Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Artful Journey

I just returned from an art retreat in the Santa Cruz hills outside of Los Gatos, CA.  I wasn't sure what to expect, since I never have done this before, but I knew I was ready for the experience. I went with an open mind, and just a little bit of bravery, since I am usually hugely reticent to room with a stranger. It was rather like camp in that way.  I was assigned to a cottage where 6 ladies stayed two to a room.  One of the ladies in our cottage is an artist I had "met" online last fall through a Facebook group connected to an online art class we both took.  It was great to connect with her.  

In all, there were about 100 folks at the 4 day retreat, all women except one lone man, one of the instructors.  We were wined and dined and celebrated. All our earthly needs were cared for while we spent 3 solid days painting all day.  My instructor was the beautiful and inspiring Katie Kendrick, also a Washingtonian.  Our days were a symbiotic balance of her demonstrations and our freedom to create. There were 18 in my class full of eager and talented women. I felt privileged to be a part of it and came away with sweet friends and more drive to create. 

My classroom.. full of light, life and lovely people
On the second evening there was an art sale amongst the attendees and I sold 6 of my prints. Pleasantly surprised!  

Some of the art work I did at AAJ: 
This one was inspired by a painting by Judy Wise, a painter from Oregon.  


The next two were inspired by Maria Pace Wynters artwork . (Since these 3 paintings are too close to the original artists paintings, they will not be for sale! I learn a lot by studying the art of others that I admire.)

I am thinking I may still rework some of these.  I am not loving realistic eyes with such painterly faces. 

 My teacher, Katie Kendrick, preparing for a lesson... her gorgeous work in the background.  

A demonstration of paper printing by Katie.  
Sunny, sunny bloomin California!
Prayer Flags hangin in the sun. 

Jesse Reno, amazing artist and AAJ instructor, with my painting class seat mate and  new friend Jana.  (Jesse is the guy)

Chapel on The Presentation Center property where our retreat was
The Presentation Center property...SUN!!!!

Wine country.... Oh, so beautiful  

Sugar pine  cones... found by the roadside in CA

The Pacific Ocean.... my sister and
I went home via the ocean up through Crescent City.  

There's nothing like a retreat to revive the spirit and inspire you to greater heights.  I am thinking of treating myself to one a year.  


  1. Looks like a fabulous, refreshing, inspiring...and sunny!!

  2. The middle one inspired by Wynter....I like the color blocks/girl, especially......Also, I don't mind the combination of realistic eyes with painterly faces effect. Keep up the good work ~ What a fine time you had, no doubt!

  3. All of the pictures look like it was an amazing trip. And I love your art. I like the eyes too, they look so soulful! But if they are calling you to re-work them then go for it!

  4. Oh the memories! I haven't been to a retreat in many years but I remember the wonderful feeling of being there! I loved looking at your photos and especially seeing the artwork you did! I am just starting to play and practice with a more "painterly" look myself. It's kind of hard to get used to and to enjoy the free loose end result. I am so picky and perfectionistic that it's really stretching me beyond my boundaries to just enjoy the brushstrokes and not worry if the edges are all blended out or not. I spent a lot of time here this morning just enjoying the color and brushstrokes of your work!!!