Creating Art From Natural Reference with Lisa Vanin

Paintings and Photography by Lisa Vanin
Paintings and Photography by Lisa Vanin


July 13th-15 2018, join artist Lisa Vanin for a weekend retreat at the beautiful Moonshadow cabin to learn how to use natural reference to enrich your practice. This workshop invites guests of any creative or non-creative background to explore nature, collect reference, and create works of art based on their own unique inspirations and experience. Lisa works closely with her personally collected database of reference, to create art pieces in different medias and techniques. This practice continues to add substance and the richness of understanding the natural world to her stylized work. Over the course of the weekend, guests will be encouraged to explore the land to collect objects and images to later use as inspiration for their own art pieces. Lisa will introduce the group to linocut, sculpey molding, and painting techniques that can be used during the stay to create works. Connect with nature through art and open yourself up to the inspiration that you will surely encounter at Moonshadow Cabin


Lisa Vanin Sculpey
Sculpey pieces by Lisa Vanin


Linocut and Prints by Lisa Vanin
Linocut and Prints by Lisa Vanin

Meals for the retreat are centred on local, seasonal food and sometimes include foraged items gathered on our own trails. The region offers us a bounty of small-farmed goods which inspire beautiful, nourishing meals, tailored to individual preferences and needs.


Retreat breakfast. Eggs poached in spiced tomato stew.
Retreat supper. Whitefish with kohlrabi and corn.
Retreat supper. Whitefish with kohlrabi and corn.

Register now for Creating Art From Natural Reference with Lia Vanin.

Friday July 13th – check in as of noon
Sunday July 15th – check out 3pm

All meals provided.
All materials provided.

Choice of room/bed. Learn more about the cabin here.

$350.00 CAD

2017 Summer Retreat

You may wish to sign up for the waitlist in the event of cancellations.

Join us for our summer retreat: a late-August weekend that energizes and celebrates your creative spirit.

Check in: Friday, August 25th 4 pm.
Check out: Sunday, August 27th 11 am.

Bring your own project. Cultivate inspiration here.
Your choice of room. Learn more about the cabin here.
Meals provided.

Lucky for us, this weekend retreat features a workshop by award-winning Toronto-based illustrator, Lisa Vanin.

Meaningful Reference:
Identifying, Collecting and Using Your Own References from Nature
This weekend workshop presents an opportunity for creative people to connect with nature and improve their craft by adding a higher level of understanding of plant life. Illustrator and foraging hobbyist Lisa Vanin, will lead you through her process of collecting natural references to be used in creating art. There will be woodland and lakeside hikes exploring the terrain near Moonshadow Cabin. We will identify and learn about wild medicinal and edible plants and fungi. References will be collected by sketching or painting in the field, photography, and gathering certain plants. After hiking, Lisa will teach a painting workshop to share how she works closely with her own collected references. This workshop is open to creative people of any skill level or background. No painting skills are required, just a love for nature. You may use the hiking trips and apply those experiences to any type of art you like. By creating your own library of reference, you can improve your craft, giving a greater meaning to the smallest subjects, such as a plants in the background of a painting. 

If you are interested in bartering for all or part of your time at the retreat, please check our bartering wish-list and tell us about your offer in the Questions and Comments section on the registration form.

Get on the waitlist