I have been at a number of retreats in my life. The best ones have felt like a sanctuary, a place where art and life are held in reverence.
Yes, I want to have fun, let loose, avoid being too serious when I make art, but I always hope to learn something ~ something that will help me to become a better artist, maybe even a better person. If that sounds rather high and vaunted, understand this: I went on a short holiday to the Maritimes, and found sanctuary THREE TIMES in just one week! I have already written about the Koplinka-Loehrs, and Doehler and Knox. Our next stay was with Margi and Brian Hennen.
I already knew I loved Margi, having been beguiled by her sharp wit and offbeat humor first hand. I had not met Brian, but soon experienced the fact that his brilliant, patient-centred medical career segued quite naturally into guest-centred hospitality (including some impressive piano playing).
Ted and I basked under the warmth of the close attention paid to us by Margi and Brian. Their “inquiring minds” bring out the best in people, who strive to be as fascinating as the Hennens seem to find them! We were very comfortable with their relaxed style of living ~ not to mention the fact that I could quite easily have lost myself for weeks in the phantasmagoria of Margi’s studio, where a collection of wonderful materials, books, dolls and other art pieces dazzled and inspired.
Whether walking along the beach by the Atlantic Ocean, sipping lattes at Starbucks, sampling cuisine at Halifax’s The Wooden Monkey, or discussing special needs and life philosophies, Brian and Margi were simply great company.
Believe it or not there was also a Louie’s. I came home with an extensive new wardrobe for $50.