• Tuesday, October 03, 2017 •
I have seen it happen over and over again – the deep connections made when artists “retreat” from the demands of daily existence to a place of natural beauty and serenity. From the first gathering – the opening reception - artists find commonalities and meaningful exchange. A thread begins to weave through what is forming as a “community” of artists. We all come with different expectations, that soon to melt away, and pure joy instead takes root. How does this transformation begin to take place so quickly, I ask? Through the years of organizing and facilitating artist retreats with workshops or open studio, I believe I have some idea.
Today’s culture is a steady diet of stress; our demanding jobs, our over connectedness to technology, the sheer weight of keeping up with emails alone, add to this short list the constant borage of negative news assaulting us wherever we go - even when we simply want to read a book while waiting for some appointment. We starve for solace, peace and a measure of playfulness.
During the Retreats, I offer morning mindfulness sessions, that begin and end with a poem selected for that day. On the first morning, after everyone has had a night to sleep in a cabin without internet or cell service and has awakened to the sound of the breeze rustling though the leaves, or the sound of Canadian Geese calling in their flight over the lake, I always read the following poem by Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things”
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
We all get it and it helps us to sink into the blessing of time set apart to be creative, to reflect, to smile and laugh, to be at peace.
If you would like to share in this experience, there is an upcoming Retreat at Beautiful Lake Logan Conference Center, Canton, North Carolina, October 25 - 30 - workshop with Alice Ballard and Open Studio - spaces are still open, (click here for all the detais)
• Thursday, March 31, 2016 •
Artists & Writers Need Time and Space to Create.
Here is an invitation to "Come to the Lake."
How often have we thought, “If I could just get away and work without the demands of all my day–to–day concerns, I could”…finish that chapter, outline my next work, start a new series of paintings, have time to walk and think and hear the Muse again…“?
All of us have the need to retreat and re-fill. Those of us engaged in the arts need it to the point of desperation at times.Because many of us work out of home studios or offices, our creative time is subject to a myriad of intrusions. Even friends and loved ones might view time carved out for creative work not as “work” and therefore as negotiable. It takes tremendous determination to protect our studio or writing time and still we must stop and grab lunch, and if our spaces are at home, maybe throw in a load of laundry while we are at it - all interruptions to the hard job of being fully present in our true intention.
This is why CMA began programming artist and writer retreats in 2014 - some with and others without workshops. The idea was to prepare a time and space for artists and writers to get away and be supported and nurtured in the serenity of Lake Logan Retreat Center and its unspoiled wilderness. Situated in approximately 300 acres of pristine beauty, the retreat center offers charming and comfortable cabins nestled among winding hiking and walking trails
surrounding the 85-acre lake, fed by the Pigeon River flowing down from the Blue Ridge parkway. CMA sets up an airy and light filled studio and provides quiet and private writing spaces for both visual artists and writers. Supplementary yoga, mindfulness sessions, an evening fire circle, and massages by appointment are offered to enrich your retreat experience. The Cullowhee Mountain Arts board of directors and I see this gathering as one of the jewels in our programming for writers and artists of every media.
Each cabin has a lovely view of the lake, private rooms with baths, with linens and coffee makers provided. The dining hall – with its large fireplaces, couches and chairs – provides a relaxing place to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee any time of the day. Three delicious meals are chef-prepared, using local veggies in season added to the menu. As a practicing artist myself, I understand the necessity of unfettered time and space to do our “sacred” work – to use our talents and give our gifts back to the world.
Our first retreat of 2016 is a little over a month away, May 9 – 14, and spaces are still available. (All the Details). Why not join us? Come to the Lake! (All our 2016 Retreats)
I hope to see you there!
Norma Hendrix, Executive Director
• Monday, July 27, 2015 •
The First Retreat, August 21 - 25: The perfect chance to join other artists and writers fot an extended weekend retreat. An affordable artist & writer getaway, the structure of this retreat does not include workshops. It instead provides a time to discover the beauty of Lake Logan’s nearly 300 acres or pristine beauty and embrace a personal retreat with options for doing your artwork or creative writing.
Whether plein air painting, mixed media in the studio or creative writing in one of lodges or cabins, this time allows you to refresh the body, soul and spirit. Each day begins and ends with Yoga sessions led by Christopher Baxter, available for any who wish to be guided into yoga and breath-work used to unlock creativity. In addition to Yoga, CMA is also hosting Artist-in-residence painter Karen Weihs and Writer-in-Residence Poet Pat Riviere-Seel who will be available to engage, direct and facilitate artists and writers during the retreat. Evenings will be open for discussion groups and demonstrations led by Karen Weihs and Pat Riviere-Seel. Explore your creativity in a supportive environment. The total cost: $750; 5 days, 4 nights, all inclusive: Studio space, private room and bath in shared cottage, 3 meals with all day - beverage service, optional yoga sessions, guided work sessions and as much time as you need in quiet personal space. Canoeing and swimming are also available during the retreat. To register, follow this link.
The September & October Retreats
Combining the essentials for a meaningful retreat with high level workshops
Leave the details of living behind and give yourself a creative retreat. Supported by the majesty of unspoiled nature you will be given the time and serenity to refill your creative well. The intention for each retreat is to create an environment for reflection and space to assimilate what you are learning and taking in; allow a step-back from the classical workshop environment of intense focus and output. Instead, workshop time is combined with moments set aside for mindfulness, nature walks, yoga sessions, or sitting quietly in an inspired spot – all opportunities to re-fill the creative well. The Retreats + Workshops,
lodging, dining, movement and mindfulness sessions, bonfires, and other activities all take place at the pristine Lake Logan Retreat Center in Canton, NC, approximately 40 miles west of Asheville, NC. During your stay you will also have opportunities to enjoy quiet outdoor spaces,
wildlife walks, lake views, canoeing, and swimming.
The September 11 – 16, 6-day, 5-night Retreat workshops taught by:
instructor-artist Rebecca Crowell and author-poet-instructor Roger Housden.
Spaces are still available. The all-inclusive price is $1549 - Follow this link for all the details.
The October 19 – 25, 7-day, 6-night Retreat workshops taught by:
instructor-artist Lisa Pressman and author-instructor Laura Hendrie.
Spaces are still available. The all-inclusive price is $1679 - Follow this link for all the details.