my fabulous week at summer camp

CAC the gorge

I’m home from my amazing week at camp.  I had no idea that the camp was set in such beautiful surroundings.  The former home and grounds of a Portland-based department store tycoon are an idyllic setting for a retreat for artists.  On the edge of the Columbia River gorge, looking off to Vancouver WA and Portland OR in the distance, you couldn’t help but be inspired.  Despite the 90+ degree heat.  The meals and presentations were all held in the main building of the center.   I stayed in a little four room cottage just down a few steps from the main building.

CAC path to print studio 

The printmaking studio was down the hill from the main buildings.  A beautiful walk along a shady lane, we walked past espaliered pear and apple trees and grapevines.  When we walked the path in the dark we could hear the local screech owl yelling at us (we finally got to see him on the very last night as he screeched at us then flew from the top of one tall evergreen to another). 

CAC work in progress

The studio was a large room with (almost) enough space for the eight of us in class.  I only say almost because I’m sure we would have expanded to fill any space that they gave us.  We worked inside but we had pans for soaking paper and the press set up outside.  Classes ran from 9 – 4 every day with a break for lunch.  (I am very tempted at this point to go off on a tangent about the amazing food, but I won’t.  Let’s just say warm, homemade bread every evening, homemade raspberry jam, fresh made cookies at lunch… )  Each evening the various instructors gave presentations and on many evenings there were other activities.  I tended to head back to the studio with my friend Colleen to either continue work, or at least get ready for the next day.

CAC art walk table

On the very last night there was an art walk.  All the studios were tidied up, supplies were packed away and each artist laid out a display of their work for the week.  We started the walk in the main building with a concert by the ukulele students (fantastic!) then headed to the various studios. Like any proper art walk there was wine and snacks at each stop.  At our studio we all had samples of monotypes, various relief methods and etching to display.  I am really pleased with both the quantity and quality of the work that I created during the week.  I am happiest with my etchings.  Over the next few posts I’ll show you some examples of each method.

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