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A Week of Paints and Pals: Our Art Retreat in Marysville

Last week, four of us packed our bags, grabbed our easels, and headed off to Marysville for a creative escape into the world of art at a cozy Airbnb. The vibe was laid-back, just like our evenings filled with homemade dinners, wine, and good conversation.

Arrival Day: Settling In

We kicked off the retreat with a quiet evening on the porch, soaking in the peaceful surroundings that would inspire our paintings in the days to come.

Day 1: Lookouts and Waterfalls

Our first artistic venture was to Keppel's Lookout. The view was stunning—misty mountains with a distant view of Marysville town. The remains of trees from a bushfire years ago added a poignant touch to the beautiful landscape.

Later, we headed to Stevenson's Falls, a popular spot that didn’t disappoint. It got a bit chilly, which cut our sketching short, but not before the falls inspired me to think about a series on waterfalls. Despite the cold air nudging us away by late afternoon, we managed to capture some preliminary sketches.

Back home, Brigita whipped up a fantastic porcini risotto that warmed us right up.

Day 2: Cows and Canvases

On Monday, with Candy off to town, Brigita and I found a nice spot near some rolling hills. Some curious cows kept Brigita company as she painted by the fence.

I experimented with a new approach, simplifying landscapes into shapes, a shift from my usual expressive style. I made a few small studies on canvas and got inspired to try the same technique in oils. Later, as the sun set, I even stole a moment for a nap amidst the tall grass.

Each evening we shared our sketches and received valuable feedback from each other. Our show-and-tell sessions provided valuable critiques and fresh perspectives, enhancing our creative processes immensely.

Day 3: Unexpected Turns

Tuesday was an adventure day—literally. I took a wrong turn, and Google Maps sent us through a forest path that our cars couldn’t handle. We redirected our day to Corall Lee Falls, which, though modest and damp, led us on an adventurous trek.

Though smaller and less impressive than expected, we still found a good spot for some sketching. The challenge of painting in the damp made my acrylics act like oils, which was a new and interesting challenge.

Day 4: The Magic of Keppel Falls

Wednesday, we finally made it to Keppel Falls. The effort to get there the previous day didn’t work out, but this time it was totally worth it. The falls were secluded and breathtaking—a perfect place for painting. Inspired, I painted two large canvases.

Although the cold was biting, the experience was nothing short of magical. Brigita and I managed to capture the essence of the falls, braving the elements for our art.

The trip was short, so we tried to squeeze as much as we could from the experience. We painted, sketched, and got inspired by the views, did some yoga, participated in a women's circle, and shared some life-coaching techniques with each other. The conversations were as enriching as the painting.

After packing up on the last day, some of us drove through Maroondah Dam Park, taking in the autumn scenery. I reflected on the trip. It was intense at times, trying to cram so much into just a few days, but it was definitely a week well spent. I came back with new ideas, some great sketches, and even better memories with friends.

Can’t wait for the next one!


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