Ceta Canyon Art Retreat is an annual event sponsored by the West Texas Watercolor Society and is a time to get away without the interruption of phones, family duties, etc. You can paint daylight to dark – or sleep until noon. It has trails to take daily hikes or plein air painting. Ceta Canyon is a large facility for painting and an updated lodge for sleeping, nothing fancy, but you don’t go for luxury, just plenty of painting,
You might be thinking, “Why do I need to go to an art retreat?” Or “I can just create art at home or in my studio.”
Several years ago I went with a group of friends to “The Gathering of the Artisans” in North Carolina. It was a fantastic time of learning new techniques, making new connections, and worship. There were intensive workshops and the schedule was full of activities to participate in. It had a huge impact on my creativity.
The Ceta Canyon Art Retreat is completely different. It is a retreat.
Retreat: (1) an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable (2) a place of privacy or safety.
Did I need a retreat because I was in a difficult, dangerous or disagreeable situation?
Difficult? My hubby passed away not quite a year ago so I am still in that place of adjustment. Dangerous? Not unless you consider a bathroom remodel to be dangerous. Disagreeable? I have not painted anything for myself or for competition all year. I have painted for the classes that I teach and for commissions (Hallelujah!). I needed this time away.
This is the first year that I was able to attend. I wasn’t sure what all I might need to take. So I gathered a few things: watercolor supplies (my favorite watercolor supplies are HERE), mixed media supplies, Gelli Plates, and brayers.
Then I decided to take a few more things, just in case: two cameras, laptop, video camera, tripod, lamp, table, and food, of course.
OOPS!!! Don’t forget your clothes and pillow!!!
Ceta Canyon Retreat Center is in a beautiful canyon setting located on a branch of the Palo Duro Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of Texas. Also, unique to their area is a stream fed Waterfall. it was quiet and peaceful. My room was all my own and I didn’t have an alarm cat to wake me up. Yes, I said “alarm cat”! That would be Kitty No!
Ceta Canyon Art Retreat is a place of creativity and safety.
Dyan, the retreat chairperson had the meeting room already prepared for us. Since I am an early riser, I grabbed a cup of coffee and got ready for an art-filled day. There were no instructors, no workshops, and no classes. We just painted what and when we wanted to and worked at our own pace.
It was nice to have a break from the sheetrock dust and the BATHROOM REMODEL that was going on back home. I left the subway tile job half finished.
Kathy jumped right in a started working on an still life.
Having fun and getting to know each other, sharing ideas and “goodies” that’s what the Ceta Canyon Art Retreat thrives on.
Dyan worked on several watercolor on canvas paintings. She was getting art pieces ready for the Lubbock Arts Festival.
This is one of the pieces that I worked on while I was there. I love painting glass and especially Mason Ball jars.
Lewis drove in from Kansas. It was a delight to see the paintings that he did.
Deanna‘s home is in Granbury. Her work is mostly experimental. Her pieces were very bright and unique. It was a great experience to watch the other artists at work.
Margaret normally paints Plein Air but it was chilly and overcast the first couple of days.
We had permission do absolutely nothing or paint as much as we wanted to.
At the end of each day, we had a critique time.
We could participate or not.
It’s a great opportunity to have other artists share their expertise with each other.
Lewis waited by his painting while we talked about our favorite elements in what he had painted.
I think it’s finished and I need a title for it. These are the pieces I painted while I was there.
“Mission Concepcion Arches” is a poured watercolor painting. Layers and layers of masking fluid and liquid watercolor.
“St. John’s Abandoned Church” needed a little something extra so I took it along to tweak it.
There was time for one more painting so I browsed through the photos on my laptop. I found a photo that I had taken while in Madrid, New Mexico. The row of handpainted mailboxes was so bright and fun.
We were a small but fun group of artists and each one is committed to nurturing their own authentic creativity and their creative work. It was incredibly relaxing. But the best part for me was the relationships that were strengthened and established.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
’til next time,