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Early Bird Bonus for 2017 Alpine Art Retreat EXTENDED to July 15!!

Early Bird Bonus for 2017 Alpine Art Retreat EXTENDED to July 15!!

We have extended our Early Bird bonus (2 additonal free nights) if you register before July 15th. We have only 2 remaining spaces, so we just need two more amazing women! Call Elaine Frenett at: 541-944-2196 to register

2017 Alpine Art Retreat Objectives and Summary

dscn5363A guided exploration for wonder-filled women.

Following last year’s “full to over-flowing” attendance, we have reshaped our intentions. Jean and I would like to direct our energies to more quiet moments allowing more personal discovery. With that purpose in mind, we have limited retreat participation to just eight (including two instructors), and is all inclusive of lodging, meals and workshops. With this experience, unique in its quiet reflection and playful interaction…you will discover how to combine eyes and mind with heart!

To explore how images and words and spirit stir together within us as creatives and take time to understand and direct those urges.

In this cradle of deep connecting, inquisitive women, nature’s still wonder, and expanded self-awareness, you will explore journaling and how it relates to the art of watercolor.

For a select number of curious women who feel invigorated in the rustic beauty of a mountain setting!

Each year our format is reinvented to inspire both leaders and participants. This intimate venue encourages individual introspection and shared connection while nature’s quiet insists upon acknowledgement and wonder.

  • Held at the Lake Alpine Resort in Bear Valley, California. Map of location: 300wlakesshore2
  • Begins Tuesday evening (August 22, 2017)
  • Ends Sunday afternoon (August 27, 2017)
  • Everyday (six days) includes programs in painting, journaling and writing – all
    processes of discovery.
  • There are two instructors for the full program time (Elaine Frenett and Jean Warren)
  • Location is at the wonderful Lake Alpine Resort.
  • The cabins include full kitchen & bathroom facilities, plus a sunny deck with a sparkling lake view.
  • Our playful gathering is held in two rustic, spacious and fully stocked cabins, lovingly named the “Ponderosa” and “Sequoia.”
  • In keeping with our back-to-camp playfulness (yes, there could be s’mores!), the300wbobbiedemo
    sleeping arrangements are bunkhouse style (e.g., shared rooms where each person has their own bed). We love how this fits in with the spirit of the retreat. Yet at the same time there are two private rooms available too. All share bathroom.
  • Meals are included. We may dine at our cabin or at the Resort dining area or deck. We’ll begin with light breakfast fare accompanied by tea, coffee and juice, and later we partake of a relaxed and refreshing lunch. Evening meals will find us embracing our chef’s creativity – perhaps on our private deck.
  • Participants with special menu needs are welcome to bring along their preferences. We make every effort to accommodate special diets, within resources. With two fully equipped kitchens you can attend to your personal pleasure too.Luscious, Refreshing Lunch
  • Amidst the formal instruction and programs you have ample time for hiking and private reflection.
  • One day we will hike or travel to a new sketching destination. Immersing ourselves in the wonder of the outdoors and fresh territory.
  • This all inclusive retreat is $1,750.00 for shared rooms, which includes lodging, food, activities, and instruction.
  • If you want to upgrade to a private room (shared bath), add $600.00. You can keep
    private as you like.
  • 300wsequoiaprvtroomIn addition to your personal items, bring your favorite paint brushes, paint and
    stretched or mounted water media paper, canvas and/or your journal/sketchbook. If you have questions about materials, please call or write.

The days are summer warmed, while cooling evenings are cozy and thoughts turn to introspection.

Add 2 Free Nights!

300wbobbiechipmunkSign up by June 15, 2017 (as space remains, remember there are only 6 slots) and will be treated to 2 nights added for free.

The Alpine Art Women’s Retreat with lodging, meals and workshops is a wonderful value at $300.00 per day.

Yet, sign up now and with the added bonus of two free nights your retreat is only $219.00 per day.jeansmosquiteprwpainting300

Staying two more days makes a perfect stay. These two free days are a great way to practice what you’ve learned, to get out and explore, and to savor the friendships made. Here is how one of our creatives explored our free day at Mosquito Lake, near Ebbets Pass.

Just imagine, a full five days of workshops and then the treat of two more joyful days of exploration.

If you like the idea of lingering until Tuesday (instead of leaving around noon Sunday), then sign up today to reserve your space by calling Elaine at: 541-944-2196.

Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat

Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat

Women's "Art Discoveries" Retreat with Elaine Frenett announcement
TITLE: Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat
DATE: September 13-18, 2015
TIME: Six day, ALL-inclusive (meals, lodging and instruction) retreat
PRICE: Two prices available, depending upon chosen lodging (see website)
LOCATION: Lake Alpine Resort, California Sierras (between Ebbets Pass and Bear Valley)

Dreaming of an artist’s escape? Envision the air autumn-crisp, with golden leaves reflected in the sparkling lake, pine scent weaving through the trees and thoughts turning to introspection. Such is the setting for the sixth annual Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat, September 13-18 at Lake Alpine Resort near Bear Valley California. These experienced professionals, Jean Warren and Elaine Frenett, have reshaped this year’s format to weave paints, mixed media and words together to expand our creativity using collaboration, abstraction and exploration. This all-inclusive (meals, lodging and workshop) retreat is for the spirited woman who loves painting, journaling and the energy of other women (2 scholarships available). For more information: feel free to contact Elaine Frenett your retreat leader at 541-944-2196.

Women’s “Cross Train Your Creativity” Retreat

Elaine Frenett promo image composite

Women’s “Cross Train Your Creativity” Retreat

Elaine Frenett promo image - art journal entry for Joseph, Oregon ALL inclusive retreat in NE Oregon, near Joseph, June 7 – 12. The tandem teacher has had an emergency, allowing this first-year Women’s “Cross Train Your Creativity” retreat to be ALL about watercolor!!
Looking for a unique retreat experience? Come, be guided by the gentle, playful direction of diverse watercolorist Elaine Frenett. We will dance between fine art design, visual journaling invention and plein air quickness (and some silliness in there too). Savor the beauty of sweeping open country, mystical quiet of ghost towns, historic depth of Nez Perce people and majesty of the Eagle Cap mountain range. You can sleep in a tepee or the Rim Rock Inn’s modern apartment. Personal attention and plenty of individual creative time.

Elaine Frenett promo image




Details:, “Wallowa Retreat”

Questions: Elaine, 541/944-2196.

Dreaming of the Upcoming “Women’s Art Discoveries” Retreat

Jean and I have dug deeper into our life and creative experiences to re-fashion this year’s retreat. Last year we used the time up in the Sierras for recharging, doing a local presentation for Journaling and re-shaping a retreat that will delve more into who we are as individual artists and why we create – using journaling, painting, mixed media and words. We hope you will consider joining us September 13 – 18, 2015. To …

Drink in the Alpine Beauty …


Experience the Mystical Solitude of Deep Creating …

and … Savor the Richness of Creative Women!!


Filed under: 2015 Retreat, Retreat, Trusting, Uncategorized Tagged: alpine beauty, creative women, mystic solitude, retreats, why we create

SOAR Welcomes John Dodero of Dodero Studio Ceramics!

Dodero Studio Ceramics logo

Exhibit of Dodero Studio Ceramics at Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville

Exhibit of Dodero Studio Ceramics at Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville

The Southern Oregon Artists Resource is proud to welcome John Dodero and his popular raku pottery to the Visual Artists directory! A friend of SOAR and fellow board member of the Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville, his works sell across the country and around the world, so it’s a special pleasure to see his work represented in the context of the southern Oregon arts community. You can see his work in person at Art Presence nearly every month.

When starting pottery in 1970, most potters were following the Asian or European tradition of design, but John’s inspiration came from the many fine examples of Native American ceramic design: Mimbres, Sikyatki and Pre Columbian were his primary departure points. His focus has been to combine, distill and contemporize these styles and to define the archetypes from which they evolved. John has spent the last 25 years exploring Asian motifs and finding a fusion/commonality with the West, developing techniques and materials employed for surface decoration to achieve a classic yet natural appearance. The hope is to produce works that will not be clichés and thus withstand the test of time. The archetypes and designs in the works are meaningful to him, but he feels the viewer should derive their own meaning. “I feel each piece is made for someone; I just have to wait for him or her to claim it.”

John Dodero has developed a simple and powerful design style to complement any décor. The strong ceremonial style and natural gourd shapes developed over many years of Native American-inspired work have been blended with a distinctly Asian look. The fusion of Asian and Native American design has proven to be traditional, yet contemporary. The calm presence satisfies practical décor needs without being cliché or appearing as ethno kitsch.

Dodero’s many choices of pottery styles include Raku Cachepots and planters for orchids, Raku decorative ceramic urns, urns for cremation ashes, and decorative pieces. His Raku urns were developed in the late 80s and are available in a variety of colors and sizes. Raku Cachepots are intended to be used a decorative container for a potted plant. They are sized to fit standard planter sizes and are the perfect home for orchids or indoor plants. These Raku planters can also be referred to as Jardinières.

Red Cremation Urn by John Dodero

Red Cremation Urn by John Dodero

The Raku process was brought to the West coast from Japan in the late 1960s, and over the years it has diverged quite a bit from its Japanese origin. The U.S. approach has revolved around a post fire reduction, as opposed to the Japanese style of plunging the ware in water after being removed from the kiln. This difference in firing technique gives the Western style a distinctive crackle pattern when carbon is trapped in the crazing, giving the bare clay a carbon luster.

The approach taken by Dodero Studio is the use of thick or fat glazes, striving for a random crazing pattern over a simple refined form. A wide range of coloring oxides are used in the glazes to meet the many décor needs. “We want to match your couch.” As odd as this might sound, he understands you have to live with his pots and wants to produce ware to complement your décor and create a harmonious environment.

John also offers workshops for those interested in learning from his decades of experience. Two recent hands-on workshops, one on raku pottery creation and another on slipcasting, were presented at his Jacksonville studio, but all is not lost! He will be sharing his knowledge on these topics again in a retreat setting in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in February! Click here to learn more and register to attend – what a great call for a winter break!

Please visit the Dodero Studio Ceramics listing at the Southern Oregon Artists Resource to find a complete set of links and contact information so you can learn why John’s work is popular the world over! Or take a shortcut straight to his website, Dodero Studio Ceramics at

The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Upper level of Basilica with Equestrian statue of St FrancisThe Basilica di San Francesco is a distinctive landmark that can be seen from miles away as you approach Assisi.  As you draw nearer you can appreciate the huge supporting arcades.  The Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the artistic highlights of medieval Europe, as well as one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in the world.  It is definitely a ‘must see’ while visiting or on pilgrimage as it continues to be a powerful place both for believers and art-lovers alike.  The basilica is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor more commonly known as the Franciscan Order.The Basilica of St Francis, early dawn

Brother Francis died in October of 1226 and less than two years later his disciple and fellow-worker Brother Elias (of Cortona) had plans underway for construction of a church in his honor.  The Friars Minor, Pope Gregory IX (who, as a cardinal, enjoyed a close friendship with Francis), and the people of Assisi were all involved in supporting the early construction of what became an incongruously grandiose and beautifully embellished memorial to a profoundly converse man who preached and lived a simple life of poverty, abstinence, and renunciation of worldly goods in search of a greater spirituality.

It is believed that Brother Elias, although devout, was more worldly that Francis, and the popularity of the Franciscan order through the ages owes a great deal to Elias’ marketing skills.Side-hill view of Basilica St Francis, Assisi

Construction began in 1228.  The basilica was built into the side of a hill and actually consists of two churches known as the Upper Church and Lower Church, and the saint’s tomb which is yet below the Lower Church.  A site for the church was donated to Pope Gregory by Simone di Pucciarello on the western tip of Asio hill outside the Assisi city walls on what was known as the “Hill of Hell” where criminals were put to death.  It is now called the “Hill of Paradise”.

Francis was declared a saint on July 16, 1228 and the following day the pope laid the first stone of the Church of St. Francis.  The Lower Church was quickly finished by 1230, and on Pentecost May 25, 1230 the body of St. Francis was taken from its temporary burial place St. George, now the Basilica of Saint Clare of Assisi, to the Lower Church (or Lower Basilica).  The actual burial place was hidden in the earth beneath the high alter and sealed up with stone to protect St. Francis’ remains.  It was not till 1818 that the tomb of St. Francis was rediscovered beneath the high altar.  After being hidden for nearly 600 years the coffin was opened and Francis’ skeleton was found completely intact.  A new crypt was built first in neo-Classical style then later in a simpler neo-Romanesque style.  Thus modern pilgrims are able to approach the very tomb of St. Francis, which no medieval pilgrims were ever able to do.  (Notes from Sacred Destinations)

Construction was begun on the Upper Church in 1239 and completed in 1253.  Both churches were consecrated by Pope Innocent IV in 1253 and designated a Major Basilica in 1288.  On September 26, 1997 two earthquakes hit this region of Italy damaging many ancient buildings.  The Lower Church walls are nearly nine feet thick and were unscathed while the Upper Church with larger windows and walls only three feet thick were damaged.  An aftershock killed two Franciscan friars and two specialists while they were inspecting the damage to the Basilica.   Many of the frescoes of the life of St. Francis by Giotto in the Upper Church were destroyed in the collapse.  The basilica was closed for two years for restoration.The Basilica of St Francis and lower piazza, early morning


The photo above shows the lower piazza and the side entrance to the Lower Church in the early morning before the activity of the day.  The alternating striped colors of the street almost seem like an escalator drawing you toward the grand side entrance.The lower piazza of the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi before the days activity

Below, a pilgrim is enjoying a time of reflection in the quiet of the early morning under the arched colonnade lining the sides of the Piazza Inferiore.  The colonnades were added in the 15th century.Under the colonade of the lower piazza of the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

An example of more recent artwork under the colonnade of the lower piazza.Metal art by Silvio Amelio under the colonade of lower piazza of Basilica of St Francis of Assisi


By mid day the piazza becomes a hub of activity with tourists and pilgrims.  Here are a couple of young art students on an “art venture”.Young artists on the piazza of the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

The side entrance to the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi from the lower piazza

This is the grand side entrance to the Lower Church showing the stairway to the Upper Piazza and Upper Church and the benediction loggia on the left side of the facade and supporting curtain wall which was added in 1754.Side tower, Basilica St Francis of Assisi

the pediment over the side entrance to the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

Above the doors is an ornate pediment containing a large rose window, flanked by two smaller ones, called by some “the eye of the most beautiful church in the world.”rose-detail-side-entrance-basilica


Wooden decorations on the doors by Ugolinuccio da Gubbio done circa 1550.wood-panel-door-basilica-sr-francis-assisiThe upper piazza joining the lower of the Basilica of St FrancisThe Umbian view from the upper piazza of the Basilica of St Francis

Since the Basilica is located on the far western end of the hill it offers wonderful views overlooking the valley below.The view from upper entrance of the Basilica of St Francis

This is the view from the portico of the Upper Church showing the Franciscan Tau, PAX, and the equestrian statue of St. Francis.Front entrance to the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

The Upper Church has white-washed brick facade and a Gothic doorway with a Romanesque rose window.Detail of front Rose to Basilica St FrancisSt Francis-Equestrian statue; b&wBell tower  Campanile of Basilica St Francis of Assisibasilica-tower-w-valley-view

This equestrian statue is one of my favorites showing Francis with his head hung low as he slinks back home after God has told him to “let go” of his dream of becoming a heroic “knight in shining armor” and to instead follow the way of Jesus.As much as the outside architecture of the basilica is interesting and beautiful, the inside of the basilica is even more so.  It is frescoed from top to bottom by the leading artists of the day with works from Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti.  Unfortunately photography was not permitted inside.  But taking time to experience the inside will convince you that it is as spectacular as the Vatican or St. Peter’s Cathedral in a simpler beauty.  Discovery Venture Tours has scheduled another Spirit Venture – “Chasing Francis” next year from March 19th to the 29th.  We will be spending 6 nights in Assisi and 4 nights in Rome.  Below is the brochure.    It was such an amazing experience many of us are going back.  Let us know if you are interested in joining us.2014-9x12-assisi-broch-inside-prophotorgb-8-bit-350dpi-edit2014-9x12-assisi-brochure-outer


(Notes from Rick Steves, Sacred Destinations, and Wikipedia)

Sierra Retreat ~ Welcoming Day

Our Women’s Journaling Sierra Retreat unfolds it’s wings this 9th day of September. The starting threesome, Jean (my tandem-teacher), Izzy (our amazing gourmet chef) and I, are up early.

Jean and I have a teeny window of time to take a mornin’ walk around the lake . . . and just drink in the soothing lake energy and the subtle, rustic beauty we begin to taste as we slow down.

Back at the cabin, Izzy takes her place dancing amongst the food and stove top while Jean and I vigilantly watch the second cabin, the Sequoia, to be vacated. We hope to get at least the living room space tended to by the cleaning staff first, so we can begin setting up our work stations for everyone, settle in our library and spread out shared materials. At 2pm Izzy finally corrals us into taking a break for lunch and we breathe, watching the “makings” of our retreat come together.

Shortly, retreat participants begin arriving. We skitter around touring everyone of the various bedroom possibilities and nesting spots get claimed. Unpacking pursues. With a bit of sun still shimmering on the lake several of us opt for a tour of east end of Lake Alpine. Personally, it’s my favorite because of the Miwok Indian holes carved into the granite. See them there in the lake photo, lower right corner of the granite? I can just sense what it must have been to summer there, sitting cross-legged in the afternoon breeze, grinding seeds or grains in the small granite cups there. Anyway, I digress.

We beat feet back to the Ponderosa cabin, the one designated our formal dining area, ready for our first gathering. With the day’s warmth still hovering on the deck, we set up the tables there for dining and immerse ourselves in fabulous food, warming wine and stimulating conversation. As the evening cool takes over our outdoor space, we migrate inward.

Our agenda is to craft a collective statement, and loving common energy and we spend giggling hours with this as our culmination. Pretty rich, eh? It will sit amongst us for all our evening gatherings, reminding us all of our individual uniqueness as well, as common bond. A dandy start to the retreat I’d say!!

7th Annual Masterpiece Christian Artists Conference Coming May 2013

  Join us for the
8th Annual Masterpiece Artists Conference
“The Creator – Made in His Image…Designed to Create”
May 16 – 19th,  2013 
   Artists of faith from across the country will be sharpening their vision and purpose, refining their skills and pursuing excellence in their craft, while equipping themselves for the calling as ambassadors for Christ in the culture of the arts.  Join us for 4 days of painting and instruction with master artists of our day whose works have attracted the attention of a generation.
    Three workshops tracks to choose from:
Plus One day open session samplers
chris hopkins art

Painting Foundations through Value/Color/Design/Composition

with Resident artist Chris Hopkins

Co-instructor Dennis Lewis.

Brush up on the fundamentals , concentrating on value, design, and paint application techniques and centrality of focus which controls the viewer, which is the task or every artist. Additional focus on the narrative composition for those who wish to tell a story with their art


Figurative/Portraiture with C. Michael Dudash.

From composition to canvas – executing your vision. Establishing lighting, positioning, color pallette and eliciting mood and expression in your deign. Michael will also be teaching a special early bird “portraits” class May 15th. Space is limited to 10 participants so register early.




Landscape/Plein air/Big Sky
with Steven S. Walker
Capturing the beauty and power of the creation, capturing light and glows, the essence of critical observation, plein air -changing light and mood, incorporating photo reference materials for compelling composition

Plus special one day workshops
Jan Hopkins- Natural Fiber Artist
Looping: The Art of Contemporary Fiber Technique. Introduction to a basic contemporary art looping technique

Kim Ragsdale collage of works
Kim Ragsdale .

Drawing from Line to Life

and Art Marketing that Matters

   Plus Music

the Scriptures which inspire and compel us

 Camaraderie with artists of faith

all in the setting of the beautiful 1500 acre private reserve at the Box R Ranch.


 Click Here for more information or to register now. 

SOAR: Art Education - Workshops and Retreats - Carole Hillsbery Workshops at McKenzie Orchard Bed & Breakfast

We have a beautiful property on the McKenzie River near Springfield, Oregon and operate a 5-guest-room bed and breakfast inn. We’re hosting 2 workshops instructed by superb watercolorist Carole Hillsbery of Florence, Oregon. May 16-17: Landscapes; May 18-19: Watercolor on Canvas. Please call innkeeper Karen Reid at 541-515-8153 to reserve a space in the workshop.

via SOAR: Art Education – Workshops and Retreats – Carole Hillsbery Workshops at McKenzie Orchard Bed & Breakfast.

2012 Journaling Retreat ~ Thursday

Elaine Frenett

Our Thursday dawned just as another day in paradise. Mornin’ yoga glistened with silence only broken by a far off fishermen’s gliding boat.

Once back to the cabins, Izzy had laid out a Elaine Frenettfeast for our eyes as well as our stomachs. After days of focusing on visuals ~ we all are beginning to see beauty, design, color harmonies everywhere, even in these eggs! and the dried fruit! Isn’t it wonderful seeing with artists’ eyes?

Elaine FrenettOk, on to our journal creating. This morn we dive into one of my all time favorites to share for journaling: incorporating paperclay! Check out this gallery link for Paperclay and see all that is possible. When inserting a paperclay piece into a journal, I prefer to flatten the material as it will fit into your pages better. But again, we can let our imaginations run. I’ve prepared thisElaine Frenettpaperclay “cloud” piece ahead of time and demo my process, finishing up with painting with watercolor and once dry, sealing with Mod Podge. And then comes the stitching of the piece into the journal ~ and I’ll never use fishing line again!! It staysElaine Frenettcurled,  get knotted up and you can’t see what you are doing ~ but Darlene and I laughed so hard in the process I had tears rolling down my cheeks. See, it actually turned out pretty ok (except for I couldn’t tie the end of the fishing line and left the beading needle there at the end)! Here’s the journal process and sharing our ideas ~ and it’s so juicy!

Elaine FrenettAfter a not-quite-as-peaceful-as-we’d-envisioned Buddhist Meditation, we break for a lunch salad of roasted asparagus, poached egg, brioche with creamy shallot vinaigrette . . . and many yummmmmmmmmmmms.

Jean lead our afternoon process combining sense seeing and haiku writing. After a brief instruction with Elaine Frenettdiverse samples, we all skitter about, in search of what part of nature speaks to us personally. Here, Cookie caught me totally Elaine Frenettimmersed in painting, ignoring the chill starting to approach from the west. The afternoon had started warm ‘n sunny, yet low thin clouds appeared along with that breeze and as each of us finished our haiku, we patter back to the cabin’s warmth. But didn’t we create some tantalizing results combining image and word?Elaine Frenett

This Thursday being our final formal retreat dinner together, Chef Izzy had stirred up something special. We warmed with afternoon teas and soon blood returned to our blue fingers. By the time our Rabbit Elaine FrenettSugo, Housemade Tarragon Pasta with Lemon was ready we all found seats outside to enjoy the afternoon setting sun. The meal was luscious and we reveled in shared stories and friendships that had blossomed. There was just too much fun by the time we got to our Almond Cake with White Chocolate Ganache and fresh berries.

Can you tell we just had another rich day that we just didn’t want to end?