Wish You Were Here!

fallcolormanitouWhat a great surprise when we arrived here in Manitou Springs, Colorado on Tuesday - the Fall color had not yet fallen.

And the weather has been a dream – 70′s, high 60′s and sunshine every day.

Our Comfort Inn is the best I have ever stayed in and they are treating us so well. We have a fabulous big meeting room for our classes and the rooms are great and located right down the hall from our classroom.

Manitou is full of visual surprises, historic architecture, and mineral springs that bring forth waters considered magical by the local Native American tribes (Mountain Ute mainly).

We have two hours of class in the mornings after a lazy start at 10, and an excursion adventure every afternoon, followed by two more hours of studio time.

It’s a perfect schedule.

The Cliff House is a magnificent hotel in Manitou Springs . . .

cliffhouseand we love having lunch on the porch – love it so much, we’ve done it twice . . .

lunchatcliffhouseI always love having lunch here, but with the Autumn color, it was even more magical.

We collected water from all the mineral springs around town . . .

betsyspring vivianbottlesand used it to make watercolor sketches of them. Most are presented in sculptures that were created especially for them.

We also tasted all the waters to find our favorites. Some are sweet, some salty, and most are at least a little bit effervescent.

A visit to The Garden of the Gods Park provided amazing landscapes to work from, and creative inspiration.

Vivian brought her sister, Eve, to this retreat (Vivian’s *third* retreat with me) and she called this photo “Sisters Hold Up the World”.

sistersholduptheworldClassroom time was inspiring with lots of contented sighs (like our bell ringing in Santa Fe), great conversations, artistic breakthroughs, HUMOR, and sharing.

I think the friendship that blossoms at these gatherings is maybe the best thing of all.

vivianeveworking betsyworking mickidavidI am heading back home this morning. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

You hate for the week to be over, but when an experience is as full and satisfying as this, it feels ok to call it complete.

We’ll be back soon, Manitou Springs. Thank you for a beautiful week.

6 thoughts on “Wish You Were Here!

  1. Ann Cumbie

    And I wish I had been there too!! I have looked every day at the pictures Vivian has posted on her FB. Her jacket was beautiful. I know everyone had a great time. I really missed joining you on this adventure.

  2. Diana in Texas

    What gorgeous pictures. Thanks so much for sharing for those of us who were unable to partake!

  3. Vivian

    Thank you Jessica for another fabulous retreat. Loved the free-for-all foam ball toss at the
    beginning. Heh. So glad Betsy is such a good sport ;-) And my favorite event was the mineral
    spring scavenger hunt! Felt like the Amazing Race with all of us aiming to complete the task.

    I also enjoyed all the studio time where we got to sketch all the delights that we found in town
    and at the Garden of the Gods. Even though it was my third time with you I still learned a lot
    and had a boat load of fun.

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