the rest of the story

Apr 5, 2006 | Life in Progress

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.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (16 comments)
  1. vicci

    Kelly…I think what you did at Artfest is awesome…and looks like you had so much fun! I love how everyone “bonded” and shared art and ideas!!! As for your inner critic…give her just a little slap for me would ya!! And tell her to “HUSH”!!!! Hugs, Vicci

  2. Anonymous

    hi kelly…….i was just going thru my art suitcase, unpacking to repack for camping….and i found your blog address…..i ran to the computer to ck you blog, and found your email… kind of you….i loved our little group of people in the 5 bunk dorm, and was so impressed with your work in each of your classes…i as well felt extremely previlaged to be in anne g’s class, it was truely like being in in a masters class…i just wanted to stop time and pinch myself. it was so much fun showing you how to make a tin doll….infact i am bringing all the parts to teach my friends while we camp…it is now our ritual to share art projects with our friends, last year we altered photos from karen michells class. infact i am trying to still find those darn jump rings to attach the limbs and all… was great talking to you today, and i love your blog……….how exciting this all is……next week back to the jewelry……our shows are gearing up soon…..xx00 minnie, your artfest roomie…………………………

  3. AscenderRisesAbove

    wonderful set of images from your artfest. thanks for sharing them with us! As always; amazing.

  4. britt

    kelly your new pieces are amazing. they show so much diversity but still have your cute, smiley sunshine style. i love it! artfest sounds amazing and it sounds like it got deep in your soul in many ways. amazing.

  5. Gwen Delmore

    Hi Kelly, I love your blog, and I LOVE the finished painting from Anne Grgrich(?). It is amazing, and more obviously you than the black one.
    I wish that I had had time to connect with you more at ArtFest, I am intrigued with your blog, your writing is so fresh and honest, and your photos and artwork are awesome.
    I love Laini’s artwork, my daughter and I always look for her at Saturday Market when we are in Portland.
    I am glad to hear that other people are exhausted after Artfest, too. I was afraid it was because I am so much older…Glad to hear that even young ones are feeling it!
    I will keep an eye on your blog!

    Gwen Delmore

  6. Misty Mawn

    Hi Kelly,
    Sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect…it was a crazy week and I still have not recoverd…not sure that I ever will, that’s what is so wonderful about it!
    I love your pieces you created, esp, the Piece from Anne’s class! Great job!

  7. Laini Taylor

    Kelly, your pieces are fantastic, and some of the techniques you learned sound so fun – I’m always meaning to take classes at Arthouse to learn stuff like that, but I don’t. We can trade some techniques! As for the pesky inner critic, I think we all just need to learn to keep them in the place, like a naughty dog getting sent to its crate (we’ve never actually had crates for our naughty dogs, but still) – some people thrive in environments where they’re surrounded by other people’s talent, and they can strive to improve… I think that’s all good, but for me, I prefer to be alone with my own work in my own studio, where I don’t get sidetracked by coveting. It’s why art school wasn’t right for me in the long run, but I still enjoy doses of occasional coveting because it DOES turn into inspiration as soon as the green tinge of jealousy wears off!

  8. firstborn

    hi kelly,

    thanks for your kind comment you posted on my blog…i wish i lived in your coner of the world bec. this artfest that you and everyone above has described sounds wicked phenomenal!

    i wish we had something as half as cool as your artfest here where i live, which is in the middle of cornfields!

    love your artwork and reading your blog…

    take care, mary ann

  9. d.

    Kelly, thanks so much for looking at my blog…I need to write about my Artfest experience! I really love reading about yours…sounds like it was inspirational for you! And like it’s stayed with you…That’s what Artfest does: it sweeps you up into this creative tornado and whirls you around for a while. Once you get out of the tornado (arrive home) you still feel it in you, still feel it surrounding you. I wish I had gotten to meet you, but I’m glad you went!

  10. lisa s

    Kelly, I loved reading this entry! You created beautiful work and more, your inner beauty spilled out in all you spoke about. Really, let that be the person who looks at your art, not the critic! I loved, and was caught by how palpable your excitment was/is!!! I can’t wait to see you, sip tea and be close to your bright spirit! Congrats on going out on a limb, taking a chance and seeing where your passion takes you. I love you Kelly!

  11. M

    I love the idea of putting duct tape on the mouth of your inner crtic, I may steal that idea! Your pieces are wonderful, you are truly talented. We’re so lucky that you discovered your inner artist and starting sharing it with us!

  12. Teresa

    Hi Kelly–thank you so much for sharing your experiences at Artfest–I plan on attending next year for sure! Thank you for being such an inspiration for me, I just adore your artwork and I have a feeling you are going to do really well when you start selling it. You have your own style and it seems to just be growing at every piece you do. Looking forward to your future works!!

  13. andrea

    These.Are.Amazing. Kelly, you rock! I hope you will keep posting more and more of your beautiful pieces.

  14. Bruce

    Hey Kelly! I’m glad you’re having such fun discovering your artistic side. I’m sure we’ll blether about this a lot when we next see each other.

    I was just pondering my inner critic. When I went to SCAD, the then president told me not to worry about what other people are doing and to focus on my own progression. That my current piece is better than my last. To progress on my own. I ran into that time and again and it kept me progressing by my own meter. In a way, it helps you to recognize what you think you need to improve on, not comparing yourself by what everyone else is doing. That’s not to say don’t draw inspiration from others, inspiration comes from everywhere. But that is to say, take it easy on yourself, enjoy your own progression as it pertains to you. If you compare yourself to everyone else, you’ll only get as far as they have gone. You can take you much farther. You’ll surprise yourself.

  15. liz elayne

    well first i just have to say how cool that tracy roos left you a comment…and i agree…that inner critic needs to take a chill pill and quiet down!

    second…the piece your created with the second canvas. i love it! love it! love it! it is beautiful. i love the flower in her hair. it is scrumptiously delicious! oh you are so talented my friend. i am so blessed to know you.

  16. tracy loves pink!

    hi kelly, we haven’t met but I did a blog search on google using Artfest as the key word and found your journal. I loved everything you wrote and like you, I had the most wonderful time at artfest. It was just perfect all the way around. I’m blown away at your class projects, they’re incredible and every bit as incredible as the other works at show and tell. It’s time to put that inner critic to bed…forever! You’re very talented and just reading your words has inspired me. oxox, tracy


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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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