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“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

Are you looking for a space amidst your busy life to connect more deeply with yourself and your community in a supportive and inspiring environment?


Illumination, Photograph by Lisa Kagan

Touchstone Retreats offers you the chance to immerse yourself in the creative process of sharing your stories through art and writing. We facilitate art and writing retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Upon request, we also provide specialized programing for organizations and community groups with a focus on serving caregivers, health care providers, educators, counselors, artists, writers, and social justice activists.

We invite you to:

  • Take a break from your responsibilities and enjoy the opportunity for self-reflection and creativity.
  • Allow yourself to be nurtured and nourished, supporting the process of regeneration and renewal.
  • Embark on your own journey of transformation, stepping more fully into your personal power and expressing your authentic voice and vision.
  • Share insight, inspiration, and wisdom through deepening community connection.

We honor writing and art as a creative process that belongs to all people. Each person’s voice is unique and of value. All writing, art and creativity is welcome here. No previous experience is necessary, just an openness to exploration.


A Summer Garden Retreat

A full day in-person retreat
with Lisa Kagan and Dawn Thompson

“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.”

– May Sarton

Welcome, Painting by Lisa Kagan

Join us for a full-day art and writing retreat to soak in the brilliance of summer while honoring the light within you. We will reinvigorate our curiosity, reengage our imaginations, and offer ourselves the chance to be inspired by nature’s infinite wisdom of design. Through writing and art making, we will connect with the words and stories from our inner landscape and will experiment with painting on river rocks, print-making with natural materials from the garden, making mini sculptures (with self-drying clay), and designing paper mosaics as we create our own personal alters, an ode to the brilliance in each of us. Inviting in the four elements, water, wind, earth, and fire, we will have a chance to consider what balance and harmony mean to us in the ecosystem of our own hearts amidst the push and pull of this tenuous world. This soulful gathering offers you the chance to deeply nourish and refresh yourself in the supportive, uplifting company of other women.

This retreat offers space for creative expression for women of all ages and backgrounds. No writing or art experience is necessary, all art materials will be provided.

Date: Friday July 22, 2022
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm
Retreat Program Fee: $175
Art Materials Fee: $15
Total fee: $190
Location: This retreat will be held outside in Lisa’s garden at her home in the Woodstock neighborhood in Southeast Portland.

Participants will be asked to bring a bag lunch. Drinks and light snacks will provided throughout the day.

Registration: To register for the retreat, please contact Dawn at: or 503.568.6145. Due to the limited number of participants we can accommodate early registration is recommended.

Click here to view the full event details, registration information, and our COVID-19 vaccination policy.



Touchstone Retreats will be offering a full day in-person retreat at Alton Collins Retreat Center on Saturday November 5th from 10am-5pm. Stay tuned for more details and registration information coming soon…

Touchstone Retreat Photos

Here is what participants have to say about Touchstone Retreats…

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

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

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

About Touchstone Retreats Facilitators:

Lisa and Dawn are the co-founders of Touchstone Retreats.

Lisa Kagan is a writer, artist, educator and personal historian. Her business, Family Heirloom Arts, is dedicated to helping individuals and families celebrate their life stories and significant life milestones through the creation of illustrated heirloom books and custom art. Lisa offers art and writing workshops and retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a facilitator through Portland Women Writers. Lisa believes in the transformative nature of the creative process to heal, empower, challenge, inform, and awaken the human spirit. Lisa has published two books of original art and poetry, Coming Home to Myself (2021) and Emergence (2009).

Dawn Thompson oversees Portland Women Writers and has had the honor to be a part of it since 2008. She has also worked as a staff member for Write Around Portland. Dawn currently holds writing workshops for individuals healing from cancer through the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU and Words for Healing through Legacy Cancer Center. She believes writing our stories, whether they originate from our life experience or imagination, is a sacred act that liberates, heals and transforms us. Dawn is passionate about how writing in community offers the gift of becoming more intimate with our self and more connected to one another.

Please contact us with questions, to register for our upcoming retreats, or to brainstorm on ideas for bringing a Touchstone Retreats program to your community.

Lisa Kagan

Dawn Thompson

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