Marty Hatcher




Hmmm, to define ARLC is not as easy a task as one might think it to be because it is so many things.

To begin with ARLC stands for Artists Retreat and Learning Center which is almost self descriptive – but not quite.

Artists Retreat and Learning Center is an artists' retreat where a variety of artistic clinics, seminars and events are offered for the enjoyment and education of artists of all levels. It is nestled in the woods with large covered deck areas and gazebos around a small pool with a beautiful rock waterfall. There are wooden walkways and bridges that lead to benches and picnic areas in the woods. The wonderfully appointed studio is upstairs with its own wooden deck and railing where it overlooks the pool with a backdrop of trees.

Let me give you a little bit of history about the original idea of ARLC. I am a single adult female who found herself impassioned by fine art and painting after having a fruitful carrier as an illustrator, yet without the means to support my painting habit with no outside income. It’s a familiar story to many artists who work full time in order to afford to paint, and then find there is no time to seriously pursue your painting habit. Well some people can do it but I don’t seem to have the energy reserves to carry that off. So I asked myself how I could achieve working from home, doing something that would allow me a connection to the arts, offer the education and allow the time to do it all. I came up with the plan of developing a business that brought art and learning to those who, not unlike myself, were passionate about art and wanted to learn the skills that are being taught by professionals in schools across the county, to develop many different types of art including my own.

I set out immediately to find a place, a property, and things seemed to just fall into place one after the other. Don’t get me wrong, there was a LOT of work involved and it has taken several years, but not as many as I originally thought it might. Things have changed along the way and not everything has gone exactly as I envisioned, but it has been a miraculous and incredible journey, even to the well-known artists and clinicians I have become such good friends with over the years.

Now I will admit that the developing of ARLC has taken me astray somewhat of my original journey of becoming a highly skilled, well-known and sought after professional artist. Even those dreams seem to be developing quite nicely, albeit not as quite as rapidly as I had envisioned. Still, I am progressing very nicely in this regard.

I have successfully endeavored to bring in top-notch professionals from the world of painting in a variety of media whose workshops and clinics here have been very popular.

ARLC is not limited to painting alone. We offer a weekly Yoga class. There have also been seminars in creative writing, meditation, business of art, media presentation classes, photography workshops, tax preparation related to art, home school art classes, local art shows, demonstrations, and lectures; I could go on and on.

Most of all this beautiful serene place has not only offered me a wonderful atmosphere in which to pursue my own dreams and achieve my goals but it has given and continues to give to many others on their individual artistic journeys.

Art is a universal language we all speak whether we participate in the making of it or the viewing, hearing, tasting and enjoying of it. At ARLC, I contribute my own voice to this language and invite others to find or develop theirs.

Qiang Huang: Myth Buster