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In the


Drawing Closer to Nature

A Three-day workshop

May 7th - 10th, 2020

Workshop begins May 7th and runs through May 10th

Our art and nature immersion goes from May 7th to the 10th. Nestled in the wooded hills north of Asheville, NC, Bend of Ivy Lodge is a place to retreat into the subtle inflections of Spring. We can walk and paint along an idyllic stretch of the Ivy River, explore numerous woodland trails, or have coffee by the pond. Hours painting in a light-filled studio in a supportive, inspiring group.

We have timed our workshop to coincide with the spring ephemerals as well as the returning warblers, thrushes, etc. The Blue Ridge Mountains are renowned for exceptional diversity of wildflowers.

Wood sorrel,

John Ruskin

watercolor wildflower
  • Deeper communication with nature

  • A leap forward in painting technique

  • A deeper understanding of the art of native peoples

  • Confidence in your own voice

Working both outdoors and in the studio, we will cultivate methods of drawing and note-taking in the woods and meadows to study wildflowers, trees, streams, rocks and weather. Interacting with the dynamics of nature leads us to a profound instinct for the dynamics of art. These life-patterns begin to shape the visual syntax of our art.

As we attune our inner nature with the nature around us, little by little we begin to relearn the Medicine in art.

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"How you weave us into the enthusiasm of your 'knowing' – it touches the essence of that in me. Thanks, William!"         student, 2019

Evenings are a time for sharing and discussion, as well as looking at Navajo blankets, Turner landscapes, ancient pottery, Elizabeth Murray's sketchbooks and so forth. We explore the inspiration process and ways to access inspiration.

You will expand the vocabulary of your intuitive painting and  poetic invention. With your own somatic intelligence, your painting is a gift back to the aliveness. Drawing is the prime practice of appreciation, and it's also the way to draw from the deep river of Wisdom.


We have learned so much in recent years about the intelligence of plants in particular; this has strong implications for us as artists. The invitation is here for us to learn the art of communicating with them. For instance, we now know that an hour spent drawing a plant is an hour spent caring for the plant. In this we are retracing an ancient pattern of exchange.

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"I loved the sensitivity you showed to each painter."          student,  2019
"I particularly enjoyed all your connections to music, your readings, poetry, indigenous cultures, books - love that!"          student,  2019

The basic media for the class are acrylics and/or watercolors plus drawing materials.

What to bring
Delicious, organic, farm to table meals provided by Blessed2Cook personal Chef Dava Melton.  Dava cooks from a space of love and nurturing providing beautiful and mouth-watering meals that will both energize your body and soothe your soul.  The act of sharing a meal made from the heart provides an opportunity for us to connect with one another and ourselves.  Dana is well prepared to make gluten free meals without cross-contamination.
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