At the Iron Bridge – Week 1

Do to threatening eater, we met at the Tenney Park Pavilion and worked with the Iron Bridge there.   Next week we will try the Locks.  Painting outside is always an adventure.

We took a moment to consider all the life forms around us at that location.  If we knew more names of plants and trees we would have a long list indeed, but out included a number of birds, people doing a variety of things, and one muskrat.

Here are some pictures of our work on the bridge.  All of our “sketches” are incomplete at this point.

 

Making Folio Books for Bridges Class

We are giving out hand-made folio books at the Bridges Class.  These are for use for the observation and  reflection part of the class.  Erin Carlson has been making books for fun and gifts since a middle school project for “Colonial Days”.  These books are made with watercolor paper, which was a bit of a challenge because of its thickness.  The covers are tag board.  We folded, sewed, cut and glued away on a couple of evenings.

This could be in itself a future class on making and keeping a journal.  Stay tuned for that.

Travelling with Watercolor

Here are some works from a travelling class with Nancy Macgregor.  We were in the garden at the Madison Christian Community on a sunny but cloudy day. Then we were at the Memorial Union on a grey and rainy day.  But we found a canopy over the bandstand for outside painting, while some chose to paint inside.  So here is life and its imitation.  and because it is two weeks away another clip of the Bridges Class poster.

10 Reasons to take The Bridges Class

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  1. Admit it, you could use time to enjoy the out of doors.
  2. We have a rain plan.
  3. Mention this class at Lynns of Madison and she will give you a discount on supplies (5928 Odana Rd, Madison, WI 53719)
  4. Nancy Macgregor is a gifted artist and instructor.
  5. You don’t need to know anything about painting to join the class.
  6. You will learn something about observing and keeping a journal.
  7. Every day it is different along the Yahara.
  8. There is wildlife to observe there.
  9. Meet some nice people.
  10. Bridges are interesting to paint.

contact Dave Carlson at twobookretreats@gmail.com to inquire or register.  See poster and registration here.

Those Poppies at Willy Street Park

What does the world teach us? Sometimes to be patient.  I have tried to catch the corner of California Poppies that bloom at the Willy Street Park for several years. Between my schedule, the unpredictability of the blooms and the weather, it is tricky.  Apparently the world was not made for me.  At any rate I took a little time early in the morning to photograph and sketch. What I noticed is that the flowers moved from where they were at the start. I think they follow the sun, perhaps that is they they have those long irregular stems.

Speaking of schedules, the Bridges Class is open for registration – click here.

 

What is new with this Bridges Class?

You may have been asking, how is this class different than last years?   Nancy Macgregor and I walked the river a couple of weeks ago and we set the locations for this year’s class sessions.  We will mostly be at new locations, including the Locks area on the North end and where the Yahara enters Lake Monona on the South end.  If you like water you will like these locations.

I have revised the spiritual part of the class.  These reflections will show you how to use the skills of artistic observation for spiritual reflection.  We will develop our eyes to see what we often only glance at.  We will consider the elements of the environment and what they reveal.

  • How abundant is life in our world?
  • How is each life suited to its place?
  • How do elements such as water and light change, and what do they reveal to our eyes?

We will consider the nature of human interaction with nature –

  • In what ways is this interaction mutual?
  • Which has the greater impact?

Finally we will tie each of these observations to a scriptural link.  That is, how do the two books of revelation complement each other?

At the first class you will be provided with single folio book to record your reflections and observations as we travel along the river for the six weeks of the class.

Join  us this June and July along the river.

 

Smoky Mountain Retreat – Watercolor

I was able to attend a Sabbath Rest in the Smoky Mountains – far away from work and electronic media.  It was just what the doctor ordered, mentally and spiritually.   I spent some time trying to capture the misty mountains and hills.  I asked a regular visitor if they ever had a clear day, and he said that this was clear.  The word “sabbath” comes from a Hebrew word which means to cease.  Cease from your usual work and activity and spend some time with the creator.  This is one of the goals for Two Book Retreats, to combine art, nature and scriptural reflection.

Tenney Locks at Sunset

I was off near twilght for a walk along the Yahara River to Tenney Locks.  It was a great time to observe the color of the sky (orange) reflected in the water.  This might be a location for the Bridges Class.

 

Drawing from Creation – To Be Rescheduled

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The Bible begins with creation.  We are most familiar with the majestic narratives of Genesis 1 and 2.  Creation is presented in a variety of viewpoints within the Hebrew Scriptures. It is further developed in the New Testament through the teachings of Jesus and in the book of Revelation.

In this weekend retreat we will explore the Bible’s rich witness. We will begin with Genesis 1 and 2.  Then individuals will select from other passages such as: Psalm 8, Psalm 104, Job 28, Proverbs 8, Isaiah 40, Matthew 6 and Revelation 21 and 22.  Participants will learn a new way to study scripture and will draw insights to our place in the world.

One way to deepen our understanding of Creation is to make a journal recording our personal responses in art and writing to our study of the texts.  Nancy Macgregor, a Madison artist and instructor, will help each participant distil their thoughts and experiences into simple pictures and words.  This way all will have a continuing memory, visual and written, of what has been learned.  This is possible for all, artists and non-artists alike.