"The creative process puts us in touch with our soul, our spirit, our inner wisdom. Self-expression through the creative arts is a sacred and often mystical experience." -Natalie Rogers
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Introducing Touchstone Retreats…

Illumination, Photograph by Lisa Kagan

It has been a long-time dream of mine to offer immersive weekend art and writing retreats set in the beauty of the natural world. This September I had the chance to collaborate with my dear friend and colleague, Dawn Thompson (Director of Portland Women Writers) to offer a weekend retreat for women at Alton Collins Retreat Center entitled: Self-Portrait of the Inner Landscape, Exploring Personal Mythology Through Writing and Mask Making. Through the process of putting this retreat together, we decided to create a program called “Touchstone Retreats,” which offers participants the chance to immerse themselves in the creative process of sharing their stories through art and writing throughout the year. We are now facilitating weekend art and writing retreats at Alton L. Collins Retreat Center in Estacada, Oregon twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. Through the Touchstone Retreats program, we also are available to facilitate retreats for organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest. We can provide specialized programing for staff retreats, spiritual and meditation programs, and community groups including caregivers, educators, counselors, artists, writers, and social justice activists.
Learn more about Touchstone Retreats…

Register now for our upcoming retreat…
Coming into Bloom, A Journey of Renewal & Regeneration
with Lisa Kagan & Dawn Thompson

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
– Anais Nin

Detail from Metamorphosis, Mixed Media by Lisa Kagan

Nature honors the phases of shedding, dormancy, and new life with constancy and grace. The caterpillar’s journey of metamorphosis into the radiant butterfly. The seed’s pilgrimage from the hidden darkness of earth to the light-filled certainty of blossom. We too are part of nature, constantly transforming and re-emerging anew. Through writing and art making, utilizing painting, drawing, collage, and printmaking with natural materials from the magnificent Oregon forest, you’ll have the chance to honor your own process of emergence on the cusp of spring. This soulful and inspiring weekend in the beauty of the natural world also offers you a chance to deeply nourish yourself with delicious meals, a quiet, beautiful retreat setting and the supportive, uplifting company of other women. No previous art or writing experience necessary.

Dates: Friday, March 13th through Sunday March 15th, 2020
Location: Alton L. Collins Conference & Retreat Center
See full retreat program details and registration information…

Touchstone Retreat Photos

Here is what participants have to say about our 2019 Fall Retreat:Self-Portrait of the Inner Landscape, Exploring Personal Mythology Through Writing and Mask Making

“Extraordinary things happen when a group of women come together and commit to writing, creating, and exploring in nature. Dawn and Lisa of Touchstone Retreats provided a safe, nurturing space to simply be—without judgment or expectation. We were invited as individuals to experience our weekend as we needed. There’s such freedom in that. I wrote, hiked, put my feet up, and got my fingers sticky with paint. It was fantastic! Our group quickly became a unique type of family, forged in a creative space so often unattainable in the bustle of modern life. The delicious, locally-sourced meals prepared by an amazing chef made the weekend extra special. This was a writing and art retreat, but it was also a nature and foodie retreat! Dawn and Lisa are two of the most welcoming and talented humans I’ve ever met. I left feeling loved, nurtured, and inspired. I can’t wait for the next Touchstone retreat!”
– Touchstone Retreats Participant, Fall 2019

“I recommend Touchstone Retreats to women who are looking for a safe place to connect with their inner voice and creativity, and also to connect with kindred spirits. Life is such a hectic race through our to-do lists that we hardly ever disconnect not only from electronics, but from our self-talk to do more and be more. Taking time for reflection is so important. Participating in a retreat like this is a way to be kind to yourself through taking time to write and create.”
– Touchstone Retreats Participant, Fall 2019

“I registered for this retreat because I wanted time away in the forest with like-minded creatives. It was so much more ~ from the beautiful venue to the incredible meals and ‘forest bathing’ to the deep dive into writing and mask making, it was a pure joy. I hope to attend many more.”
– Touchstone Retreats Participant, Fall 2019

Oral History Interviews
Writing & Editing
Book Layout & Design