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. Sara says:

    What lovely artwork coming from such a lovely area! You’re so talented. I’ve always wanted to take a retreat like that, but feel like I’m not good enough at anything even to attend an event to improve upon what I already know. I should squelch that voice and look into what’s available in my area. I’m glad you had such a wonderful getaway!

    • Sara its not about being good enough its about learning new techniques and pushing myself out of that comfort zone of all that I know. The one thing I love about this retreat is the feeling of you are enough, not one person has an ego, we just all get in our own zone and do our own thing and then everyone comes around and looks at each others work, with no judgement only inspiration. Go for it! Find something fun and crazy to do!

  2. Kath, the artwork is stunning! You are fortunate to attend such a retreat, my friend, and don’t worry too much about the blogging. You are doing what you love. ❤️

  3. Judy says:

    The retreat sounds great to me too!! My version would be to follow the light with my camera I think with some other light followers!! 🙂 Really glad you shared the images and slides.

    In fact, what did you use to embed that slideshow? I like that idea a lot.

    Keep writing and let the blog find its own priority!! I understand how other demands will slip you out of posting for periods of time. Happens to me too! It is a time issue and also, I think, a momentum issue. You have to recharge.
    Love those trees!!

    • Judy thanks I did take my camera but did not get time to play with it in there. You can create a slide show when you add your photos and create a gallery. When you create a gallery and add the photos there is a side bar where you can select the way you want the gallery to display, select slide show I think and it does all the work for you. Good luck look forward to seeing your slide shows.

  4. reocochran says:

    I am always interested in art and processes. My brother went to OSU and completed a degree in fine arts. He is funny and thinks my quaint drawings which my family call “dinky” art could benefit from some professional help! Ha ha, I did 6 historical home tours of between 6-8 houses in stationery. He thought “the porches look like they may fall off!” Brothers and family give me smiles and I take no insult! 🙂
    I am on vacation so hope to stop by more, spending time with my 87 year old Mom. Happy holiday weekend!

    • Robin I am a self taught artist, I did not go to uni although I went to school to learn graphic design. I think if you love what you do it shines through in your work I would not call your art dinky, It is a part of you and know one else can create it the way you do. Enjoy your time with your Mum.

      • reocochran says:

        Thank you for your encouragement and sharing your background! I am not too worried about family teasing so don’t worry about that! My interest is mainly children’s book illustrations and I have a few which are rough drafts. Thanks also for your recent visits, Kath. 🙂
        My Mom and I are enjoying our week long visit.

        • Good luck Robin with the illustrations I know how much work goes into them, I have been working on mine for about two and a half years but determine to finish a book this year.

  5. I always feel too introverted for a retreat, but you make the idea sound enticing here. Fabulous artwork and setting.

    • Thank you Pam you do feel this way when you go for the first time. But now I can’t wait to see all these wonderful ladies each year and catch up on the year events. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful retreat Kath and I love the work you created – the light in the forest drawing is gorgeous.

  7. Luanne says:

    Wow, what a wonderful time. This is what I need–something like this–writing or art, something creative. Instead of sweating here in the AC house (that’s not an oxymoron!). I like BOTH the b&w and the tangerine finish. Different but both really stunning.

  8. Gorgeous paintings! Sigh…I’ve had both a writing and a Yoga retreat on my list for some time. One day…

  9. Jim McKeever says:

    Beautiful work, Kath — brilliant, even! What a great way to recharge the creative batteries along with a supportive community. Well done.

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