Sunday, June 10, 2012

Retreat, Art Play and Sunday Meditation

Beautiful scenery, good company and blissfully painting...

A retreat is a wonderful thing, good for renewing the spirit, getting away from the regular routines and events going on in life.  And so, that's what I was doing this last week in a beautiful corner of our Northwest.

I arrived a day late after recuperating from a three week trip to Texas followed by a short illness after returning.   I quickly immersed myself in the camp of good company of our painting club, and gave myself up to painting and experimenting as much as possible.  Our instructor was the talented Jennifer Bowman, a high energy acrylic painter.

Art Play and Experimenting
In 5 days I produced 12 small paintings, experiments in color, shape, lights/darks, subject matter, materials, and using a palette in a different way.  Jennifer showed me how to do the eye on a couple of the paintings and in two others showed me the use of dark and light passages.
Here are the results of my experiments with birds:
and pears, rooster and trees:
and tulips:

I chose this retreat in place of the Artfest retreat in March this year.  And as it turned out this was this last Artfest, so I did manage to go for one day only over to Port Townsend to take a great workshop from Lisa Bebi on painting and photography.  Here is a one sample from my several paintings in that workshop:
Sunday Meditation
The exquisite scenery of both retreat locations nurtured my soul.  Nature does that.  And the one day March workshop plus last weeks retreat will serve as inspiration for me as I try out  different things in my paintings.  I am going in the new directions as I wanted...and am seeing where it leads.

I wonder if every day, there isn't a "mini retreat" waiting to be found by me... an hour painting outside on our deck, meeting at a park with fellow plein air painters and sketchers, a museum visit, or just quietly studying and playing with the many photo's I've taken of places, examples.