Red Thread Art Retreats


An invisible red thread connects those 
who are destined to meet regardless of time,
place or circumstance. The thread may stretch
or tangle, but it will never break.
Chinese Proverb



    Click on a 2018 retreat for details and registration


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 FAQ & Answers

This is the place where friendships are made, where art
(and a lot of laughter and nonsense) happen and lasting memories are created.

with Nina Bagley & Claudine Hellmuth, October 2012

October 2012 retreat with Nina Bagley & Claudine Hellmuth,

with Jane LaFazio, May 2013

May 2013 Retreat with Jane LaFazio

with Bridgette Guerzon Mills October 2013

October 2013 Retreat with Bridgette Guerzon Mills

October 2014 retreat

October 2014 retreat with Lesley Riley

2015 Red Thread Retreat - Photo by Chrysti Hydeck

October 2015 retreat with Pam Carriker (Photo by Chrysti Hydeck)


        October  2016 Red Thread Retreat with Nina Bagley

                                                 May 2017 Ecodyeing Retreat with Leslie Marsh

                                                     November 2018 Cold Wax Painintg with Serena Barton


KathleenDolan“Once a year Lesley Riley wraps me in a warm magical hug. She doesn’t do it alone, all that attend her Red Thread Retreat become a part of it. Over the course of a few days my creative life is refreshed, renewed and transformed. I was lucky enough to be at the very first one and few years ago, even though I had never met Lesley or anyone else attending there was an amazing almost instant sense of sisterhood. The creative energy generated is enough to light up the sky. It has become a beacon in my year -a chance to grow and learn as an artist and a to make a deep connection made with kindred spirits. The setting where it is held is a big part of it too, it’s beautiful and peaceful -and Beth Ehrhardt’s Blue Mountain Retreat and the amazing food she prepares and serves us is fabulous. The whole experience is positive and generous and nourishing on many levels.” Kathleen Dolan

JudyZurenda“I am not embarrassed to say I am a Lesley Riley groupie. Why wouldn’t I want to be a follower of someone who has so drastically impacted my life by your giving nature and your all inclusive and welcoming spirit! I have learned so much at each retreat, but additionally I have met many wonderful people – genuine people – humble people – people I am now pleased to call friends. Again, thank you for your willingness to be the conduit to touch my life with your encouragement which has allowed me to claim the title of artist…..something I have wanted to be since I was in grade school.” Judy Zurenda [hasn’t missed a Red Thread]



“The Red Thread Retreat is a fabulous art weekend with amazing instructors. But the real value is the red thread that twines through like-minded women who, though vastly different in age and geography, come together with an authenticity and closeness that transcends boundaries and enriches the creative spirit. Waahhh, I want to come back!!” Patti Edmon


“Was it a dream?
Trying to find the words to describe the great time I had at the Red Thread Retreat. From the moment I arrived until we all left in a hurry (thanks to Hurricane Sandy), every day was full of girlfriends, art, wonderful organic food and lots of wine. So happy to have had this time. One of the lucky ones,” Cindy Holland



“Thank you for the Red Thread experience – it was 1-2-3 – Meant to Be for Me: 1– I “got in” (lucky me – I knew it would fill up fast). 2 – It was just what I needed to restart my commitment to art-making. I had experienced a long dry spell (for a variety of reasons), and when I saw Red Thread advertised the intuitive message to Self was “I want to do this!” Think of it, all those art retreat options out there and my intuition said, “Self, do this one”! 3 – Self (me, myself and I!) was not disappointed (except for Mom Nature cutting it short as hurricane Sandy interrupted us Red Threaders and our art making!)

The instruction was exemplary, Blue Mountain Retreat Center was magical, and the camaraderie and bonding of the participants was truly indicative that “An invisible Red Thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break. (Chinese Proverb)” Thank you again for orchestrating such a wonderful experience and I do hope to Red Thread it again!” Sara White 

JillPayne“The Red Thread Retreat in October was fantastic. There were fifteen of us from all over the US and widely differing ages. The Blue Mountain Retreat center is the ideal place to have such an event – it is very peaceful and away from all the hustle and bustle of our lives. We got to know our fellow participants and the sessions with Claudine and Nina were inspiring. We worked very intensely and then enjoyed dinner and conversation. We were able to talk individually with Lesley, Claudine and Nina after their sessions, which is something that doesn’t usually happen at big conferences.” Jill Payne

CorinneMeharg“I’ve been a Lesley Riley fan for years – I’ve read her books, taken classes with her, been mentored by her and retreated with her; she is a true kindred spirit. But by far, my best Lesley experience has been the Red Thread Retreat! Lesley gathered wonderful teachers and a group of creative, imaginative, talented and just plain real nice women for a long weekend of connecting and growing.

The venue was wonderful, a country setting with beautiful scenery, great healthy food, the availability of massage, lots of wine, a 24 hour studio space and no interruptions. The only obligation was to attend to one’s creative soul. I would go again in a heartbeat. You better sign up now. It’s good for you.” Corinne Meharg

Please email me with any questions you may have!

Photo by Chrysti Hydeck

Photo by Chrysti Hydeck

Let the trees be consulted before you take any action
every time you breathe in thank a tree
let tree roots crack parking lots at the world bank headquarters
let loggers be druids specially trained and rewarded
to sacrifice trees at auspicious times
let carpenters be master artisans
let lumber be treasured like gold
let chain saws be played like saxophones
let soldiers on maneuvers plant trees give police and criminals a shovel
and a thousand seedlings
let businessmen carry pocketfuls of acorns
let newlyweds honeymoon in the woods
walk don’t drive
stop reading newspapers
stop writing poetry
squat under a tree and tell stories.
~ John Wright