth flying to Ireland to stay in the gorgeous cottage, receive the gifts of this sweet, wise and soulful mentor, and discover whatever creative transformation or vacation is meant for you. Whether you are bubbling over with motivation and intention or completely struggling with a block or dry spell, I highly recommend making this your sanctuary and next step...
Aileen O'Donnell
Aileen O'Donnell
17 October 2022
I and 2 friends had a lovely two day art retreat here in the spring.We were greeted with warm smiles and enthusiasm, tea/coffee,and settled in to an exciting weekend facilitated by Sinead,we were served homemade healthy soup and scones for lunch by Andy before heading down to a local beach to interpret the power of the wild Atlantic ocean which was a memorable experience.
Simon McGinley
Simon McGinley
9 October 2022
The Inishowen Artists' Retreat is a perfect setting for Art Courses. It is quiet and atmospheric. The course I attended was well organised and interesting. Sinéad was the perfect hostess and has a wonderful teaching manner. Thank you So much.
Maura Hagerty
Maura Hagerty
8 October 2022
I have attended 3 of Sinead's Art Days, I can’t recommend them enough, Sinead is a wonderful inspired teacher who is able to work with all levels and interests. The days are delightful, always a great people at different levels, The cottage itself is beautiful, and the Inishowen Peninsula is just breathtaking. ,… oh yes, as mentioned in the other reviews the lunch is a total delight.
Dale Treadwell
Dale Treadwell
8 October 2022
A journey and stay in this lovingly restored cottage is recharge to the soul and and burst for creativity. The gardens and tree nursery of saplings collected from ancient oaks are an inspiration and connection to the restoration of nature and art. Sinead and Andy are dedicated and caring hosts a stay in any weather is highly recommended
Teri Wilson
Teri Wilson
7 October 2022
I can’t recommend Sinead’s Art Days enough! I’ve booked a few of these art days for my 17 year old daughter who loves art but suffers from severe anxiety. Sinead has such an easy, engaging way with her and is a great tutor. My daughter is immediately at ease and thoroughly enjoys the small group sizes and has gained so much knowledge, confidence and experience to help in her A level art course. The location is truly beautiful, it’s one of those places on earth that’s good for the soul! My husband and I make a weekend of it when the courses are on and use the time to create quality family memories with our arty daughter. We’re all looking forward to our next trip to Inishowen Art Retreat.

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