Virginia Plein Air Painting Retreat

Dorothy Fagan Coastal Painting

Virginia Painting Retreat
May 4 – 11, 2018


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Come Paint with Me!

In breathtaking Mathews County in southern Virginia!

Paddling and painting, explore a landscape of watery places, gardens, and wildlife off the beaten path on the Chesapeake Bay. Paint heron, eagles, osprey, and visit an oyster bed aboard an oyster boat with your sketchbook, to discover this traditional process from seeding to harvest ~ to roasting oysters, and tasting the sweet savory juice of Chesapeake life.

Painting here for 18 years, Dorothy will guide you in exploring secret gems of this remote and stunningly beautiful region of the Chesapeake Bay.


CHOOSE ANY MEDIA  Your Signature Style can be readily interpreted in Watercolor Journaling, Plein Air for Studio Use, Rapid Sketching, Alla Prima Oils, Artistic Photography, and Cross Media Inspiration for writing or music. You don’t need prior experience to try a new media!  

Small group provides you individual attention. Because Dorothy works in many media including; oils, pastels, charcoal, watercolor, fiber art, mixed media, photography, and writing ~ discussions and demonstrations may  include media-specific topics in relation to your personal style. (Dorothy even has an extensive music background, playing piano and organ, and writing music in school.) See Dorothy Fagan’s art here> 

DISCUSSIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS  One-on-one discussion time with each participant is included AND BEGINS WHEN YOU SIGN UP.  With the backdrop of group and individual activities, these personal coaching sessions give each individual the personal focus and direction they desire. First time traveling with paint? Chat with Dorothy about your choice of travel friendly equipment and materials.

Inn at Tabbs Creek
Sunset at Tabbs Creek Inn

Hang out at ‘home’ at the Inn at Tabbs Creek 

Connect with stillness in your own sanctuary away from home. Your home for 7 days and nights, you are free to just be here and do your thing. Fish from the pier, kayak the creek, or paint the sunset 270 degree view of the East River.  Full specialty breakfast served each morning with locally roasted coffee. Enjoy luxury King and Queen beds dressed in luxury linens,  relaxing indoor and outdoor living areas, and free wifi.


Paint with Dorothy or strike out on you own. Dorothy will introduce you to people, artists and painting locations that have inspired her art for two decades. You will create a sketchbook of wonderful gestural drawings and colorful notes of remote gardens, lively open air markets, and creek side fishing villages. Walking, paddling, and photograph opportunities abound as you capture the real spirit of vibrant life on the Chesapeake.

Oh! And did we forget to mention . . . You’ll be treated to a personal tour of Dorothy’s private studio by the pond in her remote woodland garden paradise, footsteps from the Chesapeake. See her expansive sunroom studio, colorful pastel and oil palettes, paintings, and fiber art.

Bring a spouse or soul mate?

Absolutely! So much the better!

Sharing this extraordinary experience with a creative partner, you’ll both be propelled with creative energy! You’ll have time to do things together, and to participate in solitary or group activities as well.

Luxury Accommodations at the Inn at Tabbs Creek


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Queen or King Bedroom w/ Private Bath
$2400/1 person, Add spouse + $1600=$4000
Deposit $800/person

King Suite with Sitting Room & Jacuzzi
$2700/1 person, Add spouse + $1600=$4300
Deposit $900/person

Ultimate King Suite w/ Riverside Great Room, Fireplace, Wide Screen TV, Kitchenette & Private Patio
$3200/1 person, Add spouse + $1600=$4800
Deposit $1000/person

INCLUDED  Daily full breakfast, oyster boat tour and oyster roast, optional daily art activities including demonstrations and private consults, and two festive dinner parties. Main house library with fireplace and tv, lounge, kitchen and dining areas, screened porches and decks, guest kitchen with fridge, microwave, snacks, and ice maker.  All rooms have private bath, individually controlled thermostat, wifi, all natural bath & body products, hair dryer, iron & ironing board, and luxury linens.

NOT INCLUDED  Transportation is not included. A car is recommended for getting around small villages. Fly to Richmond, Virginia; Newport News, or Norfolk. New non-stop flights have recently been added from western US to Norfolk International Airport, just 1 hour 20 minutes drive.  Mathews County location is 1 hour east of Richmond on the Chesapeake Bay. If you are coming from across the pond, international flights to Washington Dulles, drive time 3 hours.

To Reserve your Space
Make Deposit

Select Room & # persons 

An invoice will be emailed to you showing DEPOSIT RECEIVED and BALANCE DUE within 24 hours. You will also receive Dorothy’s personal welcome and information about preparing for your retreat.

100% Refund before January 31, 2018, 50% Refund before February 28, 2018. No refunds are available after February 28, 2018.


Questions? Call or email Dorothy 804-366-0990


Submit your review

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 3 reviews
by Loucinda McLean, Psychotherapist on The Painting Lesson
Under the Tuscan Sun

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on retreat in Tuscany. I'm not a visual artist, but Dorothy created a safe, comfortable space where I opened my heart and explored my surroundings through the new medium of oil pastels... It was a blast!Throughout the week, I found myself eager to return to my art supplies and paint. Dorothy provided both talks, demonstrations, and individual meetings... she did a wonderful job of meeting me right where I was. I even got up at dawn to paint the sunrise!In addition to the art, our host, Danillo, gave wonderful and entertaining cooking demonstrations! Enough free time was scheduled for my husband and me to explore the fabulous Tuscan countryside and hilltop towns.

by Sarah Collins Honenberger on The Painting Lesson
Magical (and I learned a lot)

Every day was better and better; amazing views, inspirational conversation, fun cooking classes, hillside hiking, and a patient and creative teacher and mentor to build confidence and find my own creative energy. I would go back in a heartbeat!Sarah Collins Honenberger, author of Catcher, Caught

by Phil McLean, retired psychotherapist on The Painting Lesson
Once In A Lifetime Journey To The Heart And Soul Of Tuscany

I really can't use enough superlatives to describe my experience on this retreat. The very special and authentic partnership when Dorothy and Danilo have created is at the heart of this Tuscan journey. Their combined expertise and commitment to the participants produce a stimulating, enjoyable and truly educational experience.With Dorothy's gentle but clear guidance and encouragement, I was able to achieve my goal of beginning to paint and genuinely have fun. Danilo and his wonderful family provided much more than first hand Tuscan cuisine. They welcomed us with open arms and reminded us in the most poignant way how important love and family are every day.This retreat truly opened my heart and guided me to a new dimension of my creative self. I absolutely feel as though I experienced a once in a lifetime journey to the heart and soul of Tuscany.