ok. so, the 2nd day of artfest i took Claudine’s class. She has a very definintive style so the little cigar box treasures we made in her class all looked very much like her art, but i enjoyed learning her nifty little techniques, like putting vaseline on the gel medium jar so it doesn’t stick. and a simple transfer technique and some background techniques and how to work with plexi-glass! things like that. simple, but good. i made this with pics of me and my mom. cute.
that evening we headed to the bonfire at the beach where folks came together with their amazing art journals to share. next to the bonfire was a marvelous, one-room, rustic beach cabin with a fireplace in the middle of the room. people gathered around on the large wooden tables and chatted, roasted marshmallows, & worked on their art journals. now, liz and i didn’t have art journals to share, but after a few moments of oohing and aahing over the ones we saw, especially Teesha’s, we were intrigued beyond belief. each page of these handmade journals were works of art. so unique. so inspiring. we stayed in this little cabin for what seemed like hours, chatting, sharing, bonding. liz and i talked about how we are both attracted to the combination of images and words. it was an aha moment for me. i want to get back to adding words to my art. it means so much more to me, and the connection is stronger.
back at the dorm, in the wee hours of the nite, my roommate Minnie showed me how to make a tin doll. oh, the fun. who knew? so easy. like paper dolls, but better. i was 10 years old on this entire trip.
on day 3 i was finally able to talk to john. i missed him terribly at this point. he’s been such a part of this journey for me, the groundwork to actually get me to artfest, that i just wanted him to see all that i was seeing, and experience it with me. talking to him as fast as i could get the words out of my mouth at 7am, i’m sure i appeared manic to those around me.
anne grgich’s class on day 3 was quite challenging for me. she is an AMAZING artist, an outsider artist, and her collage paintings are absolutely stunning. so, i was intimidated by the expectations for this class. i wasn’t happy with my first piece. it was just such a departure for me. big bold black lines. just not me. but it was good to get out of my comfort zone. isn’t that what this is all about? i took the second canvas back to the dorm and worked on something a bit more my style. i learned how to use beeswax, tar gel, self leveling gel. so cool. her enthusiasm was tangilble and her spirit infectious. i actually teared up (again) when she was showing her slide show of her works. i was actually a student of this woman! here’s the piece i worked on in the dorm:
i was emotional, the happy kind, the entire trip. mainly because i knew i had found my community. finally. it was freeing for me. every single soul at this art retreat loved creating – and i’m not talking crafty stuff. i’m talking art. art. art. art. and i loved that when i walked around the campus, even in the dorm in the middle of the nite, there were pockets of women everywhere, creating together. how cool is that?
vender nite on day 3 was a big deal. again, huge masses of people. imagine the largest line ever at disney world and multiply it by 10. i was a kid in a candy store with not enough cash to get all that i wanted! here are a two gems i walked away with. the painting is by Carla Sonheim. i love her stuff. and i can’t recall who made the necklace, but wearing it makes me feel sassy. love it. it was cool to actually talk with some of the artists selling their stuff. that was probably the best part of vender nite for me.
i took the amazingLK Ludwig’s class on day 4. it was called “Standing in the Light” and it was an exercise on combining poetry and image. just up my alley. i learned how to patina copper and how to work with mica. i loved the look of the piece i made for this class:
everyone brought their finished pieces to the Commons that evening for show & tell. and i as i walked around the room i was overcome by my inner critic. “wow. my stuff doesn’t compare to these pieces.” “what was i thinking?” “holy smokes, these are incredible.” the tears welled up again. i know it’s a part of the process for all of us along this journey. i know that. i do. but i’m hopeful i will soon move past that pesty inner critic, or at least put some duck tape over her mouth.
i drove home sunday, in a happiness daze, trying to process everything. no mason jennings. just me and my thoughts. it’s funny how you can be changed so much in just 5 days, but when you arrive home, nothing has changed at all. same apartment. same job. same chores waiting for me. it’s as if it were all a wonderful dream. it was wonderful to sink into bed that nite, with john next to me. oh how i missed him and my dog. as i fell asleep, home from my journey, i knew the real journey had just begun.