Tag Archives: Pam Goode

All About Costa Rica

8 Oct

Mosaic Retreat: Costa Rica
Flora & Fauna
Carol Shelkin and Pam Goode
November 23 – December 1, 2013

The smallish country of Costa Rica is BIG with heart-thumping nouns: Rainforest; Jungle; Puma; Volcano; Rapids; Blue Morpho; Cloud Forest; Waterfalls; Toucan; Lava, Strangler Fig.

The numbers-story goes like this:

  • 19,700 square miles, ranking 129th in landmass worldwide, and, closer to home, about the size of West Virginia or Denmark.
  • 801 miles of curvy coastline on the Pacific; 132 miles fronting the Caribbean, much of which is inaccessible by car.
  • Elevation ranges from 0 – 12,530 feet above sea level
  • 12 distinct ecosystems
  • Within only .25% of the world’s landmass, Costa Rica hosts 5% of the world’s biodiversity
  • Constitutionally abolished its army in 1949, and is one of the world’s 22 longterm stable democracies
  • In 2012 Costa Rica is scheduled to become the first country on the continent of the Americas to ban recreational hunting
  • In 2007, the government announced an initiative to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021
  • Literacy rate of 94.9%
  • 11 degrees North of the Equator, with a tropical climate determined by elevation

Impressive? Absolutely! But numbers pale up against the visual stimulation of this land filled with gentle people and wild nature. Below is a little gallery of photos from my trips to Costa Rica over the last 13 years. Click on the first image to flip through paradise in larger format.

Get up close with us in Costa Rica — what better place to capture the splendor of quirky and art-inspiring  flora and fauna?

Read Retreat Description here.

Read about Pam’s Virgin Trip to Costa Rica here.

Contact us here.

Itinerary: Orvieto, Italy Mosaic Retreat

3 Oct

What, When & Where!

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Arrive in Orvieto, Settle in, Welcome Dinner

Monday, May 13
Orvieto from the Inside Out
We’ll start our journey getting up close and personal with our host city. We’ll tour the convent, walk into town to get our bearings, get a cappuccino fix in one of the many cafes, tour the majestic Cathedral with a local guide, and pinpoint the best shopping and strolling streets for later excursions. Back at the convent, we’ll enjoy lunch made by the resident nuns, followed by an olive oil and wine tasting to get our palates ready for Italy. In the afternoon, we’ll take an historical look at Orvieto from the Etruscans onward — a 3,000 year journey, give or take a decade.
Evening Studio Time
To get started, we’ll talk a bit about materials and technique; suggestions for photography and scavenging during our daily outings; lecture/demo on materials and tools; lecture/demo on texture. Dinner on your own or with the group; studio will be available for those who wish to get started.

Tuesday, May 14
Morning Studio Time
After breakfast we’ll jump right in with a talk about light in mosaic, followed by a morning walk and photography session. Back in the studio, we’ll demo converting photographs to designs suitable for mosaic, and begin preparing designs for the week. We’ll go over details for working in miniature and jump right in, with one-on-one time.
Afternoon Exploration: Cooking Class
This afternoon we’ll visit with a James Beard chef and prepare our dinner at his restaurant. A little cappuccino, a little wine, a lot of tasting all culminating in a typical Italian dinner compliments of our classmates and the restaurant staff. Always a highlight! After dinner, feel free to stroll a bit, hit the studio, or wind down at the convent.

Wednesday, May 15
Morning Studio Time
We’ll start with a lecture demo on choosing materials for your specific designs, followed by on-your-own and one-on-one time with Pam. Students are welcome to work in the studio or take their very portable works-in-progress to the garden, city wall, or a quiet spot in town.
Afternoon Exploration: Ancient Orvieto
Created especially for our workshop, we’ll spend this afternoon touring the Roman mosaics beneath At. Andrea Church, followed by a tour of the ancient Etruscan caves beneath Orvieto. Dinner on your own and studio time if desired.

Thursday, May 16
Morning Exploration: Market Day!
We’ll visit the weekly market after breakfast, and pick out the ingredients for a fresh fresh fresh picnic lunch.
Morning Studio Time
Walking back from the market, we’ll stop for cappuccino and talk about one of the most important topics in art: putting SOUL into your work. At the studio we’ll continue working or begin new pieces. And since there’s no better inspiration than the brilliance of fresh produce, we’ll talk about Color!
Afternoon Exploration: Orvieto Wines
An “off the rock” excursion to a local vineyard, where we’ll have learn about the wine-making process, followed by a sampling. Dinner on your own if you have room, and as always, studio time if you wish.

Friday, May 17
Studio Time
Pleine Air work as a group or on your own, adding finishing touches. Free time in Orvieto as desired.
Early Evening Reception
Student Show and Share Time followed by group dinner.

Saturday, May 18
Depart Orvieto for more on-your-own adventures!

*Workshop Notes: The Mosaic Workshop portion of this retreat may be used as a workshop as schedulued or as personal art retreat time at the student’s discretion. Students are welcome to use the studio on their own schedule and work as much or as little as they wish; sessions are not mandatory. Students also have the option of working entirely independently, but are always entitled to one-on-one time with the instructor as desired. Program cost remains the same whether used as a group workshop or private work art retreat time. Workshop is suitable for all levels and one-on-one time will be tailored to your experience, preferred materials, and mosaic style.

*Program Notes for Travel Companions: Our hosts Adventures in Italy provide a reduced-cost program for travel companions sharing your room but not participating in the mosaic workshop. Discover Orvieto includes all excursions and activities of the group, including meals outlined above. Information on Discover Orvieto is here.

For more information or clarification on any details, just email pamgoode@earthlink.net.

All About Orvieto, Italy

2 Oct
Mosaic Retreat Orvieto, Italy 2013

Orvieto, Italy

There’s something about a hilltop village that makes the heart sing. Maybe it’s the isolation, the close-to-the-clouds-ness, dreams of castle life, or simply the striking beauty of ancient stone structures standing tall against a pristine sky. Whatever chords are being plucked in our hearts, we all want to climb that hill and walk through those cobbled streets. Or maybe it’s just me . . . .

Mosaic Art Retreats Orvieto Italy, 2013

Etruscan Caves, Orvieto

Considered one of the most picturesque villages in Italy, Orvieto is located in luscious Umbria, replete with verdant valleys and minus the touristy overload of Tuscany. Just a bit over an hour from Rome, Orvieto has the history with less of the bustle. Populated since Etruscan times (beginning in Italy around 800 BC), the town sits on a perch of volcanic tufa built over a labyrinth of Etruscan caves, tunnels, and tombs, yielding one of the most dramatic sites in Europe.

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto, Italy 20123

Orvieto Lane

With brilliant views over the 2000-year old walls across the surrounding countryside, Orvieto is accessible by funicular (built in 1888 and powered for almost 100 years by tanks of water beneath each car; fully refurbished in 1990). Sited 700 feet above the surrounding areas and boasting a measly 6500 inhabitants, Orvieto is less than a mile long and a half-mile wide, with a pedestrian-only city center. Think morning strolls with cappuccino and the sound of Duomo bells ringing the hour.

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto, Italy 2013

Orvieto Vineyards

Orvieto is renowned for the production of dry white wines under the DOC Orvieto and Orvieto Classico, as well as a number of reds sold under the DOC Rosso Orvietano. We’ll be visiting one of the Orvieto Classico vineyards, complete with the original house dating back to 1300. And of course, there WILL be wine tasting!

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto Italy 2013 Accommodations

Our Convent B&B with Valley Views

Accommodations for the Mosaic Art Retreat in Orvieto are at the lovely San Lodovico Convent B&B with updated rooms and private baths alongside 14th and 15th century frescoes and lovely gardens. Built along the original city walls, bedroom views span the valley below.

Mosaic Art Retreats, Orvieto Italy 2013

Duomo Column

And speaking of the fabled Duomo, it’s a show-stopper. Commissioned by Pope Urban IV, construction of the 14th century structure lasted almost three centuries, and includes elements of both Romanesque and Gothic design. The facade contains decorative elements of mosaic, stained glass, and sculpture, and creates a breathtaking sight when the sun strikes the golden face. Our time in Orvieto will include a private mosaic tour of the cathedral, considered one of the finest achievements of the Late Middle Ages.

For an overview of the Mosaic Art Retreat in Orvieto, click here.

For a full itinerary, click here.

Get Out

30 Sep

One of the biggest problems I have when it comes to creating is getting OUT of my own head. Schedules, an ever-expanding To Do list with far too few check marks, voices reminding me of imminent emergencies that always take precedence over creative time (sigh . . . I can’t finish that book/painting/quilt/journal when this toaster clearly needs washing!) and day-to-day necessities (food and the occasional shower) crowd my brain and pull a veil of shetland wool over any creative urges that long to see the light of day.

My solution to getting out of my own repetitious agenda is to get OUT of my head by getting OUT of my house. Even walking to the mailbox on the corner or driving for a spin through a few distant neighborhoods is enough to reset the gears and give my creative side a little voice. Oooh, look at the colors in that tree! Wow, I had no idea this park was here. I wonder where this path leads? The sound of the birds replaces my routine inner humming; the curve of a petal resets my spacial imaginings; a pop of chartreuse refracts possibilities through my eyes.

But the best recharging I do is through travel. I long to get far enough away from myself and my neural travel paths to reset everything inside me. I love wandering through a country with new eyes, particularly when my grasp of the language is timid enough to keep me mostly silent and watching, alert for nuances and glimpses into other cultures, other ways of being. Exploring new places is always fun, but the complete makeover of SAME OLD ME is life-giving. Suddenly everything is new — unfamiliar recipes tickle the palate; regional patterns and colors excite and inspire; vistas across the Italian countryside parallel a sense of endless possibility; cultural curiosities encourage you to go deep inside to pull your own mysteries into your art.

Grab a backpack or the Louis Vuittons, book that ticket, and get out. Dive into the unfamiliar and let it envelop and transform you. I guarantee you two things: a new outlook and a heap of inspiration.

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