The Zen of Art and Horses at Ravenheart Farm

three of my partners and collaborators in the Zen of Atrt and Horses

Three of my partners and collaborators in the Zen of Art and Horses (left, Carol Mariott of Ravenheart Farm; right, Kate Hersberger and centre, Charlie)

It was brilliant to plan a retreat just before the longest ever federal election in Canada…..even though avoiding pre-election coverage was not one of our stated goals! Always good to step away from our various screens and take time to be…. with ourselves, with each other, with the animals and with the natural beauty of Ravenheart Farms. Our rhythm was simple – horses, art play, eat, sleep….repeat a few times, add some walks for good measure, and don’t forget the cats, dogs and occasional black bear or bald eagle!! The black bears were imaginary but the bald eagle was not.

Carol Marriott welcomed us to Ravenheart Farms, introduced us the animals, and shared her gentle, respectful and curious way of being with horses and all creatures. Kate Hersberger gave us an opportunity to explore texture and movement with drywall mud on canvas (something like smoothing  (or ruffling) the icing on a cake) and walked us through the process –  drying the canvas, painting it white, letting it dry again, painting it black and rubbing off the black until only the cracks held the black. I offered some art play with watercolours and crayons to help us explore and express ourselves. Our pace was slow and relaxed, our rhythm was comfortable, our laughter frequent. Our absorption in being with the animals, in playing with mud or paint or in quiet mornings offered us a little zen time. Below are some photos to capture some of our time together.

Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger

Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger

Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger

Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger

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Warming Up – Drawing and responding to different music

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Time to Play in the Mud with Kate

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Kate shows us how

 

Right into that mud!!!

Right into that mud!!!

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Drying the mud in the afternoon sun

Drying the mud in the afternoon sun

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Covering the canvas with black paint

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Sponging some of the black paint off

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The result – we will each take our canvas home to add the colour

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In between horses and art, did I say we ate? Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger

Art Play with Sue

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Playing with water, colour and movement

Playing with water, colour and movement

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Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger

Cheryl with Benny, who followed her everywhere (she eventaully took Benny home!)

Cheryl with Benny, who followed her everywhere (she eventaully took Benny home!). Photo by Carol M

Kate with Lacey Photo by Carol marriott

Kate with Lacey
Photo by Carol Marriott

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Saying farewell and thank you to the horses. Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger.

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Photo courtesy of Kate Hersberger.

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About sbland

Sue Bland (aka Poached Egg Woman) is a visual artist who lives on a farm in rural Saskatchewan. A chicken farm, to be exact, hence she eats a lot of poached eggs! Sue works primarily in paper collage and watercolours, and offers heART & SOUL PLAYshops to anyone interested in exploring their creative side and having fun.