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OBX 2023

Seashells & Paintbrushes
A Week of Art and Renewal

Outer Banks, North Carolina   
September 17-23, 2023 
Sold Out 
Thank You!
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Join us for a week of art and renewal on the beautifully wild beaches of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Let's "live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air" (with thanks to Ralph Waldo Emerson). We will have adventures in art and embrace the magic of the sea.  We will be as carefree as the wild mustangs that roam the shore or the dolphins that frolic just past the breaking  waves. And as happy as the little sandpipers darting away form the gentle surf. There is so much art inspiration in this wild and romantic setting. We will truly nurture our creative souls. 


We will stay right on the beach, tucked in behind the dune line with sweeping views of the Atlantic. A walkway from the house takes us up to the deck atop the dune and then it's a quick walk down the other side of the dune to the beach. This will be our fifth retreat in this charming and well-appointed home which features a pool and hot-tub and plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy.

Our beach front cottage has a lovely screened porch to serve as our studio, and we will also take our sketchbooks and easels down to the beach or the dune deck for some plein air fun. We will practice live figure drawing, paint figurative and landscapes and maybe even try painting and sketching the wild horses. We will be working in oils with Kelly and with watercolor and mixed media with Marie.  


One of our favorite things to enjoy is our after dinner stroll on the nearly deserted beach, with the rosy golden light that comes just before sunset. Early risers can gather for a little sunrise yoga on the beach or the dune deck. You really deserve this week! 


We keep our groups small and intimate to provide a warm, welcoming setting for artists of all levels. This allows for great focus and growth in your art. There will also be plenty of time to relax and explore the beach, jump in the waves, lie by the pool with a good book, or hang out making fun memories with new friends. There will be plenty of delicious home cooked meals and snacks, tea, coffee, etc. And we will put out the "wine jar" to collect enough to keep us in pinot, chardonnay, and bubbly as desired.  



Six nights double occupancy accommodations in our beautiful beach front cottage, ALL MEALS (freshly prepared with love, with local ingredients and regional specialties), art instruction, most art supplies, transportation to/from Corolla NC to the beach house. Airport transport arrangements available. (Beach house requires four-wheel drive to access) 

Not included, but available for an extra fee: we have a lovely massage therapist named Carol who comes right to our beach house to give private 1 hour massages.



The closest major airport is Norfolk International (ORF) in Norfolk Virginia. We are providing ground transportation to/from Corolla, North Carolina to the beach house. 


We are setting up transfer from the airport to Corolla NC for an additional fee. Plan to arrive at the airport by 2pm.    


We will pick you up at our meeting point at the realty office in Corolla at 4:30 pm on Sept 17 and get you to the beach house in time to relax with a glass of wine and some snacks watching a beautiful sunset before dinner. 

If you are driving to Corolla, parking for the week is available at the realty office for a small fee. 

Note: The beach house is only accessible via four-wheel drive, there are no paved roads past Corolla, and we drive right on the beach. It takes about 30 minutes or so to drive from town to the beach house.  **Be sure to keep an eye out for the wild horses!

It's a bit out of the way to get here, but once you are here, you will never want to leave. It's really that special!

About the Outer Banks:
The Outer Banks are a strip of narrow barrier islands that follow the coast of North Carolina between the Atlantic Ocean and a series of sounds and rivers that form the Inner Coastal Waterway. Sleepy fishing villages have evolved into charming beach towns from Ocracoke  Island to the south and Corolla to the north and points in between.  The Wright Brothers took off from Kitty Hawk over a hundred years ago with the first manned flight. The seas off the Banks are known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, for the treacherous shifting sandbars that have sunk many a ship from the early spanish explorers to U-Boats during WWII. Blackbeard the Pirate sailed these waters and may have left some buried treasure and his ghost behind. 

Those early Spanish shipwrecks left another treasure: the wild mustangs of the Outer Banks, descendants of the hardy spanish horses that swam ashore from the shipwrecks.  There are far fewer herds now, but the Corolla herd lives in a protected area stretching from just north of Corolla to the Virginia State line. These horses live as they always have, wild and free, between the dunes and the sound to the west, and have adapted and survived for over 500 years. Our beach house is within this protected area and the horses are free to roam where they wish within a very large natural habitat.  No commercial development is allowed within this area, only beach homes and the fire station. Responsible visitors and locals know to keep at least 50 feet away from the horses, not to approach or feed them, and to use extreme caution when driving. For more information on the Corolla herd, visit

Weather in September can be stunning in the Outer Banks, with warm, but not too hot beach days or with a dramatic storm blowing through. This will be a very casual -paint in your PJs all day- kind of week, and cozy sweats or PJs for the evenings will be fine. Shoes, bras, makeup optional! Pack a swimsuit for the beach, pool or hot tub, a hat and your sunglasses!

We are so excited to share this uniquely wild and yet peaceful and restorative experience with you all.


Additional info:

We will have a private facebook group for everyone joining our adventure, to provide updates and additional information such as art supply lists and fun tidbits on the region.

Please read our refund and cancellation policy before registering:

For OBX 2023 Seashells & Paintbrushes Art Retreat, there is a non-refundable cancellation fee of $500 if you need to cancel your registration for any reason, up to August 1, 2023. Before August 1, 2023, any registration fees you have paid, less the $500 cancellation fee will be refunded within 21 days. After August 1, 2023 there is no refund available for any reason, except in the unlikely event the retreat is cancelled by the organizers due to unforseen reasons including illness, natural disasters or other major events outside of our control preventing the retreat from going forward. In this situation, we will notify you as soon as possible and refunds will be issued within 21 days. We (Eat Paint Love Art Retreats, Kelly Berkey Art, MarieLaure Delage Carlson, Christa Thomas Studios) are not liable for any expenses incurred for cancelled flights or any other travel or other related expenses. 

If you need to cancel your registration after August 1 2023, you may be able to transfer it to another artist.  If the event is sold out, we will assist you in contacting people on the waiting list.

We make every effort to carry out the programs as planned, but may substitute or modify the  itinerary as needed based on availability of vendors, instructors, supplies, weather or other situations as they arise. 

We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance which will help you to recover any expenses related to travel, emergency medical evacuation, baggage loss and workshop costs.

Registration Closed
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