Carrie Schmitt t Opal Creek painting-340x255

Spring Overnight at Opal Creek

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photo: a grove of ancient cedar trees in the Opal Creek Ancient Forest. Jawbone Flats, Oregon.

Spring Retreat: Painting in the Ancient Forest

Sat/Sun May 6th & 7th, 2017
Cost: $250
Supply fee: $45

Total Cost to Register: $295

Price includes all materials needed for the art workshop along with overnight lodging at Opal Creek, and they cook us Saturday night dinner, Sunday morning breakfast, and Sunday brownbag lunch.  It’s an incredible offering!

Class size is limited to 14 students and the 2016 version of my workshop at Opal Creek did fill up, with a waitlist, so sign up early.  Register early to ensure your spot!  


Carrie Schmitt Opal Creek painting-340x255

photo: 2016 workshop participant, painter Carrie Schmitt, sketches next to Opal Creek.

Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Jawbone Flats, Oregon.

Retreat for a weekend of art-making in a spectacular natural setting.  You will be led through an immersive experience in mixed-media painting, while Opal Creek staff take care of the food & accommodations. Come prepared to get messy while you get your hands in the paint, in the dirt, & in the wild surroundings. You will spend time out in the forest collecting imagery and inspiration, drawing and painting along the trail. Returning to the studio, you will learn how to incorporate this imagery into lush, layered acrylic paintings that are uniquely yours. The mixed-media painting process lends itself well to experimentation and play, and beginners and professionals alike will find themselves making new discoveries in this nurturing workshop environment.  I am teaching this retreat TWICE in 2017,  so you can come to the May retreat and/or come back for the October retreat!  What a joy!

Register via Opal Creek!

A little more info about the Opal Creek Retreats:
The Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center in Oregon. It is a 2-hour drive from Portland, in the mountains East of Salem. We meet at the trailhead at 10am Saturday morning and the retreat lasts until Sunday afternoon.  Retreat participants need to get themselves to and from the trailhead but I will organize a Facebook group for participants and last year we had lot of carpools organized.  When we meet on Saturday morning, we hike in together 3 miles through pristine old growth forest – but no worries, you don’t have to carry all your gear in, they shuttle that into the cabin for you. I go up one day early and set up the painting studio and I bring all of your materials for you. We paint and explore the forest and waters surrounding Jawbone Flats, and stay overnight in their historic cabins.  Jawbone Flats is a century-old historic mining town with population 10 in the Summer, all Opal Creek staff.  The amazing Opal Creek staff support us with expert naturalists, ecology tours, and delicious meals. Opal Creek is a very cool nonprofit, with a focus on environmental education in the wilderness. Opal Creek doesn’t typically do fine art workshops so we are very lucky to do these workshops up there. It’s a special special place in many ways – they run on their own hydropower, they are stewarding the largest patch of low-elevation old growth forest left in Oregon, they provide outdoor education to hundreds of people each year, and did I mention that the meals that they cook for us while we are there are delicious? So dreamy. And it’s only $295 for the overnight retreat including all art materials, lodging and meals. Register via Opal Creek or follow the link in my profile. Hop on it, as those two retreats at Opal Creek are sure to fill up soon just like the one on the coast at Sitka just did!
Thanks for all of your interest and support! Teaching painting in the forest is such an honor!

Layers of the Forest Demo Painting

Materials Students Bring:

⌲Painting Apron or Smock.  Wearing clothes & shoes that you don’t mind getting paint on is a good idea, too.

⌲Folding Chair or Stool for sitting and sketching outside. Best if it is light enough to carry a short distance to take it on a short walk into the forest to find wild plants to sketch.  You may also opt for a foam gardening knee pad instead, or no chair at all if you are comfortable sitting on the ground.

⌲Sketchbook – choose a sketchbook or pad of drawing paper that you don’t mind ripping pages from; I will ask you to tear out your drawings to turn them into collage materials.  Any medium weight paper will do. Around 9″ x12″ is a good size.

⌲Collage Materials – Collecting collage materials can be a way to bring your own unique sensibilities into your paintings.  Ephemera from your life that can be collaged on to the canvas can be found in all kinds of places.   Collect at least 10-15 sheets/scraps of paper. Choose what makes you happy! You don’t need all of the following but here are some ideas of where to find good collage papers:  

o Scrapbook papers

o Gift wrap

o Tissue paper – patterned and unpatterned

o Sewing pattern paper

o Wallpaper scraps

o Book pages

o Maps

o Old letters

o Pages from your old sketchbooks

⌲Paint – any colors of acrylic paint that you especially love.  If you don’t own any paint, do not worry!  I will have plenty of acrylic paints for everyone to share and you are welcome to just use the class paints the whole time of course.  I have just found over the years that each and every tube or bottle of paint has its own personality and so if you have certain paints that you already own and really love to work with, absolutely bring them as they will be like your familiar pals while you work and help lend your known colors and style to your work.  

⌲Favorite Paint Brushes.  If you have brushes that you are familiar with and love to use, by all means bring them.  I will be providing plenty of brushes for everyone to share so no need to go buy new brushes if you don’t have them already.

⌲Rags – if you have a few on hand, bring them! Rags can be very handy with mixed media!

Materials Instructor Provides:

Your materials fee covers everything you need to paint in the workshop for three days, including:

⌲2 large canvases



⌲Collage Materials


⌲Water Cups

⌲Sprayer Bottles

⌲Drawing Paper


⌲Collage Medium

In addition, I will bring a large assortment of mixed-media art supplies for you to try, including:

⌲Texture Tools

⌲Watersoluble Pencils

⌲Art Pens

⌲Paint Markers


⌲Stamps, Stencils, Sandpapers


⌲And more!