Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 2012 Workshop Retreat Schedule, Thus Far

2012 will see six week-long residential workshops scheduled, and as is the norm, the rest of the year will be dedicated to individual residents working on their own focused projects. The following are the first two workshop retreats scheduled, both during May; the other four will be scheduled and posted soon. Whether you choose your own retreat to work on your own project or a workshop retreat, I hope to see you retreating to Anam Cara sometime during the next year.

Watercolour Workshop Retreat
Facilitator: Evelyn Dunphy(
Arrival: 12 May 2012
Departure: 19 May 2012

“Come and experience the haunting beauty of the landscape that surrounds Anam Cara. Explore ways to find just the right mixtures of pigments to paint all of those wonderful greens, the brightly-colored houses winding their way down the lane and the misty mountains off in the distance – it’s an artists’ paradise!
“You’ll learn to simplify shapes, exaggerate, crop, compose, and build a composition that enables you to enjoy seeing pigments mix and dance on your paper. Be a poet rather than a reporter, paint light and color and shadow, and develop your ability to really “see”. There will a demonstration each day, and lots of individual attention. There is nothing like uninterrupted hours of painting time to see a great leap in the quality of your work. No matter what your level of painting ability, there is always so much more to learn and experience.
“My goal is always to enlarge each student’s vocabulary of painting ‘tools’ so that each person has the necessary skills to express their own personal aesthetic. It is necessary to be able to execute the fundamental techniques of using watercolor, and I also believe that passion drives technique; if you really want to paint something you will figure out how to do it. Experienced painters will be challenged and encouraged to move out of their “comfort zone” to realize their goals, and beginners will be guided through the process of using watercolor.
“I also think it’s very important to ‘name the thing you are trying to do’ – whether it’s the pigment with its temperature and value, or the concept for your painting. Naming it makes it possible to actually do it.”


“I am just beginning to realize how much I learned from you in the workshop. Things that I thought I knew but did not really understand have come to life for me, and my work shows it” – a student from a recent workshop in Canada.

"If you want a workshop with a dedicated, talented teacher who is also a beautiful painter, go with Evelyn Dunphy” – a student from a workshop at Frederic Church’s camp

For more information and to book a place in Evelyn’s workshop retreat, contact her at:

Writing in Ireland: A Generative Workshop Retreat for Writers in All Genres
Facilitator: Karen Blomain (
Guest presenters: Playwright, Michael Downend; Poet, Madeline Tiger; Communications Specialist, Dr. Andrea Mitnick
Arrival: 19 May 2012
Departure: 26 May 2012

“Come to magnificent Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula, Co. Cork, Ireland. In the tranquil setting of Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat, enjoy a relaxed format workshop for writers at all levels of accomplishment -- from the novice wishing to try her hand at writing to the seasoned writer who needs to jump start his muse for a new project to those wishing to challenge themselves in a different genre. This generative workshop is designed to offer new starts and new vision. Each day will include two hands-on sessions, a discussion group, active participation, and significant enrichment opportunities, as well as the chance to rest, dream, and experience this beautiful part of the world.”

The workshop retreat is limited to twelve participants and booked on a first-deposit-in basis. To learn more and to register, please contact Karen at

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

If you're looking for the ideal gift for that creative someone in your life, how about an individual or workshop retreat at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat? Just let me know, and I'll send along a gift voucher (discounted by 10% for former residents) that you can present, leaving the booking arrangements to be made later.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Anam Cara on TV....

For those with Sky TV satellite service in Europe, Anam Cara will be part of the Travel Channel's broadcast of "Wild Camping - Ireland" on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at 8pm (Sky 251). The first episode will focus on Beara as inspiration to writers with writer-in-residence Bernard O'Donoghue and Beara poet John O'Leary reading poems. The new series is announced on the Channel's web site at and may be available there for those not living in Europe.