Create Costa Rica
A Drawing and Painting Adventure with Cat Bennett and Katie Kendrick
Feb. 5-13, 2015
Fifteen years ago, artist and author Cat Bennett realized in her yoga class one morning, that art is also yoga. That as an artist, she enters a state of focus and presence, connecting with her true creative self in a conscious way, as she does in her yoga practice. In her book, Making Art a Practice, she tells us that our art practice bridges the gap between ideas and execution. It’s the place to explore and find traction. That a good art practice will build courage as well as vision, pushing us over the edge into messy mistakes and taking us where it will, beyond anything we might think. And that our art practice will connect with the wild things.
How appropriate that we will be holding this drawing and painting wild adventure at the Jungle Lodge at Costa Rica Yoga Spa with Cat and Katie Kendrick, two very enlightened, beautifully creative spirits.
Though their art practices are different, Cat’s work is anchored in the visual communication, rooted in her years working as an editorial illustrator and Katie’s work is deeply layered with images uniquely hers, both approach their art practices with intention and focused thought.
Cat has been a student of yoga for many years and finds it to be one of the most salutary practices for both the body and mind. She uses many of yoga’s ideas about the mind in her teaching, particularly getting centered, focused and aware of thoughts. Katie’s interest in spirituality and higher living by way of meditation, introspection, conscious eating, and naturopathy is reflected in her paintings and each creative day she starts with an intention ceremony that she will share with us. Cat will share some of her yoga practice each morning.
This workshop is undoubtedly going to change your life, your art practice.
The Jungle Lodge at Costa Rica Yoga Spa is set on the mountain of a private ranch in Nosara, Guanacaste on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica. It is set on a finca (farm), where the organic produce for our vegetarian meals are grown using sustainable practices, and where the chefs choose daily from its bounty.
There is stunning landscaping, gardens, walking trails, waterfalls and wildlife galore! Overlooking the Biological Reserve, Ostional National Wildlife Park and river basin of the Rio Montaña, we will enjoy our meals in a panoramic outdoor dining area while families of howler and white-faced monkeys are eating in the nearby trees. Amid a myriad of flora and fauna, we also will see a wide variety of birds and butterflies on a daily basis.
There are two room types available.
Two private suites with triple and double accommodations (these will be given out on a first come basis).
Or Shared Room – dorm style with bunk beds and shared bathroom,
Quad shared room with bunk beds, shared bathroom $2300
Private Suite, Double Occupancy (there is only one suite) $2525
Private Suite, Triple Occupancy (there is only one suite) $2414 (There are two spaces available)
The trip will include:
- 8 nights accommodation
- All meals except for one dinner on your own in town
- Local transportation to/from Nosara Airport to the retreat center
- Five fantastically creative days with Cat and Katie, plus open studio time in the evenings
- Opportunity to practice yoga each morning (optional)
- Organic vegetarian meals straight from the garden
- Most art supplies
- Two days to explore the area with planned group activities
- Time to hike, relax, swim
- New art tribe
Trip fee does not include airfare to/from Costa Rica or to Nosara Airport (the closest airport to the center). More information will be available regarding flights when you register.
Katie and Cat will spend 7 full days with the participants with 2-hour morning and afternoon art sessions as well additional free studio time on 5 days. On the other 2 days we will make planned group excursions and bring back inspiration for our art making. There will be evening studio time for those who wish it.
We will work with a variety of materials including drawing in pencil, vine charcoal, opaque watercolor paint and acrylic. Paintings sessions will focus on opaque watercolor and acrylic. Collage sessions will include painted paper collage and collage with found papers, photographs and materials.
All participants are encouraged to bring a sketchbook and a pair of scissors. Optional things for participants to bring are brushes for acrylic and/or watercolor; favorite drawing implements such as pen, pencil, crayon; photographs for collage.
We will provide paper, paint, brushes, drawing materials such as pencils, pastel, twig charcoal; painting materials such as acrylic paint and opaque watercolor sets; collage materials such as magazine photos, decorative papers, glue sticks and card stock; book making materials such as paper, card stock, glue sticks, needles and thread for binding.
All of the classes are designed for both beginners and those who would like to take their art-making into new areas of exploration. The diverse exercises will offer participants plenty of ideas to bring home for their continuing art practice.
The instructors are participatory teachers who work alongside and with their classes. They each create a safe and supportive environment in which open and free exploration is encouraged. Cat and Katie will also participate in each other’s classes. They look forward to dinners with the participants where questions can be discussed and explored in a relaxed way. They will also look in on any open studio time to answer questions that might arise.
Cat and Katie look forward to having a lot of fun together, providing encouragement and giving participants both inspiration and the tools for their continuing art practice.
Schedule (this might change slightly-depending on opportunity or we may decide to go to the beach for a swim in the morning)
Day 1: Morning welcome session followed by how to use sketchbooks and visual journals. The afternoon session with Cat and Katie will include abstract mark making exercises.
Day 2: Morning observational drawing/watercolor painting (nature) with Cat. In the afternoon, imaginative acrylic painting session with Katie.
Day 3: Day time excursion – Canopy Tour Zip Line! Fly across pristine beautiful jungle, enjoy a short hike and play in a waterfall pool, bound to be a highlight. Casual studio time in the evening.
Day 4: Morning imaginative painting session with focus on people with Katie. Afternoon observational drawing/painting session with focus on people with Cat.
Day 5: Morning experimental drawing/painting session with Cat. Afternoon imaginative painting session with Katie.
Day 6: Today we will set out for a kayaking adventure tour on the Rio Montana where we will explore the estuary and mangrove forests, observe exotic birds and other fascinating Costa Rican wonders. No experience necessary. There will be casual studio time in the evening.
Day 7: Full day session making art book with Katie and Cat.
Wrap-up with suggestions for ongoing art practice.
Day 8: Everyone leaves or further explores Costa Rica on own.
About the teachers
Cat has worked in the field of illustration for over 25 years for clients including The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and many others. She has exhibited in group shows in Boston, New York Montreal and Tokyo and also made short animation files for CBC Sesame Street, Nickelodeon TV and a variety of non profits. She has written for The Huffington Post, Integral Yoga Magazine, Yoga UK and The American. She lives outside Boston where she leads the Saturday Morning Drawing Club. Here is a link to some of her published essays.
Cat also wrote The Confident Creative, a 2011 gold medal winner in The Nautilus Book Awards.
Katie is the author of Layered Impressions, a poetic approach to mixed-media painting . She teaches mixed media workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally. She lives along the Tahyua River in Washington State.
The trip will be limited to 14 participants. A nonrefundable $500 deposit reserves your participation with the balance due December 1, 2014. Installments can be made for the remaining balance. We strongly advise that you take out trip cancellation insurance if there is a possibility that you might have to cancel your trip. Travel Guard has several policy options. Should the need arise to cancel, you may transfer your registration to someone else.
For more information or to register for the trip, contact Kathie Vezzani using the contact form below.