The two residential workshops center on drawing from the diverse geology and flora of the region, the 'canyon, sage, and sky' of Northern New Mexico, and are geared toward practicing visual artists and scholars. Both workshops combine field excursions, tutorials, and time to draw, read, wander and think within the environment. Drawing here is understood to be an act of discovery, pleasure and invention. An application is required to be considered for participation.
In 2024, there are two different workshop structures and themes. One is a retreat geared toward artists wanting a combination of field excursions and meditative time to immerse in drawing, the second is for artists, scholars and educators keen to engage with the idea of drawing as research, whether in studio or the field.
1) Cañon del Rio Immersive Drawing Retreat - May 23 - 29, 2024
This is a mindful drawing retreat for artists looking to experiment with mark and image, create with natural materials, and connect to the experience of drawing within the stunning landscape around Jemez Springs. The retreat creates the quiet mental space to sit, sense, and create with river, stones, and sky, find good ground, and come away with a body of original artwork directly inspired by place. Participants have structured times to talk individually with Sara about their practice, venture into the field together, and engage with natural materials through guided tutorials and collaborative drawing, as desired. This session is for artists who are comfortable working independently, and are looking to deepen and expand their image-making practice.
READ MORE about the immersive retreat
2) NM Drawing Research Workshop - May 31 - June 6, 2024
For artists, scholars and educators interested in drawing research, this is a hands-on investigation of material-driven, embodied, and pansensory modes of drawing. The session combines field excursions, drawing experiments, material demonstrations and conversations, with ample time to draw independently in dialogue with the natural environment and develop projects of personal interest. Each participant will have the opportunity to share insights from their individual practice as we engage with drawing in the expanded field, spanning disciplines and processes.
READ MORE about the drawing research workshop
Both sessions begin at Cañon del Rio on the evening of the first day, and conclude the morning of the final day, for five and a half days of programming.
The price of $3450 per session includes tuition, six nights of private on-site lodging, all meals, a wide selection of art materials, and transportation to field sites.
Geological Drawing Primer - February 24, 2024
Offered as an alternative to the residential experience, the online workshops offer participants the opportunity to draw together remotely, as we look at geological specimens hand-selected and sent to you along with all the art supplies you'll need for the session. This is a chance to explore a range of drawing techniques and processes, guided by inspiring handheld landscapes.
We venture to field sites chosen for their beauty, natural history, and relative isolation. Depending on the program and weather, we set up within ancient badlands, a petrified swamp forest, a red rock canyon, or on a sage-covered mesa with sweeping views of rugged terrain. Here, we sketch, collect images and fragments, and hunt for pigmented clays.
Sara has created artwork in the region for the past several years, locating sites that offer the chance to wander deeply, finding points of natural inspiration in unexpected places.
Some walking over uneven terrain is necessary, for distances up to two miles.
The workshop site is our space for independent artmaking and drawing tutorials, including:
Studio work is taken at your own pace, focusing on what interests and inspires. There are many sheltered spaces at the ranch to enjoy working in relative solitude, with panoramic views of the surrounding mesas. Constructive feedback is offered as desired, and silence is respected.
Participants will receive a material kit that includes a range of mediums, papers, and tools. A list of supplemental materials will be provided.
There are several occasions to talk about your work. Each evening, we gather to share the day’s successes and insights over a relaxed dinner. In addition to casual conversation, there is structured time for each participant to share images and discuss their ongoing studio practice and professional interests. The workshop offers an extended opportunity to connect with like-minded practitioners and colleagues.
There seemed to be a perfect balance between focused, individual work time and reflection, and exchange of ideas and critique with others. I enjoyed not only discussions about materials and techniques, but also dialogue about teaching and the sharing of artist opportunities and career strategies. I was encouraged by others viewing my work but was also presented with thought provoking questions and suggestions that helped me expand as an artist.
- M. Robinson, printmaker and professor
The residential workshops are geared toward practicing visual artists and scholars drawing experience. Online workshops do not require an application.
Application review happens on a rolling basis, and will continue until spots are filled. We maintain a waiting list in case of a cancellation.
Each session holds a maximum of six participants, and requires a minimum of five.
As there is light hiking at high altitude (7-9000'),
a basic level of physical fitness is necessary.
Please complete the application form below; there is no application fee.