Thursday, December 02, 2010

Art Retreat at Harmony Hill with Anna

Finally, I'm finding a moment to update! I apologise for the long silence, but it is going on Christmas and there are so many distractions from blogging. I know, I know, excuses---but honest excuses.
I spent four days at the Harmony Hill Retreat Center with my art teacher, Anna Rhodes, and a very compatable group of women in late October. We made art, laughed, ate great organic food provided by the amazing cooks at Harmony Hill, laughed, walked, talked and made some more art, all the while laughing a lot. It was lovely. That is my friend Mary, pictured above. One of my favorite things about Anna's retreats is how often Mary attends. I enjoy her humor and insights and I love her laugh. I wish she lived closer.

This is a little gouache I did at the retreat. It's a copy of a detail from a Xenia Hausner painting. I have to admit that I have hated gouache for years. Anna loves the medium, but I have never taken to it. This time the beauty of gouache became apparent to me and I really enjoyed working with it. I was amazed at the clear color I was able to get. One of my biggest complaints in the past has been that gouache always seems "dead" and murky to me. I guess it was more operator error than a flaw in the medium! Anna likes to have her students work at copying a painting, or detail of a painting, to learn how to mix color well and to get the feel for applying paint. Above is a photo of Anna, on the right, and her assistant, Laurie, on the left. Pretty ladies, don't you think?
Everywhere I looked during my time on the Peninsula there were beautiful autumn views. The weather wasn't great, but the foliage colors more than made up for the gray skies. Late October is a beautiful time in the Pacific Northwest.

Ths is a view from Harmony Hill looking west towards Hoods Canal.
Here's an example of the creative use of found objects to get a little pear at the right height for a gouache I was doing.

I'll be posting some photos from JournalFest in a day or two. I promise!

1 comment:

abby j said...

Hi Michele,
Love your fall photos...beautiful! In fact, all your photos were very appealing!!