DRAWING + MINDFULNESS RETREAT

Next session: Spring 2017
Parksville, New York (The Catskills)
Teachers: Christine Garvey + Josh Bobrow
Guest Chef: Julie Shore

For more information: christine.garvey@gmail.com
 

In this unique 3-day weekend retreat, students will explore the relationship between presence and creativity. Through a combination of restorative and flow yoga, guided meditation and mindfulness workshops, and a dedicated drawing-from-observation course, we will explore a rich and multi-faceted mindfulness practice that aims to create space for reflection, gratitude, and curiosity.

Cultivating this space has become a particularly difficult feat in the digital age with the intensity and tragedy of current events, the ubiquity of social media, and the expectations we place on each other to be forever-available. Finding presence in this world is a serious challenge. As two long-time teachers, we have seen our students suffer from these conditions both personally and creatively. We created the Drawing + Mindfulness retreat as a way to provide our students with the tools and space to mindfully investigate their relationship to themselves and their environments.

Join us for 3 days of drawing, reflecting, and self-care in the Catskills.

The Yoga, Mindfulness, and Meditation Practice

The D+M retreat will include all-level flow and restorative classes, mindfulness workshops, and meditation. We will begin each day with morning yoga, invigorating students and priming them for a day of energy and presence. We will consider the role of movement and breath-work in increasing body-mind awareness, and how to later channel this work into our drawing. Evening yoga classes will focus on restorative practices and will include more formal meditation training and mindfulness workshops. Through writing exercises, readings and conversation, evening sessions will encourage reflection after a day of nature and art-making. Students will leave the retreat with the tools and ability to create the daily meditation and mindfulness practice that best fits them.

Post-dinner evenings will offer independent time after a day of community and activity.

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The Drawing Practice

Students will build on morning meditation and yoga with a 3-hour mid-day drawing course. This will be an unconventional course, focusing on how to cultivate the energy and presence required to observe our surroundings, and how to translate these observations into marks. We will develop the tools for this kind of "sustained looking" through exercises that underline process over product. Warm-up practices will include blind contour work, memory and sound drawings, and negative/positive space observations to allow students to slow down, tune-in, and deeply experience where they are. We will use these exercises to prepare for longer drawing sessions where students can work at their own pace and explore the joyful and meditative possibilities of drawing. Feedback on approach will be given on a one-on-one basis, as well as in group conversation. 

 Complementary readings will be provided.

Meals

All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be prepared by former Arcade Fire Personal Chef and co-head of the Brooklyn Kitchen culinary department, Julie Shore.  Julie brings her passion for healthy and mindful cooking to her work as a personal chef. Meals for the weekend will complement the healthful, restorative theme of the retreat. With flavors ranging from Mediterranean to Southeast Asian, the menu will be vegetarian and focused on hearty grains and seasonal vegetables. Satisfying snacks, as well as fruit-centric desserts, will also be provided. Students should preface any dietary restraints or requests early so we can make sure to accommodate.

Accommodation

We will be staying at a beautifully-rustic country house in Parksville, New York. Located in the Catskill Mountains, the property offers a scenic and peaceful reprieve from the city.  Students can spend their afternoons exploring the grounds and neighboring barn, or continue their meditation and drawing work by the outdoor pool. Participants will have shared bedrooms and bathrooms and access to a full kitchen, outdoor seating, laundry, and of course wifi. Private rooms are available for a price difference - please express interest early to guarantee availability.

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Weekend Schedule

Friday
6-10 pm: Students arrive at accommodation. Food will be served in kitchen.
9:30 pm : Introductions + course overview. Introduction to mindfulness and meditation.
Tea and cookies will be served.

Saturday
8:30 - 9:45 am: Morning Flow Yoga with guided meditation
10:00 am: Breakfast
11:00 - 2:00 pm: Drawing + Mindfulness on the Grounds. (Mid-day snacks + tea provided)
2:00 pm: Lunch
3-6 pm: Students free to hike, explore the grounds, and do self-reflection work (readings provided)
6:30 pm: Dinner
8:00 - 9:30 pm:  Restorative yoga, mind-body awareness, and guided meditation


Sunday
8:30 - 9:45 am: Morning Flow Yoga with guided meditation
10:00 am: Breakfast
11:00 - 2:00 pm: Drawing + Mindfulness on the Grounds. (Mid-day snacks + tea provided)
2:00 pm: Lunch
3-6 pm: Students free to hike, explore the grounds, and do self-reflection work
6:30 pm: Dinner
8:00 - 9:30 pm: Restorative yoga, loving-kindness meditation, power of mindfulness and gratitude discussion.
 

Monday
8:30 - 9:45 am: Flow yoga and reflection circle
10:00 am: Breakfast
11:00 - 2:00 pm: Drawing + Mindfulness on the Grounds. (Mid-day snacks + tea provided)
2:00 pm: Lunch + Closing

Students depart in the afternoon.

Pricing
The Drawing + Mindfulness retreat includes:

3 Morning yoga classes (1:15 hours each)
9 hours of guided drawing coursework
2 evening restorative yoga and mindfulness workshops (1:15 hours each)
3 guided meditation sessions
1 evening welcome meal/snack
3 breakfasts
3 lunches
2 dinners
3 nights of accommodation
 

Shared room price: $760
Private room price:  $885 (limited space, inquire early)
For more information or to register email christine.garvey@gmail.com
*Course is subject to enrollment minimums in order to run
 

About Josh Bobrow
Josh Bobrow has been an educator for under-served communities for almost a decade, and currently teaches mindfulness, yoga, and history, as well as serves as a classroom coach in Brooklyn. He received his 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification from YogaWorks. He runs mindfulness workshops and the Meditation Club at his high school, merging the methods of Vipassana (Goenka lineage), Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Mindful Schools' curricula. He is forever a student and works daily to infuse presence into all that he does. He loves nothing more than to engage in this work with Oprah-approved books and others so that all can root deeper into joy.
 

About Christine Garvey
Garvey earned her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and MFA from Concordia University Montreal. Since 2009, she's been teaching drawing and print-based workshops internationally, working with institutions like Concordia University Montreal, Florence University of the Arts, Betahaus Berlin, The Brooklyn Brainery, and The NY Center for Book Arts. For Christine, drawing-from-observation is a meditative practice, and she uses it as a means to cultivate presence, gratitude, and fuel the ideas behind her large paper-based collages. She recently returned from a Fulbright Research year in Florence, Italy where she explored drawing as a critical research method in her investigative project at La Specola’s House of Anatomy. Christine continues to share the joy drawing brings to her life through her work as a teacher and artist.