Join artist Debbie Mackinnon on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, a lush natural paradise less than two hours by plane from Sydney or Brisbane for an 8 day Art Workshop Retreat  (August 8 - 15, 2019)


With sculpted mountain peaks rising dramatically from crystal clear turquoise waters, Lord Howe Island is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth. It was World Heritage listed in 1982 for its unique beauty and diversity, remarkable geology and rare collection of birds, plants and marine life. This crescent-shaped island has a mild subtropical climate all year round, with winter temperatures ranging from 17C - 20C. The island is serviced by daily flights, allowing only 400 visitors at any time, to maintain it’s relaxed and unspoilt beauty.

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Debbie Mackinnon is a contemporary artist based in Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW. Her paintings are an exploration of the connection between the natural and constructed worlds. Creating artworks is her passion and she draws and paints every day on location and in her Sydney studio. Debbie has a passion for coastal landscapes but she loves the thrill of travel and exploring new places, sketchbook always firmly in hand……

Debbie trained as an illustrator and followed a profession as an art director for London publishers Dorling Kindersley and Frances Lincoln and then as an author/designer of a series of award winning children’s books. Moving to Australia 24 years ago, she was inspired by the light, texture and colour of our rugged coastlines to take up her easel and paints once more.

Debbie lectured at Billy Blue College of Design for 15 years and now paints full time. She founded ME Artspace, an artist run initiative in North Sydney, where she works and exhibits. She has been selected as a finalist in many prestigious art prizes, including NSW parliamnt Plein Air Painting Prize, Mosman Art Prize and many more. Debbie’s work is in private collections around the world. Two of her paintings were recently acquired by North Sydney Council for their public collection. She also exhibits at Rochfort Gallery.


"The coastal landscape is a kaleidoscope of ever-changing weather, crushed sediments of sand and tides that climb and recede from headland outposts. A photograph may capture a fragment of this process, yet an artist’s observing eye is able to convey multiple moments and the magic of these natural ebbs and flows. In my studio, I translate my deep connection with the coastal landscape into paint. My aim is to create exciting vistas from the Australian coast, each artwork speaking of the potent energy of nature and the freedom to be found within it.”


Artist Debbie Mackinnon’s love of travel is recorded in her beautifully executed travel sketchbooks. While travelling, she sketches and paints every day. Whether it’s sitting in a café sipping on her morning coffee, exploring a new city or enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day, Debbie captures her travel experiences with the immediacy of her artwork. She collects memorabilia in the form of gallery or theatre tickets, drink coasters or an image torn from a magazine. All are incorporated in her fascinating and eclectic artworks. “Looking back at your travel sketchbooks unleashes a flood of memories that  a photo will never do!”

Join us for a sketching and painting workshop on the idyllic Lord Howe Island. Using a mix of watercolour, gouache and ink, Debbie will demonstrate how to create a zigzag Japanese fold sketchbook with connections from one page to the next, as well as a range of creative art-making techniques. Learn a new skill or develop new ones in a beautiful and relaxed environment. 


Ocean View Apartments are an original Island business started more than 100 years ago and now operated by 5th and 6th generation descendants of T.B and Mary Wilson who settled in 1876. It is ideally situated off the main road, but close to many Island facilities including restaurants, cafes,

general store, bike hire, post office, and the only jetty on Lord Howe is only 100 metres away. Also close by are Lagoon Beach for a quiet swim, and Old Settlement and Ned’s Beach for great snorkelling and fish feeding. And it’s only a short climb up the back paddock to get a great panoramic view of the Island and lagoon. Set amidst the subtropical foliage of Kentia palms and ferns the comfortable, modern studio units have fully equipped kitchenettes and other home comforts.

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Anchorage Restaurant, situated just a stones throw from the iconic Lagoon Beach, is where we will have breakfast and dinner each day. A perfect place for a coffee or a relaxing drink after a day of sketching and exploring. Executive Chef David Chlumsky brings experience from acclaimed Sydney restaurants Otto, Quay and Longrain, and combines his passion for the Island and utilising local produce with his love of modern and innovative food. The on-site bakery offers daily baked artisan sourdough, traditional loaves and Turkish breads.

lord howe island travel art

Art Travel Adventures Pty Ltd

Phone: +61 (0) 417 033233