Retreat: Focus on the Sacred 2024

An Immersive, Small Group Experience combining a Spiritual Theme, Lettering Techniques, and Art Process

An Immersive, Small Group Experience combining a
Spiritual Theme, Lettering Techniques, and Art Process

Retreat 2024: Calligraphic Paintings
In-Person - Pecos NM
(with a Zoom option for remote participants)

Focus on the Sacred is an annual, 5 day, immersive retreat that combines lettering, artwork and
interaction with fellow students, centered around faith-based themes

Calligraphic paintings are a complex journey. Participants will spend the week visually articulating concepts in both word and image. 

Retreat 2024:

Calligraphic Paintings

6 Days:
Monday September 9 –
Saturday September 14

Pecos Benedictine Monastery  Pecos, NM  

Retreat Schedule:
Monday & Tuesday: 9am–5pm  Wednesday 9am–12n
Thursday & Friday 9am–5pm Saturday 9am–12n 

Calligraphic paintings can be as simple as abstract imagery combined with selected words, to a multi-layered painting involving more than one image, painting textures, and multiple texts within a complex composition.
This retreat will focus on the theory behind a large calligraphic painting, along with the processes to working with acrylic paints and inks on canvas.We'll look at creating textures, adding image, and working with lettering in the context of your own personal subject matter.

With these themes as our starting point, we'll explore the process of creating artwork with a Focus on the Sacred.

Calligraphic paintings on canvas have a multi-layered approach with acrylic paints and inks that creates unmatched depth and texture

The "Secret" Elements of Composition will be presented and discussed throughout the week.

The Interaction of  lettering and image
is an important aspect of a successful
calligraphic painting

Immerse Yourself

In-person Classes, recorded videos, replays

Live sessions will include presentations, demos, working time, and sharing.
Pre-recorded videos will also be available as a supplement for reference, or  "homework".
For participants who can't come in-person, these sessions will be recorded and uploaded on our designated retreat page. Only participants will have access to these pages.

Retreat Theme

Work with our theme, or bring your own project

While we will necessarily have an overall theme to work with, this week will focus on your own personal subject matter.
I would ask that whatever project you bring have a "Focus on the Sacred" intent behind your theme.
 Any painting techniques and our planned painting development will work around your theme.

Email me if you have questions!

Private Instruction

Individual sessions for  personal instruction

For those who wish to have follow-up, individual interaction or instruction after the retreat, this option would include up to 90 minutes of instruction via Zoom during the time between our annual retreats.

  • ask specific process questions
  • review or refine techniques
  • brainstorm on subject matter

Scholarships Available!

Get help with Class fees, or Choose 2 Payments

We don't want anyone to be left out because of cost. Accordingly, if you need help with the class fees, please just ask... we'll work something out.

It also may be easier to make 2 or 3 payments leading up to the start of the retreat; if so, let me know and I can send you a link for alternate ways to pay that will work for you.

Randall Hasson's Focus on the Sacred Retreats

Each year, the Focus on the Sacred Retreat has a triune approach: Fine Art and Lettering Techniques are taught nestled under the umbrella of a Spiritual Theme.  A small group (not more that 12) ensures that there is a great opportunity for each participant to share, learn, and connect with others.
I love teaching in a Week-long format. Over the course of an extended workshop, I find that, over and above any information,  presentation, and demonstration that I might give, participants gain invaluable insights, ideas, and inspiration from each other. The additional component of sharing one's faith and infusing spiritual insight into the process of creating, informs the artwork in a tangible way.

Time and again, participants have found this week a refreshing, insightful, inspiring, and memorable time of bonding through the creative process.

Materials List, Retreat Videos and Replays will appear here

Frequently Asked Questions

This year's retreat will be held IN-PERSON! We'll also have an option for off site participation vis Zoom. The retreat will be is 5 full days of teaching held over a 6 day period, with a half-day on Wednesday set aside for exploration and rest, and half-day on Saturday to end the retreat. Each day will have components of participant sharing, presentations, and demos, and working time. Depending on the day, there may be additional videos to review or prompts to work on lettering or artwork. This is not a rigid structure, and we'll allow for variation "as the spirit moves". 

As an instructor, I have always noticed the drawbacks of Zoom. Usually all participants have to be muted for larger groups, there is a lack of feedback for the instructor (who always wants to know if his jokes are working), and many times it is difficult for particpants as well. Sometimes it is hard to see the artwork, or watch a student work so any mistakes in method can be corrected.

In 2021, I found that, with a small group, I could allow all the participants to leave their microphone on. It was much more interactive, and much more enjoyable. I also found that both myself and the participants benefitted from the breaks during the day. Having a concentrated session and then being turned loose either to create artwork, practice lettering, or just rest, became a welcome rhythm for both instructor and participants.

Of course, this cannot replace an in-person retreat; however with the benefit of allowing more people to participate that might not be able to travel, and the lowered cost of studying without associated travel and hotel costs, the participants from last year almost universally agreed this was one of the best retreats we've had! I had one of the best experiences as an instructor as well, and where I usually end a week (pleasantly) exhausted, in this case I was refreshed.

So yes! Zoom, under the right circumsatnces, can be very effective.

In addition, with a fairly minor cost, a participant can set up an additional camera that would allow me to see you work from a different angle, if that is desired. This simple setup makes instruction much easier. I can send links for the equipment if that is an option for you.

Setting a fee for a retreat like this is always difficult from an instructor standpoint. it is a balance between what participants can afford and how fairly an instructor is compensated for time, preparation, and effectiveness. In setting a fee, we as instructors never want anyone left out, so that is a major consideration.

Fortunately this year, there is an individual who has offered to underwrite scholarships to help with the retreat fees. These scholarships will be based on each personal circumstance, so there is not really a set $$ amount.

Simply email me at and let me know what you need; we'll find a way to make it work for you! 

Based on past experience, there probably will be a waiting list again this year. If there are enough participants to fill another session, I will add an additional retreat to the schedule. Times and dates to be determined as needed.

In order to plan properly, I'll need payment in full by September 1. If you are enrolling after that date, and there is space, payment in full is due at that time. If it is more desirable to send a check rather than pay online, that is fine with me - you'll simply need to email me at and let me know so I can reserve your spot. In addition, if you'd prefer to make a couple of payments instead of one, just let me know and I will make arrangements with you.

Barbara Filoromo

Artist, calligrapher
(Barbara is on the left)

Randy is truly a master of his craft as well as a gifted instructor. He shares his breadth and depth of knowledge in a professional way that allows participants to readily enhance their own skills. His on-line workshops are a rich experience. The quality of the videos and the instructional content have kept me engaged, inspired, and encouraged to continue learning.

Retreat Pricing (Please note: if you don't see prices, the retreat is full.
To be informed on future retreat schedules, please fill out waiting list form below)

Book your Spot

$100 USD

  • Deposit (non-refundable) to reserve your place

Reserve Now

Balance due - 2nd payment

$1150 USD

  • Full tuition less your initial $100 deposit

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Full Tuition

$1250 USD

  • Includes 6 room nights and meals

    • Monday through Saturday workshop dates
    • Sunday afternoon arrival, checkout on Saturday
    • Half-Day off Wednesday
    • 3 meals/day included with full tuition.
    • Recorded sessions, handouts, and presentations to review online for a year
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Zoom Tuition

$600 USD

  • For remote participants

    • Monday through Saturday workshop dates
    • Half-Day off Wednesday
    • Zoom Sessions corresponding with each in-person session.
    • Recorded sessions, handouts, and presentations to review online for a year
Buy Now

Commuter Tuition

$720 USD

  • Includes lunch Monday through Friday

    • For participants who live in the area or have their own accomodations
    • Monday through Saturday workshop dates
    • Half-Day off Wednesday
    • Lunch on-site each day Monday through Friday
    • Recorded sessions, handouts, and presentations to review online for a year
Buy Now

Focus on the Sacred Retreat Waiting List

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Randall Hasson

Randall M. Hasson is an artist, calligrapher, instructor and speaker who has appeared on the faculty of over 25 Arts, Lettering Arts, and Educational Conferences in the United States, Canada and England. He is the author of articles on a variety of Art or Lettering Art related subjects and has appeared as a mainstage presenter and/or teacher with lecture topics covering Public Art, Art History, the Painting Process, Collaborative Art Projects, and the History of Writing including the recent invention of the ADLaM Alphabet in West Africa.

In 2015, he co-edited of the 24th (Centennial) Edition of The Speedball Textbook. In addition to a series of online workshops called Writing with a Bent Nib, Randall is currently writing and designing his forthcoming book Teaching America How to Letter – The Speedball Story, a history of commercial lettering and American show card writing in the 1900’s.