Friday, July 9, 2010

My Exquisitely Ecstatic Esalen Workshop

Here is one of the demos from my Esalen workshop

'Love Yurts'.............oil on canvas panel................7x9 inches

Greetings Bloggophiles,

It’s been a busy summer to say the least, and hot on the heels of my fantastic high-desert experience of my Sedona workshop came the misty, ocean world of my Esalen workshop in Big Sur, California. If Sedona had the mystical discipline energy of Mars, with it’s desert red rock and powerful dry heat, then Esalen had the mystical emotional energy of Venus, with it’s lush green vegetation, vast blue Pacific Ocean horizon, and cliff side hot tubs. We felt thoroughly pampered with all the amenities one could possibly want near at hand. The large, spacious cafeteria provided a wide choice of meals using vegetables grown organically on the property.

The gardens not only provided fresh sustenance, but held a potpourri of visual stimuli in their gorgeous array of blooming flowers! Massage therapists were professional, caring and readily at hand to thwart any stress related muscular knots created by a long day painting. A small, circular meditation room overlooked a waterfall cascading down into the ocean, we meditated there until I was up to my eyeballs in inner peace. And the highlight, aside from the delightful company of my terrific students, had to be the hot tubs of natural sulphuric mineral spring water. The hot tubs are located right along the cliff’s face, the crashing waves hypnotically breaking over the stony beach below, and at night there exist no glare from the city lights to chase away the constellations above, and the not-so-rare shooting star can be seen burning out across the sky. In the mornings a white mist rolls in off the ocean, blanketing the gardens and edifices in a undulating fog, pulling nearby objects into sharp silhouette against the pale background scenery. Cinematic, painterly, the ghost of Sam Hyde Harris is doubtlessly haunting this small piece of paradise, trying to get his phantom painting just right. Below are some pics of this truly awesome workshop at Esalen. Enjoy!

Conducting demo on the lovely Esalen grounds

Attempting to capture the ethereal early morning ocean mist

Another demo from the workshop

'Path to Yurt'.............oil on canvas panel...............7x9 inches

View of the garden

Taking a breather to answer some questions

Giving Sharon some pointers on values

So much for the candid shot ;-) Love Julie's cute little side glance

~ Here are a few pics of Esalen and it's many splendors! ~

The cliff side hot springs

The lush gardens of delight (these were poppies on steroids!!)

More flora on steroids.....

Couldn't resist.......

Early morning meditation in circular meditation room

The 'Big House' where Ben and I were lulled to sleep every night by the soothing sounds of the ocean waves

That's me, contemplating whether to return to Esalen next year...

......hell yeah I'm coming back!

My awesome students!
From left to right top row:
Mary, Usana, Julie, Jan, Jodie, Catherine, Min and Naomi
From left to right bottom row:
Sharon, Jennifer and hubby Ben
(Paul not pictured)

To view additional Esalen pics click here!

Hope you enjoyed my post and thanks for stopping by!
Before I sign off, here is a quick recap of my 2011 upcoming plein air painting workshops:

Plein Air Painting in Maui
DATE: February 15 - 17, 2011 (3 days)
TUITION: $350.
(limited to 12 students)
For more info and registration click here

Small and Simple: Fundamentals of Plein Air Painting
DATE: March 21 - 25, 2011
LOCATION: Scottsdale, AZ
TUITION: $585.
(limited to 12 students)
For more info and registration click here

Plein Air Painting in Sedona
DATE: May 16 - 20, 2011
TUITION: $600.
(limited to 12 students)
For more info and registration click here

Plein Air Painting in Big Sur: Esalen Retreat
DATE: June 5 - 10, 2011 (NOTE: August 2011 workshop dates TBD)
(limited to 12 students)
More info coming soon!

Hope the rest of your summer is resplendent and enticing!
Until next post, Happy Blogging!


Anonymous said...

Every bit of this post is totally beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Really.

Geez, I wish I could attend one of your workshops...anywhere! You have the most succinct and expressive technique of any plein air painter I believe I've ever seen. 'Twould be exciting to pick your brain.

Maybe someday...

Ramesh Jhawar said...

Lovely demo paintings and beautiful pictures of the location! It must be real fun and also good learning! much I am missing!!
Thanks for sharing this Jennifer! Your post is very interesting!

Ed Terpening said...

I'm sorry to have missed your workshop! I live nearby, and love that area of Big Sur. I'll look for your August dates. Love your work.

Jennifer McChristian said...

A. Decker, thank you for your generous and warm comments!

Jennifer McChristian said...

Hi Ramesh,

Thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoyed the post :)

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Ed!
Yes, Big Sur is an incredibly inspiring area. Not sure what dates are set for August yet. Should find out in a few weeks. Hope you can join us then :)

Lisa Daria said...

beautiful finish - enjoyed seeing the process -

Hodges Soileau said...

You are the real of best blogs I`ve seen. Keep up the great work.

Unknown said...

Love the yurt paintings, Jennifer. Looks like it was a great workshop!

All the best,
becky kemery
Author of "YURTS: Living in the Round"
Yurtlady on facebook

Jan W. said...

Beautiful work Jennifer. Hope you visit us in the Pacific Northwest someday.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Lisa and Hodges!

Becky, it was a great workshop indeed:) Will check out your yurt book! Sounds interesting.

Thank you Jan. I would LOVE to visit the Pacific Northwest some time soon!

Robin Weiss said...

Hopefully next summer!!

What a beautiful spot!!!! Your paintings are fresh and inviting just like the setting at Esalen....

Can't wait to meet you Jen and learn more about plein air painting! Hope it works out!

Jennifer McChristian said...

Thanks Robin!
Esalen is truly an inspiring and exquisite place to paint.
Looking forward to meeting you too!


Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer , Beautiful post . I would have loved to attend .

Laurel Alanna McBrine said...

What a breathtaking location! Love your paintings.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Rishi, Jack and Laurel,

Thanks for your comments :)

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