Our venue, Darley House, once home to Sir Joseph Paxton in the mid-19th century

Our venue, Darley House, once home to Sir Joseph Paxton in the mid-19th century

What to expect on one of our Derbyshire art retreats

  • Rich and varied subject matter: historic gardens, the River Derwent nearby, the Derbyshire Dales landscape, and the light and space of elegant Georgian architecture, inside and out.

  • The course titles provide a starting point and a focus. But students work in a wide variety of styles from realistic (figurative), through loosened up/relaxed interpretations of the subject to the wholly abstract. There is no pressure to work in a particular style or to imitate Ella’s work.

  • Being able to paint freely every day without the usual distractions, to produce a body of work.

  • Ella's warm and generous professional tuition, and feedback specific to your aims and experience.

  • All materials and equipment are provided.

  • A mix of formal teaching, structured exercises, examples from modern and contemporary artists, and your own experimental and independent work.

  • A spacious and elegant private Georgian house, lovingly restored.

  • Master Chef foodie experiences at mealtimes.

Our venue, Darley House in Darley Dale, near Matlock

  • Our venue, Darley House in Darley Dale, between Chatsworth and  Matlock, was recently restored to contemporary standards of warmth and WiFi alongside many original Georgian features. 

  • Each retreat runs from Monday lunch to Thursday afternoon.

  • Delicious food is provided by our dedicated professional chef.

  • Residential places are full-board, with a choice of shared/solo occupancy of en suite/standard rooms. Several non-residential painting places are also available, with the option to eat dinner with everyone in the house.

  • In the mid-19C, the house was owned by Sir Joseph Paxton, Garden Manager and personal assistant to the Duke of Devonshire at nearby Chatsworth. The gardens at Darley House still contain some of his plantings and landscaping.

Loads of light in the studio, Darley House

Loads of light in the studio, Darley House