Cultured Creativity

All of these workshops will be running simultaneously….  most will meet in the mornings, have time in the afternoons for swimming, relaxing, working on your project….  another short meeting perhaps late in the afternoon to touch bases…. and then an informal all-camp meeting in the evenings, to share what’s been going on. This session will start on the evening of Wednesday, October 1st and run until around noon on Sunday, October 5th.


Total Cost for the 4 night stay/adult:  $575, which includes, lodging, food & instruction.  As a new endeavor, financial aid/scholarships available for this year. or 707-459-5439

Syllabus will be sent upon registration
To Register:



margoplants20143Come spend some time in the gardens and wildwood exploring the benefits of our herbal friends and the healing art of herbal medicine.

We’ll identify and harvest, draw and write, make some teas, medicated oil, some salve, maybe a cream, and an extract. We’ll dream a bit with the plants, take in their aroma, texture and taste and ask about what they freely offer us.

Go home with some know-how and some plant medicine, refreshed by time spent close to nature, and nourished by being at Emandal.margo_blueshirt

Guide and herbalist: Margo Cooper, founder and former owner of Sunlight Botanicals, and 60 years ago, on the Emandal summer staff!

Bring: Your own sketch or blank book, and whatever writing, drawing, painting tools you like. A book or pad of watercolor paper works well. You choose the size! Small library will be available, and materials will be provided.


Accessing the Story Within

Writing with Susan Bono


Susan Bono smallerEvery story you’ll ever write takes place in a specific geographical location, alive with its own unique atmosphere. It’s one of those simple truths that a change of scene can help you get in touch with. Whether you’re writing family stories, memoir, poetry, or fiction, time spent absorbing the delights of Emandal will help you access your memory and imagination more completely. Consider this: being around other writers is a great way to conquer procrastination. Plus, you’ll have plenty of juice for your computer, but only limited access to distracting email and Internet!

During our morning craft and process sessions, we’ll explore the power of place. Afterwards, there’s ample time to write and enjoy the pleasures of summer camp! Whatever your skill level, you’ll experience the inspiration, community, and nurturing feedback you’ll need to keep writing once you return home. Give yourself time to pursue a dream or let a dream begin!

Susan Bono has facilitated writers of all skill levels as a high school English teacher, writing instructor, and freelance editor in workshops, critique sessions, and free-writing groups for more than 25 years. She’s been editing and publishing Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative since 1995, and presented workshops in places such as Point Reyes National Seashore, Idyllwild’s Spirit Mountain, and Istanbul, Turkey. She is thrilled to be returning to Emandal.

Look for more information here:  Susan Bono

Photography with Marc Monaghan

Christmas Time 2013 088 Marc smallerDSC_8057Instead of just taking a picture, this workshop will focus on how to develop a story, and then capture just the right photo to DSC_8133express what you want to say.  You will explore the farm on a river with a camera, and create a photo essay using Emandal as a source of inspiration.  Although all photographers are welcome, basic knowledge of your own computers photo program and your own laptop are essential.

DSC_8335Monaghan has been studying photography for years, and is sought after as a documentarian by numerous organizations, magazines and newspapers.  His website:  Marc Monaghan


Mosaic with Elizabeth Raybee

Last summer, I asked Elizabeth to come for our former staff family camp in July, to create a mosaic on a new wall we built around our out-door grill.  I wanted the people here to figure out what Emandal was to them… Elizabeth was wonderful at drawing out people’s ideas… as well as drawing out on paper what we could put on the wall.  Although we didn’t finish then, many folks worked diligently during our ArtStay in August, and then one more time in September.  A glorious wall now enhances our out-door kitchen!  This October she’ll be working with you on your own projects.  mosaic with artist

Find her here:


Watercolor Nature Journaling with Kristin Meuser


My Watercolor Nature Journaling Workshops are a safe space where beginners and experienced journalers alike gain the skills to create pages that recall the experience of a day in nature. They are designed to help heal the art trauma that torments so many of us.
kristin-meuser-workshopI will show you how to mix colors using a very select and limited palette, followed by an exploration of drawing and painting techniques that quickly capture the subject. We continue by talking about how to call in and record our impressions of the environment, including time of day, weather, creature visitors, questions, prose and poetry. Finally, I will give you tips on how to arrange these elements on the page of your nature journal to create a lasting memory.
DSC_8630 leslie's journalI have created a nature journaling kit that you can take with you anywhere. It is so simple and compact that you can actually sketch and paint while walking. The cost is $55 and will be available at the Farm. It is recommended that you purchase this kit (unless you are one of my students from a prior workshop) so that we are all using the same materials. It includes a journal, a palette with 8 colors, a water brush (very important) and special pen/pencils in a compact pouch. If you are wedded to your own supplies, that’s ok too. In either case, portability is the key in keeping up a consistent journaling practice!
Kristin has lovingly painted Emandal as a family camper for over 20 years. She is experienced in landscape painting in many mediums including watercolor, pastels, oils and acrylics. Her love of the land is perhaps most deeply expressed in her nature journals. She lives in Petaluma, CA. Visit her website at



Baskets from Nature with Louisa Lenz Porterlouisa smaller

Having lived and worked here for several years, Louisa knows what plants grow well…. and which ones are best for basketry.  She’s been creating elegant, useful, sturdy baskets from things she collects from the countryside for years!  There will be time for procuring all the necessary pieces, as well as weaving them into a glorious carrying basket you’ll either be able to gift (a tradition if it’s your first basket) or use yourself for long into the future.

basket participants smallerlouisa's baskets



More Photos from our First Artstay, August, 2013


DSC_8630 leslie's journal