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Quintessence: The Fifth Element | Taos, New Mexico

  • Mabel Dodge Luhan Retreat 240 Morada Lane Taos, NM, 87571 United States (map)
The Moon Spills Its Light,  L Doctor

The Moon Spills Its Light, L Doctor

The theme for 2019 is Quintessence: The Fifth Element.

This class is full, to get on the wait list, register below.

  • We've all heard of the ancient Greek's four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. What is the fifth element, without which those four could have no ability to combine into the infinite variety of forms we see around us? How do you name the nameless things? The fifth element the Greeks called aether, and the medieval alchemists called quintessence.

Makers are ignited by the "fifth element", the intangible something else that works through us. The imagery of the Greeks is brilliant– Erebus, which means darkness and monarch of the realm of the dead united with Nyx, the goddess of the night, and gave birth to Aether (Ether).   Ether is translated as radiance: "to burn, to shine". In Homeric Greece ether meant "pure, fresh air" or "clear sky". It was "the pure essence that the gods breathed". 

The Goddess of the Night is also The Mother of Light. What an image for where inspiration and imagination comes from: emptiness, darkness, the night, mystery. Out of dark necessity Nyx gives birth to light, radiance, Ether. 

This not just a made up story, it is a map of the origin of inspiration, and the longing of every maker. Inspiration was originally used for a divine or supernatural being imparting truth. Inspire comes from the Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, and from Latin inspirare: to breathe or blow into. Something we cannot see, and everyone has, is breathed into us.

Students will combine color, graphite and ink to study the four elements: earth, water, air and fire as vessels for the fifth element. We will study pattern and arrangement, painting, notation and lettering techniques. These studies are documented in a simple book.

Fee: $1875 for the class, room and board (breakfast, lunch, and two dinners). The meals are large and delicious.

To register: Fill out the form below and send a $500 deposit to Laurie Doctor: 8116 Wolf Pen Branch Rd., Prospect, KY 40059. Registration is complete once we receive your deposit. Students are registered in the order in which their deposits are received.

You can also pay by credit card via my "store": 

Refund Policy: Your deposit is fully refundable until January 1, 2019. 25% of the total fee is non-refundable. Cancellation deadline is 8 weeks before the start date of the class. After this date, all fees are non-refundable. 

This class is full. To get on the wait list, please click the registration button below and submit a registration form.