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|
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.)
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.