Workshops & Retreats

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Salt Spring Island May 2023 – COMPLETED

Painting Course with Marlene Lowden
Friday, May 26th to Sunday 28th (3 days)

In the past, I often felt that the freedom I had to choose colours, the subject and technique could actually be stifling, stop me from starting and make me constantly second guess my decisions.

I have found it helpful to create some boundaries before I begin so that I can paint with more confidence. This structure actually gives me more freedom, does that make sense?

In this workshop, we will explore all 7 elements of design and I’ll share all my tips so that you can create your own personal reference guide to support your art practice.  Having a foundation to lean on will give you greater confidence while you paint.

For more information or to register please contact:

It is my desire that after our time together you will:

  • Have created a colour palette, complete with samples, that you are excited to work with for the foreseeable future.
  • Feel confident with your unique mark making and want to explore with new tools and techniques.
  • Be excited to dive deep into a subject and who knows, you might even create a body of work around it!
  • Know at least 5 different ways to start a painting.
  • Address specific questions with me one on one.
  • Relax into free time to just paint in a supportive environment.
  • Bonus! You are going to meet some really amazing like-minded people in an absolutely beautiful setting.

Your course has sparked a rewarding endeavour which is enriching my day to day life.” Bev

This workshop is a good fit if this sounds like you:

  • I want to explore my “voice” as a painter.
  • Motivate me please.
  • I’m drifting from one painting to the next and I crave some unity.
  • My paintings feel like someone else painted them.

This experience is not a good fit if you desire to have a completed piece at the end because we are going to use the time together to experiment and try out different techniques. While I’m primarily an abstract artist, this workshop is open to those who prefer to work in realism too because the same principles apply and how you paint is as important as what you paint.


Friday, May 26th to Sunday 28th (3 days)
10am – 4pm
Lions’ Hall, 103 Bonnet Avenue, Salt Spring Island, B.C. Canada
With a follow up day via ZOOM Sunday, June 11th (this session will also be recorded for those who can’t make the date).

Special thank you to the Salt Spring Island Painters Guild for their helping dreaming up this adventure.

More information about Salt Spring Island.

Price $550 CAD (includes taxes)

Supply list available upon registration. We will use acrylic paint for our exercises and you are welcome to also use oil during free painting time. We will follow up the 3 days together on Salt Spring with a session on ZOOM on Sunday, June 11th. This will be recorded for those who can’t make it. This follow up day will give us time to complete more of the exercises we will learn and it creates a gentle amount of accountability to continue moving forward.

For more information or to register please contact:

Teaching Highlights

Art & Yoga Retreat Morocco – September 2023 (SOLD OUT)
Gibsons School of Arts – August 2021
Art Girl Rising Video Art Journey
Art Instruction – 5 part video series with Place des Arts
Open Your Art Retreat with Marleen Vermeulen , Spain,  4 Retreats
Facilitator, Thrive Art Studios, a professional development network for female artists
More about Marlene’s teaching experiences.

about Marlene Lowden

Marlene Lowden grew up in an ocean side town on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, just outside of Vancouver, Canada. After several years in television broadcasting, she resumed her lifelong interest in painting, drawing, and photography. She draws from her experience in television and video production, applying to canvas similar principles of composition and storytelling. While working and raising her two daughters, she studied with a range of instructors learning watercolour, acrylic, and oil painting techniques. In 2021 she was named one of “28 contemporary Canadian artists to know” by Create Magazine . She is honoured to be included in the All She Makes curated artist directory, the 4th Edition of their magazine and in Art Seen Magazine based in the U.K. Her work appears in private and public collections in Canada and internationally. She lives and works in her hometown of Gibsons, BC.

Learn more about Marlene here.

… your presentation, communication, information and instruction was professional and I also felt an intimate heart connection with each of us that made me look forward to each segment.” Denise

“It hasn’t happened yet” 36″ x 30″ oil on canvas by Marlene Lowden

In the meantime, here’s a short refresher on colour mixing (15 minutes).

Colour Mixing 101 (15 minutes)

Honestly, I’m blown away by this course. I learned SO much that I will definitely use. Everyone in the group was amazing to work with too.  Really was a fun and informative experience.  I am so excited to use these new skills and I’m truly very grateful.  I hope you do this again because I have so many people that I would love to share this with!” Julie

Over the years, I have taken numerous art workshops, never have I had an instructor share so much of herself, her vast knowledge and her creative expression. She has a kind nature and a wonderful, welcoming personality. She is articulate and shares her love of life and  encouraged us to dive deep into our work. Her class started simply, including the use of tools and painting basics. I was able to follow eagerly and learned many valuable painting techniques.  The supply list was limited and functional. The time Marlene allotted to the processes was well regarded. I had ample time to reflect and practice the many challenges to becoming a more successful artist.I would highly recommend Marlene’s class to every painter. I thank her for showing me the rewarding life that painting , and all that goes with, has to offer.” Patricia

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