For our third day, we retreated to Dol, and the wonderfully creative space that is Marinka’s studio. Overnight, the long summer’s drought had broken, and we’d been treated to a crashing sound and light show with so much rain that it sounded like a waterfall off our roof.
Thankfully, Wednesday dawned bright, clear and sparkling. Up at Marinka’s studio, she was setting out cushions to dry in the sun. She’d been slightly caught out by the unexpected storm, but the lovely sunny morning would soon take care of it.
We chatted about our artistic experiences and shared some of what we’d been doing this week so far. Marinka, for her part, showed us her own work and talked about her creative process. We learned about chakras and colours, and painting from different centres of your body. Marinka’s interpretations were so expressive, and she has an interesting use of symbols, such as the snake which, she says, keeps appearing!
We were all greatly taken with Marinka’s hand-made frames, which are a very creative use of recycled cardboard, toilet paper and wood glue. They look beautiful, complement her artwork and are very lightweight. Much excited chatter about the two-tone toilet paper version and the possibility of painting them to match your artwork. I expect to see new versions of these frames springing up soon in California!
As we started to settle down into what we might paint for the day, Marinka asked us three questions to think about – now what is the first thing that pops into your head…
- If you were a landscape, what kind would you be?
- If you were a tool, what would you be?
- If you were a food, what would you be?
In my case, I answered seascape, hammer and chocolate cake! According to the rules, we weren’t allowed to replace the first thought with a more considered answer. Hmmmm. I could handle being a seascape, but really… a hammer? Why not something delicate like a paintbrush or a crochet hook? I wasn’t the only one having difficulty with my responses. Someone else came up with a screwdriver, which completely shocked her! It certainly stimulated debate, and a lot of laughter as we drew our ideas for Marinka’s memory book.
For lunch we assembled a potluck and enjoyed freshly picked grapes and figs. A glass of wine set us up for our afternoon of painting. We had so many places to choose from, so many ideas of what to paint. At one point in the afternoon, we were called over to the caper bush, where a grasshopper had been spotted emerging from its previous coat. Amazing how much bigger it becomes in moulting!
A peaceful afternoon’s painting became a snooze in a hammock for some, while others worked away at their chosen subject.
Meanwhile, the delicious smell of cooking (stuffed peppers in tomato sauce) wafted out from the kitchen, where Marinka said her art for the day would be our dinner! Some time in the late afternoon, the non-painters of our group arrived, and we assembled for a review of paintings over a glass of wine.
Dinner was wonderful, sitting outside enjoying the warm evening. Marinka’s insect repellant spray is lavender oil mixed with water, and spritzed over yourself at intervals. As well as being pretty effective at keeping the flies away, it was also nice and cooling – plus we smelled lovely!
The stuffed peppers tasted as wonderful as they had promised to be. I had the vegetarian version, which Marinka said were an experiment and were excellent. The meat eaters were also very complimentary about the cooking and we swapped recipes for a while. Can’t beat fresh ingredients!
All in all, this was pretty close to a perfect day for a bunch of artists. It was such a creative day in this lovely space, all made possible by Marinka. Our artists very much enjoyed finding a kindred spirit, and new friendships were forged. Hugs all round as we left. How do we follow that?