We have had a great three day Nimbin art retreat at Two Figs Retreat. We started on Friday 18th August with an exploration of the 20 acres of rainforest, bamboo forest, ferns and flowering gardens. We examined these areas both macro and microscopically – a magnifier is handy! Collected bits and pieces of natural resources and channelled the work of artist John Wolseley and caught up with our first wild animal – an echidna trying to hide by burying his nose.
Magnificent sunsets every evening looking across to Nimbin Rocks and the valley far beneath us – it really is a beautiful area.
Time for wine cheese and nibbles after the day’s exploration sitting in the lovely mezzanine area in the main house with art deco interiors and views towards Mt Nardi. Ed was a dab hand at opening the champagne!
On our second morning I demonstrated gestural drawing – quick sketches using fast expressive lines and capturing basic forms and proportions without focusing on detail. We used each other as subjects – lots of enjoyment as there is no ‘right or wrong’. One of the participants commented;
‘The gesture drawing was valuable, it gave me permission to scribble!’
Following on we did drawings with pen and ink and wash. Lovely ‘mistakes’ made with the line using a pen and nib which does not draw perfectly but ‘blobs’ the ink from time to time. The ‘wash’ is a way of putting some colour into your sketches and again uses expressive lines.
Into Nimbin for lunch at the Rising Phoenix Café – at the old butter factory and Bush Theatre. A glorious day surrounded by vegetable and herb gardens, chooks poking about (cockerels crowing from time to time), the river and the bridge as a view and scrumptious food – I had Dahl and a Golden Latte (coconut milk, turmeric and honey) which was a first for me, but quite delicious. Bands were playing in a competition and they had to play original music as well as covers. Great vibe!
A snooze followed for many and later we had a ‘colour’ sense class followed by happy hour (again!) Sunday morning was a late start with me demonstrating my approach to ‘deconstructing a photographic image onto canvas’. Comments by one of the artists;
‘I look forward to the retreat each year and enjoys watching the demonstartion’
By now everyone was working on their own artworks, with the subject matter chosen from the many resources available at our Nimbin art retreat. En plein air painting happened and we had many discussions about techniques, media and other artist’s styles. We were visited by a large goanna, a magnificent carpet python and a wallaby.
Monday morning we spent in ‘show and tell’ sharing valuable learnings, whether we moved out of our ‘comfort zones’ and how we might approach our work in the future.
I was very happy with the weekend and plan to lead another Nimbin art retreat at Two Figs Retreat 17-20 August 2018, so mark that down in your diaries now!
Gallery of work accomplished and in progress – have a look below;