Sunday, September 29, 2013

Maine Coast Encaustic Workshop Retreat

The last week of August and the third week of September I had the privilege of working with 40 students who traveled to Kennebunkport from as far away as Key West and California to spend a week making art, learning, relaxing, socializing, practicing yoga, being inspired and nourished both creatively and gastronomically.  Here's some candid shots of them, along with what they had to say about their experience.
Some of us started our day with yoga.

Being in the encaustic workshop retreat was a glorious gift to myself. My painting had taken a back burner over the last decade and here Kim created a nurturing, warm and educational experience that provided the space and place to explore, experiment and find my inner self. Starting everyday with yoga set the tone for inner exploration-freeing my energy and taping my creative juices. The setting was comfortable, the food delicious, the students welcoming and supportive. Even the weather cooperated. It was hard to leave the cocoon that was thoughtfully designed for our comfort mind, body and spirit. I am now dreaming in encaustic which is truly joyful. I have signed up for next year. It is my commitment to balance in my life.     
-Lynn Macarin-Mara

Breakfast at The Colony charged us up for the day.  

Kim Bernard's combination of creativity and organization allow her to provide professional instruction in a fun and relaxed environment. Staying at the Colony Hotel was a real treat. I felt that every need was taken care of and I had more time and energy to focus on exploring new tools, colors, and materials.  
-Amy Hannum

Britt shows off his Color Crash Course exercises.  

This was the best organized and presented workshop I have ever attended.  The quality of this package was exceptional, thank you Kim.  -Carol Michaud

Cindy and Pamala do some Body Casting.  

Fantastic opportunity to really get away and focus on learning new skills without interruption. Beautiful space and accommodations, not mention Kim is a wonderful instructor who can tailor each class to fit everyone's needs. I come away from it feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back into my studio.  
-Cindy Jevon Hogan

The August group shows what's possible with some plaster gauze. 

This is my second year of Kim Bernard's Encaustic Retreat. Not only was it every bit as informative as the first year, but I also have made many wonderful friends. I have also created a new series of work regarding the sea that landed me gallery representation at the Whitney Gallery in Wells, ME.  
-Pamala Crabb-Burnham 

Marcy dipping her wax resist in the dye bath. 

I benefited so much from the first Maine Coast Encaustic Workshop Retreat, that I returned for a second year. Kim Bernard is one of the most organized, thoughtful instructors I have ever encountered. She is willing to share her vast knowledge of techniques and her years of professional experience as a successful exhibiting artist. Her steadfastly serene demeanor is a lesson in and of itself. The locale of Kennebunkport, Maine is absolutely beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience (twice!) and would highly recommend the MCEWR to anyone!  -Helen Dannelly  

The September crew stand among their wax resist pieces hung out to dry.

No wonder she calls it a Workshop Retreat, it is a vacation in artist's heaven. Beautiful surroundings, great accommodations, two meals a day, a studio set-up with a teacher chocked full of information on technique and process. What more does an artist need? And, yes you can bring husband, partner or dog. When accessing the important tips learned I keep coming back to "heat the surface and burnish the crap out of it."  -Dona Mara Friedman   

Sarah, Robbie and Martha enjoy some good wind and a sail.  

We wrapped up the week with a Pendulum Party and then...

a Lobster Feast!

The August Gang

The September Crew, along with Molly the corgi  

To see the 7 minute slide show of the August Retreat click HERE 

To see the September Retreat slide show click HERE

For information about the 2014 Maine Coast Encaustic Workshop Retreat click HERE

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Star Island Retreat

The first week of September I took two groups to Star Island, on the Isles of Shoals, for a Creative and Professional Practice Retreat.  They spent 3 days fully immersed in examining their studio practice, artistic aspirations and learning the ins and outs of being a professional artist while being surrounded by the raw beauty of the island.  Each left with an 'Action Plan' on how to navigate their way through the art maze and reach their individual goals.  Here's what they had to say about their experience...

The Star Island Retreat was just what I needed and the timing was perfect. We covered so much and I am now completely prepared to take the next steps in my professional career as an artist. I now have the tools, knowledge, and confidence to tackle goals for the next few years and beyond. I feel that all those little nagging doubts and negative self talk that was holding me back are gone. When I left there I felt so centered and knew precisely what I was going to do when I left. It was a unique and invaluable experience. It was truly life changing. We had a terrific group of artists and the location can't be beat. Star Island and the retreat was certainly magical. -Patricia Dusman

The island is beautiful, the ocean magical. The hotel was a time-traveling experience, its weathered wood sang with history. We had an intensive and productive time with Kim honing our professional skills. Her expertise is unexcelled, since she's "been there and done that"! I highly recommend a retreat with Kim Bernard. We will come back!  -Debra Claffey

Just want to say it was a great experience.  I took copious notes and when I got home and read them I was amazed at the amount of information we covered.  My husband enjoyed the time on the island as well!   -Susan Rock

I thoroughly enjoyed the Creative and Professional Practices retreat on Star Island on many levels.  The setting on an island, so far away from other distractions,  was in fact perfect for concentration and relaxation.  The sense of community and trust our group formed during this time was mind-blowing and in turn extremely productive on an individual (and group) level.  The approach that Kim had to the course was also carefully orchestrated, giving students room to discover individual goals and needs, while working constructively topics that are key in the art field. Thank you Kim, and thanks to all of the wonderful artists that made this experience whole! -Kathi Smith

With typical New England weather- sun, fog, and rain- this artist retreat on Star Island offered a safe and nurturing setting. I sailed away with inspiration and motivation to face the intimidating parts of my artistic journey.  -Kimberly Curry

Parker House, our classroom.  Photo Courtesy of Leslie Ford

Kim's Professional and Creative Practice Retreat was wonderful.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in gaining insight into their art making practice and goals for their art.  Kim makes a safe place for people to address their situational obstacles and personal demons. 

The only reservation I had - coming up from Washington DC - was not being able to visualize it - the car, the boat,  the hotel accommodations, how it was going to all work together. Now that I have done it, I would encourage anyone to make the trip. 

Thanks, Kim, for sharing your advice, experiences and expertise.  - Katie Dell Kaufman

Photo courtesy of Tom Manzione

Kim's Professional Development class on Star Island was perfect in every way. Not only were we in an amazing place with magical views, the class was comprehensive and a must for anyone trying to navigate the waters of Creative Professional Development. As artists, some of us have little knowledge of how to get one's art out and marketed. Kim's class coherently and compassionately gives many avenues and a map to success. She is a brilliant and experienced artist who has learned what to do and what not to do. She shares this knowledge with us freely. Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of Kim's class.  -Roberta Stanhope

Spending time on Star Island is time well spent for Kim Bernard’s Creative and Professional Practice Workshop/Retreat. I learned much about how to sustain my creative life and develop a supportive circle of artistic community. Sessions on studio practice, where to exhibit, time management and critique of work while also enjoying the rustic beauty of the Isles of Shoals was a truly wonderful experience.  -Leslie Ford

Photo courtesy of Tom Manzione

I encourage any professional artist, regardless of one's level of experience, to consider enrolling in Kim’s Creative & Professional Workshop Retreat. Kim’s workshop provided unique insights into defining an artistic vision, improving productivity, maximizing outreach, and navigating the complex business arena. Most helpful was her personalized and candid teaching approach. An invaluable experience all around! -Charyl Weissbach

The Star Island Professional Development retreat was a powerful experience.  Working with artist friends old and new, we spent three intensive days focused on our professional art goals and how to realize them. Kim's professional approach, deep experience and generous nature made the experience fulfilling and highly productive.  I'm excited to return next year to revisit and build on this year's plan!  -Catherine Weber

Arrived on Star in a torrential downpour ~ duffle contents wet ~ worth it? You bet!

Words alone can't adequately express everything I attained from this workshop... in my case, it was a cathartic experience. I'm currently working on an action plan, to make myself accountable for the things I need to tackle in the next few months in order to continue with the goal of pursing my life as a professional working artist. I now know the direction I need to take, and the tools and resources that will help me to get there.

From the moment I met a smiling-faced Kim Bernard at the Isle of Shoals Ferry Company, I knew this was going to be a special endeavor, life changing if you will. We were a diverse group of women artists from all walks of life, one recently graduated from college to those ready to tackle the prospect of entering metropolitan gallery markets, to someone like myself, re-entering the art world after having given my family top priority for many years. There was a wealth of experience within us, and each of us had much to offer to each other. Kim's strength as a workshop leader is evident as she effectively guided us through the activities, keeping us focused ~ keeping it real. She is a creative and organized instructor who shared a lot of her own insights and experience with us. I also felt as though I had eleven mentors as we shared each of our artist's statements in giving feedback and an opportunity to respond, this activity in itself was worth coming to the workshop! The sharing continued ~ at the family-style dinners to porch get-togethers in the evenings, either to bask in the glow of a Star Island sunset (not to be missed), to sitting around late at night in a circle of rocking chairs getting to know each other better. This experience was invaluable on so many levels... and I haven't even mentioned the quintessential beauty of Star Island! I can't wait to return next year to take it to the next level!  -Annie Lemieux  

If you're interested in dates and details for Star Island 2014 click here.