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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, offering a wide range of programs including weekly, monthly, full day, and weekend retreats. We specialize in caring for those that care for other, with a focus on serving caregivers, health care providers, therapists, educators, chaplains, hospice workers, and social justice activists through our programs.

Upon request, we also provide specialized programming for organizations and community groups.

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.

Please contact us with questions, to register for our upcoming retreats (schedule of current offerings listed below), or to brainstorm on ideas for bringing a Touchstone Retreats program to your community.

Join us for our upcoming Touchstone Retreats programs…


Regeneration, Mixed Media by Lisa KaganHEART OF SUMMER, Poetry & Art in the Garden
A monthly retreat series with Lisa Kagan and Margaret Hartsook

Mondays 6:30pm-9pm (June 24, July 29, August 19)
SE Portland, Oregon
Visit our event page to learn more and register.


For You, Acrylic Painting by Lisa KaganPOETIC PLAY
with Dawn Thompson

Mondays 10am-12:30pm (September 9, October 14, November 4, December 9)
NE Portland, Oregon
Learn more and register here.


ART OF TRANSFORMATION ~ Exploring Life Milestones Through Art & Story  
A monthly retreat series with Lisa Kagan 

Wednesdays 6:30pm-9pm (September 18, October 16, November 13, December 11)
SE Portland
Visit our event page to learn more and register.


A weekend retreat with Lisa Kagan and Margaret Hartsook

Saturday September 28th at 10am to Sunday September 29th at 4pm 
Alton Collins Retreat Center in Eagle Creek, Oregon
Visit our event page to learn more and register.


THRESHOLDS ~ Honoring Change Through Art & Writing 
A weekly retreat series with Lisa Kagan and Margaret Hartsook

Mondays 6:30pm-9pm ( October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18 (Skipping November 25th), and December 2nd
SE Portland
Visit our event page to learn more and register.


COMING HOME TO YOURSELF ~ A Monthly Community Writing Circle 
with Lisa Kagan 

Wednesdays 6:30pm-9pm (October 9, November 6, December 4)
SE Portland
Visit our event page to learn more and register.


Looking to join an online writing circle? Check out Dawn Thompson’s Words for Healing upcoming online writing programs

Touchstone Retreat Photos

Here is what participants have to say about Touchstone Retreats…

I have now been to two art and writing retreats with Dawn Thompson and Lisa Kagan and both provided so much healing for my soul. There is nothing like gathering with others to create. Much like meditating with a group of people, the experience is very powerful in a way that cannot be replicated on your own. Dawn and Lisa are both very thoughtful, kind and supportive and just an inspiration to work with. I feel very nurtured with them, even (especially) at my most vulnerable moments sharing my work with the group. I am so grateful for them and can’t wait to retreat with them again!”

– Touchstone Retreats Participant

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 Kagan is a writer, artist, creative facilitator, and personal historian. Her business, Family Heirloom Arts, is dedicated to helping individuals and families celebrate their life stories and significant life milestones through conducting oral history interviews and creating illustrated heirloom books. She offers art and writing retreats throughout the Pacific Northwest. Lisa believes in the transformative nature of the creative process to heal, empower, challenge, inform, and awaken the human spirit. Lisa received her BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut with a focus on writing and fine art. She has completed intensive studies in the arts at Skidmore College, the University of New Mexico, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Maine Photographic Workshops. Lisa has published two books of original art and poetry, Coming Home to Myself (2021) and Emergence (2009). Lisa is a co-founder of Touchstone Retreats.

Dawn Thompson believes writing our stories, whether they originate from our life experience or our imagination, is a sacred act that liberates, heals and transforms us. Dawn is passionate about how writing in community offers us the gift of becoming more intimate with ourself and more connected to one another. She currently offers writing workshops for women and  individuals healing from cancer through Words for Healing. Dawn oversaw and facilitated through Portland Women Writers from 2008-2023. She has also worked as a staff member for Write Around Portland. Dawn holds an M.A. in Creation Spirituality from Naropa University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Dawn is a co-founder of Touchstone Retreats.

Margaret Hartsook sees art making and writing as spiritual practices that can open the gates of creativity and self-expression. She believes we each have a unique creative language that can promote well-being, healing, meaning making and growth in our lives. Through de-mystifying the tools of visual art making, she guides individuals to explore and find their own unique expression. Trained in drawing and painting at California College of Art, Margaret completed her BFA at the University of Oregon and received a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling & Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy from Naropa University. Margaret is currently working at Legacy Good Samaritan in the Cancer Institute as an Art Therapist. In addition to facilitating many art-based workshops she co-created the Art Therapy program for Pathways Hospice in Northern Colorado and established the Memories in the Making art program for the Alzheimer’s Association in Oregon.

Lisa Kagan

Dawn Thompson

Margaret Hartsook

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