WILD ART: Meditations, Methods, and Magic

Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tuition includes workshop fee and 2 nights accommodations where applicable:
$385 – Accommodations in cabin (5 spots)
$370 – Accommodations on covered porch on cots, bedding provided (2 spots)
$355 – Camping with own gear (4 spots)
$335 – Commute (up to 8 spots)

Minimum age level:  14 +  

Andie Thrams

This drawing-and-painting-focused retreat will weave meditation techniques and forest meanderings into the art process.  Our practice will include technologies of painting with watercolor in the outdoors, drawing to capture tree and plant gestures, recording field notes, painting in layers to conjure up wild complexities, and quieting creative anxieties.  We’ll bring mindfulness to each moment, every leaf we sketch, each wild mark and brushstroke, in the creation of a series of mixed media paintings using watercolor, gouache, and ink.  As the spirit of the forest sinks into us, encouraging us to let go of attachment to outcome, our work in TreeSong’s enchanted forest will reveal new depth and magic.

Participants may arrive anywhere between 3:00 and 5:00 pm on Friday.  Dinner Friday night will be a potluck.  The remaining meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday, will be prepared for you.  The retreat will draw to a close at 3:00 pm on Sunday.

Art supply list is below (scroll down).

Best for those with prior watercolor experience, but all levels are invited.

Space is limited.



Instructor will bring:

  • Plant material

  • Printed handouts

  • Additional ink and paint

  • Ox gall

  • Sample projects and art examples


  • Knapsack able to hold all supplies

  • Water bottle for drinking and painting water

  • Rain gear, warm/cool clothing layers, sunhat, sunglasses, sturdy shoes, bug juice, etc. for spending time outdoors in comfort

  • Sit-upon, portable stool, or something to sit on a bench or on the ground (so your seat stays warm and dry)

  • Personal mug for beverages

  • Flashlight or headlamp 


Students may provide all their own art supplies as listed here, or purchase a complete kit of all supplies to keep for future work. Cost is $80, and must be ordered at least 30 days before the retreat. 

  • 2 full-size sheets 140 lb. hot press and/or cold press watercolor paper (Arches or Fabriano are recommended. Buy the best you can afford. Student-grade papers will not work as nicely as better papers will.) Cut or tear your sheets into six equal pieces measuring approximately 10 X 11 inches before coming to our workshop. One full-size sheet of watercolor paper (22 x 30 inches), will yield six 10 X 11-inch pieces. You must do this before coming to class—we will not have the space or tools on site! 

  • OR, if you prefer to work in a field journal format, that is OK, too. If so, be sure your journal holds watercolor paper in any size you like (journals at least 8 inches on one side are easier to handle). It is important that your journal stay open and flat, so you are able to work across both pages with ease. Brands that make good watercolor journals include: Stillman & Birns sketchbooks (Beta or Zeta series) , Pentalic Aqua Journal, Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Journal, Strathmore Softcover or Hardcover 400 Series Watercolor Art Journal, Fabriano Hardcover Watercolor Journal, Global Art Materials Travelogue Watercolor Book, and Moleskine Watercolor Notebooks.

  • Clipboard, foam board, or other lightweight board approx. 12 x 12 inches, with 2 clips  big enough to hold your paper or opened journal to the board. 

  • No. 2 or HB drawing pencil

  • Pencil sharpener 

  • Kneaded eraser 

  • Fine or extra fine black felt tip pen (such as Pigma micron in size .01, or bigger if you prefer)

  • 3 or 4 colored pencils in any colors you like - with at least 2 light colors. Prismacolor "Cream" is a helpful color to have. 

  •  Ruler about 12 inches long 

  • 1 push pin

  • Manilla file folder

  • X-acto knife

  • Black or brown ink (any type)

  • Plastic lettuce bin cover, butcher tray, open palette, or other large paint mixing space

  • #10 or #12 and #6 round watercolor brushes. Winsor & Newton sable or synthetic brushes (Cotman, Cirrus, Septre Gold, or Series 7), or any other brushes you like, are also good. Creative Mark “Rhapsody” round watercolor brushes are an especially good deal for a very nice brush. It will pay off over time to buy the best brush you can afford!

  • Optional brushes: Pentel large Aquash waterbrush, 1/4-inch angle brush, and script, rigger, or liner brush

  • 2 small containers for paint mixing & painting water, such as a small yogurt containers or jars

  • Small spray bottle

  • Rags or paper towels

  • Watercolor travel kit or much better: a lightweight folding palette filled with tube watercolor paints. The better brands are Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith, M. Graham, Utrecht and Holbein. Andie will have extra paint to share, so if you are missing a color, that is OK. Here are the recommended colors for the best basic watercolor kit:

    • Quinacridone rose, or quinacridone pink, or permanent rose (purple-biased red)

    • Cadmium red (orange-biased red)

    • Ultramarine blue (purple-biased blue)

    • Phthalo blue, or manganese blue, or cerulean blue (green-biased blue)

    • Lemon yellow, or cadmium yellow pale, or hansa yellow light (green-biased yellow)

    • Cadmium yellow deep (orange-biased yellow)

    • Sap green (good all around green)

    • Oxide of chromium (helpful green for plants)

    • Ultramarine violet or other purple

    • Any orange you like

    • Burnt sienna 

    • Quinacridone gold

    • Permanent white gouache (not watercolor)