RoseCrossing, Inc.

Arts on an Island

Trio of Stones Over the course of art history, there are moments when diverse groups of painters have gathered together. They painted, talked, drank, ate, laughed, loved, created, and discovered together. The times were tumultuous and sometimes impetuous. As times what they gave birth to evolved into movements like the impressionists, surrealists. Or they were the Glasgow Boys, the Canadian Group of Seven, or the Provincetown Printers. They were nestled in artists’ garrets, the streets of cities, a quiet harbor town, or shared the isolation of an island.

If for only one week, a group of willing participants join their diversity of skill and life experiences, and they are housed where the atmosphere nourishes the body and soul and something new is learned that enables a piece of art to be created – and if that inspiration has come from an interaction between land, beauty, and sky…well… then you have a one-week arts adventure on the Scottish island of Orkney with RoseCrossing.

It is hoped that in the future there will be an exchange of artistic inspiration across waters and land. Plans are afoot to bring along artists with unique skills to share, from Japanese woodblock printing and monoprinting to creating mandalas and learning a variety of art techniques from Orcadian artists like Jane Glue.

Orkney has, and continues to be, the island inspiration that has brought me so much artistic joy. Nestled in serene lodgings, traveling along winding single-track roads, surrounded by the sea and cries of the seabirds, sharing beauty and history, we have the opportunity to discover our own story through art.

Watercolor WhiteLine Woodblock

clouds and sky over green fields The minute you step onto the islands of Orkney, you will notice the clarity of air and beauty of the clouds. Orkney abounds in wildlife, history, and subject matter for art. Birds are aplenty and the air is filled with their sound. The sea will rush up and surprise you and the rainbows will entice you.

Seals will stare at you from the surrounding waters. The sky and its daily dance of clouds, sun, rainbows, and mist will constantly delight and challenge your experience. And when the sun casts its long shadows, the golden light will delight you like butterscotch sweetens you.

From Neolithic times, through those of the Picts and the Vikings, to the stories you will hear, the ruins you will investigate, and museums you will visit, you will be overwhelmed with inspiration. The glorious views of sea and land around Woodwick House will nourish and sustain your art as you look through the studio windows or wander around the grounds. Steeped in a landscape of standing stones and chambered cairns, swirling ocean waves and ever changing clouds, you will easily find plenty of photographic moments that you will want to use for your own artistic compositions. The first photographs you take will help you to create the designs to use as you learn, work, and grow throughout the week’s instruction .

Working in a serene studio, just steps away from your bedroom, I will teach you a unusual technique that is easily duplicated upon your return home. (AND you will take all the supplies needed home for they are included in the package price.) The method of printmaking we will explore is also known as the Provincetown Print. It was created in Provincetown, Massachusetts. One of the original developers of this technique was Blanche Lazzelle, who in 1919 was a resident at the historic "Byrdcliffe Arts Colony" (**see below) in Woodstock, New York.

whiteline woodblock Each print is individual and can take hours to complete – there are no editions. The white lines of the composition remain the same, but the colors will vary widely with each print. So it is a monoprint in color and a multiple print in composition. Each print will be as unique as the Orkney scenery which surrounds you.

This technique is one that engages all levels of learners. It is one that the novice can easily embrace and feel successful with. For the experienced artist, this technique offers the chance to recapture the joy of surprise, the thrill of the unexpected, the ability to respond to the moment that can often retreat as we grow and mature in our skill area.

This printing method ties together two parts of my life as an artist. I have had the unique opportunity of a lifetime of visits to Woodstock. My grandparents had a summer home there, and, more than thirty years ago, I helped my dad build a modest vacation home nestled on a high mountain ridge that I continue to enjoy today. Over the years I have taken many workshops at the Woodstock School or Art. Now I have connected my artistic and family history to the new friends I have made in Orkney and to the elemental nature of the island. So it is a wonderfully familiar thread that carries the beauty of the woods, the Hudson River valley, and mountains of the Catskills to the undulating and treeless landscape and seascape of Orkney.

In actual fact, choosing to come to Orkney and pursue the learning of a new technique will invigorate all of your artistic viewpoints, skills, and perhaps uncover sensitivities that the daily routine has hidden from your easy current reach, as it has mine. The week of art instruction blends with the cultural experience. To be inspired by a place you must know it. Becoming immersed in a different geographic location and learning something new can help the student to discover more about his or her own point of origin and home. In some ways, an experience away from home actually helps you find home, or, at the very least, to rearrange home. It is my honor to be the guide who helps you throughout this adventure.

The studio is open 24 hours a day! Instruction is provided 4 hours a day. This is your week for art and cultural immersion. You will quickly discover how much Orkney offers you. You will need the time to discover and savour it. Together, we will see the main sites and after dinner we will meet with local experts, but you may want to see more of the two towns, their museums, their winding stone paved streets, the shopping, or you may want to walk along the cliffs and spot your first puffin. It is also possible to walk to the ferry to neighboring Rousay to see its Neolithic sites. There is a nearby bus to the county town – Kirkwall – and we have made special discounted arrangements with a local taxi company to meet all your other travel needs. I will remain in the studio each of four days (one afternoon is our parting luncheon, tour of the Italian Chapel and tour of an artist’s studio). So you have the opportunity of 4 full days of painting alongside the instructor. It is your choice how much art and other island experiences you wish to partake in.

Jeanne teaching To complete your experience, with each print you complete, you have the chance to see it finished in a mat and frame. Once done, you can choose to leave a copy behind for the annual end-of-season art exhibition held in the studio at Woodwick House, late August. This event is very popular with year-round residents as well as European visitors and sales have been made. I haven’t found another art workshop where you can be inspired, learn a new technique, master it, frame it, display it, and then exhibit it!

If you have come as far along in the website as to reading this…well, you probably are ready and willing and hopefully able to seize the opportunity! Please call or email for prices and discounts. I do have a very colorful and comprehensive information packet to mail to you if you are really interested for this year. Please contact me with your home address and phone number. Do surf this website more for additional help with how to get here, other things to see in Scotland, comments from past participants, and to see my photos of the landscapes that will excite you! It really is my greatest hope to meet and paint with you on Orkney.

**Byrdcliffe is Woodstock, NY’s premier arts colony founded by Ralph Whitehead of Britain, in 1903. For more information on Byrdcliffe, a craft community developed from the British ideals of Ruskin and Blake: The nearby island of Hoy is where the most northerly British Arts and Crafts house, designed by William Letherby with original William Morris textiles, is located. For more information on year long art classes with Pia Oste-Alexander and Staats Fasoldt at the historic Woodstock School of Art, NY:

About the Instructor and Artist

Jeanne Bouza Rose

artist at work As a teacher for the past 29 years in public education, I have learned to address and meet the needs of diverse learners of all ages. I view life as a constant learning experience that comes not only with answers, but with more questions and thus even greater possibilities! I continue to work on transferring my fascination of the standing stones of Orkney into different media. At present, I am still working on a large welded steel sculpture under the direction of sculptor David Haussler.

It was with great surprise and wonder that I was called for an interview for an article in THE ARTIST’S SKETCHBOOK magazine. It seemed the April 2006 issue was focused on "Destination Inspiration." When writer Amanda Metcalf called to arrange for the interview and she told me of the theme, all I could say was " Well, you certainly found the right person! I can’t get the images of Orkney out of my art!" And just in the final minutes before leaving on my first set of Orkney Art Adventures in 2005, I received a phone call from AMERICAN STYLE magazine asking if they could feature my program in the travel section. I returned from my 9 weeks on Orkney to find the October 2005 issue of AMERICAN STYLE with Orkney in it! Closer to home, MANHATTAN LIVING also wrote a spotlight on the adventure.

My work with the founding and developing of RoseCrossing, Inc and the Orkney Arts Adventures has also been been news in numerous other publications including the FOUR CORNERS magazine in Sedona, Arizona, the Bucks County Herald, and the Levittown Tribune!

whiteline woodbock My artwork has been shown in the Woodstock and Hudson Valley areas of New York, as well as other galleries and universities on Long Island. Recently, 20 of my larger paintings were displayed for three months in Sedona, Arizona.

I have been very lucky and I continue to feel lucky that others will be inspired by Orkney and the notion of traveling to it. I am so grateful to be sharing it with other like-minded individuals.


 The Orcadian Thursday, September 8th, 2005 [94 kB]
 Amerian Style October 2005 [34 Mb]
 The Orcadian Thursday, February 17th, 2005 [165 kB]
 Bucks County Herald February 16, 2006 [4.6 Mb]
 Artist’s Sketchbook April 2006 [14 Mb]

© 2007 Jeanne Bouza Rose