Thursday, May 28, 2009


I lived most of my life in California, so whenever I return certain things take me right back to my past--the golden hills in the Bay Area, oleanders and ice plant lining the freeway, the smell of pepper trees, and Spanish architecture. It feels good to revisit them.

On this trip, my friend Cindy took me to the center where she holds art retreats in the Santa Cruz mountains. I felt like I got a compressed version of my favorite bits of California in one place.

The center has beautiful Spanish architecture:

And an amazing spiritual quality to the whole place. It is a nunnery, so that would explain it. There are lovely details to be found throughout the property, such as these roses on the floor in a small chapel:

The grounds offer all sorts of places for quiet thought, including a grove of redwoods. It's a magical place, and I look forward to returning for one of the art retreats.

The trip was full of inspiration. Cindy collects vintage trims and millinary items. I could spend hours just rummaging through her stash:

We went on photography walks and couldn't stop once we got started. It inspired us to do a weekly photography exchange entitled "Evidence."

I didn't get much art done all week, but did have a few quiet moments of sketching statuary at a nursery:

I like stepping outside of my daily life for a bit and now feel ready to delve into some stitching projects.


Suzanne Reynolds said...

You've made me so nostalgic...driving over the hill to Santa Cruz as a teenager, hanging out in Old Town and Vasona Park in Los Gatos. Wine festivals and concerts. Picnics in the redwoods. And Santa's Village!

Looks like you had a wonderful and relaxing time, Robin. Love your photos!

Robin Olsen said...

Santa's Village! Now you've made me even more nostalgic. I loved that funky old amusement park.