raevn’s nest art retreat

 |  October 20, 2008

This weekend we packed ourselves up and headed up to Cedarburg, Wisconsin so that I could attend the Raevn’s Nest Art Retreat. We stayed out in Grafton, which was more farmland, it seemed. Below was a view from the hotel window on Saturday morning.


The reason why I went was really for one reason alone. To meet this wonderful woman below- the lovely Judy Wise. She literally has this inner light that just glows.

My little blog here has brought me so many unasked blessings- but the gift that I appreciate so much is that it has brought me into contact with so many strong, creative women that I would never have met otherwise.

judy and me

I took her Friday evening workshop called Making Art a Business. It was a great little gathering. We sat around a fireplace in an old inn and shared our stories and absorbed what Judy shared with us about her experiences in the art world. She gave me a lot to think about. One thing I learned was that I actually know a lot about making my art a business because of amanobooks.com that I have been running since 2003. I learned a lot on my own with success and failures, but that is the best way to learn. Just throw yourself into it and figure things out.

As the description of my blog says I am transitioning to painting. And I do feel that I needed direction about selling fine art and the different venues to do so. I always had this nagging feeling that since I am-self taught and don’t have that art degree that I missed out on important information on marketing my artwork. But as it turns out and that the women in our small group shared with me- art school does not teach the business side of things. So we’re all kind of in the same boat!

Anyway, a lot to think about. So much to think about that I couldn’t go to sleep until 2 am! And then my little guy who was in the pack n play next to the bed woke up at 5 am and wouldn’t go back to sleep because mama and daddy were in the same room. But because of the early rising I was able to get the beautiful photo above of the sunrise.

On 3 hours of sleep I went to Judy’s workshop The Artful Journal. I’ve been journaling forever and visual journaling too- but it’s always a good idea to mix things up a bit and absorb from other people. I had so much fun playing with paint. Laying down backgrounds. Judy is such a great instructor with so much positive energy. Even though I was literally exhausted from no sleep, it was a great day.

It was just what I needed to- getting out into the country. My husband, son and I went for a little hike along the bluffs of Lake Michigan. We miss our hikes in Washington and it was like a reuninon with the trees and the dirt trails.

A lovely weekend overall. I will share my journal pages later.


  1. by Carmen on October 20, 2008  12:27 pm Reply

    Sounds like a perfect weekend!

  2. by Binky on October 20, 2008  1:16 pm Reply

    We learned in class this week that an art degree doesn't count towards what you do as an artist.

    What people want to see is your experience with art and showing it.

    Glad you got a litle vacation.

  3. by bridgette on October 20, 2008  1:48 pm Reply

    thanks carmen~ yes it was a great weekend!

    hi binky~ thanks for your input. I would also add to what people want to see is: dedication to your art and career.

  4. by Genie on October 20, 2008  2:53 pm Reply

    Glad you had a great time,
    look forward to seeing Journal pages, have a great week

  5. by Jeane on October 20, 2008  3:00 pm Reply

    Bridgette - I think this kind of 'inspiration' is so valuable - it's more like validation and that goes a long way - the first pic looks like one of your paintings...

  6. by Leah on October 20, 2008  3:40 pm Reply

    sounds like such an amazing weekend! i'm super excited for you and all that comes next! xoxox

  7. by tangled sky studio on October 20, 2008  6:14 pm Reply

    hi bridgette,
    welcome back...what a great learning experience. i share some of your concerns and appreciate you sharing the insight you gained from judy and the other women at the workshop. my print turned out awesome and i'm excited about getting it listed this week ( i ended up using iprintfromhome-velvet giclee print).

  8. by paulanm on October 21, 2008  9:51 am Reply

    This sounds like a wonderful time. It is always good to step back from the everyday routine and see things from a different perspective. Lovely self portrait.

  9. by rivergardenstudio on October 21, 2008  8:50 pm Reply

    What a wonderful weekend. I would love to take a class from Judy Wise! And I love your journal page. I have started packing around collaged background and papers too! (It used to just be my travel set of watercolors...) thanks for sharing! Roxanne

  10. by seth on October 23, 2008  9:38 pm Reply

    What a wonderful opportunity. Sounds like quite a special retreat.

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