I first heard about Squam Art Workshops way back in 2009. I had recently started my (old) blog and Holly wrote about this magical retreat where women were gathering — there were photos of cabins huddled around a New Hampshire lake, and founder Elizabeth Duvivier described the accommodations as being like "champagne in a tin cup." Perfect.
Flash forward a few years, and I happened to meet Elizabeth at a party at our mutual friend Christine's house, and I found out she lived in the same neighborhood! Small world indeed. But still, I didn't get it together to go to Squam.
I always keep an eye out for the workshop lineup — many of my favorite makers (like Ann Wood) and creatives have taught there over the years — and I gulp down recap posts after the events like manna. Yet I've never made it to the retreat.
It's a big commitment, both of time away from family (not always easy to justify when children are small) and money (same). But perhaps even more than that, it's a declaration of creative freedom. It's this thing that you get to go and do, just because you want to. And doesn't that seem like the ultimate luxury — doing something with the sole purpose of nourishing your creative soul?
The gatherings are now being coordinated by Meg Fussell, and they look as lovely as ever. In fact, the fall retreat is happening soon, and the combination of a New England fall and that much creative energy focused in one spot has me pining for this singular experience more than ever.
I know that other creative retreats exist, some in far-flung and exotic places, but my heart seems to live in the woods, so Squam feels like the place for me. Maybe one of these days I'll make it there ... maybe you'll be there, too.