When Okanagan artist and art instructor Kindrie Grove heads to Spain in May, she will be joining a very select list of artists.
Grove has been chosen to lead an art workshop in Andalusia, part of a series of culinary and art workshop vacations that have featured the likes of Nick Bantock, the author of the Griffin and Sabine series, who had recently had a major retrospective at the Penticton Art Gallery.
“Nick has gone every year,” said Tina Baird, who handles public relations for A Flavour of Spain out of her Naramata home.
“I had suggested and recommended Kindrie to Mike and Hilary Powell,” she said. The Powells started the operation in 2004 as a way to satisfy their love of Spain, art and food (Mike is a chef who owned a restaurant in Spain for many years.)
“They really liked her work. They really take high-calibre artists over … everything they do is very high quality,” said Baird. “It’s a very rich and personal experience, they are very hands-on when they are hosting.
While the Powells have been doing this sort of thing for a while now, Grove admits it will be a brand-new experience for her.
“This is the first one I have done. I had plans to organize one to Africa, which I am still going to do,” said Grove. “It’s something that I would really like to explore more, the combination of travel and creative workshops.”
However, Grove isn’t new to teaching art and has plans that won’t surprise her Penticton students, some of which have signed up to take the workshop, which takes place in a renovated mill in the Andalusian countryside.
“It’s self-directed so students work on their own projects, decide what materials they would like to bring. There is usually a morning meeting, critiques and discussions, then a bit of fundamental instruction,” said Grove. After a gourmet lunch, the students are left to work on their own for the afternoon.
“The only thing I am going to require is that people choose one subject matter, one body of work to work on. The chances of going deep enough, through the layers, increases when you are working with a single topic.”
There will also be some special experiences, one especially so for Grove, who is known for her paintings and sculptures of animals.
“We are going to be doing three excursion days and one of them is going to be to an Andalusian stable, so I will be able to see Andalusian horses first hand,” said Grove, adding that the students won’t be required to work with her favourite subject matter.