Abbey Art Works hosts weekend retreat with Christian Life Center

Abbey Art Works, located on the beautiful grounds of Saint Joseph Abbey announces its lineup of workshops for the spring, including an inaugural weekend artist retreat, which will allow participants the opportunity to stay in the newly renovated Christian Life Center.

The Shocking Truth About Color (What they never told you) – A weekend workshop and retreat during Mardi Gras weekend, February 9-11, 2018. Lyn Taylor, instructor and Abbey Art Works artist-in-residence, will lead artists in exercises that will explore the Abbey Art Works Study Palette, the concept of “color space” and the excitement of mixing color. The fee for the entire weekend, including room and board is $425. (To register for this workshop and to reserve space in the retreat center, call 985-789-6889 or e-mail Although the 2016 flood delayed the intended renovations of the Christian Life Center's bedroom wings, now the whole retreat house is nearing completion of an overhaul, which will include new larger bedrooms. Each bedroom will have a queen-size bed and pullout sleeper sofa, a larger private bathroom and an independent air conditioning/heating thermostat.

Give the gift of art this holiday season. Abbey Art Works gift certificates are available. Call 985-789-6889 or visit for more information. Also, through December 31st this year only, anyone interested in becoming a charter member of the Guild of St. Luke, an outreach of Abbey Art Works, has the opportunity to sign up and pay their dues over five years. Click for more info. The Guild of St. Luke is open to all, including arts organizations, professional artists, teachers, working artists, patrons, collectors, scholars, historians, and philosophers.

Other workshops this spring include:

Drawing & Painting People from Photos with Alan Flattmann - ($180 per month; enrollment limited to 16 students) Join nationally renowned artist and teacher Alan Flattmann who will lead students through basic guidelines for drawing and painting portraits and figures with pastels. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., January 9 through March 6, 2018. For more information, contact Flattmann at 985-809-6332 or

Introduction to Leonardo’s Legacy: Painting, Science, and the Life of the Soul – ($400) This workshop takes place Thursday, January 11 through March 1, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This 8-week session (three hours a week) is required for all students who wish to go on to study with Lyn Taylor.

Painting from the Soul - ($360) This workshop with Louisiana artist Billie Bourgeois takes place Mondays beginning January 22 through February 19, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Working with a variety of mediums, artists will enjoy the “dance” of mark making during this workshop, observing, and responding until they achieve images that feel whole and complete. Bourgeois’ workshops are playful, fun, and offer new insights into the depths of each artist’s own visual vocabulary. Born in New Orleans and raised in South Louisiana, nature is a big part of Bourgeois’ intuition. The Mississippi River, the marshes and swamps, fish, crawfish, shrimp, leaf patterns and textures, floral abundance, dripping humidity and intense heat play a major role in her art. E-mail Bourgeois at for details.

The Art of Illumination - ($200) This workshop on manuscript illumination takes place Friday, Feb. 23 through Sunday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Manuscript illumination is the process in which text is accompanied by decorations and illustrations. Also led by Taylor, she will lead participants through the process of manuscript painting and gold leaf on paper. Artists of all skill levels will learn how to produce their own symbolic life journey page. No experience necessary. Beginners are welcome!

Painting the Night Watercolor Workshop - ($450) with Internationally recognized Master Watercolorist Paul Jackson, AWS NWS. April 23-26, 2018. Accommodations in the retreat center are also available for this workshop at a rate of $112.50 per night. Contact Jane Brown at (985) 373-2305 or for reservations and registration for this event. Honored by the American Watercolor Society with signature membership at the age of 30, Jackson is also a Signature member of the National Watercolor Society and an Honor Member of the Missouri Watercolor Society. He was the Grand Prize winner in the Paint Your Way to Paris competition and has been featured as one of the Master Painters of the World in International Artists Magazine. Jackson’s artwork has been on the cover of The Artist’s Magazine four times. Other media featuring Jackson’s work include American Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Magic, Watercolor Artist, Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NPR, CBS News, The Baltimore Sun, The St Louis Post, The Kansas City Star, and TWA’s Ambassador Magazine.

For more information on any of these events, contact Abbey Art Works at 985-789-6889 or visit