Review of Spring Mixed Media Creativity Retreat with Rose Marie Prins & Linn Sennott
The Spring Mixed Media Creativity Retreat of May 13-15, started with a bang for me — I learned just before leaving for Rainbow River Center in Dunnellon that I had been awarded a $5,000 Creative Pinellas Individual Artist’s Grant.*
On our way to our final destination a group of us met up at the Tampa Museum of Art to view the Jaume Plensa exhibition. Although we liked his sculpture, it was his mixed media works that proved to be inspirational during the retreat.
We arrived at the Rainbow River Center in the late afternoon and headed for our cabins in the peaceful woodland setting. After unpacking, we gathered for dinner in the main cabin where Linn Sennott and Amanda Staunko served a delicious meal of broiled salmon, pasta and vegetables.
After dinner and introductions, we discussed our Inner Censor — that internal voice that impedes creativity. We then drew our Inner Censor in our sketch books. Having purged it through the drawing process, we ritualistically banished our Inner Censor in preparation for a weekend of unimpeded creativity. Before heading to our cabins we drew blind contour portraits of each other. This helped to relax everyone as the process of blind contour drawing put the experienced artists on the same plane as the beginners.
Early the following morning we met on the deck by the pond for yoga led by Linn. After yoga and breakfast we went on a nature walk to draw from nature in our sketch books, and to draw inspiration from the beauty surrounding us. It was early enough that there was still a cool mist lingering over the pond.
Now it was time for each retreat participant to explore her own creativity in earnest. After my mixed media demonstration at the main cabin, everyone dispersed to their cabins to begin their art projects inspired by the morning’s nature walk, the visit to the Tampa Museum and their earlier contour drawing exercises.
After lunch participants had free time to walk in nature, go boating, swim in the pool or journal. Most chose to continue their art making as I walked from cabin to cabin answering questions and making suggestions.
Following our community potluck dinner at the main cabin Linn, having earlier discussed Perfect Moments and Essence Themes, talked about the Cycle of Creativity. Exploring their own cycle of creativity, participants each made a mixed media collage.
Periodically throughout the retreat Linn introduced short guided meditation sessions. This came as a welcome moment of centering and relaxation for me.
Saturday evening ended on a celebratory note with a wine and cheese social.
Sunday morning started with yoga on the deck followed by breakfast. Participants then worked in their cabins to complete their art projects. Following a journaling exercise with Linn in the main cabin, she, Amanda and I prepared lunch for the group. After lunch we had a last, friendly critique.
Finally the time came to bid a fond farewell to the group of fourteen powerful, talented and creative women, and the beautiful spot where the Withlacoochee and the Rainbow Rivers meet.
What Participants Said:
“I love drawing from other’s energy at these gatherings, now I’m ready to go home and make some ‘serious’ art!”
“I really enjoyed the Inner Censor exercise. I had such a visceral response to it. As I was drawing it I kept thinking, ‘Who is this guy and where did he come from? I’m so over him running my life!’ I could even feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing up; I almost wanted to hiss like an angry cat! So relieved and enlivened when I banished him!!!”
“I can’t wait to apply some of the ideas I got here to my future profession.”
“I loved learning new art techniques to use for future art projects. I really like the mix of [Linn’s] Core Health and [Rose Marie’s] Art. Bravo!”
“I will be spending more time making myself a priority and learning and working on new experiences.”
“[I] Realize that I am an artist.”
“I so enjoyed this weekend and gained so much insight into my own artistic spirit! Thank you! … [It] was such a good time and has inspired me to ‘Go For It’… Sans rules, this time around!”
“The weekend was divine!”
“I loved the art immersion and going out into nature to hike and draw. You and Linn did an outstanding job and all the participants were a joy to be around. Thanks so much for a great retreat.”
“I thoroughly needed a creative inspiration and I found it in this experience.”
“It lit a fire to my creativity again.”
“[Rose Marie] was so informative and fun!”
“[Rose Marie] was perfect!”
“Rose Marie was great — informative and knowledgeable.”
“I very much enjoyed [Rose Marie] sharing her gifts with us. I learned TONS from her. xo”
“I enjoy[ed] Linn’s meditational leads and her yoga expertise. She is awesome! xo”
“Both [Linn and Rose Marie are] approachable and gentle and helpful.”
“[Linn and Rose Marie] were both very warm, friendly and lovely.”
“It is a perfectly gorgeous place for a retreat.”
*With the support of Creative Pinellas and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners.
All photos by Rose Marie unless otherwise noted.