"You may wander, may learn that in order to get to your destination you must turn away from it, become lost, spin about, and then only after the way has become overwhelming and absorbing, arrive, having gone the great journey without having gone far on the ground.”

Rebecca Solnit | The Faraway Nearby


A guide to creating an art habit that soothes and restores you

Imagine going on a retreat where the days filled with art-making and creativity. Walks in nature, morning meditation, curling up with a book, and stargazing at night. Filling your well of inspiration, feeling energised but also peaceful while honouring your own rhythm.

At the end you’ve created a unique book in which you discovered your capacity for opening up; found that you are ok with imperfection and have stopped worrying if you can draw ‘properly’.

Instead, you learn how observation is a doorway into the realms of what is possible, and find the tools you need to cultivate your imagination, intuition and playfulness. Along the way you discovered that your art doesn’t need to be grandiose or polished but it can be a simple habit or ritual that is comforting, supportive and quite magical.

Faraway Nearby gives you all of this and more. Best of all, you don’t need to leave home to do it.

A regular and sustainable art practice is a cornerstone to my well being

Making art supports and nurtures my well being and is integrated into my daily life. I want that for you too.

We get moulded and shaped by the hands of fate, circumstance, things way beyond our control. But with our own hands form what we wish to express, find ways to soothe, process, understand or celebrate.

*Faraway Nearby is designed to be your own, special sanctuary from a busy and often fretful world. A place for you to go to and get still, reflective AND creative.

A self-paced retreat-style workshop, designed to be taken this way so it’s not too fast or overwhelming, but helps to keep your momentum going. I’ll show you how to construct a unique accordion book for you to take on your journey through an interconnected set of prompts. The book serves as a container of your emotions, a place for reflection or memories, or simply where you asked questions of yourself, with or without answers. Like a map you make as you create your path. You may encounter trials or struggles, but also there will be beautiful mistakes and happy accidents too. It will help you release yourself from perfectionism and truly tune in to your authentic voice.

The retreat will help you also cultivate listening in closely and embracing your ideas, imagination and curiosity. You will have examples, inspiration and exercises to help you dig deep into that creative space inside of you, and learn better how to access it – slowly, intentionally. If that sounds a bit intense, there is also plenty of fun too!

Above all this retreat is very relaxed, flexible and joyful. It can be done from home and in pockets of time to suit you.

Who is it for?


If you are completely new to book-making, you will learn how to construct a simple accordion book, with ideas, topics and techniques to fill the pages that lead from one to another. There are resources that will encourage you go deeper into your inner-self and your intuition while encouraging a sense of play and openness.


You are more experienced, but you struggle with perfectionism and the 'shoulds'. You find it a challenge to create a regular sustainable habit. There are many prompts for you in case all you need is a starting point, and you can build something bigger if you like. There is guidance and scope for all levels and means of expression, with a lot of adaptability and plenty of wiggle room.

What you will get:

✻ 6 modules with 15 sections, delivered via Coursecraft, a private and secure learning platform

✻ Video tutorial with full accordion book making instructions

✻ In-depth guidance, prompts and ideas to fill your book

✻ Guided meditation and mindfulness exercises to support your practice

✻ Access to a secret Pinterest board full of resources and inspiration

✻ Supporting worksheets and an ebook of the whole workshop for you to download and keep

✻ Bonus resources, and you can take the retreat as often as you like!


How long does the retreat run?

The retreat is structured as 3 'days' over 4 'weeks', with an additional final day. However, it's entirely up to you how you pace yourself; you can have an intense weekend retreat, or take as long as you need!

Do I need to show up at certain times?

No. It’s completely self-paced to be taken in your own time.

Do I need to buy anything special?

You can make your book from what you already have and I encourage you to! Of course, if you love buying art supplies then treat yourself! There is a suggested supplies and materials list provided too.

Will I get the chance to ask questions or get feedback?

This is no ongoing support from me. However, if you would like a feedback or mentoring session with me we can arrange that. Please contact me if you would like this additional support. The sessions are done via Skype or another platform and are priced at 20€ for 30 mins

Is there a community?

As this is self-paced, gentle and low-key, there is no Facebook or other group set up for this. However, there is a private Pinterest board you can join if you wish. This was quite popular during the previous Concertina Retreat. There is a comments section with each module where you can ask me questions too.

{and please feel free to share the hashtag #farawaynearbyretreat on Instagram!}

Do I need to be able to draw?

The retreat doesn’t involve traditional techniques for realistic drawing. It is more about mark-making using attention, intuition and observing your interpretation of the world around you

How long do I have access to the workshop?

Once you've enrolled and paid, you'll have access to the workshop material for as long as you need, or as long as it exists (including any updates and improvements). So devour it all in one weekend or take things slow. It's your choice!

I still have a question, how can I contact you?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at

I’m Suzie Chaney, an artist living and working in the South of France. I work mainly on paper, with an emphasis on experimentation and process, and I’m an avid sketchbooker.

I guide and encourage you to dig deep in to your imagination, curiosity and joy on your own creative path, by observing your environment, emotions and memories.

Find out more...

*I call the retreat Faraway Nearby as I was inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s book, who in turn was inspired by artist Georgia O’Keefe. When O’Keefe moved to rural New Mexico, she would sign her letters to the people she loved, “from the faraway, nearby.”

Stories can bring us close together and also take us far away — so come for a wander deep into your heart and mind, you’ll be amazed by what you will see.

  • "I’ve recently come back to art after 10 years away from it and reignited a little flame which I thought had burnt out"

    — Olivia
  • "A positive channel for love and healing with your art, and also with your way of moving through the world"

    — Lisa
  • "I completely love your approach. There is so much out there in the arts but yours struck a chord"

    — Margot