I have recently had the opportunity, along with another artist and friend of mine, to be the first guests at the Art for Art Lovers Retreat. Let me tell you, it is a dream come true. I am going to try and write a review on it, but keep in mind…I am NOT in any way a writer.
The retreat is situated in the historic part of Ft. Payne, Al. The house built in the 1890’s, was true to its character. Sitting atop a hill, the teal green home with white trim almost called to us. As we pulled in to the circle drive we could almost feel ourselves opening up. The large trees and the view of the mountains close by, were all we needed for inspiration. Once we stepped into the back door, we knew we had arrived at the home of a true artist. There were paintings everywhere, soft comfortable furniture and a wonderful eclectic feel from the décor. We felt that we had come to visit family.
We arrived at the art retreat on Saturday and were given the day to ourselves to become acquainted with our surroundings, unpack and get settled in. Our host Ann Hamilton was nothing short of amazing. She gave us the space we needed for that first day. Soon our right brains would be thrown into the art. Taking one day to settle into the home and the slow pace helped us to unwind and let go of the busy world we had come from. We do suggest that you schedule enough time at the retreat to do this.
The retreat is not a place to be pampered and catered to but yet a place to snuggle into for a time of healing. A place to submerge oneself into the creative surroundings and the ability to paint at whim any time of day or night. We made sure that we had gotten enough groceries (lots of healthy food) for the week. There was going to be no stopping us once we got started.
For the next week we spent our time painting, napping, talking, eating and generally enjoying the right side of our minds. Ann provided us with a space to spread our creative wings. She also was able to teach several classes according to our different skill levels and requests. I had taken classes before but was pleasantly surprised at the amount of art that was produced this past week. The ability to learn a new technique and then apply it to a canvas for as little or as long of a time period as I like, was a gift.
Every day at the retreat was a new adventure. A new lesson learned. And a connection with God and art that was almost overwhelming. We visited the nearby Desoto Falls and had lunch at the Wildflower Café. We spend time getting to know our host and letting her know us. Ann Hamilton is a woman who is filled with an abundance of art and spirituality. And we left this retreat with much much more than we bargained for….something I cannot even put into words.
If you would like to read more about the retreat you can visit Ann’s website at http://artforartlovers.net/