Befriending Wildflowers – An Art Retreat

“I had NO IDEA there were so many wildflowers on the prairies. And if I saw them – I was on my way to somewhere else and didn’t take time to become their friends. I loved every single minute. I am so grateful to you for combining a watercolour playshop with the stillness and beauty of the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer. The time in community with other art and nature loving humans was such a blessing. You were a lovely, gentle, and FUN guide for me. Thank you again for an amazing experience.”   Past Participant

When: Tuesday, July 2 until Thursday, July 4. (I have added an extra (optional) day as participants have always wished there was more time. The “basic stay” is Tuesday until Thursday, with an option to stay one more night and leave Friday, July 5.

Where: Qu’Appelle House of Prayer near Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.

What Will We Do: 

  • walk the hills
  • sit in stillness
  • share ways of showing gratitude to the plants and flowers
  • consider together the ways we might befriend a plant
  • participate in art exercises designed to spark our creativity and encourage us to become more closely attuned to the natural world
  • “just be”
  • draw and paint the plants that call us
  • learn about the plants we see
  • spend free time alone
  • sharing circle
  • consider the role of plants as we eat healthy meals together

In other years, due to the heat, we explored and painted in the hills in the evening or early morning, and painted outside in the shade of the trees during the day. We will adjust to the weather!!

Who should come?  Anyone who would like to spend time in the company of  prairie wildflowers  is welcome to come. We will be a small group (by design); our pace will be unhurried and relaxed. Although the focus  will be on creating art as a way of befriending wildflowers, others (the curious, poets, photographers, fibre artists, etc.) are welcome to come and participate in the ways most helpful to them. While the land is undoubtedly the best teacher, there will be an opportunity for each of us to share our wisdom and our wonderings about wildflowers with each other.

Physical accessibility:  Climbing the hills and painting in the meadow requires a fair degree of mobility, including going  through a fence.  The walk to the Cross and stunning view it offers requires less mobility. It would be possible to enjoy the retreat without climbing hills. Much of our painting is done outside under the shade of the trees in a beautiful natural setting.

Where:  The Qu’Appelle House of Prayer is a retreat centre nestled in 10 acres on the verdant south side hills of Echo Lake near Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. Many people feel a tranquil spirit in the air as soon as they get out of their vehicles. The intentionally quiet atmosphere invites us to really notice and sink into the natural world around us. Accommodations are comfortable and simple; home cooked meals nourish both body and soul. The Qu’Appelle House of Prayer welcomes all with an open heart. There are trails throughout the property, and a stunning chapel looking over the trees and lake, and out to the hills. While the wildflowers on the hills and grasslands are a particular draw, there are green growing plants and trees everywhere you look – in the woods, in the gardens, and indoors. As a part of the community at the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer, we will eat lunch in silence. There are opportunities to take part in Eucharist or times of silent sitting for those who wish to.

Cost/How To Register

Registration:  Please indicate your interest in taking part r with Sue at poachedeggwoman@gmail.com  or by calling/texting 306 331 9719 (text). No deposit is necessary. Registration will close on April 30, 2024 and I will be in touch with everyone in early May.

Cost for the Basic Stay: The “basic stay” includes Tuesday, July 2 (arrive after 1) and depart Thursday, July 4th before supper. It includes two nights, 2 suppers, 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches, as well as snacks. Suggested donation to the House of Prayer is according to one’s means.  The usual offering is $80. – $90. per night. In addition, the suggested contribution for my leadership is $150*.

For two nights, at the lower end of the scale, the price is $310. At the higher end of the scale, it is $330. 

*Please note that I offer a sliding scale from 0 to the suggested amount. If you hope to make use of the sliding scale, please let me know when you indicate your interest in this retreat.

Basic Stay plus a day: If you would like to stay one extra day to really immerse yourself in the beauty of Qu’Appelle Hills, you can add Thursday supper and overnight, and Friday breakfast and lunch  ($80- 90) on to your total.  Low: $390   High: $420

Materials:  For those who choose to use watercolours: Sketchpad, pencils, watercolour paints, brushes and paper, container for water. A more detailed supply list will be sent out once you register. Some watercolour supplies can be purchased at cost.

For photos of previous “Befriending Wildflowers”, please check here and  here

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” Georgia O’Keefe