Paternoster Art Retreat October 2024

The Paternoster art and food retreat is all about creating cherished memories, which is at the heart of its mission. Whether you’re a solitary soul or an extroverted personality, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time. This retreat isn’t a guided tour with luxuries like porters; it’s an enjoyable and collective experience.

No prior experience in drawing, painting, or art making is required to participate. You won’t leave as a professional artist, but the art you create during the retreat will be wonderful. As always, the process of creating art is the most important and fulfilling aspect.

The Paternoster art and food retreat was established in 2010, inspired by the beauty and charm of this seaside town located 150 km north of Cape Town. It has since become a platform for creativity, connection, and culinary delights set against the backdrop of this picturesque coastal setting.


If you have visited Paternoster, you will know that it leaves a romantic impression in your mind of old-world village charm, sprawling white sands, fisherman cottages and crayfish heritage.   It is a beautiful town with arid windy summers and incredible wet and flowery winters.  It may easily be compared in its similarity to a Grecian Island in the Mediterranean but owns its unique individual stamp of West Coast Malay flavours and exuberance.

Paternoster has been and still is developing steadily as a town for affluent South Africans and some European holiday homeowners, all painted white and some beautifully decorated with retired fisherman boats called ‘bakkies’.

The community is small but remarkably diverse.  You will find wealthy people living next to villagers, a slightly fractured but interesting system of tradition and small-town politics filling your senses once you break through its’ tender shell.  Tourists flock here during weekends from Cape Town for a break and European vacationers are endemic throughout the high seasons, but during a typical week it is quietly resting and sleeping. 

The fisheries still own much of the land in Paternoster and many other societies and movements have also contributed to the development of Paternoster for tourism.  There is a new Crayfish Warf with an art centre, a theatre, and restaurants.  To the north the old town has a few galleries and landmark little shops like Oep ve Koep and other bric-and-brac shops lining its main street, St. Augustine’s.  This street also is home to Paternoster Hotel, a jolly place with the infamous Panty Bar, where ladies’ undergarments line the ceilings.

To the south, Paternoster is bordered by Columbine Nature Reserve, including a light house and Tietiesbaai, where I host a plein air (live painting) session and a local sea food and fish braai.  To the north there is Langstrand, a beautiful extensive beach that stretches all the way to Britannia Bay.  On the way there is an Oyster Farm with a little pumphouse perched on a dune that is appropriately named ‘Die Pomphuisie’.

The history of Paternoster is typical of many seaside towns which started as a primitive settlement due to the abundance of sea life resources for food.  The evidence of middens and landfills confirms of the San living there for thousands of years.  The name could have come from the San but is generally accepted as the prayer from the Portuguese sea farers’ Our Father.  The first European colonizers arrived in the nineteenth century and established Paternoster as a fishing and marine by-product settlement.


Paternoster is also known for its culinary flair.  Wolfgat, Oep ve Koep Bistro, and many other great restaurants like Noisy Oyster, Gaatjie, Leeto, Voorstrand and De Seekat offer all kinds of gastronomy.  There is also local cuisine; that of Cape Malay inspired dishes that carry a competitive legacy with dishes like Bobotie, Mosselpot, Crayfish tail, Malay Curry, Bokkoms and Malva Pudding. 


A town like this exudes talent and creative output.  Paintings, sculpture and ceramics can be found everywhere in galleries like Stone Fish and The Warf.   It is the perfect setting for an art and food retreat.  I love creating art and traveling, and I love cooking, and I share this with you.

The Retreat

The Retreat is structured to entice participants to experience an array of techniques and media but is also easy enough for the beginner.  Although you will have two drawing sessions, most other works are pre-drawn to save time and create a stress-free environment.  Classes are in both Afrikaans and English.  2023 will include oils, mixed media and perhaps one project in water colour.  Subject matter is usually from what is endemic to our location – like boats, fish, land and seascape, and fisherman, their families, and houses.

Sessions are around 3 hours each to leave a little time for you to explore your surroundings.  These art workshops are held in a big house, at restaurants and on location in nature.


You can you arrange your own or I can supply you with a list of choices.

What you can expect:

Day 0SundayCheck into your accommodation
Day 1Monday                   9:20 amMeet at a Oep ve Koep, breakfast and orientation.  Fresh bread out of the oven 9:30am.  Menu offers fresh breads, jams, pies, fishcakes and let’s eat too much.
11 amDrag ourselves to the studio, Paternoster Hotel, about 200m away. Lesson in drawing.
2 pmPicnic on the beach *vegetarian. I’ll make you something light – salad with local ingredients, a nutty dressing and something starchy.
3 pmIntroduction to using oil paints and colours prevalent to the West Coast, and what steps to use.  Only a 2-hour class.
  Loosening up with watercolours
6 pmDinner at Voorstrand, red roof on the beach.
Day 2Tuesday9 amMeet and drive to a beautiful spot to plan and draw your painting outdoors.  Study in watercolour. We will meet in front of the hotel and then you can follow me by car.
11 amBack to the studio for more planning of your painting. (Painting 1) I will help you select the best arrangement for your painting.
12 pmAntipasti Italian feast with Uro.   Follow or drive with me.  It’s about 4 km out of Paternoster.
3 pmPainting in the studio – painting 1 – Underpainting techniques, a short session. Please remember that all paintings are completed on the last day.
6 pmDinner at De Seekat
Day 3Wednesday9 amWe will meet at the liquor store and buy water and wine.  Then we drive to Tietiesbaai.
10 amPlein Air Demo
  10:20 amYour turn with help from me. (Painting 2)
1 pmFish braai with Ursula and Mandy
OFFTime to laze around and discover Paternoster.
Day 4Thursday10 amWork on paintings 1 and 2
12 pmWine Tasting at the New Paternoster Wine Tasting Lounge.
3 pmWatercolour painting session (Painting 3) Nice and easy.
Day 5Friday9 amWorking on paintings.
12 pmLunch at Gaaitjie.
2 pmImpasto painting at Gaaitjie (Painting 4).
Day 6Saturday9 amCompleting all your paintings.
2 pmLunch at Noisy Oyster as our farewell meal.
Day 7SundayPlan your return

So, as you can see, a busy program.  The retreat is focussed in and around Paternoster only because it suits the excursion better.  You can stay a few days extra to explore the West Coast, Ceder Mountains and so on.

The emphasis is on fun, creativity and new experiences.   Laughter and enjoyment.  It is not meant for some personalities, and it is important you have a flexible and hassle-free temperament.    

RetreatINCLUSIVE Breakfast Day 1, 10 Art Sessions. Beach Picnic;  (Vegetarian), Italian Food Event, Fish Braai at Tietiesbaai, Watercolour materials Tuition and Studio Hire EXCLUSIVE Accommodation, Art Materials, Gratuity, All meals not mentioned above, Transport, insuranceR 9400.00
As above inclusive all materials



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