Art, Space, Nature: Notes from the island

by Kathleen Horne

I am thinking about our upcoming Dive In to Expressive Arts Workshop at Hollyhock, Cortes Island, B.C., – August 29 to September 2, 2018

Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.

Albert Einstein

What is it about a natural, pristine setting, that makes a perfect venue for entering into the deep exploratory creative space of Expressive Arts?

Cortes Island

As I sit, now, experiencing the shoreline, the cedar trees, the sparkling water and soft breeze, tuned in to all my senses, a single word arrives: Spacious. For me, to explore myself creatively, I need and want some space. What that means is the freedom to attend to myself,  witness my own shifting moods and emotions, attend to the needs of my body, notice my inhale and exhale. I may move more slowly, attuning myself to my own rhythm. I may rest more, take more walks and swims, pay attention to the moon, stars, and tides, and remember my dreams. I am likely to eat locally grown food, and stop on the road or path to have actual conversations with people in the course of my day.

Cortes Island trail

Another word arrives. Held. This word speaks of containment. It means soft, loving, yet firm boundaries around me, positioning me in a place where I really am free to explore. A container that doesn’t constrict me in any way, yet gently holds me so that I know I am safe, cared for, and valued. A container that I can trust, appreciate, and not have to think about. A container I can count on, as a gentle, loving, unobtrusive presence. A container within which I feel free.

Art work by Kathleen Horne

Spacious containment. The natural world holds me, offers me an intimate remembering of rhythms – cycle of the days, of the moon, of the tides, the seasons. By being with those rhythms, I feel the echo of them deep within me, attuning me to myself. Not the self I think I should be, but the self I am, in this moment. The natural world bathes me in expansiveness, vastness, possibility.

When I am in this spacious state, I am aware of, in tune with my own creativity. The images of the outside, literal world echo and resonate within me, bringing forth images of the imaginal world, sometimes surprising me as they show up on paper on canvas. I do not tune out the sounds of my environment – I invite them in to become a part of my ever evolving inner landscape.

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

Pablo Picasso

Cortes Island, in its wild, natural beauty, opens me up to my own creative possibilities and attunes me the natural cycles of the earth, and of myself. On August 29-September 2, Tamara Teeter Knapp and I will guide a creative immersion workshop here on Cortes, at Hollyhock.

I cannot imagine a more perfect container for a dive in to Expressive Arts. Hollyhock is operated and managed in harmony with the land and sea that it is built on. When you come to Hollyhock, you are held – gently and beautifully. The setting of forest and sea, the accommodations, the staff, the magnificent garden and the exquisite food – ah! – this is a place where you can fully experience the spaciousness and expansiveness of nature, while knowing there is a wonderfully crafted container that holds and supports you in your inner journey.

Maybe you will join us here. (we hope so :-))

Or, maybe you will be inspired to find yourself somewhere, in a beautiful, natural spot – a place where you can experience spaciousness. A place where you are held in beauty. Your creativity will flourish and you will be renewed.


Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. Hal Borland

More about our workshop here.

Registration and details here

Kathleen Horne and Tamara Teeter Knapp are two of the three co-founders of Expressive Arts Florida Institute, an internationally-acclaimed certificate training program in intermodal expressive arts.

Kathleen and Tamara at Hollyhock 2017

Questions? Email us at

Watch these 2 videos on the Hollyhock blog

Want an introduction to Hollyhock?

  • Watch the Welcome Video below!

Kathleen and Tamara, our wonderful facilitators/teachers/guides, created a welcoming, safe, and inclusive atmosphere for this amazing workshop. I quickly shed any reservations I had about participating in the various forms of creative, expressive activities. The moments we shared in their presence provided opportunities for learning, creating, and reflecting that I found to be transformational. This program surpassed my expectations and I feel so fortunate to have been a participant.  Carolyn S., 2017 workshop participant at Hollyhock

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