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!
I packed lots of art supples and minimal clothes. Gotta keep priorities straight when going on an art retreat.
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.
Once dry the file folders can be further decorated with paints, drawing, bleach or whatever media you like.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
If you’ve not heard of weathergrams, check out How To Make A Weathergram.
Renae makes the most wonderful animal drawings and paintings. You can see more of her art on her Facebook page: Birdland Art.
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.
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.
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 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 played with both walnut ink and fabric this year. The above photo shows the beginning of her experimentation.
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!
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.
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.
It’s hard to remember all the details of what everyone did. I believe Edna used watercolor colored pencils to make this birds nest.
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.
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.
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.
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 the above tiger card for Kay for her birthday. If you look closely, you can see “Kay” written above the tiger’s eyes.
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.
I love my fellow artists and look forward to transporting my studio, once again next year, to Menucha.
Happy creating, Candy