Friday, May 30, 2008

Dwellingup with Nina

Well all the stock is back on the shelves, cartons cut up and disposed of, and mail dealt with, now I can try and do justice to a amazing week of uninterrupted art with the wonderful Nina Bagley at the most beautiful serene property of Banksia Springs Lodge with a group of like minded women.
The first morning we awoke to thick mist, in fact each morning this was the case. As the sun came through the mist and these trees we got the most amazing rays of sunlight filtering through, it was very mystical. Of course all the girls where out there, some still in pyjama's or nighties clicking away madly for these lovely photo's. At Banksia lodge it is so private that you can wander around in your night attire, should you bother about going into get dressed first the opportunity would be gone.
Here is Mandy W, camera in hand, other footprints in the dew covered lawn.

Nina showing us the chin thing!!!!
After breakfast, it was up to the spacious light filled workshop to start creating the `Book of trees'. The most amazing thing about Banksia Lodge apart from the fact it is only about 20 steps from the Lodge, is the workroom, you can put all your art supplies, tools etc at your table when you arrive and there it stays until the end of the week when its time to go home. There was tea and coffee on tap, cake for morning and afternoon tea, toilet facility, a deck to sit out in the sun if you wanted a break or just to have your tea or coffee and in some cases a quick smoke. Nina taught her many nina knots and other techniques between 9.30 to 4.00 with a lunch break, then you could continue on for as long as you like. Many of us went down for one of the wonderful tasty meals cooked by the lovely Shelley, had a few wines then wandered back up to the workroom and often stayed until 1 in the morning. Myself being an early bird would wander up in my nightie around 6 in the morning through the mist, make a cup of tea then settle down to a couple of hours work on my book.
The lovely Robyn, you would not guess that this girl was in pain throughout the retreat, she smiled throughout the week.

Before breakfast most mornings we went for lovely long walks to enjoy the beautiful bush shrouded in mist, camera's in hand. No this photo is not out of focus.
Bones that Denise found and is taking back to Sydney for assemblage, cannot wait to see what she will do with them, she also found a couple of mummified mice to take back, the sniffer dogs will go banana's if they catch a whiff of them.

Now there is an issue of working at a neat tidy table and working in a mess. I am afraid I am the latter, my intentions start out good, everything in its place, but as time moves on I work into a smaller and smaller space, fortunately I found a mess buddy, Mandy W who shared a table with me. As you can see our table, then again maybe you can't see the table with a little space about 30cm square (well the book pages where only 10 x 15cm what more room do you need to work for goodness sake) then we spilled onto the floor, just in arms reach. Now the girls who work nice and neat, you know who you are, can see everything at a glance, this is also reflected in their work. I can not work like that to save myself, they did make us feel guilty one day so Mandy and I did a cursory tidy up, guess what couldnt find a thing. So we will leave that issue unresolved ok!
The messy workers table, Mandy W and me.
And the neat and tidy workers desk, personally can't see much difference myself! hah

Denise set the ball rolling with putting entry's in each others journal. This entry by Mandy W in Mandy H's art journal was the result of an impromtu art class by Mandy H on painting with gouche, not sure what Mandy W was painting but she decided it was much to formal for her and attacked it with a scratcher and it became wave rock, this class ended up in peels of laughter.

No, all these empty bottles had nothing to do with the laughter, we where all just trying so hard and didn't like to admit defeat until Mandy went crazy with her scratcher, ever have one of those times? Well much wine and Black Russian was consumed, usually after the evening meal.

The wonderful group of girls who made this retreat so much fun. From left Denise Leitchfeld, Cheryl Brown, Mandy Herring, Robyn Longley, Karen Hardey, Mandy Woodham and in the front seated age before beauty myself and the ever so patient Nina Bagley.And following is the wonderful Book of Trees these lovely ladies all completed, or almost.Despite the pain, Robyn made this wonderful book. Robyn also took Nina for a few days down around the wineries and sight seeing around the lovely South. Thank you Robyn for your generosity.Mandy Herring who always does beautiful work, very creative in her ideas, very generous and giving with her supplies and knowledge.Lovely Cheryl who was so nervous about doing this retreat, and just look at her wonderful book, she was also one of the first to finish hers. Do you know anything about those Black Russian bottles Cheryl?Well Mandy W don't you look pleased with yourself, also finished before everyone else. Mandy also used the bits of the trunk of the Blackboy tree as her tree in the background. This looked very effective and so Australian.This is Denise's lovely book. Rather than make her book a Book of Trees, Denise made her book in memory of Dulcie, from a box of photo's Denise felt compelled to buy. So lovely Denise.

And this is the yummy mummy Karen, would you look at those beautiful hands and finger nails, I am so envious. Karen does really beautiful work, she likes to take her time and get it all just right. Would you send me some photo's of all your girls inside pages I would love to see them and share them on my blog.And this is my incomplete book and as we are having a storm here at the moment, I am going to add one more photo of the lovely vine that we all pruned for our book of trees before something drastic like losing power and all my hours of doing this post are lost.


Karen Hardie said...

Dear Jacky - what a wonderful post! It's been great reliving our magical week in Banksia Springs through the blogs. It was such a magical week and we were all so lucky to be part of it. By the way, you'll think I'm strange but I'm so glad you posted a pic of Denise's roo bones by the door - I've been wishing that I had thought to take a photo of them!

mandy w said...

I must say dwellingup was the best week i have had in a long time, i don't mind having my photo taken now!! Thank you Jacky and Jo

Olga said...

As I read I have shed some tears. Tears of Joy for every single one of you. Thanks for sharing and do know that I miss you guys. Hopefully I will be able to see you again. Even thou I am always in touch with you through your wonderful blog. Please receive my warmest regards,
Olga, Miami, Florida

Phillipa said...

great stuff girls, well done all of you. pip.

nina said...

oh, jacky, reading this did my heart SO GOOD. what a glorious week that was!!!!! i wish we relive it all over again, over and over. i send you much love - nina