Friday, August 20, 2021
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Thursday, August 5, 2021
|I make little cairns when I swim during the retreat.|
It started when our sons were in junior high. They’re both in their early 40’s now. The last several years have been at Spider Lake but it began at Oxbow in Saugatuck.
Terry and her family were visiting; they live on the other side of the state. We were talking about our sons going to camp and I said I never got to go to do that. Home growing up was on the shore of an inland lake and I had a rowboat and my own speedboat. My dad was not willing to send me to camp. “Do you know what they do at camp? They do what you do every day here at home.” So Terry suggested “art camp.”
So we took a painting course at Oxbow. While there we took all the meals with our classmate before driving back to Grand Haven to unwind, review the day – and go through several of my art books before a good sleep. My spouse and my son stayed at his parents so our mood wasn’t broken. By the end of the week we decided that it had been worthwhile but we could probably get just as much out of it if we just took a week without our families and worked on our art. I had several art books that we could use to guide us as well as the instructor at Oxbow had.
The next summer a friend of Terry’s let us use her cottage on Case’s Island in the middle of Lake Fenton. An added benefit of that location – we could swim every day in addition to making art uninterrupted. We could eat when we got hungry. When we broke for a meal, we either discussed what we had been working on or looked at the art books I brought along. After a meal and a swim it was back to work.
After two years on Case’s Island her friend sold the cottage. While at a family gathering I was moaning about losing our spot for a retreat. My brother said he and my sister-in-law just bought a place on Spider Lake near Traverse City that we could use. With the exception of one year when they were remodeling, we’ve been going there ever since. Still the same routine – make art, talk, eat, swim. This year I spent most of my time coffee dying and gelli printing papers for collage.
I did a couple warm up exercises but will probably trash them or use them as a base for collage. The start of two small pieces, part of my “In The Zone” series look promising. Time to get to work on finishing those.