I just returned from teaching a 5 day silk painting workshop as part of Sacred Arts Week with some other incredible faculty at the Grunewald Guild near Leavenworth WA. It was a wonderful time of silk painting, pottery, exploring the connection between image and word, and creative journaling, not to mention labyrinth walking, chatting late at night, bridge strolling and worshiping together. Vonda Drees, one of the directors, took these photos and made them into a slide show. Songwriter and Guild member Cheryl Branz wrote the accompanying song.
The overarching theme of the week was “Wonder, Discover, Begin”. This gave us a chance to delve into the creative process first by sharing how this theme applied to individual faculty’s creative and spiritual lives. Hopefully this sharing strengthened everyone’s courage to create boldly. I think it worked, based on the new artwork displayed at the end of the week.
Here’s the classes taught and the faculty facilitating:
Last Sunday I returned from teaching a week long silk painting workshop at the Grunewald Guild, August 3-9 2015. We had a wonderful week with 11 students, many of those returning students and a few brand new silk painters. We all learned from each other, pushed our own boundaries, made wonderful friends, enjoyed someone else cooking for us, and saturated ourselves with color.
Our class, entitled Color in the Wild, focused on seeing color combinations that nature provides and learning about these combinations with the help of a color wheel. We talked about complementary, split complimentary, and triadic color schemes, use of neutrals, and dominance, to name a few color thinking structures.
Each student was asked to choose a primary triadic “pallet” from colors they saw in nature, and reproduce it with the dyes we had available on the above grid.
You will see from the photos below how diverse each person’s work was. Whether a newby or a seasoned silk painter, I was very proud of the depth of challenge each person took on.
Here are some pictures of the work we did last week. Be patient; it’s a slide show with 6 seconds in between pictures.
And here we are below, all working in the Fiber Arts Building.
One more tidbit for you: A short video that Susi Franco made for our class
We missed you Janell!!! , and all those unable to come. Hopefully you will be with us next year.
Grunewald Guild, Leavenworth, WA, August 5-11, August 12-18, 2013
Teaching Liturgical Arts Week at Grunewald Guild with Jan Richardson, Garrison Doles, Gilly Sakakini and Laurie Clark every summer is a treat. I love the way our classes are woven together by Jan’s words and Gary’s music, and often find myself dreaming at night about the magic that will happen between us all the next day. This is indeed a thin place, where we all come together to explore Spirit in, with, through, around, under and above us.
Here’s what Jan has written about our theme “Between Heaven and Earth”:
“In the physical landscape and in the turning of the year, there are places where the veil between worlds becomes permeable. Past and future come together in the present, and heaven and earth meet. It’s not that God is somehow more present in those places—“thin places,” as Celtic folk have called them; rather, something in those places and times invites us to become more present to the God who is always with us. A veil falls away within us. We open, and we see.
Join us as we enter and explore these thin places, the spaces that open before us as we engage in worship, in our communities, and in our daily lives.”
Silk Painting: Exploring Color and Line as a Thin Place
I will be teaching two weeks of silk painting classes during this time, with one building on the other. In Week I everyone is invited, beginners through advanced. During Week II former silk painting students of mine (including Week I students) are invited for more in depth exploration. For more info, visit Liturgical Arts Week on the Guild’s website.
Drawing and Painting the Wild Journal at North Cascades Institute
Amidst the perfect weather of late summer our Wild Journaling workshop went out into the field to immerse ourselves in the grand mountains, meadows and valleys of the surrounding North Cascades.
The mornings were sweater-weather cool, and we hunkered down in our classrooms to practice our drawing and watercolor painting techniques. These skills supported our primary purpose of immersing ourselves in nature and recording the experience in our journals.
Thursday afternoon, our first day, we journaled on the short Peninsula Trail on campus, to test out our resiliency. The next day we traveled by bus with our journals and art supplies 15 miles away to Canyon Creek, rich with mining history. We crossed several foot bridges along a rushing creek to find an old miners’ cabin and barn deep in the forest, and spent the whole afternoon out there. Click on any thumbnail picture below to expand, then follow the arrows:
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Natasha leads us home, Wild journal 2012 Canyon Creek 27
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Natasha and Jennifer, Wild journal 2012 Canyon Creek 23
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Sabrina, driver and historian, takes a break Wild journal 2012 Canyon Creek15
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Natasha our aide journals with us, Wild journal 2012 Canyon Creek 13
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Sabrina tells about the trees, Wild journal 2012 Canyon Creek-5
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Sabrina tells history of miners' cabin, Wild journal 2012 Canyon Creek 3
Wild journal 2012 Canyon Creek
Sunday was our longest day in the field. We packed into the vans again and drove to a large meadow just under Washington Pass. The day could not have been more beautiful.
My students saw me go nuts with the camera. Here are some of the results. Click on a thumbnail, then follow the arrows. When you get to the end of the first batch, go to the second!
We had spent the 4 days of the Creative Arts Retreat with basket makers and artful mapmakers, and at the end of our time together we laid out our work for others to see.Here’s what our art show looked like:
What a wonderful time! Thanks, everyone, for such a great workshop! Hope to see you next year.
Carey Institute is on the campus of the University of British Columbia. It’s a beautiful location, on a peninsula surrounded by woods, hiking trails and beaches. I found this out AFTER our class….we were all too busy painting to do much exploring. Although our hosts introduced us to authentic Chinese food and bubble tea.
We had a group of 16 students, some from Vancouver BC and surrounding area, but also some that traveled from Alberta for the workshop.
We had so much fun and made such good work. Here are 50 pictures for you to see!
Click on one image to make it bigger, then follow the arrows for the next picture. When you are done with the first batch, then go to the next. There are 3 batches!
Preparations for this 4-day workshop are getting me excited! September is my favorite month to be in the mountains here. The weather is cooler but more predictably sunny, the bugs are fewer, and every plant and animal is putting for a last burst of beauty and wholeness before the early mountain snows and cold winds push them back beneath the surface. High mountain summers are brief and beautiful.
We”ll be brushing up on drawing and watercolor skills in the morning, and using those skills to record our high mountain excursions in the afternoon, the easy way: we’ll be shuttled by van to places our resident naturalists choose for us. When it’s time for dinner we’ll be driven back to the Learning Center for a good meal and a warm bed.