The Artful Writer: Exploring the Connection Between Image & Word

Come join us April 5-7, 2019 for a weekend retreat full of hands-on art and generative writing exercises.

Many creative people are drawn to other creative endeavors that lie outside their main field of focus. They use these types of artistic expression as a vehicle to new observations, new ways of comparing and interpreting the world around them. A visual artist perceives an idea for a painting by watching a video or play. A videographer gets a great idea for a film by listening to music. A musician reads a story and hears the music beneath it and begins to compose. A writer creates a story within the lines, dimension, and texture of visual art. At Rockvale, we honor all types of creative expression and are committed to exploring the relationships between them.

In The Artful Writer Weekend Retreat, we’ll explore the connection between image and word. We’ll delve into the world of visual art and see how it can inspire and enhance our writing. We’ll start with several Ekphrastic exercises (writing in response to paintings and photography) and then try our hand at creating our own visual art with the aim of writing towards those pieces at the end of the weekend. We’ll study geometric patterns and practice the art of meditative doodling.

There’s no need to worry that you’re not an “artist” or that you can’t “draw.” You can do this and you’ll be amazed at the beautiful things you create. You’ll be equally amazed at the words you write that are inspired by visual art.

The Schedule (tentative)

Friday, April 5, 2019

4:00 to 6:00 pm – Check in and settle in. You’ll be given a short tour and we’ll show you to your assigned room.

6:00 p.m. – Dinner, Introductions, Overview of Retreat

7:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop: Ekphrastic Exploration: Writing in Response to Paintings and Photography

9:00 p.m. – Free time / Bedtime

Saturday, April 6, 2019

6:30 a.m. Coffee Ready!

7:30 a.m. Breakfast is available

8:30 a.m. – Hands on Art Workshop: Acrylic Pour Painting

10:00 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

12:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:00 p.m. – Hands on Art Workshop: Meditative Doodling – Special Guest: Artist, Katie Czarnak

2:30 p.m. – Free Time for Writing

6:00 p.m. – Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Writing Workshop: The Color of Words: Using Color to Inspire your Writing

8:15 p.m. – Special Dessert – Design like a Child Again

8:30 p.m. – Reading – Share your Writing (Sharing is optional; however, we ask that you attend whether you read or not, in order to support other writers.)

10:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime

Sunday, April 7, 2019

6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready

7:30 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come any time you’re ready

8:30 a.m. – Writing Workshop: Writing on the Abstract

10:00 a.m. – Free Time for Writing

12:00 p.m. – Checkout and Goodbye

Cost Breakdown:

$340.00 – Room, meals, and workshops: Includes a private bedroom/bathroom for 2 nights, 5 meals (wine at dinner), snacks, 2 art workshops, 3 writing workshops, special gift

$25.00 – Supplies to create 2 take-home pieces of art

$ 50.19 – Applicable Taxes

$415.19 – TOTAL

Additional Notes:We will be playing with paint in one workshop, so wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy or bring an art apron or old shirt to paint it. We will supply latex gloves for those who want to wear gloves while painting. If you have a latex allergy, please bring an alternative.

Registration: Please fill out this form on Submittable and answer all questions. Only complete the registration if you are sure you are able to attend. We will accept and notify everyone on a first-come, first-served basis. If the event is full, we will notify you and add your name to the Waiting List. If you have further questions, you may email Sandy at