artnest 2009

Mar 3, 2009 | Entrepreneurship, Life in Progress

where to begin. last year, as teaching offers began to come my way, i struggled with whether or not i wanted to do it. there are so many retreats, venues, and options – each offering their own unique spin on the creative experience. some are big retreats held in convention centers and others are small cozy retreats held in cabins, and smaller settings. i firmly believe that ALL creative retreats, no matter where they are located or how large or small they may be, offer truly transformative experiences for all who attend. i’ve been a student at many retreats, big and small, and i’ve walked away from all of them completely blissed out. but when it came to teaching, i knew i would need to choose the smaller venues. for the intimacy. for the nurturing. for the opportunities for deeper connections between students + teachers.

(most of the nesters 🙂
(artnest host julie. teachers mati, jane, me. and artnest host candice.)

so when candice and julie invited me to teach at artnest in utah, it was the perfect fit. it was a weekend of 30 women inside one giant cabin. it was quiet moments by the fire. chatty moments around the table. it was bearing witness to creative unfoldings from women who were discovering their creative possibilities. it was small, grateful tears to be a part of it. it was snowy mountains and deer in the backyard. it was storytelling in ways that had me surprised and touched. it was nurture beyond belief with delicious home cooked meals, words of encouragement, slippers + pajamas. it was late night laughter and art-making. it was, for me, feeling a bit cracked open for the first time in a long time, in the best of ways. pure bliss, i tell you.

(me, demo-ing)
(our messy, beautiful classroom.)
the artwork that was born from our three days together astounds me. we stretched ourselves, took creative risks, some painting for the first time ever. there were happy dances, breakthrus, spilling of tears as release came in unexpected places, and moments of deep pride. as a teacher, i felt like a proud mama bear – not only for the artwork that was being created, but the tender spaces that were being expanded inside creative hearts and spirits. magic.
(gorgeous, gorgeous. view from outside the cabin.)
below are the paintings that were created during the one day that i taught. i hope mati + jane post pics of their classes, too. i so enjoyed taking both of their classes. i have such a tremendous respect for jane and her craft and i just really enjoyed sharing a room with her and getting to know her (delightful!). and mati’s class stretched me in ways i really needed (more on that in another post). thank you artsy mama (kari) for capturing most images in this post…..
thank you julie + candice for creating a retreat with intimacy + heart + soul. for carving out a special space for all of us, teachers + students, to grow and reach and become more. what a gift.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (34 comments)
  1. contoured bliss

    Kelly! I’m looking for a way to email you my latest pitcure, I’ve been so excited to share it with you since i’ve finished it (3 hours ago lol) You inspired me durring the art nest. To branch out, not be afraid of taking the next step. This is so far from anything i’ve ever done, and i’m enjoying it greatly. Thank you

  2. Cheryl

    These paintings are beautiful!

  3. Jennifer

    so envious that you got to witness all that beauty! have you ever been out east to teach?

  4. ~Valentina~

    Looks *AWESOME*. I really want to go to one of those retreats really soon!

  5. nadia

    sounds like an amazing time! love the pics! happy thursday! ciao!

  6. kitasmom

    oops – didn’t mean to be anonymous…that was me – kitasmom

  7. Anonymous

    Ms. K. Rae….you have a delightful & gracious outlook…it was my pleasure to have met you last year at SAW, and by the way – belated abundant best wishes in your new home! Linda

  8. Davielle aka Princess Magpie

    wish I had gone … wow. BEAUTIFUL WORK by everyone. I even saw what looks to be a darling Mona Lisa in the midst …

  9. Katie

    What a lovely, warm, creative time – I am so jealous. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Also, I had a wonderful surprise the other day – walked into one of my favorite stores here in Abilene, TX and was met by some of your prints on those 3-D blocks. They look amazing! – and I’m so happy to have them in my neighborhood.

  10. Pippin

    Beautiful work by the nesters!!

  11. Cathy

    These paintings are amazing. Wow.

  12. laurel

    Looks like a wonderful time. I’m so jealous!

  13. Contessa Kris

    The fest sounds like it was a beautiful time had by all (I’ve been making the blog rounds and have seen several postings). Your class looks divine, so wish that I could have attended. You should hold classes online. And maybe you do. I need to go check I guess! ha

  14. debiellis

    Oh my goodness – I am so envious of your fest. You must be a fab teacher – those pieces were all amazing and touching. WOW….can’t wait for you to teach an online class and see you at Inspired !

  15. Billy and Button

    There is something about a bunch of paintings, that just makes me happy. Lovely post, thanks!

  16. Mooneybeams

    It’s amazing how different art can be, even when it’s based on the same idea. What beautiful work you inspired them all to create!

  17. jenny

    This really does look like pure bliss. I would love to attend something like that, but for now I too will wait in hope for an online class or two (or ten). This is proof that you are an incredible teacher.. the paintings are beautiful. You are such an encourager… I’m sure many walked away with paintings they didn’t know they had the capacity for before attending your class.

  18. Victory

    Have you decided whether you will be doing an online class yet? I would really love to learn collage from you.

  19. ~Barb~

    I have huge tears welling in my eyes as I read this…it sounds like just the kind of place I NEED to find and be a part of. You sound like you just returned from a truly heavenly retreat. Thank you for sharing your bliss with us…I enjoyed the pictorial trip.
    Peace & Love,

  20. pixie

    k-it sounds like you were so open as usual! i love hearing about this aspect of your journey, the teaching and connecting part. someday when my babes are bigger i promise myself i will take one of your heart widening classes!
    xo p

  21. Sara Moriarty-delaFuente

    Wow – sounds like you had a amazing time. And I am certain that all of your baby bears did as well. 🙂

    I hope this means more teaching from you in the future. Pleasy please come for a visit to Portland and teach a class. pretty please. 🙂 I’m not too proud to beg… 🙂


  22. Tinniegirl

    Oh, and I forgot to ask – any update on your online classes for those of us way down south?

  23. Tinniegirl

    Those paintings and this post make me yearn to create an Art Nest here in Australia.

  24. Sacred Yoli

    Wow, what an enchanting group!

  25. Charisse

    wow, their art is so very beautiful!!!

  26. Sarah

    Hi Kelly!
    I have visited recently but not commented before. I love your work and recently bought your book which I am greatly enjoying and finding very inspiring. I just wanted to say hi and thanks!
    Also I am so jealous of you people in your lovely artnest! It looks such fun, and the work you have shown here is beautiful. Will visit again soon.

  27. Andria

    Wow, it looks lovely. I wish I could have been there. Park City is just up the canyon from me!

  28. Shelley

    Kelly your class was so inspiring at Art Nest. I can’t wait to dive in and do more painting. Thank you so much!

    P.S. Did you watch The Bachelor last night?

    Shelley from Florida

  29. Koop Tribe

    oh oh oh, I wanna go!!!!

  30. justagirl

    What a beautiful spot…

    Such an inspiring post… thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts.

    All the denim legs in the third photo made me giggle for some reason…

  31. Heather

    wow, what an awesome retreat! I hope to do one of these…some day!

  32. Jill Nalette

    That looked like so much fun. Everyones are work looks amazing and everyone should be very proud of their work.
    I still hope to one day take a class with you. Your words, beauty and art work are just amazing!!!
    Smiles, Love and Hugs,
    Jill from N.H.

  33. Kel

    It does look absolutely amazing. Both the work and the location!

  34. Shelley

    What a wonderful time you must have had, it looks fantastic. And all those talented ladies. I wish I could draw and paint like that. Well done to all. If anyone got any tips for drawing faces I will much appreciate it.


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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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