I was so fortunate to be able to take a week and have a private painting retreat in September. My friends Angela and Mike generously let me stay at their lovely beach house in Oceanside, Oregon. I arrived on a sunny Sunday afternoon and got settled in. I had a large open space to work in, and from Monday through Thursday I spent all day painting.
I was able to be completely focused on painting, and I worked on 10 different paintings throughout my time there. Some of them were quick paintings, and some were more complicated, and I didn't necessarily finish them. But finishing paintings wasn't my goal. My goal was to see what kind of emotional and mental space I could get into when I was totally focused on painting.
I spent time writing about painting as well, and tried to observe what I was experiencing. I went into the week with a plan, but I decided to give up the plan, and just see what each day would bring. I tried to let go and not put expectations on myself, and honestly some of my quick paintings worked out better, then my bigger more complex paintings.
I also worked on a seascape of the beach there at Oceanside, something I hadn't planned to work on. Landscapes (seascapes) are very difficult for me, and it was good practice to work on one. I painted it 3 times in two days, and learned some things. None of them were completely successful as paintings...but I did improve.
I learned things about painting, and I learned things about myself. It was a wonderful and rich time for me, and I hope to do this again some time in 2017.