Wednesday, August 17, 2011



Students begin difficult "Goddess" sculpture

Artist and blogger, Judy Wise, made the statement in one of her posts, “Falling in love with students, encouraging them and encouraging myself to take whatever path beckons…” I agree with her completely. If it is possible to fall in love with a class of students, it happened here at Woodloft. I said from the beginning that I just knew very special women would gather here for my first Residential sculpture class. Sure enough, I was blessed to have four fun loving, metaphysically minded and talented students.

Excitement was in the air as I was getting ready for these special women. I do mean excitement. What they didn’t know was that just 3 weeks before the class, my swimming pool decided to give up the ghost. It collapsed with age. That meant I had to find contractors to rebuild my pool and the decking surrounding it. I knew it could be done and I knew it would be done but there were some tense moments. There was just no way I was going to bring my guests here without my swimming pool up and running!

Joe Light delivers sunflowers

Joe Light, whom I jokingly call, Mr. Flower Power, delivered gorgeous sunflowers for the guests to enjoy. Joe can be seen selling his flowers on the Roanoke City Market every Saturday.

Truffles from Chocolate Paper

I purchased chocolate truffle candy from Chocolate Paper, also found on the City Market

Granola breakfast in mason jars and fancy labels

Blogger, Sheree, from Raven Moon Magic sent me lovely stickers that she created and I decided to add them to the granola jars I stored in my refrigerator for breakfasts. Somewhere I read about how fun it would be to place granola with fruit and yogurt, into these jars.

I also quilted face totes to hold each students supplies.

Quilted "face" totes

Finally, the time had arrived. The first student to arrive was Trish who is shown below enjoying appetizers and a margarita.

Trish is greeted by a margarita upon arrival

Each student was given a welcoming caftan to wear for our evening activities, which included drumming with Rudy Saunders. We were amazed at his ability to drum for hours.

Beth adorned in caftan

Laura,of Art From Trails End wears caftan and Goddess Ceremonial Necklace

Rudy shares drumming and stories

On another night, we watched Practical Magic and signed PritiLisa's “Book of Shadows” before beginning our drumming ceremony.

Lisa's "Book of Shadows" placed on top of African drum

Close-up reads "Harm None"

We chanted as we drummed to "Ancient Mother" by Robert Gass, which was recommended by Julie from When the Spirit Moves Me.

Glorious food was served throughout the week by our chef, Stratton St. Clair, including homemade pizzas and I created the desserts to accompany the meals.

Stratton and Diane, a member of our Little Supper Club, prepared homemade pizzas

Diane works on getting pizzas ready for party

Shrimp for alfredo

My Le Gateau Sans Rival dessert

Chicken with forty cloves of garlic being prepared

No one said sculpting is easy and the first two days of the class had the students hopping. I guess I should have mentioned in my brochure that I’m a bit hyper and I definitely crack the whip.

Laura works on bas-relief

Beth works on her "selke" doll

Leslie works on her Goddess sculpture

Trish beginning Goddess sculpture

Beth with sculpture

Laura prepares clay for sculpture

It was not all work though. Ella, my water aerobic’s instructor made an appearance and taught a water class one afternoon.

Ella gives class a real work out.

Quiche luncheon served

Also, Patrick Beale arrived to give massages two nights. Beth was fortunate enough to have a 2 hour massage-it was the luck of the draw.

Patrick and Beth

Food lectures and techniques were given by the chef each lunchtime, including teaching how to make the components of his wonderful lasagna.

Stratton prepares his homemade lasagne noodles

Stratton demonstrates how to make homemade vanilla

Here we are at Roanoke's famous "Star" overlooking the valley

We traveled along the Blue Ridge Parkway with a stop at our Roanoke Star for a view of the valley. Our destination was to have lunch at a quaint vineyard and restaurant called Chateau Morrisette.

It was a beautiful day and we opted to have lunch on the large stone patio with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a bit windy but we didn’t expect the gust that came out of nowhere to lift our red table umbrella completely out of the center of the table. Somehow, when I saw the umbrella swoop up, up and up, I found myself reaching out for the umbrella with my left hand (it pays to be ambidextrous) I was pulled upward with the umbrella (my arm that is) to the point where I looked as though I might swoop over the table and out into the vast mountain range below! Somehow I stopped the umbrella. When the management heard of what happened, they offered all of us a bottle of wine, compliments of the restaurant. We laughed for a long time afterward about the possibility of me flying among the clouds, red umbrella overhead and songs of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” were heard being sung from my car all the way home from the vineyard.

Famous red umbrella

We toured the controversial Taubman Museum and had lunch at the Hotel Roanoke. The Taubman is a fantastic piece of architecture that many in our area felt was too modern to be placed amid the old historic buildings downtown. I personally love it.

Museum picture with H and C coffee and mountain as a backdrop

We were all pretty tired by the time Lisa Plummer arrived at the studio to give a class in SoulCollage. She was rather glad we were relaxed because she said in choosing the pictures we were to gather for our collages, we would be more inclined to be working in our subconscious minds rather then methodically building a collage. As it turned out, we pieced together some incredible artwork, that when read, brought much insight to each of the group.

Lisa Plummer, SoulCollage teacher

The class worked diligently all week and produced an amazing array of finished sculptures including tall standing Goddesses, bas-reliefs and soul dolls.

Laura's finished Goddess

Beth's Celtic Bas-relief journal

Beth's Selke Goddess

Laura's perky bas-relief journal

Laura with all three finished sculptures

Trish and yours truly displaying her finished sculptures

Here Beth and I show off finished work

As you might have guessed, I will be giving the class again next summer with a few twists. I am thinking of having someone model for us as we sculpt. I may also be having a class in glass face mosaics. If you are interested in having me send you brochures on the upcoming classes for next summer, please e-mail me and I’ll send you information as soon as I put it all together with dates and activities. I will also be posting information on my Residential Classes found on the top right hand side of my blog.

I’m posting lots more pictures of the class below for those of you who are interested in seeing all the details.

Thanks for your patience in this very long post. Sorry I haven’t been around to visiting my favorite posts but as you can tell, I’ve been very, very busy. I am hoping to get around to see everyone this week and catch up!

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  1. Cher...what an amazing adventure and journey for you and your students. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. Some amazing artwork but then look at the awesome teacher.


  2. Hi Cheryl! I have been waiting for your post and this entry compensated all my waiting. I love it. I enjoyed all the pictures and each story behind them. The sans rival are my favorite btw. It made me crave for one.

    You know Cheryl, I would love to be one of your students. I know I will learn and experience a lot from you. What's further great in your class are the activities you offer. Swimming, recreation, a movie, food and all those sharing I would love to experience them Cheryl. Thank you for this beautiful, meaningful and enjoyable post my friend!

  3. I must say it was a wonderful experience being one of the students of Cheryl's first residential class. Thank you so very much, Cheryl! It was an eye opener to how much work goes into all the marvelous faces that you create. I do not have the words to express the way this week long class has left me feeling! All I can say is that it went way too fast and I am looking forward to being your student again next summer. Thanks again. Trish

  4. What an incredible array of experiences! What a delightful time your students must have had! I really enjoyed the photos and could just imagine being there.

  5. Wow, thanks for sharing that! It looks like you all had a fabulous time!

  6. I knew as soon as I saw your comment this morning that you were back. What an amazing and marvelous week you and your students had. It was fantastic looking and I enjoyed every beautiful photo. You really took your students to an entire new level of workshop learning. I am super impressed. That is what personal and individual attention is all about. What an ideal week. And with massages, trips to museums, aerobic lesson drives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, and personalized meals, to boot!!

  7. WOW, Cheryl, It looks like you all had the most wonderful time. I Loved all the photos and the story of the umbrella had me laughing! LOL. What memories these gals will cherish for a lifetime. Gorgeous art you all created as well. I'm so happy your first class was such a success!!!!!! You really went all out to show them the time of their lives.
    Hugs Lynn
    oh and the food, YUM YUM!!!!!

  8. OMG! What a joyous looking crowd. Looks like a wonderful time was definitly in the air. Inspiration and creativity radiated through your course. I must save up to be a part of one of your sculpture adventures in the future. what a great way to awaken your inner Goddess!! Thank you Cherly for sharing this with us!!!!

  9. What a marvelous experience you provided for your fortunate students; you have thought of everything possible I do believe. Healing body, mind and spirit while making art with friends; I can think of nothing more beautiful. Thank you for a most inspiring post. xo

  10. Oh my goodness Cheryl, what a mind blowing post! The week sounds and looks as though it was absolutely wonderful - so many activities and treats! All the finished sculptures look great too. Congratulations on hosting a fantastic course and thanks for sharing it all on your blog too x

  11. Cheryl!!! so inspiring, I wish I could go and take a class with you one day. Goddesses and all the good friends energy.You are a great artist! And so your students. Blessed be !!!

  12. Your class looked amazingly fun and filled with so many activities and creativity. You did a wonderful job and I know they all enjoyed the entire time. The details you thought through were so special. Maybe I will get to take a class with you one day. Congrats of a successful class, and to many more. btw, the food looks sooo good!

  13. Wow, it looks like everyone had THE most amazing time - your attention to detail was out of this world. Well done Cheryl. You know I would have loved to have been there... maybe next year!

  14. wow. i can feel the love in each word and photograph - this must have been a dream come true. so wonderful!

  15. What a great experience, and, a great post! Thanks for being such a wondeful representative of Roanoke ;)

  16. What a grand time had by all. Love seeing all the sculpture pieces. The food looked scrumptious.

  17. WOW, what an amazing experience this week must have been. Your pictures are so inspiring and the food looks so delicious!!! Like others I was waiting for this post , you did not disappoint me!!!!!

  18. Dear Cheryl, I just knew this post would be a delightful one! First of all, I would just like to say how beautiful all of your students works of art turned out to be! Everyone was so talented ... I was so very enthralled with each Goddess Sculpture. WOW, each was a stunning work of poetry!

    The cuisine!!! OMG!!! You were running a five-star resort there! All of the fabulous amenities, personal touches, all set in your little piece of paradise. Sorry about the pool kaputing out on you right before the big event. Isn't that the way it goes at times?

    I just know, in my heart, this group of beautiful souls had the time of their lives and will remember this artful journey most fondly forever! You are a beautiful and generous soul, Cheryl ... how lovely of you to open your home, heart, and knowledge to others. And the same goes to all of those who helped you make this time so very special! You have a covey of very talented and unparalleled friends!

  19. I am so grateful to have been a part of this beautiful experience you put together for your students. It was wonderful meeting them. Your telling of the red umbrella story had me laughing again while reading and I can just see you floating along. :) Thank you for your generosity and hospitality.

  20. Oh wow Cheryl the photographs are amazing and all the projects look wonderful. You gave your students total luxury and am sure they appreciated it. Thank you for sharing, Annette x

  21. Congratulations, Lynne! You always were a beautiful, and free spirit, my friend. You have been richly blessed with so much talent and I'm not at all surprised that you would find such a uniquely clever way to share it. xox

  22. Wow Cheryl! What a wonderful time was had. Very nice class. If I was closer, I'd definitely take a class. Look at all that was involved. Very nice. Great photos.

  23. My oh my, Cheryl. Do you everything with such style and finesse. Beautiful photos. :)

  24. Wow!!! Cheryl, I would have loved this!!! What a glorious time everyone had. So thankful that you shared so many pics - incredible!!!

  25. The food! The fun! The Art! You ladies know how to party. Looks like an inspiring week with great results!

  26. WOW, what an amazingly beautiful time you all must have had! It makes me want to go even more badly next year! Thanks for sharing so many pictures of the art, food and other activities- I LOVED the umbrella story!

  27. Oh Cheryl! What a magical experience. Thanks for sharing with us; the ones that could not attend. xxoo

  28. Oh wow, what a week of love and sculpturing! I didn't know you gave these arty weeks. I'm slow to click,lol! Totally looked so enjoyable and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your love and gifts. Food looked awesome too.
    So much blessings to you!

  29. Am I jealous or am I jealous of these ladies! What a terrific post. I knew that your event would be wonderful, since you mentioned the idea when we first 'met' virtually - and, on this occasion I am very happy to say 'I told you so'! Many, many congratulations and here's to more of these wonderful weeks in the future. x

  30. Screaming Cheryl, what a dream !!!! First getting to have you as a teacher and I am speechless ... YOU COVERED EVERY DETAIL TO AMAZING greatness !!! The ladies must of had to pinch themselves, what a success. I would just daydream for a time with you like that. Can you share more of the Lisa book of shadow's, I love the cover.. wow.(where can you get it ) Thanks for sharing just so lovely and the art work created wowsa. I just adored the tote bag's you created too, so special and that is who you are .. Great posting and awesome you. What again a dreamy dream moment, thank you again. Love it all. Hugs Laura. xoxx

  31. What a wonderful post--the photos are great and I can see how much everyone was enjoying themselves--and oh that food!! Everything is perfect here.
    Love the finished pieces too.

  32. Oh my goodness how wonderful. Your photos helped me feel as though i was there with you all . Making memories on this lovely journey. Big Hugs!

  33. Cheryl loved reading your post...I just knew that the women attending would have the most amazing experience and boy oh boy, you all did. EVERYTHING looks amazing, sure the ladies will be talking about the time spent with you for ages....CONGRATULATIONS on your 1st residential, sure it won't be the last...who could resist the surroundings, the food, the ambience all topped up with great a great teacher, long may it continue and grow xxxx

  34. This post may have been a bit long -- However, that being said . . . . it's SUPERB!!! OMG, Cheryl! I've been a bit behind myself in my making my blog visits, and I've been waiting for you to post something about your class. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect THIS!!! Fabulous!!! I'm sooo happy that everything went well for you (and that you weren't swept away with the red umbrella! LOL!)

    I'll just bet that there were quite a few tears shed when everyone had to say their "goodbyes"!!! Besides the new friendships, lots of fabulous art was made too. Congratulations, and Well Done, My Dear Friend! ♥ Hugs, Terri xoxo

  35. This looks to have been an incredible adventure - well done Cheryl! I love the variety of extracurricular activities that went along. That food - yum..... Looks as if some lovely projects were completed.

  36. Catching up again as usual. Cheryl, your class and this post was incredible. What a great way to spend a vacation. I love how you lovingly took such special care with your students. The art that was turned out from this experience touches the soul. k


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