Join Leah MacDonald & Michelle Fletcher in Morocco
Sunday, March 25, 2018 – Wednesday, April 4, 2018



Learn and create joyfully in
photography and encaustic painting workshop.

Explore the landscape, architecture and
culture of magical Morocco
with your guide MICHELLE FLETCHER.

 Morocco beckons us to …

Experiment with painting and photography.

Observe. Make photos and notes.

Embrace voluptuous colours and textures
sing the spices, hues, tones of the landscape and the scenes around us.

Focus on the daily textures and artistry of this area.

Notice every scratch, form, shape and detail
to add into our paintings.

Feel connected to the scenery, the architecture, the tiles, the fabrics and the landscape,
then bring this inspiration and expression to our painting.


Inspirations + Expressions: 

An Amazing Photography and Encaustic Workshop

with Leah MacDonald

Encaustic painting is a physical experience, painting layers of beeswax overtop of material either covered panels or papers with photographs on them, as well as collages. Encaustics can be handmade from beeswax and pigments or pre-bought and made by others. I am a huge fan of R&F paints because of their colour palette. Encaustic allows us to add layers, use heat and also found objects to mirror what we are seeing and feeling. By adding and subtracting we can also create the sense of time, from what has transformed over years from the past to the current moment.

Our integration with the place and our creative process will be our focus – being in the moment and noticing everything we see, touch and taste.

I will encourage artists to photograph everything from landscape, nature, details, food, spices and fruits of Morocco. By painting with these photos and learning the textural language of the place we can grow as visionaries and heighten our awareness to techniques and surface to make incredible works of art.

Painting is a metaphor for life it is unpredictable and precious. Presence is key – being present to observe and feel the emotions and challenges of being in a foreign country and unfamiliar place. I encourage drawings, sketches and journaling as well on the trip to help capture moments of inspiration. Michelle will be leading our mornings with journal prompts to incorporate into our note taking and observations while on our journey together.

This workshop will include prints from each photographer on fine art Hahnemuhle paper.

We are going to be sponsored by Hahnemuhle and given 3 to 4 types of paper, including photo rag, rice paper, Albrecht Duper and William Turner.


An outline of our Voyage of Discovery:

Sunday, March 25, 2018 – Wednesday, April 3, 2018
Length: 10 days / 11 nights

Price: $3,950 USD per person (single room suplement $1,200 USD)

Arrival Sunday, March 25

Arrivals this day will be met at the airport with transfers to our Riad in Marrakesh.

After allowing time for freshening up we will meet for an introductory meeting and group dinner at 7:00PM.

Then off to bed to get rested up for the adventure that tomorrow will bring.

DINNER included

Monday, March 26   Marrakech

After breakfast, I will be presenting you with an outline of the day ahead, as well as a Journal in which to keep your field notes and inspirations, sketches, whatever you find along your way.

Along with our guide, we will explore one of the most interesting cities in Morocco: Marrakech.

We will spend the day visiting some architectural interesting sites such as the Koutoubia mosque and a visit to the Maison de la photographic de Marrakech (The House of Photography), a museum in the heart of the medina that brings together a collection of images from Morocco from the 1870’s to the 1950’s. Our main focus will be the lively medina (old town), with its colourful shops and souks (markets), followed by the famous place Djemaa el’Fna with its snake charmers, acrobats and storytellers. At sunset, we will enjoy the view from a rooftop restaurant for sunset images.

Accommodation in a Riad in Marrakech.
Photographic highlights: Marrakech and its historical sites, the medina, and the place Djemaa el’Fna.

Day 3
– Tuesday, March 27   Marrakech to Ouarzazate

After breakfast, we will begin our photographic adventure to the Sahara desert.

We will leave Marrakech and drive south across the High Atlas Mountains and the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass. We will stop for pictures along the way to enjoy the panoramic view and to capture some wonderful images of these majestic mountains.

In the afternoon, we will continue to one of the most impressive and well-preserved kasbahs and UNESCO world heritage site, the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. Along with our guide, we will visit this picturesque fortified village, which has been used as a film location in numerous famous films such as Gladiator, Alexander, The Mummy, Kundun, The Jewel of the Nile, and many more. It is an exciting place to explore and photograph.

Accommodation in a hotel in Ait Ben Haddou.
Photographic highlights: The High Atlas Mountains, small Berber villages, and the ksar Ait Ben Haddou.

– Wednesday, March 28   Ouarzazate to Ait isfoul

After breakfast, we will leave Ouarzazate, driving through mountainous wild landscapes, until we reach the first town in the Draa Valley called Agdez.

We continue through the Draa Valley along the life-spending Draa River with its huge date palm oasis. This part of Morocco is still much preserved in term of traditional customs and way of life. Passing Zagora the landscapes become more and more deserted and arid.

We will then settle in for 4 nights and begin our workshop with Leah.

Accommodation in Kasbah Ait isfoul
Photographic highlights: Small Berber villages, Draa Valley and Draa River, oases, stunted acacia trees.


– Thursday, March 29   Workshop (Day 1) Ait isfoul

Today during the early morning hours and before the sunset, we will explore the beautiful dunes of the area.

This is our first creative day with Leah to capture the essence of desert life, its people and nature.
Workshop today:
• paper and painting with encaustic
• basics of encaustics
• making some homemade encaustics
• techniques of layering with beeswax and pigment
• size, shape and collage of photos of found objects

Accommodation in Kasbah Ait isfoul
Photographic highlights: Village of Tagounite, the kasbah, local desert life, and sand dunes.


– Friday, March 30 Workshop (Day 2) Ait isfoul

Today we will continue working with Leah.
Workshop today:
• adding encaustic to a substrate
• building thickness and adding and subtracting medium
• adding sand and textures to the encaustic
• expression through mark making – pulling from emotion
• using stencils to build textures and create patterns
Tonight we will go for a drive into the dunes to photograph the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine or tea.
Photographic highlights: oasis and the Kasbah and the dunes at Sunset .


– Saturday, March 31   Workshop (Day 3) Ait isfoul

Today is our final day creating with Leah.

Workshop today:
• conversations of success
• processing work
• questioning action and reaction
• painting with oil sticks to add depth and control of highlights and shadows
• showing off + sharing

Photographic highlights: Desert landscapes and the Oasis



– Sunday, April 1   Ait isfoul to Chegaga

We will start an adventure of 60km off-road today. The route passes different features of the desert: erg (sand dunes), reg (rocky desert), hammada (stony desert) and oases. We will have time to stop along the track to photograph this amazing desert landscapes. The Chegaga sand dunes are far away from any civilization. It’s a mesmerizing place, where you can really feel the overwhelming tranquillity and expanse of the desert. The Chegaga sand dunes area is the largest in Morocco. We will have a camel trek to watch the sunset in the dunes.

We will spend the whole day at the dunes. Enough time to really experience the mystic of the Sahara first-hand. You can listen to the desert wind and climb up the dunes for sunrise and sunset, to watch the light and colour of the sand change. It is a truly memorable and wonderful experience to open ones visual awareness to the pure and rare beauty of these magnificent dunes. The evening we will enjoy local desert music together under the sheltering starry sky.

Accommodations: Bivouac (luxury tent) (double occupancy)
Photographic highlights: Desert landscapes and the Chegaga sand dunes.


– Monday, April 2   Chegaga to Todra Gorges

After breakfast, the track covers another 90km of desert with varying scenery – sand dunes, stony desert, and the dry lake Iriqui – until we reach the first village Foum Zguid. From here we drive back to Ouarzazate along tarmac roads, continuing on the Todra Gorge which is a trench of gigantic rock walls that change colours and run through the High Atlas Mountains creating an absolutely magnificent spectacle. We will enjoy the area with a guide and enjoy the local area.

Accommodations: Hotel in Boolean Dades.
Photographic highlights: Chegaga sand dunes, different desert landscapes, and Todra Gorges


DAY 10
– Tuesday, April 3   Todra Gorges to Marrakech

After breakfast we set off back to Marrakech via the High Atlas Mountains. Once we drive the late afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy.

Farewell dinner tonight at 7 PM.

Accommodations: riad in Marrakech
Photographic highlights: High Atlas Mountains and Ounila Valley.


DAY 11
– Depart Wednesday, April 4

Breakfast together and goodbyes.
For those going home today, transfers to the Marrakech Menara Airport.
BREAKFAST included.

Additional private or group tours or extensions
can be arranged for you ahead of time
if there is somewhere or something you would like
to see or experience while here in Morocco.

We would be happy to help you make any of your dreams into reality.





  • Transfers to and from Marrakech Menara Airport on arrival and depart days
  • 11 nights lodging (double occupancy)
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner throughout the trip
  • All Guides + Entrance Fees
  • Welcome bag + Journal
  • Camel ride in the Desert
  • Local desert music
  • Transportation
  • Most art supplies
  • 3 day Encaustic Workshop with Leah MacDonald
  • Daily inspiration + writing journal prompts
  • Photography tips + techniques


  • Airfare to and from Morocco
  • Travel Insurance
  • Small amount of personal art ephemera + supplies

About Leah Macdonald

“My work is a dialogue between my imagination, my curiosity, my imperfections and my desires. I express the tales of womanhood, sharing stories through form, color and texture.

“I am a portrait artist and I photograph primarily women, and then embellish the photographs with layers of beeswax, colored wax, painting and drawing. Adding wax for texture and color for mood changes the black and white photographs. I use paper as an extension of my skin; I pull it and peel it, a wash it, paint it, tear it and draw on it. Wax embellishes and veils the nudity of my subjects and I draw to decorate and control the image. The ability to layer mediums and constantly change appearance and texture allows me to stray from reality and reach the playground of imagination. I am interested in images from nature and designs that have floral and intricate forms.

” A stained photograph and a ripped corner speak of life’s lessons. Each movement is ultimately important to me. My work is close to home and reflects my self, it hints to my flaws and I accept the beauty of accidents.

For more information please visit

About Michelle Fletcher

“I am a visual artist, curious adventurer and soul sister who loves to explore the infinite possibilities through the art of transformation.

“I gain inspiration from my frequent wanderings, and I’m drawn to places steeped in a deep sense of history, spirituality, and mystery – the more exotic, the better; they feel like home.

“My travels become a catalyst for expansion outside the realms of day-to-day life.  I gather treasures along my journey – discarded books, papers, patterns, old texts – remnants of the cluttered life … the more imperfect the better. Insights, inspiration, freedom and meaning – all is fodder for my life and work.

“My journey is my calling and my passion has evolved to become an invitation to others to open, explore, honour, share and celebrate their own lives.

“Part Gypsy, Part Explorer.

“As your travelling guide, it is my honour and pleasure to journey with you and share this tiny magical corner of the world.”


Photo Encaustic Tour: with Leah MacDonald + Inspirations + Expressions in Morocco

$3,950 USD per person (single room supplement $1,200)



$1,975 USD non-refundable deposit per person.
$2,575 USD non-refundable deposit including single room supplement* deposit             

Single rooms are available at an additional $1,200 USD. These are limited in number, and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.

FINAL PAYMENT DUE December 25, 2017

“One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way seeing things.”

— Henry Miller



FOR WOMEN, modest clothing is best for your time in Morocco (e.g., clothing to keep you cover from knees and elbows up. Long skirts, dresses, pants and layers are great! While Morocco is a Muslim country, women are not expected to cover their heads in public. You will see many people of all different styles of dress throughout Morocco. Here are some good suggestions on what to pack.


Trips are non-refundable under any circumstance. Please be sure you can attend before you register.  Please do NOT make travel arrangements until you are notified to do so.

We reserve the right to cancel any workshop/trip at any time for any reason, including if there are too few participants, or if the quality of the trip or the safety of travellers is judged by us in our sole discretion to be compromised. In such a case, your payment minus any PayPal fees or bank fees incurred by us will be refunded in full within 14 days, and this shall constitute full and final settlement. We are not responsible for any losses incurred for non-refundable or non-transferable air travel tickets. Travel insurance is highly recommended. Please be sure you can attend before you register.


Please send an email to and we will be happy to answer your questions.

We hope you will join us for this amazing adventure!