Back from Doing What I Love!

“How beautiful it is to fit art into your everyday life” – Flora Bowley

Well I got back on Sunday from the Do What You Love art retreat, and wow, it really was fantastic.

I have not had time to collect my thoughts, but have just finished uploading my photos and so here’s a few highlights and memorable moments that spring to mind.

Natural retreats lodge

Several people climbing up *that* hill carrying a half bottle of wine


“Our teacher sings to us!”
“Well. Ours makes us run around a field after her like a flock of sheep!”

Cream tea

Rachel Hazell singing a moving, gentle song about tea, and after a respectful pause Hannah asking “Have you got a song about biscuits?”

Juli’s hilarious tea spilling escapade which ended up with the tea cup balancing over the tea pot spout. I hate to break it to you that’s not how we drink tea in England!

Stunning retreat views

*That* view.

“No fannying about: grasp the brush with a firm grip!”

My book in progress

Witnessing the shock of American and Canadian attendees when all the Brits poured cream on our lemon tart, turning to horror when we explained there’s almost nothing we won’t pour cream on (crumpets and ice-cream were the ONLY exceptions)


Going back to our classroom and playing with book making until 11pm, drinking wine, laughing and discovering the “full face dab” (that time of the evening where it becomes necessary to apply the back of the hand to a flushed face…)

Student work in Flora Bowley class

Being blown away by the other classes’ work at open studio night

Student work in Pricilla Jones class

“It’s brilliant, if you make a mistake, just put a button on it”

Paper explosion

Mexican waves around the book binding table when one of us finished their book cover (a big moment)

My book in progress

My lodge buddy being moved to tears after looking through our in-progress books; “it was like looking into your souls”

My mini stall at DWYL art retreat!

Having my first ever little stall at the shop night!


And last but not least, meeting some wonderful, lovely, inspiring creative people.

And I’ve already been to the book binding supply shop…

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Your Comments

Helen (Dixon Hill Girl) said:

Great to get your take on this, Cath. Love your gentle humour. And pretty pictures! 🙂

Posted on 17 May 2011

Kat Sloma said:

It was lovely, and you captured it so well in your images and words. You are a true storyteller! I’m so glad that we met and I look forward to staying in touch. Many hugs!!

Posted on 18 May 2011

Hannah Nunn said:

I love love love it. Wonderful moments summed up so well! So nice to meet you there. x

Posted on 18 May 2011

Lisa WrightStuff said:

Catherine, you’ve captured everything so perfectly here! A master!

I’d forgotten about the cream and lemon tart until you reminded me.

I don’t know about you, but I am still so tired. I think there was just so much to take in.

Posted on 18 May 2011

Rhiannon said:

Aw, I loved this post – some great one- liners !
Having withdrawal symptoms here – but reading everyone’s account does help ! 🙂

Posted on 18 May 2011

Tara@Aquamarine said:

This made me laugh out loud! I LOVED the quotes. A brilliant summary of the retreat; I’m really enjoying reading everyone’s thoughts and reflections – it helps keep it alive. It was lovely to meet you Catherine; I’m off to explore your blog a bit more 🙂

Posted on 18 May 2011

Juli Lyons said:

I love your post, Catherine! What a wonderful writer you are, and your photographs are lovely! I can’t believe how you can capture so much in just a line or two. And, you make me laugh – out loud! Here’s to the Mexican wave..all around. So happy to have met you!

Posted on 19 May 2011

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