Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dueling Paintbrushes at Journaling Retreat ~ Day One

Today breaks clear, brilliant blue and sunny warm at our first full day of the Women's Journaling Alpine Retreat. After we've welcomed the day with yoga on the sparkling lake's edge, we breakfast and then, settle out between the two closest cabins with a view peering into the shadowed, cool forest.

We've designed this "Dueling Brushes" demonstration to show how differently both Jean and I approach a journal page and how differently we paint. Jean takes her thirty-five minute time frame first. With this result! And then I take mine. As I've mentioned I'm struggling with this new journal size (it's smaller) and the quality of paper (some of the pages are just writing paper). So my attempt to solve the paper challenge is to glue a small piece of watercolor paper into the page where I want to
watercolor. I like the results . . . and I'm pleased with the traveling off the watercolor paper in small overlappings onto the writing paper.

I'm actually pretty pleased with the full spread visual. I like how the colors happen to balance themselves out between the pigments I chose for the landscape and the delicate hues of the pods in this
handmade black paper. Still I feel astonished that those holes I've had to cut for the paper clay insert add harmony to this unpredicted page so much further back from when the holes originated.

It's that magical serendipity of the journal that continues to surprise and please and enamor me. I'm still in love with this process. Ever new . . .

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ahhhh ~ Women's Journaling Alpine Retreat Arrival

Through lots of planning, excitement and hard work, Jean Warren and I launch our fifth annual gathering. The arriving is so full of anticipation. We get to start watching the months of imagining, inventing and tender caring that we both handle this endeavor with - - coming into solid form. Pretty thrilling!!!

Jean 'n I arrive a day early to get things set up and locate sites for specific processes - and of course, to paint and play a bit too! We often re-arrange the entire living room of our largest cabin, the Ponderosa to fit in all our working tables. So, naturally, other furniture has to go. The Resort is very understanding of this annual process but sometimes they don't have time to come pick up extra furniture that we want to eliminate for the duration of time we are there. Such was this lovable rocking chair! For a couple of days
we did this dance of moving her outside onto the deck in the daytime and then, scooting back inside to protect her from the moisture at night. She became somewhat of a mascot and both Jean 'n I made sketches of her. Then they took her away (she went to hang out in the passage way in the lodge between the restaurant and bar - we went by to say 'hi' often).

But I'm still struggling with this paper in the journal - that chair's page is writing paper and I'm afraid to put much water on the image to keep it from rippling. I'm learning ... and the adjacent page is similar paper. It tentatively mounts our little promo flier for this year onto the paper, but is ripple-y and thin. Yet I get to savor the rich paste paper that happens to sit in the middle of this page and it helps out that weak painting of the chair and our flier. Here's what the entire flier, front and inside, spread open to.

So we have a lovely mountain day, everything is in place and welcoming for the coming participants tomorrow. Sleep comes easy, for tomorrow it's "Start your engines, Ladies"!! ... and the fun begins.