Making ART with the sisterhood at Bundanon

“ART is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.”   – Oscar Wilde

Art by Kath


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.

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.

DSCN6266 (copy)

Art by Kath Unsworth

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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72 Responses to Making ART with the sisterhood at Bundanon

  1. Sara says:

    It sounds like you had a marvelous experience ~ I commend your drive and passion to explore and learn concerning your talents. Yay you!

  2. Sheila says:

    The art that came out of this looks so peaceful, maybe because you were at peace being there. I love the delicate, swirling feel of it, like the wind in the trees. That’s wonderful that you were able to share it all with your sisters.

  3. Wonderful post Karh! I’m pleased you had such a great time. There is something special about the people we meet on retreats of any kind; a precious bond can be formed different from any other I think. xx

  4. Desi Clown says:

    Brilliant post (even though I had to google a few technical words :p) and even more wonderful art! I love how you’ve used colours, styles and even text in your art pieces… It’s good you want to push your boundaries and never stop learning. I bet this experience will have a good impact on your picture book… Eager to see how you include this new style in your work 🙂 Thanks for showing all our brilliant art pieces

  5. Desi Clown says:

    Brilliant post (even though I had to google a few technical words :p) and even more wonderful art! I love how you’ve used colours, styles and even text in your art pieces… It’s good you want to push your boundaries and never stop learning. I bet this experience will have a good impact on your picture book… Eager to see how you include this new style in your work 🙂 Thanks for showing all your brilliant art pieces

  6. So happy for you, K! Sounds like every artist’s dream. Your soul seems to have been nourished from all angles, including love, laughter, and sweet company. I love the upward shot of the tree and the green/orange leaves.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful experience and some beautiful art came out of it – I particularly love your piece with the tree and leaves.

  8. An art retreat?! Sounds amazing. I’ve always stayed away from writer circles and things of that nature, because writing is such a private thing for me. But now, with my lovely blogging community, it is wonderful to share tips and be creative together.

    I definitely want to go on a Yoga retreat some time. I have a big birthday coming up in 2016, so I’m thinking that will be a good time to finally do it. 🙂

  9. Aquileana says:

    What a wonderful creative existence… I bet you had lots of fun and going outside of the comfort zone is invigorating at times…
    “Transported to realm where anything is possible, if you just…… let go”… I love those words!.
    All my best wishes,dear Kath. Aquileana ⭐

  10. roweeee says:

    Wow! You did some incredible stuff while you were there…as usual! I am always in awe of your artistic outpourings. It must have been so good to go there with your sisters and then to have those ongoing talks and memories is so inspirational and something to hold onto.
    I go to the Sydney Writer’s Festival on Thursday. Can’t wait.
    xx Rowena

    • Rowena how was the Writer’s festival I have never been to one, maybe one day.

      • roweeee says:

        I go next Thursday. I love it and go every year and I think this is something like my 8th year. In the past, I have focused on doing workshops where there have only been 15 of us there and it has been incredible. I’ve done them with Jackie French, Andy Griffiths and a writer’s overnighter at the Powerhouse Museum with Morris Gleitzman. Mister and I trundled in there on the train lugging sleping bags etc It was such an adventure. I’ll have to do a post on past visits before Thursday. I met and actually talked personally with Leunig last year and that was incredible.
        You should try to get there sooner rather than later!

        • Wow Rowena that all sounds so amazing. Leunig is a legend in my world and I have heard that Jackie French is an amazing inspirational Author. Do you buy tickets? Im not even sure how you get to one of these events and will look forward to reading your post on it.

        • roweeee says:

          Hi Kath, here’s a link to the post I wrote about meeting Leunig.
          It was an incredible experience!! I am going to have to a bit of a rundown of all the people Ive been to see over the years. It’s a very impressive list and all I had to do was pay at the most about $70.00. It’s been my thing every year, ever since Jonathon was a baby. There was one year, the year my aunt was actually speaking, that I picked up my blood tests on the way and back then it was early days and I didn’t know how much my doctors would end up doing to help me. I thought I was doing to die and was feeling absolutely shattered but thanks to my aunt, I actually made it into the speakers’ green room.; I truly felt like I was walking on hallowed ground the same way a cricket fan would feel touching the pitch at Lords. It was incredible!!

        • Thanks what an experience amongst all you worries, thanks for the link. Have a great day and may next year I will check it out.

        • roweeee says:

          I can get spare tickets as I have a companion card so we could do a Thelma and Louise thing and catch up.

        • Something worth thinking about for next year Rowena. That would be awesome.

  11. Cecilia says:

    That art retreat looks like having been very inspiring. I like the pictures, thanks for sharing.

  12. You astound me Kath Unsworth!!! Sharon x

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