Friday, March 14, 2014

Mentor or Muse at Kanuga 2014

Kanuga 2011 - it was WARM that year!!!!
The Inn and Lake at Kanuga
I would dearly love to know how many of you are two weeks away from Kanuga, as I am.

Probably I need to insert a brief explanation of what I mean by Kanuga for those unfamiliar with it.  Kanuga Watermedia Workshops is art camp for adults!!!! ( Yay!)  Okay, a better description: a spiritual retreat facility in rural western North Carolina rents out its grounds for a week.  Ten or twelve well known watermedia instructors and maybe 200 artists show up on a Sunday for registration, and then for the next four days everything is about art and camaraderie.  Rooms in either a rustic inn or cabins in the woods, meals together at tables for eight in a big dining hall. Art class all day long, presentations and events in the evening.  And, after three years, even familiar faces.

I've signed up for Robbie Laird's (new) workshop that she's entitled, Mentor or Muse. I'm translating the detailed description to "SEMI-independent study" - at least, I think that's what I'll be getting.  I was initially very excited about this option, but of course as the day approaches, I'm semi-terrified (this is usual for me before a workshop).

The materials list is easy: there isn't one from Robbie, I just need to bring what I want to use.   I started a list for that weeks ago, so I'm feeling fine about that.  But, this time around I really need to know what I want to work on before I get there. So the preparation matters more than usual.

So far I've printed out a dozen or so possible source photos, and actually begun doing composition  drawings from each of them - this I hope will allow me to (1) quickly eliminate ones that are poor choices, and (2) take the 'finalists' and transfer the drawings to stretched w/c paper.  I know I'll need three or four to be working on, like I have at home on my most creative days: one to be thinking about, one to be drying, and one to actually be painting.  I'd like to take even more than that, just in case.  I'm resisting using any of these Kanuga "starts" ahead of time:  I want to keep my brush wet (to paraphrase Marilynn Derwenskus) between now and then, but also want to be excited and happy about what I'll have to work on when I get there. 

So: who should I be looking for when I get there? You, I hope.


  1. I've often thought of going to the Kanuga workshops but so far, I've stayed with workshops closer to home. Maybe someday…..

    Have fun!

    1. It's not about the workshops, really. Most of the instructors that are lined up do hold workshops around the country in places convenient for all. For me, Kanuga is about the convergence of many artistic souls in one place at one time. The energy is amazing. Springmaid may be similar in impact, but I still don't think it gathers quite this many artists at once.