Heaven in the Hills of Santa Fe
The other day, we got an invite from some friends of ours about the unveiling of a new project of theirs. We have been close buddies for almost thirty years and they have done amazing things. Some of my former art retreat students will remember visits to their huge and fabulous gallery at Jackalope. Well, this time, they have gone over the top. They have taken an incredible property in the hills above the Opera, and renovated it top to bottom. Then they furnished and decorated with their wonderful talents and taste. I will post the Air BnB listing link down below so you can really explore, but here is a peek . . .
Why am I sharing this? Two reasons:
1. To share a funny story. Because our new Husky pups can’t really be left home alone if we want to have a home and cats to come home to, we had to take them with us. We warned our friends, but they were so eager to show us the Villa that they said ok. So, the kids jump in the van and off we go. It’s a beautiful drive through the hills and trees to where the movie stars live around here. The dogs are angelic on the ride. Calm and happy looking out the windows. We pictured walking the pups around the 3 acre Villa property so they could sniff everything, and then settling inside for appetizers, wine (not for them), and good conversation. OMG! We miscalculated.
I can’t adequately describe how my angels turned into demonized Energizer bunnies. There was the big cut on Mark’s hand because they barged out the van door together and smacked his hand against the door jam. (Yes, they are both on harnesses and leashes but that didn’t help). No time to sniff as they bounded around dragging me and a bleeding Mark behind them. Our friend stepped in to help and he was dragged around with us. I wish I could say that this all settled down when we finally got inside, but I can’t. Although we kept them sitting near us and gave them snacks, Sierra had her own whine and it went on most of the evening. Blue was quieter - until a neighborhood dog showed up at a window. I don’t know where his gentle demeanor disappeared to. And of course, they both wanted to wrestle and play. There was an empty garage available with nothing they could harm (we thought). We finally put them in there to play so the adults could relax for a bit. We didn’t know that there was a BIG bag of poly-fill for pillows hidden in a corner. So, when we went to get them an hour later, it looked like a very big snowstorm had happened inside that garage.
Our friends are still friends and I don’t know why.
2. The second reason for telling you about this place, is that my Artist-in-Residence retreats were the best things I have ever done in the teaching department. This was pre-Covid and I held them in my own vacation rental home - which I had to sell in 2020. Those retreats were so amazing and the attendees have become lifetime friends - with me and with each other - because of the bonding experiences we had living and creating together.
When I visited Xanadu Villa, I knew that it is the perfect place for an Artist-in-Residence Retreat. Living in luxury and beauty and sketching at big farm tables inside or out somewhere on the 1600 sf of decks and patios - with views to die for. The house itself is 4000 sf with 5 bedrooms and four baths so you also have your own private bedroom. There is a labyrinth to walk and a gym to work-out in, and a hot tub to relax in. And ALL of it brand new and shiny! I could go on and an on, but you can see the whole place on Air BnB HERE.
Here are the particulars of my next Artists-in-Residence Retreat: 5 nights and 4.5 days, Check-in Sunday, April 16, 2023 and check-out Friday, April 21, 2023. Limited to 5 Students. In my usual organic approach to art retreats, there will be lots of comfort and personal time for actually making the art and some lovely gifts too.. We will create a handmade Collection Journal on Sunday Night and Monday morning, which we will fill the rest of the week with stuff we discover on outings in Santa Fe for the next three days. This journal is a unique creation (by me) that you have not ever seen elsewhere. If you are sketching at all, you have enough experience for this retreat, because one of my best gifts as a teacher is the ability to help students improve or innovate from any level of skill.
The total cost except for food is $1830, which will not be refundable unless we can fill your space. This is $400-$500 less than the other Sketching Workshops held in Santa Fe - and those offer a twin bed in a double occupancy hotel room at the Hilton. And classes with 20 students who need the instructor’s attention. At my Retreat, it’s just the 6 of us in the lap of luxury.
Registration will open on Friday, December 15, 2022 (I will send a reminder) and close at midnight on January 31, 2023. You can Pre-Register your interest sooner by responding to this newsletter, and I will send you a private email as soon as Registration opens. First come, first served, and then a wait list.
For those who have no interest in a retreat, follow that Air BnB link anyway to see one of the prettiest places you will ever see in the Southwest!