In 2009 I attended my first artists retreat
My son was a little over a year old
and I was finding my way
in my new role as mommy.
I had put my artistic endeavors on the back burner
for several years.
I had a career that ate up most of my free time
in that when I was free
I was either physically or mentally exhausted.
I had been a wife trying to fill that dual role so many
of my generation feels obliged to.
Home maker and career woman.
Time for my creative self was pretty much nil.
I found the Somerset magazines and Cloth Paper Scissors
to be good entertainment while I was
on my 4 months of bed rest.
After my little keeper was born I
found myself in desperate need of ME time.
I had seen an advertisement for Art and Soul
in one of my Somerset magazines
and was surprised to learn that they would be right in my backyard
in a few months.
I took a leap and signed up for classes right away.
That was the re-awakening of my creative spirit.
I have attended every year since
have made great friends and learned from some of the most
Art and SOul will be in Va. again in the end of April.
I wanted to share with you some of the
works I have created while there...
This was one of the first collages I made.
Everyone in the class was headed in the same direction
of antique looking book /ephemera.
I was inspired to do something a bit more whimsical
and dedicated it to my son.
I tucked a note for him in the envelope on the tiny book on
the upper right hand corner.
This was a second piece I created that first day.
I have formed a great love for the teacher who taught this class
a Hoot and a Holler'
as we say in the South.
She is the most energetic
and encouraging teacher.
I try and take one of her classes every time she comes.
This year she taught us how to make the most amazing
decorative papers using
If you go to the company page there is an artists gallery there!
It is quite a little phenomenon...
Here are a few of my finished pieces...
Once the papers are dried
we used alcohol inks to paint on them.
I really wanted to have the images almost camouflaged.
I just let the page speak to me,
I did not attempt to create something specific and I let my imagination run-wild.
Tell me what you see?
These were very different for me but I really enjoyed them.
I jumped at the chance to take my first class with
She is so much fun and a very patient teacher.
We laughed so much that first class it took the edge
off being so intimidated by the soldering iron.
I don't even think I really finished my bracelet
because I was trying to be so perfect.
However I learned a tremendous amount.
I also take one of her classes every year she returns.
This is my absolute favorite piece I made in one of her classes...
Believe it or not I find the large soldered pieces to be easier
and less intense than the small jewelry pieces.
Another fun and freeing class I took was with
The art of Silly...
Line drawing and watercolor with a whimsical twist.
I had drummed into my head that I had to be so realistic for
so many years by my art teachers when I was younger.
I was so excited after this class because it felt so natural
and that was a surprise to me.
I took a beginners acrylic class
and I must say I LOVED it.
I had always been a detailed water colorist
and i wanted to try something I was scared of.
I painted this with a palette knife!
There are many more
works I have created there over the past few years
that I won't drag out.
My point was not show and tell...
but to encourage you that if you don't
take time for yourself,
I also wanted to share my gratitude for
the awakening that ARt and SOul
provided for me
and continues to evolve in myself.
I know there are a lot more retreats held around
the U.S. and abroad.
leave me a comment because
I'd love to hear of any you have been to.
I'm always on the lookout to try something new.
I hope you will take a peek at the ARt and SOul offerings
and maybe I will see you there!