“ART is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde
Two nights and three days attending an art retreat at Bundanon, it would not be stretching the truth if I said I could not wait . Up at 5am and eager to get on the road. Sharing time with two of my younger sisters is a rare treat these days.
We met up at the Arthur Boyd Homestead, we greeted some of the group and enjoyed a scrumptious morning tea. Then a wonderful tour through the halls of The Homestead, where some of Arthur Boyd’s work is on display, along with many other family members. Walking into his studio, the smell of oil paints and unfinished paintings resting on walls, left me dreaming of a studio….. one day.
The family members still use the studio when they come to stay at the homestead. Admiring a generation of Boyd’s, each unique and talented in some creative form. Needless to say I was also fired up and ready for the art to start.
My sisters warned me not to expect a masterpiece from the experience. They explained it was more about the process, having FUN and using mediums that I may not have used before. Both my sister as you will see from some of their art pieces below, are very talented artists who inspire me in so many ways. A group of women, from all walks of life greeted us like old friends at the Bundanon Education Centre. Some of them die-hard attendees like one of my sisters, coming to the retreat for the last 11 years. There were a few newbies among them, like me.
Our ART Teacher Jim talked us through the lessons, he possessed a cheeky sense of humour. I could tell he enjoyed his job. I will spare you the fine details of each lesson but I must say my mind began to fill with new possibilities and new mediums to express myself through art. We attempted one collaboration piece (see below). We had a wonderful morning sketching nature down by a creek, in the shade of the leech infested trees. Which found their mark on a few bodies (not me).
We sketched layers of collage pieces, from above looking up to the wonderful canopy and then the forest floor. On our last day we created 3D art which challenged me the most, a boat from recycled materials. (Mine went in the bin, when I got home.) To witness such a diverse range of work, every piece unique as the person who created it. Everyone encouraged each other. It was not a competition, it was all about letting go, stepping outside my comfort zone and trying new things.
The nights brought laughter, the odd wine, delicious food and silly games. Silly games are good for the soul and for getting to know people. The view from my window each morning was heavenly. I soaked up every inch of that wonderful holiday.
A day with Nature
My bedroom window
Rainy day still amazing
Hard to say goodbye
The classroom in art mode became so intense (in a good way) and a very individual experience, we all got carried away with our creations. Transported to some realm where anything is possible, if you just…… let go.
My Banksia picture using charcoal, tea stains for the background, bright pastels and then posca paint pens left me with a sense of achievement. A bonus, a piece I could hang on my wall to remember the experience.
I also enjoyed sister giggles, the silly games, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and sharing in the laughs with our fantastic teacher Jim. I thank the sisterhood of Bundanon for making my first retreat an inspiring one. To that crazy group of talented women I salute you. If there is a place for me, I am booked in for next year. Have you been pushed out of your comfort zone? Tell me about your experience.
Art by Kath Unsworth