Sweet Retreat

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The most anticipated event of the year!

The Bundanon Art Retreat in April. It has been and gone already!

It is a wonder that I have not blogged about it sooner but my writing days slip into a deep dark void of nothingness. I look at the calendar and feel I have lost clumps of time and I have. It seems to be happening more and more.  I have so many things I could be writing about. Yet my attention and motivation for art have shifted my passions around.

My writing slows and the drive to blog also. I know it’s just a faze. I’m not going to panic, just go where my interests take me. I decided only to blog when I felt the need to share something of value. Yet still, it is almost the end of June! The need to polish those writing skills is the reason I started the blog in the first place. For someone living in a rural setting, (no neighbours). Blogging is a fantastic way to connect with fellow creatives from across the globe. I will try to do better next month.

Now…….back to art. The Bundanon Retreat is available to the common folk due to the generosity of Arthur Boyd and his wife. They decided to donate their homestead and property back to Australia. Many creatives have benefited from the artist in residence programs (would be an amazing experience).

For the second year I drove to Bundanon eager to experience a few days learning new skills. Although it is not just about the art. The energy in the class is a real buzz too.  It is time well spent honing new skills and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. The joy and laughter is infectious. Old friends catch up, share stories of life and also enjoy the odd glass of wine at the end of the day.

Mary and Jim deliver the goods, each lesson activates the senses. Opening my eyes to new ideas. It does help that there are no kids, (I mean that in the nicest way) no one to interrupt that creative flow.

Just me and my muse with oodles of time to play.

One particular area they utilise for inspiration is a walk into the nearby forest. We gear up with protective layers to combat the waiting leeches. They drop from the trees like black rain, with amazing accuracy. No kidding, little suckers turn up without an invitation. Two years running no leech for me. My ammunition? I drown myself in an expensive perfume and wear a pair of chunky boots (worked so far). Jim brings the salt and mozzy spray and off we go.

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Sitting under the canopy of tall spotted gums, there is a natural high as my eyes soak up nature. Our teacher Mary hands out the charcoal, we must colour the whole paper black (messy but fun). Mary asks us to choose a view to sketch. She then takes her erasure and proceeds in sketching, by selecting all the highlighted areas first.

I could not wait to start.

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After rubbing out the areas of light with my erasure I was stunned at the effect. We were then told to darken the shadowed areas with charcoal once more. A simple technique that had startling effects.


I ended up using a tangerine charcoal to finish. But I actually preferred the black and white one better. The beauty of the exercise is there is no going back and thats okay, its all about the process.

At the end of each day I did not create brilliant work. But boy did I learn many a new technique. The company and general positivity about the camp, leaves a certain joy in your soul, that is only found at Bundanon.

I look forward to getting a place next year. My husband supports my time out and believes I deserve a couple of days off from the Mummy-me. I also get to spend time with two of my beautiful sisters Coleen and Carmel. And their gorgeous friends, like Nicky. Although sis Carm did not plan to stay over night this year and drove home the first night. Her new baby boy needing her more and fate decided that she was not to return when her car had a flat tyre. Hopefully next year Carm.

If you get the chance to go on any kind of retreat I would say go for it! My world is richer for the experience.

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Enjoy the slides this was only one lesson. We actually learned how to make a collagraph print too. Here is a link to a youtube clip of how its done, I love what this artist creates. I was happy with my raven collagraph, yes I had to sketch the birds whilst I was at Bundanon.

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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70 Responses to Sweet Retreat

  1. reocochran says:

    Your trees in black, gray and white and the sepia brown artwork were so full of light, shadows and beautiful forest serenity. 🙂

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    I can feel the sense of peacefulness and joy from your words. I think your piece is beautiful How fun to learn a new technique and have time with special people in your life all in the midst of a gorgeous setting.

    • Hey Sue you would appreciate the beautiful views at Bundanon. In the mornings if you got up before the group you could sit in stillness and only hear the birds as you drank a hot cup of tea.

  3. Your writing may have slowed, Kath, but look what you’ve created! These are stunning! What a fun retreat that must have been. ❤

    • Hi Jill, I guess it proves I should only work on one thing at a time as I finish the illustrations for that picture book. I must stay focused and not let the muse lead me elsewhere. As she has done many times. Im now aware of that and the writing will come back one day.

  4. Those trees are amazing, Kath–both yours and your fellow painters. The setting truly seems inspirational. The leeches though–oh my goodness. They might keep me away.

  5. Jill Kuhn says:

    Thank you for sharing your art and the JOY you experienced on your retreat. It comes through in your art, Kath! 💕💖🎨 Such beauty in the black and white sketches – WOW!! So inspiring! 😃

  6. Jill is right, your joy beams through! Wonderfully stuff!

  7. Letizia says:

    I love your sketch! And the idea of working in the woods. We live in a wooded area and I love to draw (nothing on your level, just a pastime) and you’ve inspired me to work in the woods. We don’t have leeches, fortunately, but we do have deer tick that carry lyme disease so must be dressed appropriately and check for them afterwards. Living with nature, right?

    • Letizia grab some charcoal, a board, some paper and and erasure and follow your heart. There was one friend there who was more into photography and said that she was not confident with sketching. But her picture was just as beautiful. If you love to sketch, you are half way there. The rest is the fun bit, you get to play and practice and see how far and how much you can learn. Please let us know when you go into the woods, love to see a blog post on your experience.

  8. kathydoremus says:

    Always a blessing when we can take step away and do something soul nourishing. Glad you were able to go. 🙂

    • Thanks Kathy it is a great way to unwind and each year gets better and better. i think next year they mentioned something about basket weaving. You would enjoy the nature and the serenity.

  9. Tana Bevan says:

    Kath~Kudos for giving yourself permission to follow your passion. To see where it leads you. And yes, ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) is truly about the journey. Your journey is yielding a lovely body of creativity. A big round of applause. And like you, I prefer the black and white rendition. It resonates more. *smiles*

    • Thanks Tana yes there is something more deep and powerful in the black and white version. Sometimes we have to show restraint but I love colour and so wanted to see where it would go. Still learning about when to stop as a piece of art is never finished and its knowing where you want to leave it.

  10. I’m so happy for you and glad you enjoyed the experience. And thank you for sharing the art…all so lovely.

  11. Val Boyko says:

    Thank you Kath, this is a great share … I enjoy your love of exploration and learning. It makes your artwork shine ☀️

    • Thank you Val the whole experience of those couple of days is very special and all the women who attend know this too. Beautiful place to meditate and be still in the early morn too.

  12. diannegray says:

    I think you undersell yourself, Kath – your work is absolutely beautiful! I also love the photo and you, Nicky and Colleen 😀

    • Thanks Dianne I guess I like look at it this way, I still have so much to learn, and there lies the magic. Life has so much to offer us, we could never be tired of life if we are always learning something new. Have a great day.

  13. So nice to see your post! I think your work is lovely .. Well done. It sounds like a great place to go. Keep writing 😃❤️

  14. The tangerine is amazing! The rubbing off … the retreat … your work … fabulous! xo

  15. quietmindquietbody says:

    Absolutely fabulous, and your work is as always gorgeous. Wonderful that you are living your life, doing what matters. 🙂

  16. It’s hard to balance using the blog to help us be disciplined in writing and having it be such a chore that you dread it. I hope you will feel like doing it next month!

    I’m so glad you took the time to recharge your creative batteries! 💕 Sounds like a terrific event. That looks like a fun technique and I really like the piece you created.

  17. What a fabulous sounding retreat — and that charcoal exercise — wow!

    I sometimes find it really hard to balance art-making and writing — I immerse in one and forget about the other and vice-a-versa. And then, now that it is summer, both tend to take a back seat to sitting in the garden. Tonight, I’m on the deck, glass of wine, fountain splashing, magpie cawing and catching up on blogs I love to visit. So grateful I dropped by. Thanks for the inspiration Kath.

    • Louise you seem to blog, write and create art with ease I cannot keep up. Glass of wine sounds good but its six o’clock in the morning here. Maybe later this evening will do the same, sit on my deck watching the cows go by and reading my favourite blogs too. Thanks for the visit.

  18. What a FUN Retreat minus the leeches of course – Beautiful Art – thanks so much for sharing – it inspires me 🙂 Happy Week – Enjoy!

  19. New Journey says:

    What a lovely place to create your beautiful art…thanks for sharing…

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