Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy & Art Retreat 2016

I am just back from my annual Calligraphy & Art Retreat. My studio for the week was a six foot table in a converted greenhouse. I got to do nothing but make art for an entire week. No cooking or cleaning, just a week of art and inspiration. I shared space with 11 talented and wonderful women artists. Nirvana!

My first attempt at paper cutting.

My first attempt at paper cutting. I drew my flower on the back of the paper, then cut from the back. I laid the cut outs over metallic papers.

I packed lots of art supples and minimal clothes. Gotta keep priorities straight when going on an art retreat.

Michelle demonstrated dipping file folders into walnut ink.

Michelle demonstrated dipping file folders into walnut ink.

Many of us give informal demonstrations to anyone who was interested. Michelle showed us how she dips file folders into walnut ink, then places them on crumpled plastic to get a texture on the file folders. The above photo shows her laying a file folder on plastic from dry cleaner bags.

Dried file folers that were dipped in walnut ink.

Dried file folers that were dipped in walnut ink.

Once dry the file folders can be further decorated with paints, drawing, bleach or whatever media you like.

Walnut ink file folders that have been decorated.

Walnut ink file folders that have been decorated.

Once decorated, the file folders can be used in any number of art projects. Book covers come to mind immediately for me. I think this will be one of my winter projects.

Sally showed us how to make delightful mobiles.

Sally showed us how to make delightful mobiles.

Sally showed us how she makes mobiles. She made numerous mobiles this past year. One is shows above. She also made a number of mobiles celebrating The Beatles and all their songs.

Rhonda made this mobile using walnut ink file folders.

Rhonda made this mobile using walnut ink file folders.

Our annual retreat takes place at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon. Rhonda made a mobile which used cut outs from her walnut ink file folder to spell Menucha (photo above).

The reverse of Rhonda's mobile.

The reverse of Rhonda’s mobile.

It’s hard to photograph mobiles. The above photos show the two sides of Rhonda’s mobile. It looks great when hung, but the photos I took of it hung don’t do it justice, so I photographed each side on white paper.

We don't always work on finished projects. Sometimes we try out new materials.

We don’t always work on finished projects. Sometimes we try out new materials.

Sometimes it’s important to try out and keep track of how different inks, paints, pens and other materials look like. The above photo shows one of Sally’s testing sheets. She made lots of tests. It’s helpful to keep track of what different materials will do, especially when combined.

Weathergrams that will be hung on a tree near the labyrinth.

Weathergrams that will be hung on a tree near the labyrinth.

If you’ve not heard of weathergrams, check out How To Make A Weathergram.

Renae made this wonderful dog portrait.

Renae made this wonderful dog portrait.

Renae makes the most wonderful animal drawings and paintings. You can see more of her art on her Facebook page: Birdland Art.

Goose painted by Kay.

Goose painted by Kay.

A page in Kay's journal documenting her recent trip to Ireland and Scotland.

A page in Kay’s journal documenting her recent trip to Ireland and Scotland.

Kay makes the most amazing journals. Above is a 2 page spread of her latest journal. It’s all about her trip to Ireland and Scotland.

Credit cards painted and ready to be made into a book.

Credit cards painted and ready to be made into a book.

Lily is an amazing bookbinder. The above photo shows what she has done with credit cards. They have been textured and painted. They will be turned into a book.

Lily's finished book with covers that were originally credit cards.

Lily’s finished book with covers that were originally credit cards.

The photo above shows a book Lily made using credit cards as covers. I guess I need to be collecting old credit cards now in addition to tea bag wrappers.

Nancy made this delightful watercolor painting for the front of a card.

Nancy made this delightful watercolor painting for the front of a card.

Nancy makes the most delicate watercolors. Every year I am impressed by what she produces. I snapped this photo while she was still working on her painting. I imagine there may be calligraphy added to the card.

Michelle tried working with walnut ink on fabric. This is just the beginning. I can hardly wait to see what she makes with these.

Michelle tried working with walnut ink on fabric. This is just the beginning. I can hardly wait to see what she makes with these.

Michelle played with both walnut ink and fabric this year. The above photo shows the beginning of her experimentation.

Painting fabric and lettering with puffy paint.

Painting fabric and lettering with puffy paint.

Michelle colored fabric and then wrote on it with puffy paint. She gave each of us at the retreat a “Womenuchans” fabric hanging. What a treat!

Experimentation by Adelaide.

Experimentation by Adelaide.

As I mentioned earlier, not everything we do at Menucha is a finished product. There’s lots of experimentation that goes on here. Adelaide did a lot of experimenting. I really like the effects she got by putting different metallic paints into wet walnut ink. Yes, there was a lot of experimenting with walnut ink this past week.

Adelaide made tea bag wrappers made into rosettes after my short demonstration.

Adelaide made tea bag wrappers made into rosettes after my short demonstration.

Early in the week I demonstrated how to make rosettes from tea bag wrappers. Adelaide went a bit further and used coffee creamer wrappers and candy wrappers as well as tea bag wrappers to make her rosettes. A number of my fellow artists joined in this activity. Links to instructions are on my blog post: DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes.

Edna made this wonderful birds nest using colored pencils.

Edna made this wonderful birds nest using colored pencils.

It’s hard to remember all the details of what everyone did. I believe Edna used watercolor colored pencils to make this birds nest.

Edna breaking in her new journal.

Edna breaking in her new journal.

I can’t remember the word Edna used, but the idea is to make marks on your journal pages to make it easier to write in. With something already on a page, it’s less intimidating  to write on the page. I do have a number of wonderful journals that I haven’t used yet. This sounds like a great idea.

One of Sally's works in progress.

One of Sally’s works in progress.

Sally is an amazing calligrapher. The above photo is one of a number of ones she was working on when I stopped by to photograph what she was doing.

Another of Sally's works in progress.

Another of Sally’s works in progress.

More of Sally's work.

More of Sally’s work.

I love Sally’s calligraphy and paintings. I have one of her works in my hall, just above a large vase of sunflowers. The sumi painting, calligraphy and flowers compliment each other. You can see more of Sally’s work on her website: Sally’s Website.

Rhonda did some playing with white and color on black paper.

Rhonda did some playing with white and color on black paper.

Black paper is fun to work on. The above photo shows some of the playing Rhonda did with color and white pens on black paper. So much potential!

Renae made this stand up tiger for Kay for her upcoming birthday. Note the birthday hat.

Renae made this stand up tiger for Kay for her upcoming birthday. Note the birthday hat.

Renae made the above tiger card for Kay for her birthday. If you look closely, you can see “Kay” written above the tiger’s eyes.

Playing with pastel dusting.

Playing with pastel dusting.

Sally also demonstrated pastel dusting. There were so many wonderful things happening through out the week, it is impossible to document it all. It’s something you need to experience in person.

View from Menucha Retreat and Conference Center overlooking the Columbia River. What an inspiring place to come to each year to make art!

View from Menucha Retreat and Conference Center overlooking the Columbia River. What an inspiring place to come to each year to make art!

I love my fellow artists and look forward to transporting my studio, once again next year, to Menucha.

Happy creating, Candy

16 responses to “Studio Snapshot – Calligraphy & Art Retreat 2016

  1. love the post. there is some fabulous art creating goingon here. Not surprising when you see the view in the last photo. Enough to inspire anyone. It really is what you call a view! happy creating everyone!

    • Thank you, Mogsya. We really have an amazing time each year. It is so inspiring to see what everyone does. And, yes, the views there are fabulous.

  2. it looks like you had lots of fun !

    • Yes, we really do have lots of fun! And we work a lot too. Twice a day we have “quiet time” when we can work uninterrupted. We can work or sleep or swim or hike or make art whenever we want. Sometimes it’s hard to stop working and go bed to sleep for the night.

  3. The stained file folders came out so beautifully, wow. Can’t wait for winter to see how yours turn out.

    • I only dipped one file folder at the retreat, so I won’t have anything great to show any time soon. I want to play with a whole bunch of file folders, colored ones too. I bought some walnut crystals, so I will be able to make a tub of walnut ink and then make a bunch of file folders. I figure I’ll need a couple of weeks to play with this one project. Unfortunately, my schedule is pretty full for the next four months. I imagine it won’t be until winter before I’ll have a couple of free weeks to play with this. Actually, I feel very fortunate to have more ideas than I have time to pursue them. I’d hate to have it the other way around.

  4. lynda stevenson

    Thanks Candy – beautiful pics

  5. I’m so impressed, Candy, with your capturing on camera so many of our Wo-menuchan projects. I also would love for you to create a FB Page for our summer group and perhaps we could all join it? And these photos could be a great start to which anyone could also add TBT photos frim past retreats. Waddya think?

  6. This was GREAT, Candy! Thank you so much for encapsulating the week like this. It is a special treat reliving moments through another’s lens. Bonus: you showed some work I hadn’t seen during the week!

    • I have a few more photos I want to show on Thursday’s blog post. Can I add a few of yours too? You got some photos I didn’t. How could that have happened?

  7. That would be fine with me. Lol…I was thinking the same thing–look at all these photos she got that totally escaped me!

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