This is a sample from a previous year. Each of my participants will be emailed a current schedule of events the week of our workshop/retreat





My art workshop/retreat is 7 days/6 nights. My group pricing includes your room and board, your workshop fee and the use of the Arts Building as our base of operations! About 5 months before the beginning of our event our optional tours are booked. If you register after that time there is less chance of participating (these tours fill quickly)! Every effort will be made to insure you have the full Ghost Ranch experience! The schedule of events and lessons we plan depend to a degree on the generosity of our sponsor materials. 


The plan here is simply an example and will be updated as we approach the retreat dates. Each year Darla presents something a bit new, so if you are returning you will have something unexpected!

“Rainbow Agave” by Darla Bostick (mixed media demo at the Ranch 2011)


It is the privilege of artists to represent the world the way we see it. When I hold a paintbrush, a pencil or stick of pastel, I am able to travel to the limits of my imagination! The journey is a great experience. ~ Darla Bostick


Each day Darla will have a demonstration or two...and when requested, a few slide shows in the evening. During the week we plan to combine materials and every year there is something different! Below is a guideline for our activities however details may change depending upon the sponsors materials. A questionnaire will be sent to participants after they register to help direct the workshop with areas of interest.  Ghost Ranch is a marvelous place to explore. For those participants who desire time for hiking or horse-back riding, the schedule can easily accomodate those. Demos are worked around what the group wants! If you want a break for other activites, just let Darla know!


 This is the 2018 October Watermedia schedule...

2018 Ghost Ranch Schedule for Serving Meals:

Breakfast 7:30-8:30am         Lunch 12-1           Dinner 5:30-6:60


Daily: Darla will be available in the group activity room each evening should artists wish to spend additional time on art work in the conference room or just hang out and visit. Attendance is optional. Spouses/roommates not here for the workshop are welcome to come along for the evenings with their artistic “better half!” Also for those who wish, we can have happy hour either before dinner or after (everyone is welcome…we’ll have some wine and snacks.  Usually participants bring wine/snacks to contribute)! TOTALLY OPTIONAL


**There is only one meal you are not provided and that is the dinner when we are in Abiquiu Thursday. If you venture out and know ahead you will be missing a meal, please let Darla know ASAP. On the other hand, if you plan to eat at the Ranch rather that Abiquiu Inn on Thursday, you need to make plans for your meal at the office.


I have 5 lessons prepared. We may not each get through them all, but there is no pressure. I would rather you finish one or two to your satisfaction than go home with rushed failures.

Day 1: Welcome!

You are welcome to begin your week in the town of Abiquiu for lunch. Most of us are driving north from Santa Fe and as we pass through Abiquiu we will stop at Bode’s General Store for lunch before we continue north to the Ranch. Food is great, cheap and fast…and you can shop a little while you wait. Another option is to have lunch at the Ranch. (You will need to buy a meal at the office.)

1:30-2 pm:  We can’t check into rooms until 3, so everyone should come on back to the Art Building after lunch, choose a table and unload. Don’t settle in yet...we may have to rearrange tables! Meet in the Arts Room for introductions and talk about our week.

3-4pm: Pass out the room keys. Some have traveled a good distance to arrive and may feel like resting a bit to acclimate to the elevation. Today is very flexible. I want everyone rested and ready for the rest of the week, so if you need a nap after getting your room, that is fine! The non-spouses can go ahead and get things settled in your private room. For the artists…we will have an optional briefing on drawing and watercolor. Some of us are experienced, others are not. It never hurts to review!!

Our first demo! It isn’t watercolor, but your materials are in your goodie bag, so let’s use them!

5:30-6:30pm: Dinner

After dinner: Darla’s Welcome Reception for artists (and spouses) in Arts Building. Photography slide presentation.  Lorraine will give you the Ghost Ranch history. Afterwards you may retire to your room to relax for the evening or take a stroll on the grounds.

“Hollyhocks” at Tierra Amarillo, NM by Darla Bostick (demo from 2011 workshop)


With my paintbrush I soar across the paper as my ideas take flight. Shapes and colors, shadows and light all perform a magnificent dance in a trail of water and pigment. What joy! What freedom! Creation has begun! ~Darla Bostick


Day Two (Monday), 30 September: A Walk to Box Canyon and Demo is Watermedia on Paper Using Acrylic Lines

7:30-8:30am: Breakfast in the dining hall.

9 am: Non-arties are welcome for the walk. Meet at our group activity room in the Arts Building. Come with digital cameras in hand! We will capture some images to work with later as we visit the hogans to sketch/ journal /photograph these structures. The path is about ¾ mile each way with one short incline area and leads into Box Canyon and the small Ghost Ranch Lake. Participants have the option of staying on the trail to paint or sketch on site in this area, or returning to our group activity room to create. IF you decide to stay and pant, be sure to stay on the path and have someone with you. Take your Bockingford postcard-sized paper, or your watercolor pad, pitt pen, brush (or small water container) and QOR paint dots from your goodie bag.  Those who are not comfortable going on the walk can instead gather some images on the mail level of the Ranch with your camera. When we return to the studio we will learn how to use the printer and begin sketching plans for a painting. There should be time for the acrylic lines demo.

Noon: Lunch

Continue working on your lined water media piece

After Dinner: Optional happy hour and painting 

“Rainbow Cactus” by Darla Bostick (mixed media demo at 2011 workshop)


Day Three (Tuesday), 1 October: Today’s demo is Weaving with Watercolor & O’Keeffe Landscape Tour on the Ranch property

7:30-8:30am: Breakfast in the dining hall.

9 am: Meet at our group activity room in the Arts Building. You choose your subject matter today.  You have the choice to paint on site or inside in the activity room. Darla’s portable photo printer is available to print off images from digital cameras as reference. Before lunch we will complete half of our weaving with watercolor. This project works especially well with a simple subject matter or your first one…mine is a pumpkin I made up from my imagination.

Noon-1pm: Lunch

Immediately after lunch: Meet at the office for our Landscape Tour. Our tour begins at 1 but you should get to the office as soon as possible after lunch for a video presentation. BRING YOUR CAMERA! If you don’t go with us, get a head start on this:

When you return from the landscape tour, take about an hour to go through the museum on the Ranch grounds and get some photos or sketch some of the design motifs used by the native Americans of this region. You will be incorporating those in your artwork.

5:30-6:30 pm: Dinner/after dinner           

After returning to the Ranch the group activity room will be available or artists may choose to relax and unwind. Darla will be present for guidance/instruction. The evening paint time is always optional, but always fun! (Continue on weaving)


“Goodnight Sun" by Darla Bostick (mixed media)


Day Four (Wednesday), 3 October: Today’s Demo is Native American Design, Relief and Watercolor

Today is a free day in that there are no field trips. There is a lesson however. Since hiking is best done in the early hours, this is your chance to climb to new heights…or maybe you wanted to schedule horseback riding? The natural amphitheater is only 2 miles north on our highway and there are covered tables for plein aire painting. Many choices with your free time…perhaps visit the world famous paleontology museum at Ghost Ranch. Otherwise, we paint! Flexibility is the name of the game. Darla will need to know ahead of time what you plan to do and if you are not having lunch at the Ranch.

7:30-8:30am: Breakfast in the dining hall.

9 am: Meet at our group activity room in New Arts Building. During the morning hours we will continue on either of the 2 projects begun.

Noon-1 pm: Lunch

Today’s project uses the Native American designs and motifs with your ground material provided in your goodie bag.

5:30-6:30 pm: Dinner

After dinner the group activity room will be available. Darla will be present for guidance/instruction. 


Above: Rio Chama Colors by Darla Bostick


Day Five (Thursday), 4 October: I Can’t RESIST…well, maybe I can! Try batik on paper. Today is the Georgia O’Keeffe Home and Studio Tour in Abiquiu

7:30-8:30am: Breakfast in the dining hall.

9 am: Continue working on your current pieces or begin a new one after watching the demo on batik with water media on paper.

Noon-1pm: Lunch

Today we have the Georgia O'Keeffe Home and Studio Tour at 3:30pm but must be there by 3. We will leave the Ranch right after lunch. On our way to Abiquiu we stop at the Chama River overlook for photographs then head directly to Abiquiu. We'll also pop into the only grocery around for snacks and local wares. We may have time for shopping, visiting the Abiquiu Art Gallery upstairs and wandering. There is a new sculpture garden behind the Inn well worth a stroll. The flowers here are always beautiful.  For those choosing to not visit the O’Keeffe Home and Studio, you can explore the area with Darla down the road…it’s always a surprise adventure and this year we are investigating a very old mission church.

5:30-6:30 pm: Dinner/after dinner We will regroup at the Abiquiu Inn for dinner on the patio or in the group room.

As we return to the Ranch we will stop to investigate the old Ghost Ranch wagon and the log cabin (actually a prop for the movie, “City Slickers” filmed here). The Ranch vegetable garden is also full of surprises.  The group activity room will be available or artists may choose to relax and unwind. Darla will be present for guidance/instruction. The evening paint time is always optional, but always fun! 


“Ghost Ranch Skull” by Darla Bostick (mixed media demo at 2010 workshop)


Day Six (Friday), 5 October:  To Sum It All Up!

7:30-8:30am: Breakfast

After breakfast meet at the New Arts building and take turns visiting the Meditation Circle. Bring sketchbooks/journals. Today we will spend some time to connect with the spiritual aspect of Ghost Ranch, capture some thoughts and return to the group activity room where Darla will share some ideas about incorporating text in your artwork. We will create a tapestry of images with the power of words using the media of your choice.

Noon-1 pm: Lunch

Begin group share time using the easels.

5:30-6:30 pm: Dinner

Tonight the group activity room will be available to everyone. We will have our concluding group share time. Actually, we use easels for one-artist shows so we can see what everyone made this week! It’s my favorite part of the week! 

“All Creatures Great and Small” by Darla Bostick (mixed media from 2010 Ranch demo)

Embedded in the surface of the paper are the words: "All creatures great and small, the Good Lord created all"


Day Seven (Saturday), 1 October:

7:30-8:30am: Breakfast

Good things sometimes come to an end…Check out time is 10 am. After breakfast we have final farewells. Today is flexible. Lunch is not included but may be purchased if you wish. You may remain on the property as long as you wish after checking out with the office. For those on the road trip with Darla, or with cars we will stop in Santa Fe where you have options:

1) visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

2) go with Darla to Jackalope for photo op and shopping

3) visit the Cathedra Basillica of St Francis of Assis just off the Plaza

4) See what exhibit is available at the Governnor’s Palace on the Plaza

5) do your “own thing” – Canyon Road in Santa Fe is famous for its art galleries


For lunch you also have options:

  1. If you want a great dining experience, eat on the patio at La Casa Sena just across from the Cathedral.
  2. Eat at Café Fina on the east side of Santa Fe for authentic New Mexican cuisine, no wait and they have a patio
  3. Pop into Whole Foods for a lunch of your choice and get on down the road afterwards. This is most likely what those in Darla’s van will be doing. For those traveling from there to Texas, we spend the night in Amarillo, TX.

Sometimes I stop in my tracks to admire the play of shadows, the patterns drawn upon the sand as the surf retreats, or the ever changing shapes of the clouds as they slip across the sky. I marvel at these small things and delight in the quiet way they beautify our lives. How sad it would be to not notice these simple pleasures of the Spirit. ~ Darla Bostick    

Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu views (photographs by Darla Bostick)


I am moved to share what I see, teach what I have learned, and encourage others to pursue their art. My workshops provide a restful atmosphere where we explore and expand our knowledge of life as we see it, feel it and experience it. I take very seriously the fact that others have come to learn what I can offer. My philosophy is simple…my students are never asked to copy from my work. I believe a piece of art belongs only to the mind that created it. I would never consider adding even one stroke of a brush or pencil to another’s painting~that is a compromise of ownership. Finally, I believe in encouragement. Create, experiment, learn something new, paint what pleases you! If that means breaking some rules, then do it. Let the question to yourself be: “What if I…”

If you aren’t having fun, why are you painting?     ~Darla Bostick